Tag Archives: birdwatching

BIRDWATCHING IN THE CLOUD FOREST IN SALTA

The perfect place for bird watching enthusiasts, in a unique natural environment.


The Huaico Natural Reserve protects a remnant of mountain jungle in a very good state of conservation, adjacent to Villa San Lorenzo, just 8 km from the city of Salta.

It is a private reserve, whose land was donated by its owners to the Yuchan Foundation, the NGO responsible for its management and administration. It comprises 51 hectares of cloud forest, destined for conservation, scientific research, environmental education and ecotourism.

It is a place to enjoy nature, where jungle vegetation unfolds and surrounds you. In each corner you will enjoy the sounds of the river, waterfalls and the fauna of the place.

One of the main attractions in the reserve is the great diversity of birds. Whoever wants to visit and conduct the bird watching circuit, must do so accompanied by an authorized guide. You will be able to observe and learn about the birds that inhabit the amazing environment of the mountain jungle.

The proposal to visit the reserve participating in this activity can be half or full day:

After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up to drive you to the Huaico Natural Reserve, only 15 minutes northwest from Salta downtown. We will spend about 3 hours birding along the trails that will permit us to walk from the lowest strata to the highest elevation of this cloud forest. Amongst the 220 species recorded here, there is a fine selection of colorful parrots, tanagers, hummingbirds, furnariidae and antshrikes.

We will be in search of forest birds such as yungas dove, dusky-legged guan, ocellated piculet, dot-fronted and cream-backed woodpeckers, mitred parakeet, scaly-headed parrot, slender-tailed woodstar and the rather confiding gray-necked wood-rail.  

We hope that our sightings on passerines -strongly influenced by the time of the year and weather conditions- will include many attractions such as white-winged and crested becards, stripe-crowned and azara’s spinetails.

Before midday, we plan to be at the “raptor’s watch deck”, from where we stand good chances to see Andean condor and/or the majestic black-and-chestnut eagle soaring around. As usual, these rare species are never assured but other birds of prey sightings can include swallow-tailed kite, roadside and short-tailed hawks and the shy barred forest-falcon. 

This is the final stop for the half day excursion, but if you are willing to go on into a full day birdwatch, after picnic-lunch in the reserve we will drive eastwards again into the Sianca Valley to yet another private protected wetland. 

An amazing abundance of waterfowl concentrates here including the rosy-billed pochard, white-cheeked and brown pintails, speckled and cinnamon reals, Brazilian and lake ducks, white-faced ibis, coots, herons and storks. 

The reeds and rushbeds give shelter to occasional southern screamer, snail kite and wren-like rushbird, while the surrounding thickets will provide chances for the attractive red-legged seriema, whistling heron, red-crested cardinal, lined seedeater, and many others.

Later in the afternoon, we will drive back to your hotel, perhaps doing the checklist of a very productive day! Without a doubt, an amazing experience with a wonderful staging of these winged creatures.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Includes: Round trip transfers from the hotel. Spanish/English bilingual guide. Entrance fee to the Huaico Natural Reserve. Birdwatching checklist.
  • Not included: Lunch, snacks or beverages. Tips or any other extra costs.
  • Operation: From January to September.
  • It is recommended to all visitors to bring: Hat or cap. Sunscreen. Insect repellent. Sufficient drinking water for the day. Comfortable and suitable clothes and shoes for hiking. 

Península Valdés Adventure

A thrilling close encounter with Patagonian nature and marine wildlife.


Península Valdés is a natural reserve in the Patagonia, located on the Atlantic coastline. It is renowned for the marine fauna that inhabits its beaches and surrounding waters, such as whales, penguins and many other seabird species, sea lions and elephant seals. Few places offer the possibility to observe so many animals in their natural habitat; this is a true and unique wildlife reservoir in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

For the chance to appreciate the abundant local fauna, we recommend our featured product “Peninsula Valdés Adventure”, tour that stands out from others because of the variety and quality of experiences included.

The first adventure of the day takes us to Estancia San Lorenzo, a pioneer sheep ranch located on the coastline of the San Matias gulf and 160 km away from Puerto Madryn.

This working ranch not only produces Australian merino sheep wool but it is also the home of a 600.000 Magellanic penguin colony, which brings us to this spot. On a 4×4 Overland truck we will reach the reserve and then trek towards the rookery, guided by naturalist guides. This may be the closest you will ever be of a penguin. Without altering their habitat, we will pass by and observe them.

Then, we will hop back on the 4×4 truck and go through the Cañadón de Fósiles, a fossil canyon witness of a million year history.

After the active part of the tour, we will get back to the estancia and enjoy an exquisite lamb on the spit in the old shearing barn, which was reconditioned to serve as a country restaurant, visitor centre and mini shop for local products and ranch souvenirs.

To finish the day, a 2 hour boat ride at sunset in Puerto Pirámides to watch Southern Right whales jumping and swimming around for the best pictures you could ever take. If we´re lucky, maybe these huge and majestic cetaceans will just pass us by so close to almost reach them. As close a you can be of wildlife itself.

For nature lovers, discover Patagonian marine fauna and fossil history as in no other place in Argentina.  


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operates from September 15th to November 30th on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Full day tour, 12 hs. From 7:30-8 am to 8 pm.
  • Book in advance; only 20 paxes allowed per day.
  • Basic service includes only 4×4 ride.
  • With additional cost: Access to Peninsula Valdés, visit to San Lorenzo and penguin rookery, lunch at San Lorenzo without beverages, whale watching boat ride.