Tours & Destinations Argentina
. . . . . 2013 TOUR SCHEDULE . . . . .
NEW! NORTHERN ARGENTINA
From the Andean Puna to Iberá Marshes8 October 2013 - 22 October 2013, 15 days & 14 nights
Northwestern Argentina is a land full of spectacular landscapes and with a vast cultural heritage. Remnants of buildings and roads from the “Great Inca Empire of the Sun” can still be found here, and many cultural events and pre-Hispanic rituals, such as the one in honor of the “Pacha Mama” (Mother Earth), are still celebrated by the locals. Andean music is heard everywhere, and people still play their traditional instruments. This incredibly varied region has a great diversity of natural habitats, ranging from Yungas Cloudforest to dry Chaco woodlands. Forming a wedge along the southern Andean chains of Bolivia and northwestern Argentina, the Yungas Cloudforest supports one of the greatest biological diversities in the Neotropics. Wildlife is abundant in this humid environment. Ferns, bromeliads, and other epiphytic plants are particularly stunning here, and they cover every corner of the forest. This biological treasure is well protected within the boundaries of several national parks and nature reserves, and we plan to explore it thoroughly. Just south the Humahuaca Valley is the small village of Yala and the Yala River, which is bordered by lush Yungas Cloudforest. Exploring this area is a must for birders, since it is here where chances are high to find such unique species as Rufous-throated Dipper, Torrent Duck, Red-faced Guan, and Lyre-tailed Nightjar. Continuing north, and up to higher elevations, we will enter the pre-Puna. The Andes in this part of Argentina are very dry, but they are crossed by a series of humid valleys, with Humahuaca standing out for its unique setting. Nestled amidst spectacular rock formations of the most incredible and diverse colors, this is the heart of one of the richest cacti flora on Earth, and home to a wide array of birds, mammals, and other wildlife. Lake Pozuelos Natural Monument, a mountain-ringed basin with shallow brackish water lies some 90 km north of Abra Pampa, in the heart of the Puna. It harbors thousands of Andean, Chilean, and Puna Flamingoes, so we hope to witness the spectacle of large concentrations of these creatures amidst the solitude and grandeur of High Andean landscape. After visiting the Humahuaca Valley area we will explore the Chaco habitats. The Chaco is a very special ecosystem, mainly thorny woodland, which covers most of the far northern part of Argentina. We will spend three days exploring the Chaco, searching for its unique birds. No birding tour to northwestern Argentina would be complete without visiting the Andean habitats of the famous Cachi Road, an area well-reputed among birders the world over for the quantity and quality of bird species present here. We will follow this road on our way to Los Cardones National Park, looking for Aplomado Falcon, Andean Flicker, Rock Earthcreeper, White-tipped Plantcutter, Brown-capped Tit-Spinetail, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, White-winged Black-Tyrant, Black Siskin, Rufous-sided Warbling-Finch, and the localized Rufous-bellied Saltator. The last bit of our journey will take us to the south of Salta to explore two wonderful habitats: the Monte at the Calchaqui Valleys, and the mountains of the Aconquija. The latter is home to several specialties including White-browed Tapaculo, White-winged Cinclodes, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Paramo Pipit, Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Cordilleran and Puno Canesteros, Gray-hooded Parakeet, Slender-billed Miner, and three endemics: Tucuman Mountain-Finch, Yellow-striped Brush-Finch, and Moreno’s Ground-Dove.
The price is approximately $4645 from Buenos Aires, with a minimum of 6 participants. One of Birding-Argentina’s professional guides will be your leader, assisted by Bob Schutsky.
IGUAZÚ FALLS, ARGENTINA EXTENSION
Beauty & Splendor21 October 2013 - 25 October 2013, 5 days/4 nights
The most important forest south of the Amazon is formed by a set of subtropical rainforests including the Brazilian ‘Mata Atlántica’ and the Interior Atlantic Forest in the Argentine province of Misiones. The most remarkable natural wonder of Misiones is Iguazú National Park, with its unparalleled falls. Here, the Iguazú River falls 70 meters, forming a fan of cascades with more than 250 individual falls. One million hectares of the highly endangered Interior Atlantic Forest remain in patches spread throughout the Argentine province of Misiones. Thanks to the efforts made by several local conservation organizations and individuals, most of them have been declared provincial reserves. Presently they are linked to each other and to Iguazú National Park, forming a large, single conservation unit known as the Green Corridor. This continuous forest cover supports healthy populations of big mammals, such as Jaguar, South American Tapir, and Giant Anteater. There are areas of the Green Corridor where the forest canopy is dominated by giant Monkey-puzzle Trees (Araucaria angustifolia). This Araucaria forest cherishes some true forest jewels, such as Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Red Howler Monkey, and the rare Vinaceous-breasted Parrot. A narrow gauge train takes you from the entrance gate of the park to the trailhead and on to the most spectacular waterfall of them all, Devil’s Throat. A myriad of colorful birds live in Iguazú. Surucua Trogon, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Blue Manakin, five species of euphonias, and several species of tanagers are all commonly found inside the park. Thousands of Great Dusky Swifts and several species of forest raptors master the skies here as well. The forest canopy is home to noisy flocks of parrots, parakeets, antwrens, and five species of toucans. The lower layers of this rainforest are inhabited by such birds as Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Spot-backed Antshrike, Black-billed Scythebill, and twelve species of woodpeckers, including the rare Helmeted Woodpecker. One can also enjoy the magic of this forest by listening to the distinctive calls of birds like Solitary Tinamou, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Tufted Antshrike, and Southern Antpipit. The price is approximately $2295 from Buenos Aires, with a minimum of 6 participants. One of Birding-Argentina’s professional guides will be your leader, assisted by Bob Schutsky.
The Pampas, Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego2 December 2013 - 19 December 2013, 18 days & 17 nights
Tierra del Fuego lies at about 55 degrees south latitude, as far south of the equator as Churchill, Manitoba is to the north. December is early summer in Argentina, with many hours of sunlight each day. The tour begins in Buenos Aires with a visit to Costanera Sur Reserve for a taste of the Pampas: Black-necked Swan, Yellow-billed Cardinal, Great Pampa-Finch, and several species of coot. On a chairlift ride above Le Martial Glacier we'll search for specialties including White-bellied Seedsnipe. Both Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins will be a big hit during our catamaran ride on the Beagle Channel, along with Black-browed Albatross and Southern Fulmar. Tierra del Fuego National Park is good for Austral Pygmy-Owl and the striking Magellanic Woodpecker, while Los Glacieres National Park offers our best chance for Andean Condor. On the Patagonian High Plateau we will search for two very rare species: the newly discovered Hooded Grebe and the elusive Austral Rail. Additional areas that we will visit include the Valdes Peninsula, Punta Tambo with its 700,000 Magellanic Penguins, and a mixture of grasslands and woodlands known as the Ceibas. The grand finale is three days on the Pampas, with rheas, canasteros, and spinetails. We'll return to Buenos Aires for your flight home. The tour leader is Luis Segura, assisted by additional Birding-Argentina professional guides. The tour fee is approximately $6595.