Las Tangaras Reserve, Chocó department, Colombia
It has been a long time since I have even thought of blogging! However, I just got back from a one month long trip to Colombia with my friend Andrew Spencer, and my dad has been trying to get me to write some posts about the trip, and why not.
Since the last time I wrote here, about Peru and Chile, I have successfully been through my first two semesters at college, and also had a ~3 week trip to Ecuador with a few people over the winter, spending a couple days with my parents and then the rest of the time traveling around on buses, something that tends to happen quite often in South America. The focus of the moment is on Colombia though, and I hope to produce 7 or 8 posts in total about the various parts of the trip.
Colombia was a great country, with your standard stunning Andean scenery, cheap overall living, very nice and helpful people, and exceptional birding and natural experiences. Our time there took us across much of the central portion of the country, going east into the Amazon, north to the Medellín area, and west to the western foothills of the Andes in the Chocó department: the humid western lowlands.
In all we had a little over 600 species of birds during our trip, of which slightly over 100 were life birds for me, not a bad total. I believe Andrew got over 50 lifers as well, which is pretty impressive, this being his third trip to the country. Despite Colombia having a bad rap for safety, we never felt in danger in our time in country. There was a large military presence in some locations we visited, especially Mitú, but it always seemed as if they were there to preclude any possible nastiness, rather than there because of a regular need to respond.
Our trip started in Bogotá, the capital of the country: a land of Dunkin Donuts and lots of traffic, and that is where I'll start in the next post.