Species in the trip
Best season
March to November
Best Length
12-14 days
Travel Distance
1200 km / 750 miles

    The Argentine Northwest is a region of surprising contrast and natural diversity. This trip will offer you a journey from the arid Chaco forests of the eastern plains, to the Andean Altiplano at more than 4000 masl (13,000 feet), crossing all the altitude levels of the Andes, through its Amazon cloud forests, grasslands of altitude, Bushlands and Andean forests.

    It will include exploring the numerous ravines and canyons, covered by enormous cacti and dense thickets, in search of various endemic species

    The high altitude lakes and steppes of the Andean plateau or Puna are home to endemic species of this extreme habitat. The land that was once part of the Inca Empire awaits you with numerous birding surprises and superb wines!

    Day 0

    Arrival in Buenos Aires. Night in Buenos Aires included

    Day 1

    Flight from Buenos Aires to Salta or Jujuy), over the Andes in the Northwest of the country, at 1000 m (3000 feet) oversee level.

    Once arriving in Salta, the local guide will be waiting to go to "Sierras de Santa Bárbara'' (Santa Barbara Hills) at the east of the province. These hills are one of the Hotspots of the region, because of the wet winds that come from the east, and there are the first mountains, and the valleys are covered by forests pretty well conserved. During the trip it's possible to find Yungas Guan, Black-and-chesnut Warbling-Finch, Red-legged Seriema, Toco Toucan, Olivaceos Woodcreeper or Tucuman Parrot. We'll stay 3 nights in the Area.

    Night in a Lodge near San Rafael


    Day 2

    During the morning we'll go East.  You will see how drastically the landscape changes going to the flat area of the east, where the weather is extremely dry there, and we'll find the arid Chaco forest. In addition, a couple of places with water allow us to see species different from the ones we'll see on the next part of the trip. In this environment we could find: Chaco Chacalaca, Stripe-back Antbird, King Vulture, Black-legged Seriema, Crested Hornero, Moss-back Sparrow or Spot-back-Puffbird.After a picnic and during the afternoon, we'll come back to the lodge to look for hummingbirds at the feeders, where it's common to see Yungas White-bellied Hummingbird and Red-tailed Comet

    Night in a Lodge near San Rafael


    Day 3 

    The third day will be full of birding in the Cloud rainforest over the first slopes of the Andes, locally called “yungas”. This region is considered an IBA (Important Bird Area), and birders will be surprised to learn that more than 400 bird species have been registered here due to the fact that this reserve operates as a natural corridor between two National Parks: Calilegua in Jujuy and El Rey in Salta. In different levels around the cabins, the rainforest offer trails to see a large number of species, such as Giant Antshrike, Yellow-striped Brushfinch, Black Phoebe, Mountain-Forest Screech-Owl, Great Rufous Woodcreper, Blue-crown Trogon, Golden-rumped Euphonia or Crested Oropendola.

    Night in a Lodge near San Rafael


    Day 4

    Beginning to ascend the Andes.

    From Santa Barbara to Purmamarca, at 2300 meters above mean sea level (7500 feet), starting to go up in the Andes. The northwest of Argentina is a region of amazing natural contrast and diversity. This trip to Purmamarca is a gradual forest transition to the Andean Plateau at more than 3300mamsl (9900 feet) close to the border with Bolivia. It will involve navigating and exploring the numerous ravines and canyons, covered by enormous cacti and dense thickets, in search of various endemic species.This is a good road to make stops, walks a find the typical andean birds, such us Black-back Grosbeak, Andean Swift, Brown-capped Tit-Spinetail, Black-hooded Sierra-Finch or Short-tailed Hawk.

    When we arrive, we'll go birding around town. Purmamarca is a very special and small pre-Hispanic village, among the Seven Colors Hill. From there we’ll visit the surrounding desert landscapes and mountains, and we’ll stay in one of the old houses that is now in a cosy hotel. There's chances of seeing Sandy Gallitos, Chiguanco Thrush and others.

    Night in Purmamarca.


    Day 5

    The top of the Andes.

    Early in the morning we'll visit the great Salt Lake in Purmamarca, crossing the big mountains at 4100 mamsl (more than 12.000 feet) and arriving in Salinas Grandes at an average altitude of 3,450 mamsl (11,320 feet), well-known for its vast white salty desert.

    Some specialities include the Giant Hummingbird, Golden-sppoted Ground Dove, Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, Puna Tinamou and others. After Salinas, there is an amazing town where turism still hasn't arrived: Rinconadillas. New opportunities in this special environment include Rock Earthcreeper, Moreno's Ground Dove, Puna Ground-Tyrant, Andean Hillstar, and Ornate Tinamou.

    Night in Purmamarca.


    Day 6

    During the next 2 days we’ll go to the border with Bolivia, in another beautiful village: Yavi. To arrive there we’ll cross the “Quebrada de Humahuaca”, where we'll have opportunities for several species, and even a lake in Abra Pampa with the 3 species of Flamingos (James, Andean, and Chilean).

    The road will go up to La Quiaca, in the edge of “Puna” (High Andean Plateau), and with some stops we’ll try to find species as Giant Hummingbird, Puna Teal, Andean Flicker, Brown-backed Mockingbird, and Mountain Parakeet.

    Night in Yavi


    Day 7

    The aim of this day will be birding in all the valleys between Yavi and the big Lake of the Pozuelos National Park. These valleys offer opportunities for puna species such as Puna Miner, Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch, Andean tinamou, Band-tailed Sierra-Finch, and Lesser Rhea (Puna subspecies),.

    However, considering the past 3 years of drought, we’ll adjust the program to the best chances we'll have in different places. The aim is to visit some of the lakes inhabited by species such as Andean Avocet, Giant Coot, Andean Goose and Puna Ibis. In Abra de Lizoite (high Andes wetlands) it could be possible to spot the rare Diademed Sandpiper-Plover.

    Night in Yavi

    Day 8

    Coming back to Jujuy from Yavi. Early in the morning and coming back down to Jujuy, we make a stop in Yala.

    Potrero de Yala is a protected nature reserve in the province, with winding trails in the woods, the mountain and lagoons. The route crosses the park and connects it to Termas de Reyes (Kings’ Hot Springs). This scenic route spans across an area of lush vegetation. It takes us to 2 lagoons (Rodeo and Comedero), giving way to short trails with Andean Lapwing, White-collared Swift, and Cinnamon Flycatcher.

    Here we’ll have one of the best opportunities for Torrent Duck and Rufous-throated Dipper. And who knows... perhaps a Black-and-chestnut Eagle during the day or Lyre-tailed Nightjar during the night!

    Night in Yala


    Day 9

    Early in the morning we will go to Salta, crossing the Cloud Rainforest (Camino de Cornisa), inhabited for Black-back Grosbeak, Yungas Sparrow and tanagers, parrots, euphonias and others; and 2 dam lakes: La Ciénaga y Campo Alegre, where we’ll found Comb Ducks, Least Grebe, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Ultramarine Grosebeak, and others.

    Night in Salta


    Day 10

    From Salta through “Cuesta del Obispo" to Cachi, a historical town in the Monte.

    Drive across the Calchaquí Valley, with stops at several locations along a diverse and beautiful mountain territory that was once part of the Inca Empire. The target bird will be the White-fronted Woodpecker specialized in big cacti and big birds of prey like Black chested Eagle. During these days we’ll look for Burrowing Parrot, Steinbeck’s Canastero, Ringed Warbling-Finch, White-throated Cacholote, and others.

    Night in Cachi


    Day 11

    From Cachi to Cafayate

    Early morning departure across Los Cardones National Park, with stops at the vast cacti groves and mountain grasslands. Los cardones is a type of huge cactus. We’ll look for the Andean Tinamou, Vermilion Flycatcher, and furnarids of the Andes.

    Night in Cafayate


    Day 12

    Full day birding around Cafayate, a dry area called Quebrada de las Conchas. This is one of the most famous natural wonders in Salta Province. Red canyons and geological formations compete with what you’ll see in the United State's Southwest and with a fraction of the crowds if you time it right. And amazing birds live there such as Elegant-crested Tinamou, Tucuman Mountain-Finch and Shrike-Tyrants, Sandy Gallitos, Chiguanco Thrush, Andean Swifts, and Rheas.

    An afternoon optional is to visit La Rosa Vineyards and wineries. Special Wine testing of mountain wines


    Day 13

    Coming back to Salta

    Birding road from Cafayate to Salta completing possible species missed and flight to Buenos Aires

    Night in Buenos Aires


    Day 14

    Internacional Flights