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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

wide-open trip suggestions for low-stamina birders (1 Viewer)


New member
United States
this will be all over the map, but here's my question.

if i want a semi-slow-paced trip (from the US) to a spanish speaking location with great birding in the month of february or march,
what comes to mind? i'm feeling tired and need a trip that is both birdy and also relaxing in not-roasting-hot weather.

i don't want a formal tour; i don't want to move from lodge to lodge; i'd like one or maybe two good lodges and
the ability to hire local guides. i recently was (unexpectedly) in oaxaca (city) mexico and lucked into a couple of days out
alone with private guides, so i was able to keep the days down to six hours or less. i got to use two different guides,
which was nice as every guide is different . . ..
i;m thinking about ecuador, and I am getting lots of good advice about a possible trip there, but the more i look into it the
more it seems as if it would be stupid not to check out several elevations and habitats, and would require several hops from lodge to lodge,
and so in that sense would be pretty demanding.

if you think about one lodge where you would want to go, would feel like you'd be happy to stay in that one place
8 to 12 days . . . and with great birding day trips from that home base, what comes to mind? with not ultra-steep steps
all over the place . . . and not at the beach . . .

good lord I am wearing my own self out here . . .
Panama canopy lodge would probably fit the bill...not a lot of long trails on the property itself but they have package deals that include birding excursions to different sites. Their is also Panama canopy tower, by the same company. However that is in the lowlands and I imagine would be warmer even at that time of the year.

I've looked into Black Rock Lodge for maybe next winter. Decent variety of birds and a decent number of trails are present, so you could probably spend a relaxing week there. And the bird diversity isn't quite as overwhelming as someplace like Panama, so I feel (personally) I could get by fine birding on my own. The lodge also has guides, so it would be easy to book excursions if you did want to go further afield.
If you want Ecuador then a week in Mindo with local guides doing short days could be the answer, alternately you could do Sasha or Swiss Lodge on the Napo for some Amazonian style birding.

An alterative could be Dominican Republic or Cuba away from the beach for good birding and nice weather.
The Mindo area in Ecuador is probably your best bet. A ton of different birding options within an hour or less, at a variety of elevations.

In Colombia you could consider Otun Quimbaya (near Pereira) and Rio Blanco Reserve (near Manizales). They are about 3hrs apart. Both have onsite lodges and pretty undemanding terrain and could easily entertain for 4-5 days apiece. Rio Blanco may actual be a bit on cool side, in particular if you get rain/fog, but overall, wonderful birding with good feeders so worth it even on a weather day. You can also plan day trips up to Nevado del Ruiz (high elevation, but most of the birding is done along or very near the road and very little walking required) or Hotel Tinamu for something different. I've not been to the latter, but I know it would provide some drier forest species in contrast to the other sites. Local guide(s) in that area should be fairly easy to find.

Also in Colombia, the Cali area has a similar suite of birds to Mindo in Ecuador but fewer birders. The nearby Araucana Lodge is, by all accounts, excellent though I am unsure of how much the actual site itself offers for birding beyond what is around the immediate environs of the hotel.

Let me know if you want any further info on Colombia, I know or know of a good portion of the local guides.
South Texas? depends on how low your stamina is and how wide-open the suggestions are :)

(EDIT: six hours a day sounds like a lot to me, BTW)
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Costa Rica is exceptional
charming people, great birding and some great experiences
I can recommend Rancho Naturalista too

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