ARGENTINA and CHILE
NOVEMBER 2017

 
This will be a trip to truly remember for all the right reasons. Patagonian Conures by the thousand with Austral and Slender-billed Conures, are some of the special Parrots that cannot be seen in any other country but also some amazing scenery with glorious colours of the mountains in the Salta/Jujuy region, the coastal areas of the Valdes Peninsula and the lake crossings in Chile as well as lots of other birds, including Flamingoes and Condors, and wildlife, including Right Whales, Sea Lions and Elephant Seals, as we travel to the North-west and Patagonian regions of Argentina and into Chile.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 2017
 
Day 1 October 30th Arrive Buenos Aires
Day 2 October 31st Salta and Rosario de la Frontera for 2 sub-species of Maximillians Parrot (P.m.siy and P.m.lacerus) and Blue fronted Amazon (A.a.xanthopteryx)
Day 3 November 1st Huaico Reserve and San Lorenzo for Mitred Conure and Tucuman Amazon
Day 4 November 2nd Custa del Obispo for Sierra Parakeet and Andean sub-species of the Patagonian Burrowing Parrot
Day 5 November 3rd Los Perales and Humahuaca Valley for Mountain Parakeet and Blue crowned Conure
Day 6 November 4th Jujuy o Yala for White eyed Conure and Green cheeked Conure (P.m.australi)
Day 7 November 5th Calilegua for Monk Parakeet (M.m.calita) and Yellow collared Macaw
Day 8 November 6th Calilegua for Maximillians Pionus (P.m.siy) and Tucuman Amazon
Day 9 November 7th Libertador San Martin for Yellow chevroned Parakeet (B.c.behni)
Day 10 November 8th
 
Salta for flight to Buenos Aires
Day 11 November 9th Buenos Aires to Trelew and onto our lodge at Puerto Piramides
 
Day 12 November 10th Valdes Peninsula for Right Whales, Orcas, Elephant Seals and Sea Lions
 
Day 13 November 11th Chubut River Valley for Monk Parakeet and Patagonian Burrowing Parrots
 
Day 14 November 12th
 
Trelew to Buenos Aires to Bariloche
 
 
Day 15 November 13th
 
Bariloche for Austral Conures
 
 
Day 16 November 14th
 
Travel to Puerto Montt, Chile via roads and lakes
 
Day 17 November 15th
 
Chiloe for Slender billed Conures
 
 
Day 18 November 16th
 
Puerto Montt to Buenos Aires or Santiago
 
Day 19 November 17th
 
Buenos Aires/Santiago to Home
ITINERARY
 
30th October
The group meets up for the first time at our hotel in Buenos Aires
 
31st October
We will be taking a morning flight to Salta in the North-west. From the airport we initially will travel south to Rosario de la Frontera.
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 everywhere here, and many cultural events and pre-Hispanic rituals, such as that 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. The three provinces in the north-westernmost part of Argentina, Jujuy, Salta and Tucuman, host some pristine representatives of these habitats, all worth visiting for birders to find both diversity and good numbers of native species.
Rosario de la Frontera gives our first chances of parrots in the form of Maximillians or Scaly-headed Parrots, Blue-fronted Amazons and Monk Parakeets.
Overnight in Rosario de la Frontera
 
1st November
After an early morning look for more of the parrots here we then travel back towards Salta and the Huaico Reserve near to San Lorenzo where we can see the Scaly-headed Parrots once again but also the Mitred Conure and Tucuman Amazon
Overnight in San Lorenzo

2nd November
Today we will visit the area of Custa del Obispo to look for the Sierra Parakeet and the Andean sub-species of the Patagonian Burrowing Parrot.

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. It harbors a wide variety of forests and woodlands, each hosting its own and unique community of flora and fauna, and all varying according with their altitudinal ranges. Wildlife is abundant in this humid environment. Ferns, bromeliads and other epiphytic plants are particularly stunning here, and they cover every single 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 in different areas.
 

 
Overnight in San Lorenzo
 
3rd November
Travelling further north to Jujuy o Yala visiting Los Perales and the Humahuaca Valley this time we search for the Mountain Parakeet Tucuman Amazon and the Blue-crowned Conure.

 
Just south of the Humahuaca Valley lays the small village of Yala and the yala River, which is bordered by lush Yungas cloudforest. Exploring this area is a unique experience for naturalists. Remarkable bird species, such as Rufous-throated Dipper, Torrent Duck, Red-faced Guan and Lyre-tailed Nightjar, are restricted to this particular ecosystem. A local reserve just above Yala protects a good stand of pure Alder forest, offering great chances to visit yet another habitat, with its own and particular wildlife.

 
Overnight in Jujuy o Yala
 
4th November
In Yala itself we will look for some of the Conures in the area, White-eyed, Green-cheeked, Blue-crowned and Mitred Conures
 
Overnight in Jujuy o Yala
 
5th November
Travelling slightly further north again getting close to the Bolivian Border we visit the pristine Yungas of the Calilegua National Park with chances of the Tucuman and Blue-fronted Amazons again as well as Yellow-collared Macaws and if we are lucky maybe the Military Macaw
 
Overnight in Libertador San Martin
 
6th November
Our second day in the Calilegua National Park again looking for the Amazons and Macaws but also searching for the four Conures as well as the Mountain and Monk Parakeets and the Scaly-headed Parrots once again just in case we missed them elsewhere or even see a different behavior or even try to get that bit closer for the better photos.
 
Overnight in Libertador San Martin
 

 
7th November
An adventurous day today as we collect our 4x4 vehicles and go off-road to look for the Yellow chevroned Parakeets which will be the larger sub-species of the one found in a large part of Brazil.
Overnight in Libertador San Martin.
 

Wildlife Highlights for the North-west are Andean, Puna and Chilean Flamingo, Vicuna, Red-brocket Deer, Red-tailed Comet, Chinchilla, King Vulture, and an incredible diversity of Cacti hopefully we have seen most if not all of these as well as many other species including all the parrots.

 
8th November
Our time in the North-west comes to an end after a morning of birding around the area and looking out for those elusive species once again before driving back to Salta for our afternoon flight onto Buenos Aires.
Overnight in Buenos Aires
 
9th November
The next part of our Argentinian Adventure now begins by flying from Buenos Aires to Trelew where we pick up our vehicle and go onto our lodge at Puerto Piramides.
We are now in the Eastern Patagonia region a land of vast solitudes. It is here where the arid steppes of the Patagonian Plateau reach the Atlantic Ocean. Tall sedimentary cliffs frame endless gravel beaches providing shelter to innumerable seabirds and marine mammals that make their home in these remote, barren shores.
Overnight in Puerto Piramides
10th November
Travelling a short distance today for our visit to the Valdes Peninsula, a designated World Natural Heritage Site, and arguably the richest nature reserve in Eastern Patagonia.

 
This area is home to more than 32.000 Southern Elephant Seals and over 8,000 Southern Sea Lions, but it is best known for its cetaceans, with roughly 1,000 Southern Right Whales relying on these waters yearly to complete their breeding cycle and its world-renowned population of sea-lion hunting Orcas. A boat trip here helps us to see lots of these amazing animals.


Overnight in Trelew
 
11th November
We head in a different direction today to the Chubut River Valley looking for Monk Parakeet and Patagonian Burrowing Parrots both different sub-species of the ones we hopefully were able to see in the North-west – can you spot the difference?
Driving through the steppe, we will always have chances to see and photograph several land mammals and birds.
Herds of Guanaco still roam freely in the endless steppes of Patagonia. The Mara, or Patagonian Cavy, is the largest rodent in Patagonia. It is an Argentine endemic and the entire population is restricted to the driest areas of central Argentina and Northern Patagonia. Their smaller cousin, Patagonian Lesser Cavy is frequently found taking the sun just outside Magellanic Penguins’ burrows, where they shelter. Two species of armadillo: Large Hairy and Pichi live here as well. Other mammals possibly found along the way include Lesser Grisson, Humboldt’s Hog-nosed Skunk, Geoffroy’s Cat and 2 species of Fox: Patagonian Grey and Culpeo.
Birds in this part of the world are really unique since many of them are restricted to the Patagonian region such as White-headed Steamer-Duck, Rusty-backed Monjita, Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Patagonian Canastero and Carbonated Sierra-finch among others.It is also here where the largest colonies of Magellanic Penguin can be found with up to about one million nesting penguins raising their young and molting their feathers every year.

 
Although we will enjoy all the sights of the wildlife in this region our main target will be the Burrowing Parrots or Patagonian Conures. 70-80,000 nest in the shoreline cliffs every year and we should have chances of seeing lots of them with many opportunities for photographing these amazing Parrots.
Overnight in Trelew
 
12th November
After an early morning birding expedition we have the remainder of the day travelling with a flight back to Buenos Aires and then another flight onto Bariloche on the border of Chile
San Carlos de Bariloche (commonly called Bariloche) is a town in Argentina’s Patagonia region. It borders Nahuel Huapi, a large glacial lake surrounded by the Andes Mountains. Bariloche is known for its Swiss alpine-style architecture and its chocolate, sold in shops lining Calle Mitre, the main street. It's also a popular base for hiking and skiing the nearby mountains and exploring the surrounding Lake District.
We arrive after the skiing season so hopefully not too cold although I think we may need some warmer clothing for this part of the trip.
Overnight in Bariloche
 
13th November

 
We explore the area for the Austral Parakeets or Conures the most southerly found Parrot in the Neotropics. We should also see lots of other birds, most notably the Andean Condor, and maybe a few mammals in the region
 
 
Overnight in Bariloche
 
14th November
We now have another travel day although this one will be a bit more relaxed as we travel to Puerto Montt, Chile via road and boats as we traverse the lakes across Chile taking in the amazing scenery. Snow-capped volcanoes provide unique opportunities for some landscape photography.
 
Puerto Montt is a port city in southern Chile’s Lake District, known as a gateway to the Andes mountains and the Patagonian fjords. The city’s neoclassical cathedral, built from wood in the 19th century, overlooks Plaza de Armas square. Nearby, Casa del Arte Diego Rivera displays contemporary works by local and national artists. Just outside the city lie Caleta de Angelmó Market and Calbuco, an active volcano.
 
Overnight in Puerto Montt
 
15th November
After a day of travelling and hopefully re-charging our own body-batteries again we now have a full day to find the Slender-billed Conure, locally known as a Choroy, and the only endemic parrot species in Chile so definitely one to watch.

Overnight in Puerto Montt
 
16th November
 
All good things must come to an end or do they as we now have a choice – do we take a flight back to Buenos Aires, Argentina and see the city sights or do we fly to Santiago, Chile and explore that city instead? Whoever books this trip will have the chance to choose. If we choose Santiago then there would be a possibility of starting the whole trip a day or two early to take in the attractions that Buenos Aires has to offer. I am open to suggestions!!!
 
Overnight in Buenos Aires or Santiago.
 

 
17th November
Whichever city we decided to fly onto we could spend an extra day there or fly home today whatever the decision I am sure we will all go home with some extraordinary memories and probably lots of photos.
 
You should have your wide angle lens available wherever we go as the scenery will be extraordinary and changes around every corner but equally you should have your long lens available for the parrots and wildlife, they will be everywhere. Maybe take 2 cameras to be ready for anything – I will be!!
 

PRICE - £6745 per person sharing a double/twin room £795 single supplement
DEPOSIT £1000 per person
Balance to be paid 90 days before the start of the trip and can be paid in instalments as long as the total is paid before the 90 days
 
Included services:

•    Full time English-speaking birding local leader.

•    Private transportation for all transfers and excursions.

•    Accommodations on a twin/double room basis with breakfast included.
Please bear in mind that breakfast in Argentina and Chile is NOT American style, and it normally includes only a hot beverage toast, croissants, butter and jam.
 
•    All rooms en-suite

•    All lunches, boxed-lunches and dinners from lunch on the 31st October to  15th November excluding dinner on the 8th November

•    Admission fees to all national parks and nature reserves.

•    Local guides where required by law.

•    Drinkable water on board the vehicles while on tour.

•    Cross Lake services on November 14th

•    Regular navigation for watching the Right Whales in Valdés Peninsula on November 10th.

Not included:

•    International and domestic airfares and airport taxes.

•    Personal travel and medical insurance.

•    Tips of any kind

•    Anything not stated on “Included services”
 
 
 
 
 

PARROTS TO BE SEEN ON THIS TRIP
 
 
PARROTS   SOUTHERN ARGENTINA & CHILE NORTHWEST ARGENTINA
       
Military Macaw Ara militaris bolivianus   X – very slim chance
Yellow-collared Macaw Primolius auricollis   X
Nanday Conure Aratinga nenday   X
Blue-crowned Conure Thectocercus acuticaudatus acuticaudatus   X
White eyed Conure Psittacara leucophthalmus leucophthalmus   X
Mitred Conure Psittacara mitrata mitrata   X
Peach-fronted Conure Eupsittula aurea   X
Patagonian Conure                   Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus X  
Patagonian Conure Cyanoliseus patagonus andinus   X
Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus monachus X X
Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus calita X X
Austral Conure Enicognathus ferrugineus minor X  
Slender-billed Conure Enicognathus leptorhynchus X  
Green-cheeked Conure Pyrrhura molinae australis   X
Sierra Parakeet Psilopsiagon aymara   X
Mountain Parakeet Psilopsiagon aurifrons margaritae   X
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Brotogeris chiriri behni   X
Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani lacerus   X
Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani siy   X
Blue-fronted Amazon Amazona aestival xanthopteryx   X
Tucuman Amazon Amazona tucumana   X
       
 
All of the Parrots listed above occur within the regions we will be visiting on this trip to Argentina & Chile.
 
There are more Parrots to be found in these countries but not on this trip.
 
I cannot guarantee seeing all of the Parrots on any of my trips but we will try extremely hard to see, photo and or video or even just observe as many as possible.
 
To enquire about this trip for more information or booking please contact:- STEVE BROOKES
at
WILD PARROTS UP CLOSE         
steve@wildparrotsupclose.com
 
 

 
 

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