Northern Chile Pre-Extension: Birding the High Andes, Lowland Valleys and Coastal Pelagic
Our Northern Chile Pre-Extension takes us to one of the most unique regions of the world. This region has the driest desert in the world, the inhospitable Atacama. This unique area is home to such diverse species as the huge, flightless Giant Coot, and the tiny and range restricted Chilean Woodstar, and although it might seem like a lifeless land, there is plenty of wildlife to find around.
Its avian diversity in particular is spread between three main general environments: the Pacific coast and coastal valleys from sea level to a few hundred meters of altitude, then the foothills of the Andes at around 3,000m above sea level, with high valleys and ravines with scrub vegetation, what is known as the “pre-puna” zone, and finally the high Andean Plateau or Altiplano, with its lakes and bogs, around the 4,500m mark, a landscape of rarified air, huge snow-capped volcanoes, mirror-like lakes, bright light and freezing cold temperatures at night.
Day 1: Arrival into Santiago
Day 2: Flight to Arica and Birding Lowland Valleys and Coastal Areas; Afternoon Birding in Andean Highlands near Putre
Day 3: Full Day Birding the High Andes in Lauca National Park
Day 4: Morning Birding the Azapa and Chaca Valleys, Later Afternoon Birding the Estuary of the Lluta River
Day 5: Pelagic Birding Trip: Chaca and Camarones Gorge
Day 6: Transition Day to Main Tour, Starting in Central Chile (in Santiago)
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