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We are Birders - We are Leica

We are Birders - We are Leica

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Chile Birding Tours


Biogeographically speaking, Chile is an island in its own right, isolated from the rest of the Neotropical region by barriers in all four cardinal points. We invite you to read about the different birding zones you will come across while visiting this long and thin country.

Birding Chile - A Quest for Endemics & Specialties


Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Phegornis mitchellii © Far South Expeditions

Northern Chile 

Northern Chile holds the driest desert in the world, the inhospitable Atacama on the border with southern Peru and Bolivia. This unique area is home to such diverse species as the huge, flightless Giant Coot, to the tiny Chilean Woodstar. In the coast lies Arica, Chile's northernmost city, with beaches, river estuaries and desert valleys, haunt of such specialties as Oasis Hummingbird, Peruvian Thick-knee and the odd Slender-billed Finch. 

The pleasant hamlet of Putre is the perfect base to bird the surroundings. Sparkling Violetear, Puna Hillstar, Dark-winged Canastero, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, Golden-billed Saltator and Hooded Siskin are among a range of exciting birds that occur here at the southern limit of their range. 

Moving further up the Andes, the High Andean Plateau, Puna or Altiplano, supports a great diversity of Andean specialties: Puna Rhea, all three Andean species of flamingos (Chilean, Andean and James’s), Puna Tinamou, White-winged Diuca Finch and Andean Swallow are all part of an impressive avian cast, spiced-up with grazing herds of Vicuña and other mammals like Vizcacha and Southern Grey Fox. 


Inca Tern, Larosterna inca © Far South ExpeditionsCentral Chile 

Central Chile is one of the most interesting places in our country from a biogeographical point of view, as it contains the eco-region of Mediterranean Chile, one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world and an area of endemism. Not surprisingly, almost all of the Chilean endemic species of birds are found here, including White-throated Tapaculo, Moustached Turca, Dusky-tailed Canastero and Chilean Mockingbird. The remarkable Giant Hummingbird, largest of hummingbirds, is a regular here during Spring and Summer, and so is White-crested Elaenia. Other birds found here are Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle and several other raptors, Striped Woodpecker, Chilean Pigeon and Tufted Tit-Tyrant, among many others. 

The Central Chilean Andes are an impressive collection of peaks and river valleys that are home to many very specialized birds adapted to high altitude and cold weather. Scanning the slopes and craggy ravines produces rare songbirds like the endemic Crag Chilia and the local Creamy-rumped Miner, and a representative sample of Andean birds including Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, White-sided Hillstar, Cinereous, Black-fronted, White-browed and Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrants, Greater Yellow-Finch, Yellow-rumped and Thick-billed siskins and one of the most beautiful shorebirds of the world, the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, an enigmatic inhabitant of high Andean bogs. 

Salvin's Albatross, Thalassarche salvini © Far South ExpeditionsThe central Chilean coast, can produce some interesting birds like the endemic Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, various shorebirds, gulls and terns and other coastal seabirds, reed songbirds such as the stunning Many-coloured Rush Tyrant and Wren-like Rushbird and waterfowl like Black-necked and Coscoroba swans, Chiloe Wigeon, Cinnamon Teal and Red Shoveler. 

Valparaíso, Chile’s oldest and main port city, is also the perfect gateway to launch an unforgettable pelagic birding trip to the cold waters of the Humboldt Current in the South-eastern Pacific Ocean, undoubtedly one of the highlights of birding in Chile and one of the best pelagic birding locations in the world and home to a great array of tubenoses such as Black-browed, Buller’s, Salvin’s, Chatham and Northern Royal Albatrosses, Southern and Northern Giant Petrels, White-chinned, Westland, Pintado and Masatierra Petrels, Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, and Peruvian Diving-Petrel. Other seabirds found here include Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Guanay Cormorant and Chilean Skua. 


Magellanic Woodpecker, Campephilus magellanicus © Far South ExpeditionsSouthern Chile & Lake District 

With its dense temperate rain forests, big lakes nestled among impressive snow-capped volcanoes, and a coast shattered in a myriad of fjords and islands, offers the chance to discover birds like the skulking and tiny Des Murs' Wiretail, Patagonian Tyrant, Fire-eyed Diucon, Chucao Tapaculo, Ochre-flanked and Magellanic Tapaculos, Black-throated Huet-Huet and the magnificent Magellanic Woodpecker, one of the largest woodpeckers in the world.

The magical Chiloe Island is the home of birds like Flightless Steamer-Duck, Silvery Grebe, Black-necked Swan, and wintering flocks of Hudsonian Godwit and Red Knot. Exploring the native forests of the area, we search for the endemic Slender-billed Parakeet and Chilean Pigeon. 


Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego 

King Penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, Tierra del Fuego, Chile © Far South ExpeditionsFurther south from the Lake District lies mythical Patagonia, a windswept land of rolling hills, endless plains and wind-bent trees that has fascinated and captured the imagination of countless explorers over the centuries. In a remote bay in Tierra del Fuego stands the only King Penguin colony in mainland South America, and scanning the saline ponds of the area can produce the rare and odd-looking Magellanic Plover and other grassland specialties such as Rufous-chested and Tawny-throated Dotterels, Austral Canastero and the stunning Black-throated Finch. 

Another essential highlight of Chile is a visit to Torres del Paine National Park, where a visit to subantarctic woods provides good chances to see Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, Magellanic Woodpecker and the southernmost of all parrots, the Austral Parakeet. 


Take a look at the birding tours we have devised for you and experience birding Chile firsthand, following in Darwin’s footsteps and enjoying its unique birdlife. We will have the great pleasure of introducing you to the country we proudly call home. The wines flow freely, people are friendly and the sight of the Condor soaring overhead will linger long in your memory – this is our commitment. 


Chile Birding Adventure Birding Chile, An Easy Tour

Chile Birding Adventure

A Quest for the Birdlife of a Land of Extremes

21-day trip from Santiago, Chile

Trip Code: CHL09

Birding Chile - An Easy Tour

Bird Chile at a Relaxed Pace

14-day trip from Santiago, Chile

Trip Code: CHL01

Birds & Wines of Chile & Argentina

Birding Northern Chile

Birds & Wines of Chile & Argentina

A Unique Adventure Across the Andes

13-day trip from Santiago, Chile

Trip Code: CHL08

Birding Northern Chile

The Atacama Desert & the Altiplano

5- and 6-day trip from Santiago or Arica, Chile

Trip Code: CHL02

Birding Central Chile

Lake District & Chiloe Island

Birding Central Chile

From the Heights of the Andes to the Pacific Coast

5-day trip from Santiago, Chile

Trip Code: CHL04

Chile's Lake District & Chiloe Island

Lakes, Volcanoes & Island Traditions

5-day trip from Santiago or Puerto Montt, Chile

Trip Code: CHL06

Birding Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego, Discovering the Birds & Landscapes of the End of the World Humboldt Current Pelagic Trips off Valparaiso or Quinter

Birding Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego

Discovering the Birds & Landscapes of the End of the World

7-day trip from Punta Arenas, Chile

Trip Code: PAT03

Albatrosses & Petrels in the Humboldt Current

Pelagic Trips off Valparaiso

Day trip (c. 6 hours) from Valparaiso or Quintero, Chile

Trip Code: CHL07


Birding Patagonia, the Drake Passage & Antarctic Peninsula

Aboard M/V Ocean Nova

12-day trip from Punta Arenas, Chile

Trip Code: PAT12