NEW! Central Andes & Pacific Coast

A 15-day, small group birdwatching tour to Chile

We return to the scenically spectacular country of Chile, with an all new itinerary for 2020 that's comfortable, well-planned and chock full of great birding! Our Chile birdwatching tour begins in the Andes above Santiago, with our sights set firmly on key specialities such as Diademed Sandpiper-plover and Andean Condor. Flying south to a land of lakes, volcanoes and 'Monkey Puzzle' forests, Conguillio and Puyehue National Parks are home to the monstrous Magellanic Woodpecker, Black-throated Huet-huet and Des Murs's Wiretail. On Chiloe Island, we visit a Magellanic Penguin colony and seek Fuegian Steamer Duck before flying back north to conclude our Chile birding tour with a world-class seabird pelagic and a feast of wetland birds, Inca Tern and the 'must see' Chilean Seaside Cinclodes.

Tour Dates & Prices

Sat 24th October 2020

Sat 7th November 2020

  • Booking Closed

Sat 23rd October 2021

Sat 6th November 2021

  • Booking Closed

Tour Cost: 15 Days from £6795 inc return flights from London Heathrow

Deposit: £800Single Supp: £495Land Only: £6045Group Size: 10Leaders:  Mike Crewe & local guides
Join the Wait List

What's Included?

  • Limosa Tour Leader
  • Expert English-speaking Chilean bird guide
  • Return flights - London Heathrow-Santiago, nonstop with British Airways
  • Domestic flights in Chile - Santiago to Temuco, and Puerto Montt to Santiago
  • 12 nights accommodation in Chile, staying at comfortable hotels and lodges
  • All main meals - and drinking water also provided
  • Minibus transport
  • Return ferry crossings to Chiloe Island
  • Half-day pelagic boat trip off Quintero
  • Penguin boat trip at Puñihuil
  • All excursions, local guides, entry fees and permits
  • All tour-based tips (including local guides, drivers, boatmen) and taxes
  • Map and Limosa checklist of birds

Cost Excludes

Insurance, drinks, airport meals/snacks & other items of a personal nature

View or Download Tour Info Pack


The Land Only cost is the price you will pay if you choose to arrange your own flights. • Please note on this tour the Land Only price includes the cost of the Chile domestic flights from Santiago to Temuco, and Puerto Montt to Santiago, but excludes the cost of all other flights.

Tour Cost: 15 Days from £6795* inc return flights from London Heathrow

Deposit: £800Single Supp: £495*Land Only: £6045*Group Size: 10Leaders: TBA
Join the Wait List

* 2020 tour costs shown. Please note costs for our 2021 tour TBA (available summer 2020)

What's Included?

  • Limosa Tour Leader
  • Expert English-speaking Chilean bird guide
  • Return flights - London Heathrow-Santiago, nonstop with British Airways
  • Domestic flights in Chile - Santiago to Temuco, and Puerto Montt to Santiago
  • 12 nights accommodation in Chile, staying at comfortable hotels and lodges
  • All main meals - and drinking water also provided
  • Minibus transport
  • Return ferry crossings to Chiloe Island
  • Half-day pelagic boat trip off Quintero
  • Penguin boat trip at Puñihuil
  • All excursions, local guides, entry fees and permits
  • All tour-based tips (including local guides, drivers, boatmen) and taxes
  • Map and Limosa checklist of birds

Cost Excludes

Insurance, drinks, airport meals/snacks & other items of a personal nature

View or Download Tour Info Pack


The Land Only cost is the price you will pay if you choose to arrange your own flights. • Please note on this tour the Land Only price includes the cost of the Chile domestic flights from Santiago to Temuco, and Puerto Montt to Santiago, but excludes the cost of all other flights.

Tour Highlights

  • A spectacularly scenic journey, from the Andes of Santiago south to Chiloe Island
  • Everything from alpine wetlands and Pacific coast, to 'Monkey Puzzle' forests and snow-capped volcanoes
  • Andean Condor, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe and Diademed Sandpiper-plover in the High Andes
  • The awesome Magellanic Woodpecker, Slender-billed Parakeet, Crag Chilia, Moustached Turca
  • Nesting Magellanic and Humboldt Penguins, Fuegian Steamer Duck, Chilean Seaside Cinclodes
  • Seabird pelagic boat trip off Quintero - Northern Royal, Black-browed and Salvin’s Albatrosses, Northern Giant Petrel and Chilean Skua among a long list of possible species
  • Small group tour - maximum 10 participants
  • Expertly led by Limosa’s Mike Crewe and an English-speaking Chilean bird guide

Outline Itinerary

  • We depart London Heathrow on an overnight flight bound for Santiago

  • Morning arrival in Santiago, afternoon birding Lampa Marshes. Santiago (3 nts)

  • The Andes above Santiago visiting Farellones, Valle Nevado & El Yeso

  • We take a morning flight from Santiago south to Temuco. Birding at Cerro Ñielol & Conguillio NP. Temuco (2 nts)

  • Drive south to Antillanca and visit Puyehue NP. Antillanca (2 nts)

  • Early morning at Puyehue NP, then drive south to Puerto Varas (2 nts)

  • Full day Chiloe Island including Puñihuil boat trip to Magellanic Penguin colony

  • We fly Puerto Montt to Santiago this morning and drive to the coast via Rio Aconcagua and Humedal de Campiche. Quintero (2 nts)

  • Morning pelagic boat trip off Quintero, afternoon visit Humboldt Penguin colony at Cachagua

  • We loop south via Estero Mantagua to Laguna El Peral & the Maipo River mouth. Night Santiago

  • Morning and lunch Santiago, fly London

  • Morning arrival London Heathrow

Trip Info
Diademed Sandpiper-Plover Jorge Valenzuela tabbed.jpg
The brilliant and near mythical Diademed Sandpiper-plover inhabits wet slopes in the High Andes above the Chilean capital, Santiago © Jorge Valenzuela

Four thousand kilometres long, yet squeezed into an extraordinarily narrow band between the mighty Andes and the vast Pacific Ocean, Chile is one of the world’s most remarkable countries. Bordered by the ‘lifeless’ wastes of the Atacama desert to the north and by the towering ice-capped peaks, immense glaciers and brooding volcanoes of the High Andes along its entire eastern flank, it is a land of spectacular and unsurpassed scenic grandeur. Its dramatic, angular mountains and picturesque ‘sub-alpine’ habitats daubed by deep-blue, mirror-like lakes, lush temperate rainforests, sweeping grasslands and bountiful seas are also home to some of the most exciting wildlife on Earth!

With a comfortable and well-designed itinerary that features only a single ‘one-night’ stop, our all new 2020 Chile tour focuses on the incredible birds and landscapes of central Chile - from the high Andean slopes above the capital Santiago, south to Chiloe Island on the country's Pacific shore. The birdlife throughout is outstanding, with a feast of Chilean endemics and southern South American specialities to look forward to.

Our travels begin in the northern part of central Chile, where the rugged peaks of the Andes provide both a stunning backdrop to the capital Santiago, and a superb setting in which to seek our first awesome Andean Condors and 'must see' endemics such as Moustached Turca and the richly rufous Crag Chilia. One of the world’s most enigmatic and exquisite-looking waders, the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, breeds here, too. We’ll certainly hope to see it as well as we did last time, when a shining bright male with jet black face and rich rufous collar was enjoyed by all amidst its incredible surroundings!

From here, a flight south carries us to Temuco, where we enter Conguillio, a national park of exceptional natural beauty, bedecked with spiny Araucaria ('Monkey Puzzle') trees. The sight of these magnificent, 'other wordly' trees amidst a landscape dominated by the immense, snow-capped Llaima volcano is simply breath-taking... and the birding here is pretty amazing, too! The endemic Slender-billed Parakeet, compact Green-backed Firecrown, Chilean Elaenia and Patagonian Tyrant are among many specialities to look out for in Chile's luxuriant temperate rainforest of Nothofagus, or Southern Beech.

We head next to the species-rich forests of Puyehue National Park, just to the south of Volcan Puyehue. This is another fabulous spot, where Austral Parakeets (the world’s most southerly parrot species) and obliging White-throated Treerunners are joined by the likes of Dark-bellied Cinclodes, Thorn-tailed Rayadito and the monstrous Magellanic Woodpecker, complete with its curly red crest. Skulking within the bamboo understorey below, sought-after specialities include the curious Des Murs's Wiretail, Black-throated Huet-huet, Ochre-flanked and Magellanic Tapaculos, and the charismatic and striking Chucao Tapaculo.

We reach our furthest point south at Chiloe Island, accessed via a short ferry trip from the mainland near Puerto Montt. We may see our first Black-browed Albatross and other pelagic species from the boat, and have a whole day to explore the island's exciting north coast - including a short boat trip to Puñihuil, where Magellanic Penguins nest. We'll watch for Fuegian Steamer Ducks along the rocky shores and should find Imperial, Rock and Red-legged Cormorants, Kelp Goose and Surfbird, too.

But the excitement is not yet over!... From Puerto Montt, we fly back north to Santiago and head to the Pacific coast at Quintero, seeking Peruvian Booby, the amazing Inca Tern and the endemic Chilean Seaside Cinclodes. Thanks to the cold Humboldt Current, the seabirding here is world class and we'll take a morning boat trip a few miles offshore to see for ourselves: Black-browed, Salvin’s, Buller's and Northern Royal Albatrosses, Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters, Cape, White-chinned and Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Peruvian Diving-petrel, the bruising Northern Giant Petrel and Chilean Skua are among the long list of species it's possible to see.

Back on shore, we visit a Humboldt Penguin colony, before concluding this remarkable birding tour at El Peral, a wonderful wetland south of Valparaiso. The likes of Great and White-eared Grebes, Red Shoveler and Yellow-billed Pintail, plus coots of the White-winged, Red-fronted and Red-gartered variety, Spot-flanked Gallinule and Plumbeous Rail should all help to ensure an exciting final day in the field - as we search for the rare Black-headed Duck, Stripe-backed Bittern, Wren-like Rushbird, the rare Ticking Doradito and the beautiful Many-coloured Rush Tyrant, the real specialities here!

This is a trip that combines spectacular birding with some truly awesome southern South American landscapes... Join guide Mike Crewe as we return for Limosa's fifth and sixth visits to Chile, armed with a brand new itinerary that's not only well-balanced and sensibly paced, but chock full of great birds!

Magellanic Woodpecker Claudio Vidal card.jpg
We will listen for the distinctive 'double drum' of the monstrous, red-headed Magellanic Woodpecker © Claudio Vidal

Day 1
Our birdwatching tour to Chile begins this evening with a British Airways flight from London Heathrow, nonstop to Santiago.

Days 2-4
We'll be met by our local guide on arrival in the Chilean capital Santiago on the morning of Day 2 and transfer directly to our comfortable city hotel, for a three-night stay.

In the afternoon, we'll drive a little way out of town to Lampa Marshes - the first of several terrific wetland sites we shall visit during our tour. The attractive Rosy-billed Pochard, White-cheeked Pintail and Cocoi Heron are among species we are likely to see here and, if the water levels are to its liking, we might also be lucky to spot the secretive South American Painted-snipe. Add chances of meeting the sociable Harris’s Hawk, strikingly-marked Wren-like Rushbird and 'wide-eyed' Spectacled Tyrant, along with the skittish Picui Ground Dove, Grass Wren, Correndera Pipit and Yellow-winged Blackbird, and our bird list should be off to a great start!

Over the next two days we'll enjoy spectacular trips into the Andes west of Santiago, driving up from the city at c570m (1900ft) to more than 3000m (c10,000ft), where the Farellones ski slopes make an excellent - and stunningly beautiful - spot to start our mountain birding. We may see our first mighty Andean Condors here, sailing on high, while other Andean specialities to watch for could include Rufous-banded Miner and Black-fronted, White-browed and Rufous-naped Ground Tyrants. The likes of Greater Yellow Finch and Grey-hooded and Band-tailed Sierra Finches will also keep us busy as we search for the endemic Moustached Turca, Chilean Tinamou and Chilean Mockingbird.

Climbing back up into the rugged Andean foothills next day, we’ll scan the ravines for Mountain Caracara, a striking black-and-white raptor of the high Andes, and the rare and range-restricted Crag Chilia, a Chilean Andes endemic with a gleaming white throat and richly rufous rear.

The grasslands and streams on the way up to Embalse del Yeso (2600m/8500ft) make a fantastic setting in which to seek one of the world’s most incredible waders - Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. As we eagerly approach the upland meadows and bogs to search for this much wanted but decidedly unobtrusive bird, we shall keep a sharp eye open for the furtive Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, as well as boldly-coloured Thick-billed and Yellow-rumped Siskins. The impressive Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, red-backed variant of Variable Hawk and other Andean specialities such as the superb Torrent Duck, Mountain Parakeet, White-sided Hillstar, Black-winged Ground Dove, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Cordilleran and Sharp-billed Canasteros, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Grey-flanked Cinclodes and Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant occur here, too. Three nights Santiago

Day 5
Leaving Santiago this morning, we catch a short (80-minute) flight south to Temuco, gateway to Chile’s immensely beautiful Lake District.

Our Temuco hotel is situated close to the compact, forested reserve of Cerro Ñielol, which stands on a low hill (335m/1100ft) overlooking the city. Walking the trails here this afternoon, we shall be hoping to unearth such goodies as the infuriatingly secretive Black-throated Huet-huet and Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, peculiar Des Murs's Wiretail and the local and rare Rufous-tailed Hawk. Night Temuco

Day 6
From Temuco, we pay a full day visit to the amazing Conguillio National Park, an 'other worldly' place famed for its dramatic Araucaria or Monkey Puzzle trees set against a magnificent backdrop of the imposing snow-capped Llaima volcano. The landscape is simply breathtaking - and the birding here is pretty special, too!

Top of the list is surely the goliath Magellanic Woodpecker and we'll certainly be keen to find this charismatic bird, which is maybe as close to seeing an Ivory-billed Woodpecker as we will ever come! We will listen for the distinctive 'double drum' of what is surely one of the world’s greatest woodpeckers, watching for the awe-inspiring males showing off a bright red head over a huge black body, while the females sport a ridiculously curled crest. The much smaller Striped Woodpecker, endemic Slender-billed Parakeet, tiny Green-backed Firecrown, Fire-eyed Diucon, Austral Negrito, engaging White-throated Treerunner, Chilean Elaenia, Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper, Patagonian Tyrant and Patagonian Sierra Finch are among an exciting range of other specialities here that are typical of Chile’s luxuriant Southern Beech (Nothofagus) forests - and we'll hope to get lucky with a trio of ever-elusive temperate tapaculos: Ochre-flanked, Magellanic and the rufous-chested Chucao.

Chilean Flicker, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Common Diuca Finch, Spectacled Tyrant and Grassland Yellow Finch are also on the cards today, while birds of prey to watch for include Variable and White-throated Hawks, and both Chimango and Southern Caracaras. After an exciting day of birding in this extraordinarily beautiful national park, we return to spend a second night at our hotel. Night Temuco  

Days 7-8
After breakfast at Temuco, we take a four-hour drive south along Highway 5 to Osorno, and turn east towards Puyehue National Park. We spend these two nights within this immensely scenic park, staying at the Antillanca Hotel, a ski lodge that's right on the spot for great birding.

The journey south will be a surprising one, at least for UK visitors, for the general scenery is rather reminiscent of West Sussex – the illusion strengthened by the presence of introduced English Oaks standing amongst fields of cattle, with the hedges lined with introduced bramble and other European species of plant. However, the illusion is shattered in the most dramatic of ways each time a snow-capped volcano - Casablanca (2240m/7350ft), Tronador (3554m/ 11660ft) and Osorno (2652m/8700ft) - pop into view in the background!

We have one full day plus the best part of two half-days to explore Puyehue National Park.

In the Austral winter, Antillanca is a ski resort with plenty of snow, but in the Austral spring (at the time of our visit) its magnificent temperate rainforests set against a fine mountain backdrop are home to a range of Patagonian specialities. Black-faced Ibis, Austral Pygmy Owl, Green-backed Firecrown, Black-throated Huet-huet, Des Murs’s Wiretail, Chilean Elaenia, Fire-eyed Diucon, Dark-bellied Cinclodes, the cracking Thorn-tailed Rayadito and the unassuming Patagonian Tyrant are all gems of these species-rich Nothofagus forests. Above the treeline we might encounter the attractive Yellow-bridled Finch and Dark-faced Ground Tyrant, but access to the upper elevations depends on the level of snow.

On one night, we may head out after dark to see if we can find the rarely observed Rufous-legged Owl. Twonights Antillanca Hotel, Puyehue National Park

Day 9
After some early morning birding at Antillanca, we set off on a two-hour drive (plus stops) south to Puerto Varas, in the ‘Chilean Lake District’. As we drive, we’ll have further chances to see the endemic Slender-billed Parakeet and, if luck is with us, the rare Rufous-tailed Hawk. Passing Lago Puyehue and Llanquihue en route - looking rather like the northern Swiss lakes - we will plan a couple of stops (for birding and lunch), with Chilean Flicker, Variable Hawk, Chimango Caracara and Patagonian Sierra Finch all likely.

If time permits, we'll continue 30 minutes south of Puerto Varas to the coast at Puerto Montt, where the intertidal mudflats of the Reloncavi Gulf provide rich pickings for wintering waders such as Hudsonian Godwit, Sanderling and Red Knot. The stocky Fuegian Steamer Duck, big flocks of beautiful Black-necked Swans and Silvery Grebes, and solitary individuals of the localised Snowy-crowned Tern won’t go unnoticed either! Two nights Puerto Varas

Day 10
In Mapuche, the language of the island's natives, Chiloe means ‘place of the seagulls’, but though this is where many Kelp Gulls gather, we will have other targets in mind as we head to the port of Pargua for a short ferry crossing to the island.

Seabirds are likely on the crossing and we can hope for Black-browed Albatross, Pink-footed Shearwater, Peruvian Pelican and both Imperial and Magellanic Cormorants. With luck, we could also see Magellanic Diving-petrel, here at the northernmost limit of its range.

Once ashore on Chiloe we’ll head west towards the coast and offshore islands at Puñihuil, where we take a short boat trip to check the rocky shores for Magellanic Penguins that nest from November to March. Magellanic Oystercatcher, the flightless Fuegian Steamer Duck and the striking, sexually dimorphic Kelp Goose can also be found alongside Grey-flanked Cinclodes - the latter behaving like shorebirds on the rocks!

Away from the shore, Chilean Flicker, a different subspecies of Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Black-chinned Siskin and Austral Blackbird are all possible in the coastal vegetation and it will be with some reluctance that we must tear ourselves away from the excitements of Chiloe Island and cross back to the mainland again to spend a second night at Puerto Varas. Night Puerto Varas

Day 11
After breakfast in Puerto Varas, we bid farewell to southern Chile and catch a morning flight (of just under two hours) from Puerto Montt back north to Santiago.

On arrival back in Santiago, we board our bus and set off on the 2-hour drive northwest to the coast at Quintero, stopping to bird and stretch our legs as we pass through some interesting valleys north of the Cordillera de la Costa.

Possibilities include the Rio Aconcagua near Caleres for waterfowl and waders, while at Humedal de Campiche we should encounter a selection of typical Chilean waterbirds and may be lucky with Many-coloured Rush Tyrant.

Arriving for a two-night stay at our hotel at Quintero in the late afternoon, we'll settle in with time to prepare for tomorrow’s excitement. Night Quintero

Day 12
The Humboldt Current draws cold water from the Antarctic and pumps it north along the west coast of South America, lifting nutrients from the ocean floor in the form of upwellings that make these waters the richest and most productive marine ecosystem on earth. Huge numbers of seabirds are drawn to the waters off Quintero and, following an early breakfast here, we'll take an exciting boat trip a few miles offshore that simply rates as one of the world's most spectacular seabirding pelagics.

Among a long list of species possible from the boat, albatrosses might include Northern Royal (with its 3.5m wingspan, one of the largest in the world), Salvin’s, Buller’s and Black-browed, while Chatham and one or two other of the scarcer albatrosses are occasionally seen. The seabird bonanza continues, bringing chances of both Southern and Northern Giant Petrels, Southern Fulmar, White-chinned, Westland and Cape Petrels, Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters, Juan Fernandez Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel and even the diminutive Peruvian Diving Petrel. Add the prospect of seeing Humboldt Penguin, Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants, Grey Phalarope, Inca Tern and Chilean Skua... and we should be in for a memorable morning's birding!

After a late lunch back on dry land, we drive north to Cachagua this afternoon and visit the important breeding colony of Humboldt Penguins on Isla Los Pinguinos. As well as the penguins and chances of the 'must see' Chilean Seaside Cinclodes here, we’ll be looking out for Blackish Oystercatcher, Surfbird, Red-legged Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, Peruvian Booby, Inca Tern and the elusive Marine Otter. Night Quintero

Day 13
Leaving Quintero, we head south for our final day's birding in Chile, following the Pacific coast to San Antonio and taking in some first rate wetland habitats along the way.

The coastal lagoon of Estero Mantagua is our first port of call. Perhaps a Grey Gull or Snowy-crowned Tern will be seen, while possible shorebirds might include Two-banded, Collared and American Golden Plovers. South American Snipe, Cocoi Heron, Rosy-billed Pochard, and Chilean and Blue-and-white Swallows are also possible here and we could even be lucky to find the rare Ticking Doradito (now treated as a separate species to Warbling Doradito).

We move on to visit the exceptional El Peral Nature Reserve - an important rush-fringed lagoon - concentrating our efforts here on looking for a quartet of special birds: the tiny and cryptically-marked Stripe-backed Bittern; the strikingly patterned twosome of Many-coloured Rush Tyrant and Wren-like Rushbird; and, if we are lucky, the rare Black-headed Duck (unique in being the world's only brood parasitic duck). As we look for them, we should come across a good variety of other waterfowl, such as Great and White-eared Grebes, Black-necked Swan, Red Shoveler, Yellow-billed Pintail, Speckled Teal and Chiloe Wigeon, along with White-winged, Red-fronted and Red-gartered Coots, Spot-flanked Gallinule and the large Plumbeous Rail - the latter often surprisingly easy to spot as it regularly forages in the open.

Continuing south, we make our final birding stop just beyond San Antonio, where the mouth of the Maipo River can be a rewarding spot to scan for loafing gulls, terns and pelicans, along with Black Skimmer and migratory shorebirds. We have another chance to find the enigmatic Ticking Doradito, too.

Our birding over, in the late afternoon we make the 90-minute drive back east to spend our final night in Santiago. Night Santiago

Day 14
Our final morning in Chile is 'free', so you can choose whether to have a leisurely breakfast and spend time in the hotel or visit the historic centre of the city for a bit of sightseeing in ‘downtown’ Santiago, where the old colonial buildings lie.

With our packing completed before enjoying an early lunch today, we depart to the airport this afternoon and catch the British Airways nonstop overnight flight home.

Day 15

Mid-morning arrival back at London Heathrow, where our birdwatching tour to Chile concludes.

Many-colored Rush-Tyrant Jorge Valenzuela tabbed.jpg
Truly amazing and a real beauty! Many-coloured Rush Tyrant © Jorge Valenzuela

A 15-day birdwatching tour to Chile in the austral spring, focusing on the mountains, forests, lakes and coasts of central Chile and visiting key locations for Chilean endemics and regional specialities along the western slope of the Andes.

Please note that we will reach an altitude in excess of 3000m (10,000ft) on this tour. We will be taking it easy at this elevation but you should check with your doctor prior to travel about the possible health risks associated with altitude.

Early starts are the norm for birding tours, making full use of the time of day when bird activity is at its peak - particularly in spring, when bird song is at its best. It can get quieter during the day, but often not until midday.

‘Linear’ Chile extends over 4000km from north to south. So it's all too easy for tours there to become little more than a marathon of long journeys punctuated by one-night stops at hotels. Limosa's itinerary however, has been carefully designed to minimise the amount of time spent back-tracking and travelling on long drives, and includes as few changes of hotel as possible - in fact, unusually for a Chile tour we have only a single 'one-night stop' on our tour (this when we return to Santiago prior to flying home at the end of our trip).

The weather in Chile is changeable. With the onset of spring our visit in late October/early November will find temperatures on the way up in Santiago, with average daytime temperatures in the region of 15-17C (59-63F), and highs of around 25C (77F). It can be considerably cooler at night (with lows of around 7C/45F), and at altitude, especially first thing, when warm clothing including gloves, scarf and a warm hat will be required.

Heading south, the temperature range increases: from around 7-19C (45-66F) at Temuco; and 5-16C (41-61F) at Puerto Montt. Rainfall is low at Santiago during October and November, but the chances of precipitation increases and some wet weather is likely as we head further south.

Good to excellent photographic opportunities on this trip: birds and general wildlife - plus some breath-taking scenery!

170-200 species

12 nights accommodation in Chile, staying at comfortable hotels of a good standard throughout. All rooms are en suite.

All main meals are included in the tour price (and with drinking water also provided during the day), commencing with lunch on arrival at Santiago on Day 2 and concluding with lunch there on Day 15.

Breakfasts and dinners will usually be taken at the hotels; (we may occasionally take a packed breakfast if we have planned a very early start). Lunches will either be taken at a convenient restaurant along the way or as a packed lunch (we generally take packed lunches with us on days where the area to be visited is remote).

Most birding on this tour will be in reasonably easy terrain, using trails or roadsides where possible. However, birding in the Andes may involve some more strenuous walks, both uphill and down, and the going is moderate at higher altitudes in the Andes above Santiago. Our guides will be able to advise you locally about the day's events - if you decide to opt out of a particular session or walk, please don’t be afraid to ask them.

Maximum elevation this tour:  From Santiago, we spend two days birding at high elevation in the central Andes, reaching an altitude in excess of 3000m (10000ft) at Farellones. Next day, we travel up to El Yeso, at an elevation of ca.2600m (8500ft). These are the highest points we reach on our tour.

Comfortable, waterproof walking boots with stout soles and good grip are recommended for this tour. In addition, note that wellies or rubber boots may be necessary for searching the small upland streams and bogs above Santiago for Diademed Sandpiper-plover.  

As we may be on our feet for several hours at a stretch, walking, watching and waiting for birds, some participants may find it helpful to carry a lightweight collapsible stool and a walking pole may be of use at times, too.

Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of the convenience of return flights from London Heathrow to Santiago, nonstop with British Airways. .

Our tour also includes two domestic flights within Chile: from Santiago south to Temuco, and from Puerto Montt back north to Santiago.

Ground Transport  By minibus with local driver.

Our tour cost includes a morning pelagic boat trip off Quintero, as well as two short ferry rides (30 minutes each way, crossing to and from Chiloe Island), and a short boat ride at Puñihuil (Chiloe Island) to see the Magellanic Penguin colony.

The Pacific Ocean has quite a swell off the Chilean coast, and is rarely flat calm. This sensation can cause discomfort for some and you will need to take appropriate precautions against seasickness.

It can be chilly - even cold - at times on the deck of the boat, so we recommend you wear warm and waterproof clothing, just in case the wind and spray gets up.

It will be possible to opt out of the pelagic boat trip if, on the day, you decide not to go for whatever reason. (If you do decide to opt out, please note that no refund can be given in lieu of the boat trip, which is integral to the tour cost).

As with all boat trips, this is weather dependent and we won’t go if conditions are unsuitable (in this instance, the boat trip will be cancelled and a pro rata refund will be made to all participants).

    Ask About This Tour

    If you have any questions about this tour or wish to be added to our Wait List, please enter your details here and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Alternatively, contact us by email or phone. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Or complete the contact form and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

    * = required field