Birding & Wildlife
- Full Itinerary
- Price & Contact
This small and peaceful country offers nature lovers an amazing variety of ecosystems mainly concentrated in the "Bañados Del Este" Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO). Commonly called "the Swizerland of America" this republic, proud of its almost 200 years of democracy in one of the safest countries in the world.
- Punta del Este
- Isla de Lobos
- Jose Ignacio
- Cabo Polonio
- Ombues Forest
- National Park of San Miguel
- Cebollatí river
- Quebrada de los Cuervos
- La Laguna
- Sierra de los Caracoles
- 8 days/ 7 nights
- all tranfer
- full board (drinks not included)
- bilingual guide
Day 01: Montevideo & Surroundings
Arrival to Montevideo, the capital city. Guests are met at the Carrasco International Airport and driven along the wonderful coastline called ‹RamblaŠ to the Balmoral Hotel or similar. Optional city & birding tour and introductory talk. During the evening we will have dinner at the lively ‹Old CityŠ. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Punta del Este, Isla de Lobos, Jose Ignacio & Lagoons
Early transfer to Punta del Este, boat visit to ‹Isla de LobosŠ (Seal Island), looking for shore and seabirds like Great Grebe, Black-browed Albatross, Yellow-nosed Albatross, Cape Petrel, Southern Giant Petrel, Olivaceus Cormorant, American Oystercatcher, South American Stilt, Greater Yellowlegs, Whitešrumped Sandpiper, Snowy Sheatbill, Black Skimmer, Kelp Gull, Brown-hooded Gull, Snowy-crowned Tern, Yellow-billed Tern, and Royal Tern. Isla de Lobos is the shelter for one of the largest South American sea lions & fur seals colony. After an excellent lunch at Punta del Este port, birding at the coastal lagoons JosÚ Ignacio, Garz÷n and eventually Rocha, looking for Chilean Flamingo, Black-necked Swan, Coscoroba Swan, Southern Wigeon, Brown Pintail, South American Tern and Cayenne Tern. Short drive to Estancia Guardia del Monte OR El Charabon, both authentic working Uruguayan ranches. Typical dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Cabo Polonio, shifting sand dunes & the Forest of Ombţes
We will start our ‹Humedales del EsteŠ biosphere reserve trip with an early birding at the estancia Guardia de Monte on the shores of the Castillos Lagoon, searching for Greater Rheas, Spotted Tinamou , Short-billed Pipit, Limpinks, White-necked Heron, Striated Heron, Ringed Kingfisher, Snail Kite and Roadside Hawk. We also visit, the Ombţes Forest looking for Diademed Tanager, Blue and Yellow Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Tropical Parula and Creamy-bellied Thrush. The Ombţ curiously rarely grows in groups of more than 2 or 3, the forest of Ombţes that we visit is possibly the only one in the world. Each tree has its own wonderful shape with thick, twisting roots spreading out over the ground; some are over 500 years and have a diameter of 2 metres (6 feet). Then we will be driven by truck to Cabo Polonio, a small fishing village which can only be reached by horse or four wheeled drive. The fascinating part of the area is the huge area of shifting sand dunes where we can see good numbers of seabirds in addition to the sea lions and migrating Franca Whale that is commonly spot during the south spring. Lunch at a typical restaurant on the beach, Dinner and overnight al La Perla seaside inn.
Day 4: National park of San Miguel, the heart the ‹Eastern WetlandsŠ
Sunrise breakfast and short drive to the ‹Laguna NegraŠ (black lagoon); in the afternoon we will visit the ‹Baöado Los IndiosŠ. All of this area is mostly covered by marshlands with plenty of birds like de Black-necked Swan, Coscoroba Swan, Ringed Teal, Brazilian Duck, Speckled Teal, Bare-faced Ibis, White-faced Ibes and Plumbeous Ibis, Spot-flancked Gallinule and Straight-billed Reedhaunter. It is also a stronghold for threatened birds like Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Black-and-White Monjita, Marsh Seadeater and White-collared Seedeater. In the morning we wil walk into the native vegetation on the hills from where we will be able to enjoy an incredible view of the unique extensive palm groves, the big lagoon and the huge marshlands. Despite a number of stories, no one knows how the palm trees got here -some 300 years old; they give the landscape a very exotic look. After a typical barbecue at the black lagoon shores we will be driven along a very scenic road to the "Baöado de los indios" (Indians marshlands) an incredible place full of birds in the heart of the ‹Humedales del esteŠ biosphere reserve. Dinner and overnight at El Fortân de San Miguel, right in the Brazilian border.
Day 5: The Cebollati River & the State of ‹33Š
After a pleasant night at this inn built in the same stone as the nearby Portuguese fortress we will reach and navigate the Cebollatâ River, an important meandering river with a wide and well conserved gallery forest. Here we will see good numbers of Limpinks, Ospreys, Herons, Snail Kites and three different Kingfishers. In the afternoon we visit a large nest colony of Roseate Spoonbill and Herons in Da Fonseca Ranch, where a hide has been built. During the afternoon, we will travel to the city of 33, which takes its distinctive name from a crusade from Argentina to Uruguay by 33 men in the early 1800‰s. This movement led, four months later, to Uruguay‰s independence from the Portuguese. Overnight at the local hotel (guests will be able to enjoy the hot water pool of this modest hotel).
Day 6: The fantastic, ‹Quebrada de los CuervosŠ
Full day visiting the famous ‹Quebrada de los CuervosŠ (Vultures‰ Ravine); the Yerbal Chico stream cuts deeply into the rocky hills of this gorge. This protected area is considered the southernmost spot of Atlantic Forest. We will enjoy some trekking in the Quebrada; as we walk down, the humidity rises and the vegetation gets really dense. In this unique area you can find 70% of Uruguay‰s native flora and over 100 bird species. During the afternoon we drive south leaving the province of 33, through Lavalleja province until we reach the town of ‹AiguaŠ. Dinner and overnight at Estancia La Laguna, where our ancestor‰s way of life is recreated and even though the accommodations are very comfortable, there is no electricity or music different from the birds singing.
Day 7: La Laguna, one of the biggest private preserved areas of the country
La Laguna has one of the biggest private preserved areas of the country, where no cattle is fed. We will spent a whole day birding in the hilly area of ‹Cerro CatedralŠ (Catedral hill) , highest point in Uruguay looking for other forest birds like Dusky-legged Guan, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Glaucous Blue-Grossbeak and Chestnut-backed Tanager. We also see open areas birds like Turkey and Black Vultures, White-tailed Hawk, Red-legged Seriema, Burrowing Owl, Field Flicker, White Monjita, Gray Monjita, Vermillion Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Peppershrike and Brown and Yellow Marshbird. We will walk and hike the beautiful hills to the natural small waterfalls and lagoon that gives the name to the estancia. Depending on the weather people can have a nice bath in its absolutely fresh water. Typical candle dinner and overnight at the estancia.
Day 8: ‹Sierra de CaracolesŠ hill and return
Early morning birding at ‹Sierra de los CaracolesŠ near to La Laguna in search for woodland birds like Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Spot-winged Pigeon, Picazuro Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Guira Cuckoo, White-throated Hummingbird, Mottled Piculet, White Woodpecker, White-spotted Woodpecker, Green-barred Woodpecker, Stripe-crowned Spinetail, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Variable Antshrike, Small-billed elaenia, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Crested Black-Tyrant, Rufous-bellied Thrush, White-browed Warbler, Diademed Tanager, Red-rumped Warbling-Finch,Yellow-rumped Marshbird and Chopi Blackbird. At sunset, we will look for owls such as the Tropical Screech-Owl. Traditional lunch and drive to the airport or pre arranged extensions.
Got a small group? Get even BIGGER discounts!
or consider joining one of our Special Edition Tours:
THE South America Wine Tour - Special Edition
The Essence of Peru - Special Edition
Tango, Samba, Waterfalls & Carnival
Tango Samba Waterfalls & New Year's in Rio
Tango, Samba & Oktoberfest in Brazil
As most trips operates on commercial air, space may be extremely limited 90 days prior to departure. To ensure your spot, we encourage you to book as early as possible.
Follow our South America Travel Blog!
Tel (0800) 747-4540
Tel +49 (711) 856-6972
Fax +49 (711) 856-6971
We work with Travel Agents! View our Travel Agents portal for more info.
SouthAmerica.travel do Brasil
SouthAmerica.travel del Peru