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Rufous-throated Dipper by Steve Bird.NORTHWEST

with Eduardo Patrial!
December 2 - 17, 2022

Contact [email protected] to reserve your space!

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Famed for its attractive unspoiled scenery, the northwest of Argentina offers the birder a wealth of rare and spectacular birds. From the beautiful Yungas Cloud forests to tumbling mountain streams, Monte Desert, Cacti Scrubland, Altiplano and high Andean Grasslands, you will not only be entranced by the outstanding beauty of this country, but also have access to many endemic and much sought after species.


Sandy Gallito (Photo by Steve Bird)Starting off in Tucumán and Tafí del Valle we will search for the rare Tucumán Mountain Finch. Here many exciting species await us including the superb Rufous-throated Dipper. In a unique area of ‘monte desert’ we will look for the endemic White-throated Cacholote and the elusive and poorly known Sandy Gallito, a large cryptic desert tapaculo. We will look for Burrowing Parrot and Moreno’s Ground-Dove and then explore Los Cardones National Park before heading to Salta. Cream-backed Woodpecker, Red-tailed Comet and Rufous-bellied Mountain Tanager are on tap before we head to Chaco habitat and a whole new range of species. Black-legged Seriema, Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Many-colored Chaco Finch and Black-bodied Woodpecker all live in the Chaco and we will endeavor to find all of these.


Continuing on through the Humahuaca Valley and on to Calilegua National Park, we will survey a variety of lakes, mossy forests and Andean peaks where we can add numerous other species like Puna Plover, three species of Flamingo, White-throated Antpitta, and with luck even a Yungas Screech-Owl. If water conditions are good, the very rare Horned Coot is also possible! Finally, we ascend the Yavi Valley in search of the range restricted Citron-headed Yellow Finch, Rufous-backed Sierra Finch, and the fabulous Diademed Sandpiper Plover!

Join Eduardo Patrial and Sunrise Birding to experience the best birding in northwest Argentina!

Photos: Rufous-throated Dipper & Sandy Gallito (Photos by Steve Bird)

Day 1 • Travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Plan to arrive today in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Airport code: EZE). We will then spend the night in an airport hotel prior to a domestic flight early the next morning. Because of the varying flight schedules today is just an arrival day. Night Buenos Aires (No meals included today as we do not know everyone’s arrival times).


Day 2 • Domestic flight to Tucumán - Tafí del Valle
Torrent DuckThis morning we will take a domestic flight to the city of Tucumán and from there we drive through Rio Los Sosa Valley to Tafí del Valle, birding along the way. In the lowlands, we will keep a look out for the charming Rufous-throated Dipper, Rusty-browed Warbling Finch and Torrent Duck, before continuing our climb past the Yungas Cloud forest to arrive at Tafí del Valle. The spectacular and unique Yungas Cloud forest 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. It is here where we will have good chances to see one of the most colorful Argentine endemic birds, the Yellow-striped Brush-Finch. Night Tafí del Valle (B, L, D) 


Day 3 • Tafí del Valle
Ornate Tinamou by Steve Bird.  Today should prove to be an exciting birding-packed day as we bird various altitudes. We start the day by ascending the El Infiernillo pass until we are high above the tree line, often seeing Burrowing Owl and the sweet looking Black Siskin sitting on fence posts as we slowly climb. We will stop for short walks at a couple of high-altitude sites in search of a mouth-watering list of target species. These include two Argentinean endemics, the Moreno’s Ground Dove and Tucumán Mountain Finch. Other birds include Andean Flicker which is pretty common and likes to sit atop boulders. This is also usually where we should see our first Andean Condor and with luck we might also encounter Cinereous Harrier.


Among the Andean grasslands up around 10,000 feet we will look for species including Ornate Tinamou, Andean Lapwing, Gray-hooded Parakeet, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Slender-billed Miner, Scale-throated and the near-endemic Buff-breasted Earthcreepers, White-winged Cinclodes, Hellmayr's Pipit, Wedge-tailed Hillstar, the endemic White-browed Tapaculo, Cordilleran and Puna Canastero, Short-tailed Finch, and have more chances for the delightful Yellow-striped Brush-Finch.

After what will likely have been an amazing morning, we head after lunch to a small lake where we hope to see Andean Goose, Andean Coot, Andean Gull, and others. We will then continue back to the Cloud forest to clean up on species we may have missed. Night Tafí del Valle (B, L, D) 


Day 4 • Tafí del Valle - Cafayate
This morning we will set off around the western side of the Sierra de Aconquija and continue north through Argentine wine country to the small town of Cafayate in the Province of Salta. We will cross through the dry, high Andean pass of “El Infiernillo” on our way there, and a diversity of dry Andean habitats, making frequent stops along the road to search for a great variety of birds. The Monte Desert, with its large cacti, hold Sandy Gallito and White-throated Cacholote and these are our major targets.  We’ll also look for Elegant Crested-Tinamou, Burrowing Parrot, White-tipped Plantcutter, Greenish Yellow Finch, Steinbach´s Canastero, Cinnamon Warbling-Finch, Ringed Warbling Finch, White-browed Brushfinch, Band-tailed Sierra Finch and White-banded Mockingbird plus the noisy, active Greater Wagtail-Tyrant. Night: Cafayate (B, L, D)


Day 5 • Cafayate – Cabra Corral
Black-legged Seriema by Steve Bird. White-fronted Woodpeckers by Steve Bird.We continue our exciting journey that traverses the spectacular scenery of wine country, looking for more Burrowing Parrots, two species of tit-spinetail, several different canastero’s including the endemic Steinbach’s Canastero, Golden-billed Saltator, and as always, many others such as Chaco Earthcreeper, Spot-winged Pigeon, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, White-banded Mockingbird, Black-crested Finch, White-crested Tyrannulet, White-fronted Woodpecker and Black-legged Seriema.

In the afternoon, we will drive through the vineyards of Cafayate, enjoying the stunning views of Quebrada de las Conchas, towards Cabra Corral. As we bird the transitional forest in a canyon formed by the Juramento River, we’ll be looking for sought-after denizens of this arid region, including Sandy Gallito, Crested Gallito, Spot-winged Falconet, Red-legged Seriema, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, and many others. Night: Cabra Corral, Coronel Moldes (B, L, D)


Day 6 •
Los Cardones National Park - Salta

As we head for Los Cardones National Park, the scenery arguably gets even better (if that is possible)! We might see our first Red-tailed Comet and White-sided Hillstar, plus Rufous-bellied Mountain Tanager which is one of our main targets. We should add further parrots to our list and these might include Scaly-headed Parrot and Grey-hooded Parakeet. A high-altitude bird that we really hope will cooperate is Zimmer’s Tapaculo, alongside Rock Earthcreeper and Rufous-banded Miner. We then drive to our next hotel, which happens to have some good Yungas birds in and around the garden. We can enjoy late-afternoon drinks on the balcony, and the next morning we’ll try and find the majestic Cream-backed Woodpecker, Smoke-colored Pewee, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, White-bellied Hummingbird, the beautiful Plush-crested Jay, Golden-winged Cacique, and Gray-necked Wood Rail. Night: Hotel Selva Montana, Salta. (B, L, D)


Day 7 • Salta - Chaco
Today we bird a completely new habitat, where a diverse array of new birds awaits us. There is a long list of immensely sought-after species, such as Black-legged Seriema, Red-legged Seriema, tinamous including the spectacular-looking Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Chaco Chachalaca (in the late afternoons we may see them along the road), Ultramarine Grosbeak, Many-colored Chaco Finch, Black-bodied Woodpecker, spectacular woodcreepers Chaco Owl by Steve Bird. such as Red-billed Scythebill, Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Great Rufous Woodcreeper and their smaller relative, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper. Chaco Puffbird will hopefully be added to our list at some point. We will need luck on our side to find Spot-winged Falconet, but much easier are Lark-like Brushrunner, Crested Hornero, the sometimes skulky Crested Gallito, Chaco Earthcreeper, and some new parrots that add splashes of color. As always, there are far more birds than we can mention here, but pretty much these two days of the trip are very productive in terms of adding a great many high-quality species to our growing bird list. We will try for Chaco Owl one night. Night: Chaco (B, L, D)


Day 8 • Chaco - Calilegua
This is another day looking for specialties of the thorny habitats of the Chaco woodlands. Among the many species we might encounter are Greater Rhea, Tataupa Tinamou, Bicolored Hawk, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Striped Cuckoo, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Blue-tufted Starthroat, Spot-banded Puffbird, Chaco Earthcreeper, and many others. From here we drive to Calilegua National Park, looking for birds we may have previously missed. Calilegua National Park is a stunning destination for birding. It protects an important Yungas Cloud forest habitat. Our hotel is located very close to the park’s entrance and will give us the chance to spot some interesting birds before dark. Night: Calilegua (B, L, D)

Bat Falcon by Steve Bird.

Day 9 • Calilegua National Park
Today, we spend an entire day in Calilegua National Park and we have a long list of tantalizing birds to find. The steep, forested slopes are home to birds like Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Solitary Eagle, Bat Falcon, Dusky-legged Guan, Golden-collared Macaw, Speckled Hummingbird, Blue-capped Puffleg, Slender-tailed Woodstar, White-bellied Hummingbird, Blue-crowned Trogon, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Giant Antshrike, Sclater’s Tyrannulet, White-throated Antpitta, Mountain Wren, Brown-capped Redstart, Spotted Nightingale-Thrush, Glossy-black Thrush, Rusty-browed Warbling Finch, Fulvous-headed and White-browed Brushfinches, Crested Oropendola, Golden-winged Cacique and Yungas Pygmy Owl. Night: Calilegua (B, L, D)


Day 10 • Calilegua National Park - Yala
Today will be our second day birding in the lush region of Calilegua National Park. Over the last few years a pair of Harpy Eagles has been seen many times from the upper roads of the park, but we would have to be more than lucky to encounter this awesome raptor. Other species here should include Blue-crowned Trogon, Plush-crested Jay, Toco Toucan, Dot-fronted Woodpecker, Streaked Xenops, and the rare White-browed Tapaculo. In the afternoon we will drive from Calilegua to Toco Toucan by Steve Bird. Potrero de Yala Provincial Park, another wonderful transitional Yungas habitat. Night: Yala (B, L, D)

Day 11 • Yala
Today we can spend time scouring the rivers for the gorgeous Rufous-throated Dipper and possibly Torrent Duck. Nearby forest edges are a good place for Red-faced Guan which is one of our major targets which can be tricky, but with persistence we hope to find it. Also in this area are Streak-throated Bush Tyrant, Yungas Dove, Chilean Elaenia, Giant Wood Rail and Spot-breasted Thornbird. In the evening we will check a site for the spectacular Lyre-tailed Nightjar and also Yungas Screech Owl which are sometimes not too difficult to find on the outskirts of town. Night: Yala (B, L, D)

FlamingosDay 12 • Yala - Tilcara
Today we drive higher along the Humahuaca Valley, birding the puna salt lakes and highland-lake habitats as we approach the town of La Quiaca on the Bolivian border at 12,000 feet (3658 meters). We’ll bird the dry valley along the way, looking for Lesser Rhea, Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, Mountain Parakeet, Andean Swallow, Rufous-banded and Puna Miners, Puna Yellow Finch, Andean Negrito, Brown-backed Mockingbird, Black-hooded Sierra Finch, and Black Siskin.

Passing the Laguna de los Pozuelos National Park, a huge Altiplano lake, where we have our first chance to see Andean Coot, Puna Teal, Puna Ibis, Andean Avocet, Puna Plover, and three species of Flamingos that include Chilean, Andean, and James’s. If water conditions are favorable we may be in luck and find the very rare Hooded Coot. Overnight: La Quiaca (B, L, D)


Day 13 • La Quiaca - Yavi
From La Quiaca we drive to Tilcara and then continue driving northward (and higher), passing some lakes, where we have further chances to see Andean Coot, Puna Teal, Puna Ibis, Andean Avocet, Puna Plover, all three species of Flamingos - Chilean, Andean, and James’s, Andean Goose, Cordilleran Canastero, and even Burrowing Owl. Overnight: Yavi (B, L, D)


Day 14 • Yavi
Yavi is a small hamlet that is home to the very range-restricted Citron-headed Yellow Finch and early morning is the best time to look for this rare bird. We’ll also bird the highland valleys above, looking for Red-backed Sierra Finch. Here we’ll also have a chance for Mourning Sierra Finch, Puna and
Bright-rumped Yellow Finches, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Cream-winged Cinclodes, Spot-winged Pigeon, Tawny-throated Dotterel and others. The star bird we’ll be looking for here is the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. Overnight: Yavi (B, L, D)

Diademed Sandpiper-Plover

Day 15 •
Yavi - Jujuy

From Yavi we ascend to over 12,000 feet (3657 meters) above sea level, searching for further specials such as Lesser Rhea, Puna Tinamou, Puna Yellow-Finch, and others. Overnight: Jujuy (B, L, D)

Day 16 • Jujuy – End of Tour
Flight from Jujuy to connect with international departure in Buenos Aires (B)


Tour Leader: Eduardo Patrial plus local guides.

Photo below: Many-colored Chaco Finch by Steve Bird.

Many-colored Chaco Finch by Steve Bird. Northwest Argentina
with Eduardo Patrial

December 2 - 17, 2022

Registration Form>    
Contact [email protected] to reserve your space!

TOUR PRICE: US$4695.00 per person/double occupancy from Buenos Aires, Argentina (Airport code: EZE) based on 8 passengers.
Single Supplement: US$595.00 per person

Deposit: $750.00 per person per tour. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise [email protected] when you have made payment. 

Group Size: Maximum 8.


Included in cost: Domestic Flights: Buenos Aires – Tucumán and Jujuy – Buenos Aires, group airport transfers, private transportation during the tour, all accommodations, and meals beginning with lunch on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 16, professional guide services, local guides, local park and reserve entrance fees. 


Not included: International airfare to/from Buenos Aires, Argentina, passport/visa fees, insurance, departure taxes, items of a personal nature such as: laundry, telephone, beverages, or gratuities for porterage or personal services. Also, any and all costs arising from pandemic or Covid-19 related issues are not included in the tour cost and are the sole responsibility of the traveler. These include, among others, the costs of Covid treatment, hospitalization, medical fees, transport, meals and accommodation in case of illness or quarantine, and the costs of any Covid tests needed before, during and after the tour.


Transportation/Travel Planning: You will be responsible for making your travel plans to Buenos Aires.  We have a flight agent that can help if needed. Information will be forthcoming about timings for arrivals and departures.


NOTE: This tour is being run in association with Bird's Wildilfe & Nature Tours of Plymouth, England.

RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour:

1) Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected] to confirm availability and hold your place.

2) Review the Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)>

3) Complete the Registration & Release Form (pdf)> and mail it with your deposit of US$750.00 per person to Sunrise Birding, LLC within two weeks to secure your place. 

>Download & print the Registration Form (pdf download).
Instructions are on the form.

Reservations are held with a paid deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.

Final payment is due August 2, 2022.  Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees).  Please inquire.


**Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Please review our Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)> prior to registering for this tour. All cancellations must be made in writing. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.

There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.


Sunrise Birding LLC strongly recommends that you consider purchasing a travel protection plan to protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected in case of delay, injury or illness prior to or during a tour. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss and Delay, Emergency Medical Transportation, Pre-existing Conditions, and more.


There are many trip insurers. Here are two options to consider:

CSA Travel Protection
CSA offers coverage for pre-existing conditions if you purchase your policy before making your final payment for a tour.
Please be sure to use Sunrise Birding's producer code: 20201123
when purchasing your policy.
Insure My Trip is a web site that allows you to compare trip insurance plans
to find the right plan for you.


  • Insurance policy requirements vary and the timing of your purchase can affect coverage. Some insurance providers require that for coverage of pre-existing conditions, a policy must be purchased within 7-14 days of booking. Others, like CSA, offer policies that cover pre-existing conditions as long as the policy is purchased prior to making your final payment for the tour.

  • Trip insurance policy premiums may be non-refundable, but they may be able to be amended or transferred. Check with your insurer. It is important to be sure that the tour is sufficiently subscribed to operate before you purchase trip insurance.

  • Pay attention to coverages provided by your policy. Be aware of the requirements of country or destination can change, so check often. Some policies are now offering Covid related coverages so check with your insurer.

  • US medical insurance plans (including Medicare) often do not provide coverage outside the US. The US State Department strongly advises Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Consult with your insurer prior to your trip to ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider directly or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Be sure to get and keep all documentation of any expenses incurred.
Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected].com 
Phone: 203.453.6724