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Cali: capital de la observación de aves en Colombia

February marks a significant event in the realm of Latin American ornithology as Cali hosts the Colombia Birdfair. Regarded as a pinnacle gathering, this fair stands as the country's premier platform dedicated to the science (and art!) of bird watching in the Colombia.

In the style of a massive festival that brings together Colombian birders and bird watchers from around the world, the Colombia Birdfair 2023 is an ornithological conference open to the public. It not only addresses the most outstanding topics and advances in the scientific field of bird watching, but also shares the most up-to-date information with fans and those who are interested in the preservation and sighting of birds in South America.

At Spiwak Hotels, we invite you to learn more about this celebration that every year raises greater awareness (and fascination) about the status and protection of birds in Colombia.

Logo de Colombia Birdfair

What is Colombia Birdfair?

Established in 2015, this event has quickly become one of the most prestigious bird festivals in Colombia, drawing visitors from near and far to participate in talks, exhibitions, and group birdwatching outings.

Held annually in Cali, this conference in Cali is also an important platform for showcasing conservation projects throughout Colombia and the region.

As one of the most significant ornithology congresses in South America, the Colombia Birdfair has helped promote birdwatching tourism in southwestern Colombia and support for local communities in both economic and ecological terms, raising awareness about the importance of preserving natural environments.

The festival owes its success to the hard work of the founding organization, the Association Río Cali, as well as other local and international groups and sponsors who have turned the Colombia Birdfair into a true environmental movement.

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What to do in Colombia Birdfair?

Among the array of festivals traditionally celebrated in Colombia, the Colombia Birdfair stands out as one of Cali's newer events, yet it's also one of the most serene.

Maintaining an atmosphere of tranquility is paramount, evident in the hushed tones during the numerous talks and the peaceful ambiance for observing bird specimens on the guided outdoor walks, catering to both seasoned enthusiasts and curious visitors alike.

Aparte de lo que constituye este emblemático encuentro de ornitólogos en Cali para la comunidad científica, esta celebración ofrece ademásinteresantes talleres para quienes desean incorporarse al ejercicio del aviturismo en Colombia como forma de vida o hobby.

The festival provides a space for children as well, with a special programming designed to encourage them to become future conservationists.

This symposium is also special because it includes a module of inclusive nature tourism in Colombia, with the establishment of the first four bird watching routes for people with visual disabilities in South America.

This allows blind visitors and others with physical disabilities to enjoy the soundscape of different destinations in our country that are beginning to be qualified for this profile of tourists interested in bird sighting in Colombia.

Finally, it's worth noting that this grand fair annually invites international speakers to discuss the challenges and achievements in conservation and bird watching in Latin America.

Hundreds of visitors are expected to attend these conferences, as well as the commercial exhibition and photographic exhibitions that take place throughout this beautiful festival, organized by the Cali Zoo and other institutions.

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Los niños también participan en Colombia Birdfair.
Kids also have a part in Colombia Birdfair
La Feria Internacional de Aves de Colombia, Colombia Birdfair, se realiza todos los años en Cali a mitad de febrero
Colombia Birdfair always takes place on February

¿Cómo observar aves en Colombia?

Watching birds in Colombia has become a recreation that is gaining more followers every day, with the arrival of hundreds of tourists who year after year are attracted by the biodiversity of our country.

Colombia's position as a world leader in birdwatching has led to the progressive growth of environmental initiatives and tourism ventures that encourage the protection of Colombian birdlife, and that make our national territory the destination par excellence for meeting birdwatchers.

A continuación respondemos algunas de las preguntas más comunes que nos hacen:

Pajareros de todo el mundo visitan nuestro país y el Valle del Cauca
Tángara multicolor (Chlorochrysa nitidissima). Foto: Mauricio Ossa

When does birdwatching season in Colombia start?

Although some publications indicate that the best periods for bird watching in Colombia are from January to April and from September to December, there is no specific season for this activity.

Due to Colombia's geographical position and its topographic and climatic characteristics, our country is home to a wide range of endemic bird species that can be sighted throughout the year.

It is important to note that there are also multiple seasons for migratory birds in Colombia, and the types of birds that can be observed depend on the time of year, the thermal floor, and the ecosystem of the region you wish to visit.

To help identify the species of birds that visit Colombia, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have published this guide that includes information about arrival periods, residence times, concentration sites, and conservation status.

If you are new to bird watching and want to start at a good time for observation, we recommend paying attention to the various activities organized on the occasion of World Migratory Bird Day in May and October. During these months, various organizations linked to the Cornell University Ornithology Laboratory call on people from all over the world to participate in expeditions organized by their communities of followers.


Where to go birdwatching in Colombia?

Todos los puntos de nuestra geografía nacional son perfectos para hacer observación de aves…  Y pese a que son muchas las recomendaciones que puedes conseguir en Internet sobre los mejores sitios para ver aves en Colombiael Valle del Cauca es uno de los departamentos que concentra el mayor número de especies en el país, por tanto: uno de los más interesantes para visitar si es por este motivo.Por sus diversos humedales y cuencas fluviales, Cali es nido de cerca de 600 especies de alados en la región, lo que explica esa devoción que tanto nuestras universidades como ciudadanos muestran por el asunto de las aves colombianas y su defensa.Sin salir del perímentro urbano, existen muchos lugares en Cali para el avistamiento de aves como lo son el Ecoparque Las Garzas, la Hacienda Cañasgordas, el Humedal de la Babilla, el Parque del Acueducto, los cerros deLa Bandera and Cristo Rey; o el Jardín Botánico de Cali por nombrar algunos.Por fuera de la ciudad existen parajes espectaculares para lo mismo, como el Parque Nacional Natural Farallones, las reservas Anahuac and Bachué, el Bosque de Niebla San Antonio junto al Kilómetro 18, la Finca Alejandría, la Reserva Natural Nirvana y los alrededores del Lago Calima, donde nuestro aliado comercial, el Hotel La Huerta, se encuentra ubicado.Para mayor información sobre dónde observar aves en Cali, puedes descargar aquí la Guía Ilustrada de las Aves de Santiago de Cali y conocer además sobre cómo identificar nuestros especímenes.O si prefieres consultar una base de lugares más amplia, te recomendamos visitar aquí la plataforma colaborativa BioModelos del Instituto Humboldt, en el que tienes acceso a 1890 mapas digitales con información sobre la localidad y distribución de nuestras aves nacionales.Te recomendamos también seguir las redes sociales de Colombia Birdfair, pues ellos también organizan muchos paseos de observación de aves en el Valle del Cauca que estamos seguros disfrutarás.
Bienteveo cejiamarillo (Conopias cinchoneti). Foto: Luis Carlos Mora.
El pajareo: Una pasión sin distingo de edad.
Torito cabecirrojo (Eubucco bourcierii). Foto: Mauricio Ossa

How to organize a birdwatching trip in Colombia?

Many experts in ornithological tourism agree that any trip for this purpose depends on the experience of the person involved, as this defines the strategy that must be followed to meet the expectations of the bird watcher.

If the traveler is an expert on the subject, it is likely that he or she is aware of the best time of year to travel with the goal of sighting several specific species in advance. They will have good technology and bibliography to record their encounters, and will have a well-assimilated protocol regarding their behavior when going out to spot specimens.

On the other hand, if the traveler knows little about the subject, they probably do not have demanding requirements regarding the types of specimens to be seen, and their enjoyment is derived equally from the mere contact with nature.

Regardless of these profiles, many agree that hiring a guide can facilitate the success of the experience. In this sense, we suggest some agencies with bird watching packages in Cali that may be of interest:

Valley Adventours
Viajes CHE
Oliverio Tours
Manakin Nature Tours
Awake Travel

In case you do not want to depend on a group, it is always advisable to do a lot of research about the destination you want to reach. Additionally, it is very important to adhere to the manual of good practices for bird watching in Colombia, especially with regard to avoiding environmental impacts that may affect the birdlife.

Regarding flights, Cali is well connected with Bogotá, some of the main cities of our country, and several international ports. Therefore, it should not be difficult to arrive in our city for any bird season in Colombia.

Finally, if you are a beginner and want to make your bird watching experience in Cali an enjoyable and memorable one, we recommend that you follow the advice given by various bird-watching friends on sites such as Don Viajes, El Tiempo, and the Cali Mayor's Office.


Without further ado, we hope you enjoy all the interesting birdwatching that our city has to offer.

¡Bienvenido al Colombia Birdfair!

Spiwak Hotels: your best group lodging option in Cali. Located north of the city, with easy access to the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport, in the luxurious Chipichape Shopping Center.

 462 rooms, two swimming pools, restaurant, gym and access to all the basic and entertainment services you require: banking area, supermarket, pharmacies, shops, cinema, casino and much more.

 ¡Somos los patrocinadores oficiales del Colombia Birdfair en Cali!