Birding and wildlife experiences in Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and the Pantanal are diverse and offer unique opportunities for wildlife photographers. Each of these regions has distinct characteristics that make visiting them special. Here are some primary differences in the wildlife of these astonishing locations



Biodiversity: Colombia is known for its remarkable avian diversity, with over 1,900 bird species recorded. This includes many unique habitats, from the Andes Mountains to the Amazon rainforest, providing wildlife enthusiasts with many species to observe. and photograph

Endemic Species: Colombia boasts numerous endemic bird species. Endemics are only found in their home region, making them the most desirable for birders and photographers.

Varied Habitats: Birding in Colombia can take you from high-altitude cloud forests to lowland jungles, offering a range of ecosystems and landscapes to explore.

Key Species in Columbia: Andean Condor, Harpy Eagle, Resplendent Quetzal, Santa Marta Parakeet, Yellow-eared Parrot, Gold-ringed Tanager, Ocellated Tapaculo, Black Inca, Multicolored Tanager, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Jaguar, Mountain Tapir, Golden Poison Dart Frog, Andean Spectacled Bear

Wire-crested Thorntail - Humminbird-Equador


Compact Diversity: Ecuador is a small country with an incredibly high concentration of bird species, around 1,600. It’s renowned for its easy access to various birding sites within a relatively small area.

The Andes: Ecuador’s Andean region is a hotspot for birdwatching, where you can observe many high-altitude species, including hummingbirds, tanagers, and mountain toucans.

Unique Habitats: Ecuador offers diverse ecosystems, from the Amazon Basin to the Galápagos Islands, providing various bird species to discover.

Key Species in Ecuador: Andean Condor, Resplendent Quetzal, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Wattled Guan, Blue-footed Booby (Galápagos), Giant Hummingbird, Black-breasted Puffleg, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Giant Otter, Spectacled Bear, Galápagos Tortoise, Blue-footed Booby

Wire-crested Thorntail - Humminbird-Equador

Costa Rica

Accessibility: Costa Rica is known for its well-developed ecotourism infrastructure, making it an accessible and convenient destination for birders. National parks and reserves are abundant, and guided tours are readily available.

Bird Feeders: Birdwatchers in Costa Rica often encounter numerous bird species at strategically placed bird feeders, providing close-up and leisurely birding experiences.

Migratory Birds: Costa Rica is an important stopover for migratory birds, making it an excellent place for seasonal birdwatching.

Key Species in Costa Rica: Resplendent Quetzal, Scarlet Macaw, Three-wattled Bellbird, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Keel-billed Toucan, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Snowcap, Sunbittern, Lovely Cotinga, Sloth, White-faced Capuchin Monkey, Red-eyed Tree Frog, Ocelot , Sea Turtles

Wire-crested Thorntail - Humminbird-Equador

Pantanal (Brazil)

Wetland Biodiversity: The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland, a haven for waterfowl and wetland bird species. You can see a wide variety of herons, storks, and waterfowl here.

Spectacular Wildlife: Besides birds, the Pantanal is famous for its wildlife, including jaguars, capybaras, and caimans. Birding here often involves boat safaris and hikes.

Seasonal Changes: The Pantanal has distinct wet and dry seasons, which can affect bird distribution. The best time for birding may vary depending on the water levels.

Key Species in the Pantanal: Hyacinth Macaw, Jabiru Stork, Toco Toucan, Harpy Eagle, Greater Rhea, Sunbittern, Agami Heron, Chestnut-bellied Guan, Giant Otter, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Jaguar, Giant Anteater, Hyacinth, Macaw, Giant Otter, Marsh Deer

Wire-crested Thorntail - Humminbird-Equador

It’s near impossible to chose the single best South American Location. Each location offers unique wildlife experiences due to its specific geographic, ecological, and climatic features. The choice of destination may depend on the type of birds you want to see, the habitats you prefer, and the level of accessibility and infrastructure you desire for your next adventure. I am an expert in leading photography-oriented groups to all these fabulous locations. I’d be happy to help you decide which suits you the best. Leave a comment or send an email, they both get my attention!