4. Birding in Santa Marta
Colombia has more species of winged animals than any other country—the official count is 1,921 and rising. It’s also investing heavily in bird-watching, with a huge campaign this year to get travelers into its wilds in search of rare species like the toucan barbet and the blaze-red vermilion cardinal, which makes its North American cousin look dreary. The country even boasts the new Northern Colombia Birding Trail, a series of eco-lodges and national parks that covers 50,000 acres of tropical forests in the mountains along the Caribbean coast. Six domestic and five international tour operators are licensed to guide on the trail, including Colombia Birdwatch, which offers a 10-day trip with some of the foremost ornithologists in the country.
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