Colombia, August 2022 (Venkat Sankar)
Here’s a report of a fun 2-week trip to the Colombian Andes last August, during which I recorded 31 species including many rarely reported mammals. Highlights were close views of Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir, Olinguito, Brown Dwarf Hairy Porcupine, Panama Mouse Opossum, and the remarkable White-tailed Olalla Rat.
Colombia VSankar August 2022
How have I missed this report? I have been looking forward to it!
Great stuff Venkat! I was convinced that my next trip to South America would be to Ecuador, but as you told me, I should now consider Colombia instead…
Thanks for all the great info, and I’m happy for you for the very successful trip.
It sounds like the infrastructure in Ecuador is much more well-established, so I wonder if/when mammal watchers start re-tracing this itinerary one-after-the-other, what other species would become highly reliable there. Hoping oncilla would become reliable too 😀
Great report. Do you remember the name of the lodges for the spectacle bears and especially the mountain tapir at Otun? And do you mind telling me the budget you had to spend for your itinerary? And is it safe to travelalone as a woman? I would love to go to Colombia soon. Best, Sandra
The place to stay for the Tapirs is Cabañas El Cedral. It is reachable by public transport from Pereira. You can reach them by Whatsapp at +57 323 5091882. Communication is in Spanish, but you can use Google translate. They don’t always have service so it may take a few days to answer. We had three sightings over 4 days on foot. Also saw a Jagurundi. Budget for doing this part independently is cheap. As low as $14 per night for the room and around $4 per meal. Transport from Pereira was less than $5 I think. As far as traveling alone as a woman, I can’t speak from experience, but there are certainly plenty of women traveling independently. My wife says she would feel safe on the tapir road. Pereira does have rough parts, but we didn’t go to them. If needed I can recommend a very nice, reasonably priced hotel with close food options a short walk from where the public transport leaves.
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Great report Venkat (squirrel bashing aside) – the first for the new website. I particularly love the Dwarf Porcupine and the ‘Oh la la’ Rat as I will now call it. Looks like you have got yourself a new camera too – great photos! Not sure I can imagine your mind is ever idle (at least compared to mine). I clearly need to get back to Colombia.