Bird Watching in Chiloe

If you're a keen bird-watcher and want to experience Patagonia's unique wildlife, this is the trip for you! It will take you to some of the best areas around Chiloe Island to see many species of birds, including the Chilean Woodpecker, the Tapaculos, Black-necked swans and Humbolt Penguins.

3 Days

Bird Watching in Chiloe - 3

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Take the ferry to Chiloe
  • Boat trip to see Punihuil Penguin Colony
  • Boat trip to the Rio Chepu
  • Visit Laguna Colunco freshwater lake
  • Unqiue birdspotting opporuntities 

Landmarks visited on Bird Watching in Chiloe

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Chacao and Pacific Coast Penguin Colony

This trip can start in Chacao upon arrival or begin with a pick up from airport Pto. Montt or your hotel in Puerto Varas at 08:30, transfer to Pargua to board the ferry to the emerald island of Chiloe. Once on the island, spotting scopes will be set up at Punta Tres Cruces, a privileged lookout, where the Gulf of Ancud flows into the channel holding a plethora of species. We will look for Shearwaters, a number of petrals, Chilean Skua, four species of Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican and the occasional albatross as well as many coastal species. We will then drive to the city of Ancud to leave our luggage at our lodging before departing towards the wetlands and estuaries at the head of the Bay of Ancud (Quilo), excellent for various species of ducks (Chiloe Widgen, Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail), Austral Negrito, Greater Yellowlegs, plovers among other species.

When we arrive at the Pacific Coast we'll embark in fishermen's boats to get to the unique penguin colony on the islands off the coast of Punihuil - one of the only place in the world where Humbolt and Magellanic penguins nest side by side. It is not allowed to leave the boat, because these are protected breeding grounds. The area is very rich and supports many other species, including 3 species of nesting cormorants (Red-legged, Rock & Imperial), Kelp Geese, three gull species, Blackish and Magellanic Oyster Catchers. We'll then return to The Tower lodging outside Ancud and your lovely hideaway lodging for the night - which is a great birding area by itself.

Accommodation: Lodge, Ancud

Meals Breakfast, Box-lunch, Dinner


Day 2: Chepu River Valley and Coluco Lake

Morning departure after breakfast for a 45-minute journey from Ancud to the Rio Chepu. This tidal effected valley dropped 2 m / 7 ft during the massive earthquake in 1960, which formed huge wetlands at the juncture of two rivers. We travel by boat up the Chepu river, past the remnants of the submerged forest, and look for birds, such as the Snowy, Great and Cattle Egrets, the Cocoi (White-necked) Heron, White-winged & Red-gartered Coots, White-tufted & Great Grebe, and the Spectacled Duck. This unique area is home and nesting area to more than 50 species of birds, offering a special opportunity for observation. Up river we'll stop at the Laguna Coluco, a freshwater lake with thousands of nesting gulls (Brown hooded) and home to the Red Shoveler and other ducks. In the surrounding area we will look for the Spectacled Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Rufous-tailed Hawk and others. The mixture of forest, freshwater and tidal areas offers a wide range of species to observe, making this a wonderful day of birding. We'll have a picnic lunch along the riverside before visiting a nearby forest (if weather permits- too much rain makes for muddy walking) in search of the endemic Tapaculos (Huet-Huet, Magallanic & Chucao). We also keep an eye - and ear - out for the Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, White-crested Elaenia, Chilean Pidgeon, Chilean Woodpecker and several raptors (Chumango & Crested Cara Caras, Peregrine Falcon. Same lodging as previous night.

Accommodation: Lodge, Ancud

Meals Breakfast, Box-lunch, Dinner


Day 3: Goodbye Chiloe

After breakfast, we'll pay goodbye to Ancud and drive to a picturesque bay on the north coast of the island. While locals collect seaweed, which they load on their oxcarts at low tide, we can take advantage of the bay's rich marine life that supports many unique species and has made it part of a pilot program begun by the WWF and The Nature Conservancy. The bay is home to a large colony of black-necked swans, furthermore you will see Flightless Steamer Ducks, Black Skimmers, Sandpipers, Whimbrils, Hudsonian Gotwit, Coots and many more. We enjoy a final lunch either in the field or a local restaurant depending on the weather before we head to the ferry, which takes us back to the continent. Drop-off can be at the airport or the hotel of your choice in Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas.

Meals Breakfast, Box-lunch

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $0 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.

Please note: 

Departures can be set up on a date of your choice, subject to availability. Please enquire for more details.


Includes

  • Bilingual guide
  • Private transport
  • 2 nights lodging
  • 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • All entrances and activities

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?