Birding Argentina

dragon-8

November 3 to November 18, 2023
 $5,250 | ($500 deposit due upon registration)
Single Supplement: $530
12 participants max

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oin NBNC for the trip of a lifetime as we explore the length and breadth of Argentina. Our adventure starts in northeastern Argentina exploring the famous Ibera wetlands. We then head to Iguazu Falls – truly one of the natural wonders of the world – and finish at the southern tip of South America – the legendary Tierra del Fuego. In between, We’ll go whale watching in search of the rare Southern Right Whale, and visit Seal Lion and Elephant Seal rookeries on the Valdes Peninsula.

There so many special birds to see in this amazingly diverse country (1,000 plus), like the American Painted-Snipe and Tawny-throated Dotterel, Strange-tailed Tyrant, Southern Screamer, Giant Wood-Rail, several species of penguin, albatross and the Snowy Sheathbill. And, of course, there are the spectacular land birds like the huge Magellanic Woodpecker and even huger Greater Rhea.

Additional Information

Flow of the Day: The itinerary is designed to maximize our experience with the great diversity of birdlife and ecosystems that Argentina offers. We won’t, however, be rushing from place to place to chase the largest species list possible. Our goal is to spend time appreciating the species we encounter at an enjoyable pace. Birding walks begin in the early morning, and we travel slowly to allow for the best bird and wildlife encounters.

While this is primarily a birding trip, we will also take time to enjoy the culture, the great food, and intriguing history. Marine mammals also feature prominently, with visits to a sea lion rookery and a whale watch at the Valdez Peninsula

Pre-tripping in Buenos Aires is encouraged! If you’d like some advice and where to go, talk to Chip about options.

Afternoon plans typically allow for some afternoon rest time at the lodges, though this is not always feasible when we are transferring between lodges and landscapes.

Climate: Temperatures will vary considerably with daytime highs in the 80’s in Iguazu and 50’s in Ushuaia. The periods of rain are likely throughout the country. We’ll need to be prepared for very varied conditions.

Clothing: Pack light field clothing of neutral colors. Bring several pairs of long pants and comfortable, light, airy shirts. Long-sleeved (relaxed fit) shirts are useful for protection from the sun, as is a light hat or cap. Good rain gear is essential, and a small umbrella is also recommended. Be sure to have a pair of comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, plus a second pair of tennis shoes or sandals. A sweater or fleece is important for southern Patagonia. You may want more casual clothing for traveling or dinners. A small washcloth and handkerchiefs will be helpful.

Equipment: Bring a pair of binoculars, a field guide and a camera with extra batteries. The guides will have two spotting scopes. Pack sunglasses and sunscreen, a small flashlight or headlamp, a small alarm clock (a smartphone will work), insect repellent, a small daypack, and a small folding stool if you get tired standing for long periods observing birds and other wildlife. We will also supply a lengthier suggested packing list.

Health ConsiderationsPlease consult your physician before the trip for any recommended immunizations. Mosquitoes can sometimes be a nuisance in northern Argentina. We suggest a stick-type repellent for your face and hands, plus at least one pump-style container of repellent for your clothing. As for foods, all salads, dairy products and meals at the different lodges are perfectly safe to eat. Bottled water is provided while on tours.

Participants should be able to hike on moderate terrain up to 3 miles per day, and be ready to expect conditions that may be hot, cold, dry, wet, or anything in-between.

Transportation: The land transportation is in a comfortable coach. Given the large distances we’ll be covering, there will also be several in country flights.

Our NBNC guide is NBNC's Birding Ambassador and "emeritus" Executive Director Chip Darmstadt. Chip has guided NBNC excursions to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Spain, Ecuador, as well as stateside locations like Magee Marsh and Cape May for over 25 years. Chip has a particular fondness for neotropical birds and had the pleasure of exploring Argentina in 2019.

North Branch Nature Center will be partnering with Clark Expediciones, based in Salta, Argentina. Founder Ricardo Clark has been a force behind conservation of the imperiled Yungas forests in the northern Andes. We will be joined by expert in-country bird guides, arranged by Clark Expediciones, throughout our entire adventure.

Please see day-by-day itinerary for details. Lodging ranges from nice 4-star hotels in Buenos Aires to comfortable lodges in rural areas.

The trip cost includes:

  • Pre-departure orientation gathering (virtual)
  • Expert NBNC guide
  • In-country expert, English-speaking bird guide
  • All accommodations starting and ending in Buenos Aires
  • Entrance fees to parks and boat rides
  • Comfortable, private transportation throughout the trip, including airport transfers
  • Bottled water, available at all times
  • All meals during the trip starting and ending in Buenos Aires.
  • Domestic (in Argentina) flights are included

The trip cost does not include:

  • Airfare to and from Argentina
  • Transportation to/from airports in the US
  • Cancellation (trip) insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages, snacks and other incidentals
  • Extra hotel services, such as laundry
  • Guide gratuities

Ready to go to Argentina?
Email [email protected] to get signed up.

Payment Schedule

  • A $500 deposit is required to reserve your space on the trip.
  • 50% of the trip balance ($2375) will be due 6 months before the departure date (May 3 2023).
  • Single travelers must include the single supplement fee ($530) with this payment. Single rooms are limited on this itinerary, so please confirm with us that your request for a single room can be accommodated before sending payment.
  • The remaining trip balance ($2375) will be due 3 months before the departure date (August 3 2023).

All payments can be made via check to: North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05602

Cancellation Policies

We understand that incidents and emergencies arise that may force you to cancel your trip. However, NBNC invests considerable time and, in many cases, non-refundable payments to lodges and local contractors to secure our rooms and programming. NBNC aims to be as flexible as possible in our refund policy, but a full refund of your payments may not be possible after the dates indicated. All cancellations must be made via email to NBNC.

  • Cancellation more than 180 days before the trip: Full refund of all payments.

  • Cancellation 90-180 days before the trip: Refund of any payments minus the $500 deposit. If your space is filled by another traveler, we will also refund your deposit.

  • Cancellation 30-90 days before the trip: No refund guaranteed. If your space is filled by another traveler, we will provide a full refund minus the $500 deposit.

  • Cancellation less than 30 days before the trip: No refunds guaranteed.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Nov 3, Depart the US

We will be flying from the US on November 3 in order to arrive in Buenos Aires on November 4.

Day 2 – Nov 4, Morning arrival in Buenos Aires

Explore City and Reserva Costanera Sur. Buenos Aires is a fascinating city and is blessed with a wonderful nature reserve, Costanera Sur. The reserve is home to Black-necked Swan, Spectacled Tyrant, Masked Gnatcatcher and 14 species of rails, coots and gallinules!
Overnight: Buenos Aires

Day 3 – Nov 5, Fly to Posadas and Ibera wetland

Morning flight to Posadas and birding drive to Carlos Pellegrini to start our exploration of the central Ibera wetland area. This region is a birder’s heaven with many rare and unusual wetland and grassland species. In addition to birds like Strange-tailed Tyrant and Scarlet-headed Blackbird, we’ll also be on the lookout for interesting mammals like Cabybara and Giant Anteater.
Overnight: Three nights at Ecoposada del Estero or a similar lodge in the Ibera marshes.

Day 4 and 5 – Nov 6-7, Ibera Wetland

These will be bird-filled days with many easily seen species, like Jabiru and Maguari Storks, Azure Gallinule, White-headed Marsh Tyrant and Southern Screamer. We’ll explore the marshes by boat our second day in the region.

Day 6 - Nov 8, Salto Encantado

In the morning we start heading north entering the province of Misiones, arriving by early afternoon to Parque Provincial Salto Encantado. This provincial park also features a spectacular waterfall, as well as some special birds like Red-breasted Toucan, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser and Large-tailed Antshrike (species characteristic of the Southern Atlantic Rainforest biome).
Overnight: Hotel del Parque in Aristobulo del Valle.

Day 7 - Nov 9, Iguazu

We devote the morning to exploring Salto Encantado. After lunch we take a birding drive to Puerto Iguazu, arriving in the afternoon to a rainforest Reserve. Upon arrival in Puerto Iguazu we settle into our lodge and start exploring. Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Toco Toucan, White Woodpecker and Green-headed Tanager are often found right in the gardens of our hotel in Reserva Natural Yriapu.
Overnight: Three nights at Sellva de Laurel Lodge or similar

Day 8 and 9 – Nov 10 - 11, Exploring Iguazu National Park

We spend the mornings birding along the trails, in search of birds like Surucua Trogon, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Blond-crested Woodpecker, with afternoon visits to the amazing Iguazu Falls. The falls have to be seen to be believed, and we’ll also enjoy birds like the Great Dusky Swift, which nest behind the falls!

Day 10 - Nov 12, Fly to Trelew via Buenos Aires

Following a morning flight to Trelew, we drive to Puerto Piramides in Valdes region, and begin our exploration of this fascinating area. The weather and landscape will be dramatically different, as well the bird life. Chilean Flamingo, Elegant Crested-Tinamou and Great Grebe are just a few of the interesting birds we may see.
Overnight: Two nights at ACA hotel Puerto Piramides or similar

Day 11 - Nov 13 Valdes Peninsula

A full day of exploring the Valdes Peninsula, including a visit to Elephant Seal and Sea Lion rookeries. We’ll spend a couple of hours in the afternoon on a whale watching boat trip in Golfo Nuevo. Valdes is one of the best places in the world to see the rare Southern Right Whale, and we may get lucky and see Orca as well.

Day 12 - Nov 14, Punta Tombo

Morning excursion to the fabulous colony of Magellanic Penguins at Punta Tombo Reserve. Afternoon visit Gaiman Welsh colony with great birding along the Chubut river valley. We return to Trelew where we overnight at Hotel Libertador.

Day 13 - Nov 15, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego

Early morning transfer to Trelew airport to fly to Ushuaia. After arrival we drive to the  coast of Beagle Channel and spend the afternoon birding at Encerrada Bay and along the Beagle Channel coastline.
Overnight: Hotel Tolkeyen for three nights

Day 14 and 15 - Nov 16 and 17, Tierra del Fuego

With two full days to explore the area, we’ll visit Martial Glacier our first morning, followed by an afternoon boat trip in the Beagle Channel to visit penguin rookeries. Our last day will be a full day tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Birding at the end of the earth is full of surprises and delights – Andean Condor, 3 species of caracara, White-bellied Seedsnipe, 3 species of oystercatcher, the stunning Thorn-tailed Rayadito, skuas and other seabirds. It will be a spectacular way to end our trip!

Day 16 – Nov 18, Departure

Morning flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires and transfer to Ezeiza airport for flight back home.

Detailed Itinerary (Coming Soon)

North Branch Nature Center

713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
(802) 229-6206

Hours: Center Open Monday-Friday 9-4
Trails Open 24/7