Guided by Andrew Spencer.
Chile is an unusual country. Long and thin, it covers an enormous latitudinal range, but only a small stretch of land between the Andes and the Pacific. From a bird tour perspective it is not a country in which you will see a lot of species, and the travel times can be large. But among South American countries Chile is a country of bests – the best wine, the best pelagics, the best tapaculos. And even, arguably, the best scenery on the continent. Take all these together and it becomes clear that Chile epitomizes the ideal of quality over quantity.
Our 2011 tour of Chile did a great job of proving this point. A successful pelagic trip and heartbreakingly beautiful high-montane panoramas jaunt bookended a trip filled with great birds and great scenery. We scored all eight of Chile’s flagship bird family, the tapaculos, and had good luck in all the varied parts of the country we visited. And we even found a few species that are quite local in Chile, including Hellmayr’s Pipit, King Penguin, and Band-tailed Earthcreeper.