Focus on Brazil


Brazil is a vast country with several distinctly different biomes. Discover them all with Focus Tours: Brazil

Focus on Argentina

The 8th largest country in the world, Argentina offers a wealth of experiences. From the subtropical rain forests of Iguazú Falls to the high Andes. Discover more with Focus Tours: Argentina 

Focus on Bolivia

Bolivia, nestled between Brazil, Peru, Chile and Paraguay, is the poorest and least developed country in South America, but also biologically and culturally the richest, safest and friendliest. Discover more with Focus Tours: Bolivia

Focus on Chile

Chile is the only truly temperate country in the Neotropics, and occupies more degrees of latitude than any other nation worldwide. Perhaps it is not surprising that Chile offers several extremes of the natural world. Discover more with Focus Tours: Chile

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Jaguar Tours

The northern Pantanal is the richest area in the world for spotting Jaguars in the wild and, our naturalist guides are some of the best. Together with our boatmen we can take you into the best areas for jaguars and many other creatures. Read more about Jaguar Tours.

Bird Watching Tours

Douglas Trent is a scientist, bird watcher and wildlife photographer and his be operating Bird Watcing Tours for around two decades now. The tour possibilities in South America are many. Read more about Bird Watching Tours.

Wildlife Photography Tours

Douglas Trent is a wildlife photographer and guides groups of professional, or enthusiastc amateur, photographers and film crews on focused wildlife tours. Read more about Wildlife Photography Tours 

Funding Conservation

 

A percentage of our profits has been funding in-country conservation projects since 1981. They directly benefit the local communities we visit and, when possible, are self-sustable, generating benefits long after our initial donation. Your visit will benefit you, the environment and your hosts.

COCHABAMBA & THE MOUNTAINS TO THE WEST: Polylepis Woodlands & Rare Birds



Cochabamba is Bolivia's third largest city, with a population over 300,000. It was founded in 1571, has a delightful climate and is in one of the richest agricultural regions in the country. Numerous churches and buildings dating back to the 16th century set the atmosphere, along with the colorful dress of the Incan descendants and the lively artesian markets.

Birders and nature enthusiasts will want to take at least one day to explore the mountains to the east of Cochabamba. Slopes covered with the increasingly rare, gnarled red-bark Polylepis trees, which grow at higher altitudes in Bolivia than any other tree species, dominate a habitat that hosts a number of other life forms. The endemic Bolivian Warbling-finch is here, along with dazzling hummingbirds including the Giant, Red-tailed Comet, and Sparkling Violet-ear. Grey-hooded Parakeets leave their roosts squawking loudly as they race to the lower forests.

Continuing on to a treeline forest with rushing mountain streams, one can often see Torrent Ducks feed next to White-capped Dippers. Also occurring are Tufted and Yellow-bellied Tit-tyrants, White-winged Black-Tyrant, Giant Conebill, Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Puna Hawk, Bare-faced and Black-winged Ground-Doves, Rock Earthcreeper, Andean Hillstar, Olive-crowned Crescent-chest and White-browed Chat-Tyrant. Other birds we may see here and in a rocky canyon are Andean Swallow, Andean Flicker, Plain-breasted Earthcreeper, White-winged Cinclodes, Streak-throated Canestero, White-fronted, Cinereous and Puna ground-tyrants, Greenish and Bright-rumped Yellow-Finches, Rufous-bellied Saltator, Fulvous-headed Brush-Finch, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch and White-winged Duica-Finch.

When with birders, we make a special effort for one of the Bolivian endemics with the most restricted ranges: the Cochabamba Mountain-Finch. All tourists will be thrilled with the spectacular scenery above the treeline, and interaction with the people who live there. In many ways, it is like stepping back into the Middle Ages. I will also help condition those who will be going up in altitude later in their trip. Two or three days are adequate to see the sights in the city and get in some great birding and sightseeing.