Argentina: Total Solar Eclipse on the Bird Continent

From Friday, June 28, 2019
To Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Guira Cuckoo.  Photo by Jake Mohlmann.  All rights reserved.
Guira Cuckoo.  Photo by Jake Mohlmann (all rights reserved).
 

This Argentina tour is designed for birders who also happen to be really excited about total solar eclipses. If you’ve never experienced totality, there are no words that can describe the singularity of the experience. As astronomer Samuel P. Langley once wrote, “The spectacle is one of which, though the man of science may prosaically state the facts, perhaps only the poet could render the impression.” 

For the birding aspect of the tour, we must admit upfront that winter (as it will be in the Southern Hemisphere) is not the peak time for bird watching in Argentina. Still, a number of interesting species and Southern Cone specialties are eminently findable. Beyond the birding, and beyond the total solar eclipse, our itinerary takes in places that are worthwhile simply by virtue of their existence: the vast expanse of marshland at Esteros del Iberá; the raw power of Iguazú Falls; the towering Aconcagua soaring above the rest of the Andes. Sampling the fruits of hop and grape vines, as well as the naturally grass-fattened beef for which Argentina is famous, will complement our travels. A glass of locally produced malbec in one hand, binoculars in the other!

Length:  13 days

Why this timing:  Total solar eclipse!!!

What we like most here:  Wine, yerba mate, steak and a unique style of pizza, interspersed with specialties of the Southern Cone (think geography, not ice cream)

Top birds:  Greater and Lesser Rhea, Elegant Crested-Tinamou, Southern Screamer, Black-necked Swan, Torrent Duck, Chilean Flamingo, Andean Condor, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Great Dusky Swift, Giant Hummingbird, Cream-backed Woodpecker, Burrowing Parakeet, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Rufous Hornero, Crested Gallito, White-winged Cinclodes, Strange-tailed Tyrant, Plush-crested Jay, Red-crested Cardinal, Rufous-sided Warbling-Finch, Great Pampa-Finch, Golden-winged Cacique

Other wildlife:  Southern and plains viscacha, capybara, Patagonian mara, guanaco, vicuña, Black capuchin monkey, Geoffroy’s cat, South American coati

Other attractions:  Wine country, Andean landscapes, Aconcagua (highest mountain in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres), Esteros del Iberá (world’s second largest wetland), Iguazú Falls (world’s widest)

Climate:  Down to freezing overnight; up to 75°F in the tropical Iguazú Falls area. Should be relatively dry, and we hope NO CLOUDS for the total solar eclipse! Wind and sun are the norm in the open flat areas.

Environment:  Foothills of the southern Andes, pampas, chaco, wetlands (Argentine version of the Pantanal), lowland tropical forest

Pace/style of the tour:  Relatively relaxed, for a birding tour. Walking up to a mile.

Group size:  No more than 7 participants per tour leader (up to 2 tour leaders)

Lodging/meals:  From basic but comfortable guest houses up to modern hotels

Mode of transportation:  Large passenger van or minibus

Health/safety topics:  Virtually none, although following the CDC recommendation for vaccines can’t hurt (Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A & B, typhoid) as these are also useful if you plan to travel elsewhere in the world. Petty crime and other safety issues are comparable to European and North American countries.

Leader:  John Yerger and local leader

Cost:  $5995 – includes all accommodations, all meals, all ground transportation, internal flight, and all entrance fees beginning and ending in Buenos Aires
 
TO REGISTER: call 1-877-BIRDERS [247-3377] or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..