10o50´S/74o25´W, 21,000ha, 10m 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (12th September, 2005)


Birding Site Guide

This is the only site for the critically endangered endemic Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird. It is restricted to mangroves but its status and even taxanomy are unclear. I visited the reserve for just 1 day but not to the area with recent reports which needs to be accessed by boat. A student has just started work on the species and would be a good source of advice. His name is Jose Vergara This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

The park entrance is at a place called Los Cocos (km 11). It can be easily accessed by bus as it is on the main route from Baranquilla to Santa Marta but you may have to pay the full fare (7000s) from the bus terminal. Leaving from a bridge on the outskirts of Baranquilla, we managed to negotiate a fare of 4000s. A bus leaves the centre for km13 along this road.

In the reserve there is a nice trail through mangroves with Black-crested Antshrike, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Chestnut Piculet, Bicolored Conebill and Prothonatory Warbler, and past lakes with several waders and many Lesser Nighthawks. I also walked from the entrance along the highway towards Santa Marta but didn't manage to reach a good area after km 20. With a car, you could check several intereting points along the road between km 20 and km 50. 

I saw 50 species including 4 lifers
Species seen 

  • Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus
  • Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Striated Heron Butorides striata
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus
  • White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus Seen in Baranquilla
  • Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis
  • Limpkin Aramus guarauna
  • Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica
  • Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
  • Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
  • Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
  • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
  • Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
  • Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
  • Royal Tern Sterna maxima
  • Yellow-billed Tern Sterna superciliaris
  • Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex
  • Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species
  • Brown-throated Parakeet Aratinga pertinax Heard only
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis
  • Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquatus
  • Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
  • Chestnut Piculet Picumnus cinnamomeus
  • Golden-green Woodpecker Piculus chrysochloros
  • Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomea
  • Black-crested Antshrike Sakesphorus canadensis
  • Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum
  • Pied Water-Tyrant Fluvicola pica
  • Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus
  • Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
  • Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
  • Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea
  • Bananaquit Coereba flaveola Heard only
  • Bicolored Conebill Conirostrum bicolor
  • Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse