The Best Team, for the best Birding and Wildlife Tours!
Andrea is a biologist from the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia). She is the founder and co-owner of MANAKIN NATURE TOURS. She loves birds, orchids, and nature in general. She holds more than five years of experience in ornithology. Andrea has worked on scientific research on four important endangered bird species: Blue-billed Curassow, Recurved–billed Bushbird, Todd´s Parakeet and Yellow-eared Parrot. This research work provided relevant information related to their biology and conservation. Andrea is currently in charge of administration, management, and logistics of MANAKIN NATURE TOURS.
Luis Eduardo Urueña
Natural History and Birding Guide Director
Luis is a biologist from Universidad del Tolima (Tolima University) He holds 14 years of experience in birdwatching and scientific research on endangered species field. Along with his wife, Andrea he is the co-owner and founder of MANAKIN NATURE TOURS. For 6 years Luis has worked hard on birdwatching tourism for foreigners as co-leader and local guide of ornithology tours for major companies in the world. He has performed as a guide with famous leaders like Steven Hilty (Author, “Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia – 1986), Barry Walker, Nick Athanas, Richard Webster, and Frank Lambert, with whom he gained experience and skills. In addition, he won a “watcher” prize from the British Petroleum Company Conservation Programme when he worked as director of an important project with the enigmatic Blue-billed Curassow in 2004. He is an expert in logistics of birdwatching tours in Colombia and he is able to organize, lead, and carry out a birdwatching tour in any location or route where MANAKIN NATURE TOURS operates.
Natural History and Birding Guide in French
Jean-Noël is a French-born Venezuelan. He is a French language tour guide who has completed various courses on ecotourism. He has watched birds in Venezuela in Henri Pittier National Park, El Avila, Juan Manuel Marshes, the nature reserve of Palmichal, the plains, the Andes, Colonia Tovar, and the Parque Del Este in the city of Caracas. He has also accompanied different groups in Merida and in Juan Manuel Marshes National Park. He worked as a teacher of environmental education at a pre-school. He speaks French and Spanish. He is passionate about nature, his ecotourism knowledge will enhance your birding trip and his great patience will help you discover the species of Colombia. Recently, he joined the team of Manakin Nature Tours in order to provide our costumers a francophone birdwatching option.
Natural History and Birding Guide
Oswaldo was born in 1985 in Bogotá, he has a graduate degree in Biology and he is actually studying a Master's degree in Biology (Universidad Nacional).
He has been steadily working on the conservation and research of the endangered Colombian endemics of the Eastern Andes. His special focus is in the region of Soatá municipality, where he has helped to jointly establish a reserve with the local community and help to describe and rediscovered 4 really important species for the Colombian ornithology that include The Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird (EN), Colombian Grackle (EN), Niceforo´s Wren (EN) and Cundinamarca Antpitta (EN). He is always avidly birding all over Colombia, that is, when he is not researching, recording bird sounds, preparing papers about bird rediscoveries, or attending scientific meetings (which he of course takes advantage of to do more birding, as he’s done in Brazil, the US, and South Africa).
Natural History and
Alejandro is a biologist from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has had experience with bird research since 2010 and has been a professional tour guide for four years. He is mainly focused on birding on the Andes, Bogota Savanna area and Colombian flatlands. He was coordinator of GOUN group (Ornithology group of National University of Colombia) between 2011-2012, and leadership member in XXVI National Encounter of Ornithology in San Jose del Guaviare, National Coordinator of the International migratory bird day since 2014 to present. His field researches included topics like seed dispersal by birds and implication in natural restoration of habitats in llanos area of Colombia.
Alejandro are working with MANAKIN NATURE TOURS recently and now is one of our main professional birding guides and some of the confidence persons of the company.
Hernan Dario Arias
Natural History and
Hernan is a Colombian ornithologist with twelve years of experience. He began his studies on birds while working with the Blue-billed Curassow in the Quinchas Mountains of the Magdalena Valley. Then, he became manager of the monitoring and banding station in Pangan Natural Bird Reserve in Nariño State (southwestern Colombia). This experience led Hernan to travel to Oregon in the United States to work at the Klamath Bird Observatory and the Institute for Bird Populations during two years. In the USA, Hernan was certified as a bander and banding trainer for the North American Bird banding Council. In 2009 he worked as a biologist for the US Forest Service in Oregon. In the first semester of 2010, he worked as bander for the project “Crossing the Caribbean” in the Santa Marta Mountains and also with Radio Telemetry studying Antbirds in Panama. He has trained ornithologists in different courses of monitoring in Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. He holds experience on birdwatching tours with Trogon Travels, a Swedish bird tour company and with MANAKIN NATURE TOURS.
Jose Fernando Castaño
Natural History and
Jose, the discoverer of a new population of the Yellow-eared Parrot in the West Andes region in 2000. His work on the conservation of this species was the mainspring for getting involved on the conservation and study of birds and nature field by taking part in the creation of Fundación Proaves and assisting different conservation actions, both for governmental and NGO´s.
Since 2008 José is a bird guide in Colombia. He is always trying to share his knowledge and skills on field. At the moment, José is also working on his biology undergraduate thesis and implementing organic crops in his farm in Jardín – Antioquia.
Natural History and
Cristian born1990 and raised in Pereira, specifically in the Otún basin; He studied the primary and secondary in a agritourism school in the rural basin area; Between 2001 and 2013 within the Group, birders "AGUILAS", was trained in the world of the birds; He have been Birding Guide in the basin for 4 years; He worked as guide to nature and high mountain in Nevados National Park and Otun-Quimbaya Wild Life Sanctuary; Cristian participated as assist investigations; on behalf of the Yarumo Blanco Communitarian Association, to which he belong, he supported strengthening community initiatives to proposal as birdwatching ecotourism; today, he is student of technology in tourist guidance in order to get the professional card, is one of the newest birding guides in Manakin and one of the best in the Andes region.
Natural History and
Manuel is a certified guide with 9 years of experience in trekking, hiking and self-supported expeditions. He has great expertise in logistics and planning expeditions into remote and wild places. His playgrounds are the high Andes national parks, Los Nevados and El Cocuy. 3 years ago a domestic accident fractured his heel and took him out of the mountains, anxiety and depression took over. So as therapy he started birding and learning about orchids in the cloud forest. Now he’s a fully certified birding guide with the Colombian Technical Institute SENA. Two surgeries and one bone transplant later Manuel is again tackling mountains, with a passion for birds, plants and wildlife, he is becoming a recognized naturalist. His last discovery, a new population of yellow eared-parrot in the Eastern slope of the central Andean range.
Natural History and
Orchids & Botany Guide
Sebastián Moreno is a field biologist with special interests to study the native flora in different ecosystems in Colombia. As a student he developed his skills as a nature photographer and this led him to become aware of the complexities within the orchid family and its taxonomy, which now is his biggest passion. He has been in many parts in Colombia looking for all kind of orchids but especially in the genera of Epidendrum, Lepanthes, Pleurothallis (broad sense) and some terrestrial genera. As a Colombian, Sebastián knows perfectly his way around the country, and is the guy that makes sure all the logistics work and that orchid lovers coming with him have a wonderful time. Sebastian is one of the recent professional guide working with Manakin in ournaturalist and botanies tours.
Thanks to his passion for knowledge of Colombia's diurnal Butterflies, he has traveled to different parts of the country (Caribbean Coast, Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Magdalena Valley, Orinoquía, Amazonia and the Sabana of Bogotá) to develop several research towards conservation of ecosystems and populations of rare or endemic species of the country. He studied Biology at the University of the Atlantic and from there he made his first scientific articles that today total more than ten, presented in different specialized magazines. He has participated in several bibliographical publications, where the most relevant are published books, providing photographs of Lepidoptera species in their natural habitats, as well as a short film. He is a founding member of ACOLEP (Colombian Association for Lepidopterology) and the ACZ (Colombian Association of Zoology). During the last years it has developed investigations in the south of the country, especially in the Putumayo forest, zone that lodges perhaps the most diverse fauna in all Colombia. He has produced catalogs of photographs at different altitudinal levels and managed to photograph more than 900 species only for this area of the country. Since 2012 he has been in charge of different trips for research and photography of Butterflies by the different national ecosystems. Actually is probably one of the most important experts in butterflies in the country and a newest specialized guide for MANAKIN NATURE TOURS.
Natural History and
Edwin is a Colombian-Panamanian biologist from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil). His interest in birds began 16 years ago, when he attended an introductory course on bird with the Audubon Society of Panama. This led him to complete his degree, researching relationship between birds and plant and its implication of the regeneration of Atlantic Forest. After this, he spent five years living in the dense forest of Soberania National Park in Panama, monitoring Harpy Eagles in a release program. With that experience, he moved to Campo Grande (Brazil) for a master’s degree in Ecology and Conservation at Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul. Currently he is conducting conservation projects of Colombian raptors, as the threatened Black-and-chestnut Eagle.
Julian Andres Aguirre
Natural History and
Julian is a biologist from Universidad Nacional de Colombia (National University of Colombia) He holds a post-graduate degree in botany from the Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) in Brazil. For six years he has been studying the diversity and evolution of neotropical plants, especially the Bromeliaceae family. Julian has taken part in several botanical expeditions all over Colombia. He is doing studies about the composition and structure of the native forests of all natural regions of the country. Currently he is describing 5 new species of Bromeliads of Colombia and for Brazil’s southwest. He has also contributed to our knowledge of taxonomy and evolution of the Aechmea y Ronnbergia genera, two fascinating and beautiful groups of Central and South American tropical Bromeliads. Recently, Julian studied in the largest orchid and Bromeliad collection of the world, the Marie Selby botanical garden in Sarasota, Florida in order to wide his knowledge and his fascination about these plants. He speaks English and Portuguese very well, and he is looking toward his PhD in botany. He is always willing to teach people to recognize plants and to show them the great diversity of plants existing in Colombia.
Administration & Logictic
He was born in San Mateo Boyacá, currently he lives in Tunja; It is Administradora Tourism and Hotel ay Management Specialist Human Resource of Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia, She has four years of experience working in restaurants when he was still a student, from there worked in Resorts, COTELCO and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism department of Boyaca, in his spare time he shares with his family especially his nephews are three small happiness that fill every day of his life; She loves to travel, learn and know each city and community that allows them to share with old and good manners that make the travel experience the best of his life. You feel you should enjoy and live each moment as if it were the last.
Born in La Calera (Cundinamarca) Jovani is one of the most experimented drivers in birdwatching tours field in Colombia and he has been involved in this job for more than 10 years. Jovani is in charge of transport logistics all over Colombia. He is a very nice and friendly person who always try to innovate with his service. He has a great fleet of cars that include Mercedes Benz and Wolsvagen vans and 4x4 vehicles all along the country. All our confidence about transportation is on him, because he is considered the best transport coordinator for birding tours in the country.
Msc. Camila Buitrago
Linguistic and translator
Camila is the bridge between our ideas and our customers. She holds a degree in Foreign Languages from the Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia and she is doing the last semester of a master in Linguistics. She has been our translator since the very beginning of the company, so she considers Manakin Nature Tours as her translation training school. Languages and nature have always been her passion, since she was a little child, she has been trying to understand that strange phenomenon of naming differently the same things. That endless game of finding the word or expression that best matches with another one, is the game of her life. In our company, she has also the opportunity to get closer to her second passion, nature. Every time that she travels with us, she feels amazed by the majesty and perfection of nature, and of course by her favorite species: hummingbirds
Alejandro is a professional graphical designer from The Boyacá University in Tunja city. He works with Manakin Nature Tours since the beginning in 2009. With 7 years of experience this wonderful and creative professional has published some books for governmental conservation institutions including “Timber Species of Boyaca” and “Flora of Boyaca Paramos” among others. He is an expert photographer for the media, developer of web portals and publicist for campaigns in the department of Boyacá. In his spare time, Alejandro devotes time to his passion Falun Dafa, a meditation technique that helps him to be a very relaxed and peaceful person!
Esperanza was born in Tura city in the department of Boyacá. He is a Public Accountant from The Antonio Nariño University of Colombia. She holds a specialization degree in Tax Legislation and International Standards; with more than 11 years of experience, Esperanza and her team keep the accounting of more than 20 companies in Boyacá. She loves the nature and the animals specially, rabbits and birds. She has a farm where she spends her weekends along with her son Juan Esteban, who loves animals, too. Esperanza works with Manakin since 2010 and is one of the most important person in this company. She is Andrea´s right-hand.
We want to stand out the talent of our the colombian local guides
Jose Luis Pushaina Epiayu
Jose Luis is a local guide in La Guajira Peninsula (Los Flamencos National Park and Pericos village where he lives). He is a native of the Wayuu Etnia and belongs to the Tocoromana community, he is an enthusiastic and very talented birdwatcher of dry forest, he joined the birding world after a training course with the Calidris foundation two years ago. He has three daughters and loves guiding for us and other Colombian birding companies.
Balmes Mabel Mosquesra Lima
Balmes lives in Bahía Solano in pacific Coast. He is a super local guide with incredible skills to find very rare birds in the Humid Tropical Forest of Choco. He began working as a birding guide for El Almejal Ecolodge, and now he has become the most famous birdwatcher in the pacific coast. He has four daughters and is a really nice and strong man.
Arnulfo is a farmer from Mistrato village in Risaralda department. He is passionate fabout birds and conservation. He studied tourism guidance for two years in the SENA institution where he started working as a birdwatcher and became a member of “Las Mirlas” birding group in his municipality. Recently, Arnulfo discovered a new population of Fuertes Parrot. He is our local expert guide searching this bird and other very important species.
Jose Albeiro Uribe Rodriguez
Albeiro is an expert local guide in Rio Blanco Reserve in Manizales. He is a very famous person in the region for developping the Antpitta feeders project in this reserve. During nine years, Albeiro boosted the arrival of six different species of Antpittas, and some other species of Hummingbird, such as: Fruiteater, Thrush, Tanager, Brush-Finch and Flowerpiercer to the feeders in Rio Blanco. He is father of two young biologist (Kelly and David) and he combines his work as a local guide with the forest ranger job for the water company of Manizales.
Miguel Angel Portura
Miguel is a native indigenous belonging to the ethnic group of Tucanos in Mitu (Vaupés department). He is probably the most experienced local guide of birds in the amazon ecosystems in Vaupes. He has an exceptional sight and hearing for birding, he is almost supernatural! Miguel has five children and splits his time into birdwatching and farming, he is also an expert builder of wooden houses and fisher. He has been trained by Etno-Aves Vaupes ONG and the local biologists in Mitu like Jorge Gonzales.
Brayan Coral Jaramillo
Brayan is a local birdwatcher from Sibundoy Valley in Putumayo department of Colombia, our new and fantastic birding destination. He has over five years of experience in birdwatching in the Putumayo area including the Amazon, Páramo, and cloud forest ecosystems. He is an active member of the Valle del Sibundoy birdwatching group, while working with them, he recently found the amazing and very rare Chestnut-bellied Cotinga. He wants to study biology in the future and right now, he is working as a local guide and as a manager of some very nice cabins for tourism in Mocoa city.