Aviario Nacional (National Aviary) is Colombia’s premier bird sanctuary. It features over 1,800 birds from 138 different species and is the largest aviary in the Americas. It’s the best place to see some of Colombia’s rarest birds in one place.
The aviary is located just under an hour from Cartagena on Isla Barú (near the entrance to Playa Blanca) and makes for a great half day trip (or a full day with the afternoon on the beach). If you don’t have a car, you can try your luck with a taxi or hire more reliable transportation from Ecoturismo Los Pinos. They offer door to door service from your hotel plus two hours of waiting for COP$250,000 (as of July 2017). We split the cost among three people.
Admission to the aviary is COP$35,000 for adults and COP$30,000 for children (as of July 2017). Bug spray is for sale for COP$7,000 if you don’t bring your own (recommended).
Aviario Nacional has a pleasant trail that runs through several different habitats represented in Colombia. Two hours is recommended to enjoy it to the fullest. There’s also a bird show near the end of the trail. Two cafés are along the trail and there’s a gift shop at the end.
Among the birds we were able to see are harpy eagles, Andean condors, several species of parrots, toucans, flamingos, and more. Species are listed in both Spanish and English with a map of where they can be found in Colombia and what they eat.
We really enjoyed the park and will be back to see more. The only negative was the terrible humidity, so dress comfortably. Don’t forget to bring a good camera!