THE CLOUD FOREST TOUR – VALLE DEL CAUCA AND RISARALDA ORCHIDS
Day 1. Arrival in Cali
We will pick up the group at the airport Alfonso Bonilla Aragón in Palmira to go to the hotel Pension del Oeste in the city of Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca department.
Day 2. San Antonio Cloud Forest – Cali, Valle del Cauca
The “infamous” San Antonio Cloud Forest: This mythical cloud forests have been birding and orchid areas for more than 100 years, and a complete laboratory for biodiversity research during this timespan. We start at 7 am to visit 3 hotspots for orchids in this magical place. In this forest we can watch a big population of Dracula chimaera, some Maxillarias like M. embreei, M. meridensis, M. brevifolia, other Pleurothallids like Acianthera casapensis, Pleurothallis giraldoi, Pleurothallis cordata, Lepanthes manabina (Green form), Lepanthes smaragdina, Lepanthes acarina, Lepanthopsis acuminata, Masdevallia nidifica, Masdevallia picturata, Masdevallia amanda, Neooreophilus pseudocaulescens and more species.
Some others include Epidendrum lacustre, Epidendrum catillus, Sobralia virginalis, Sobralia crocea, Chondroscaphe amabilis, Otoglossum globuliferum, Elleanthus aureus, Cyrtochilum divaricatum and Pleurothallopsis microptera. We finish at 12 pm to go and have lunch in another spot close to San Antonio and finish the day at Andrea`s Niessen nursery: Orquideas del Valle
Day3. Yotoco forest – Yotoco, Valle del Cauca
Just an hour drive from the City, Yotoco is one of the few remnants of primary dry tropical forest in the country, with many trees averaging heights of 30 to 50 m, and lots of epiphytic orchids. In this forest we can observe a few orchids like Gongora gratulabunda, Restrepia brachypus (two color forms), Lepanthes trimerinx, Pleurothallopsis sp., Epidendrum peperomia, E. ramosum, Cryptocentrum sp., Macroclinium sp., Stanhopea tricornis, Masdevallia bicolor, M. pteroglossa, Oncidium pictum, Lankesteriana cuspidata, Pleurothallis ruscifolia and Pleurothallis marthae. We will come back to rest in Cali for the next 3 hours journey to Risaralda.
Day 4. Alto La Linea – Apia, Risaralda
We will leave Cali early in the morning at 6 am to reach the destination point at 10 am in Apia and the we go straight to Alto La Linea just a 30 minutes from Apia, a mosaic of forest gaps full of orchids. In this forests we have the possibilities to watch different species of Dracula: D. iricolor, D. spectrum and D. chimaera. Also more Pleurothallids like Lepanthes elata, L. meleagris, L. niphas, L. manabina, Neooreophilus pilosellus, Masdevallia anachaetia, M. amanda, M. lamia, M. molossus, three different Scaphosepalum: S. odonthochilum, S. giberossum, S. aff swertifolium, other genera like Dryadella minúscula, Muscarella zephyrina, Prosthechea tigrida, Maxillaria longissima, M. brevifolia, and the special Schlimia jasminodora. We’ll finish our day in the afternoon and rest that night in Apia.
Days 5-8. Montezuma Road – Pueblo Rico, Risaralda
Thanks to its privileged position facing the pacific from the Western Cordillera, and to its range of elevations between 1300 and 2600 m, Montezuma boasts an incredible variety of life. Here is the meeting point of the two most biodiverse regions of Colombia, the Andes and the Chocó Biogeographical region and this means more orchids for an unforgettable visit.
Orchids thrive in Montezuma. Here it’s possible to watch lots of species of different genera such as Maxillaria speciosa, Lepanthes felis, Porroglossum eduardi, Masdevallia hortensis, Ophidion pleurothallopsis, Pleurothallis silverstonei, Brachionidium imperialis and even to the hundred species if you are lucky to catch them in bloom!
Day 9. Return to Cali
We will leave Montezuma after the breakfast and we go back to Cali to rest and finished the trip.