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​​​​​​Uruguay, the country of painted birds ignites the passion for bird-watching

The flapping and colours of the wings of petrels, albatrosses, tanagers, and capuchins, inspire admiration in visitors. Those are some of the rare and endangered species that can still be found in Uruguay.

In just one outing, a visitor can watch up to ninety species of birds in Uruguay. The country has cemented its place in the Bird-Watching Tourism scene because it is home to a wide range of species in an easy to get around territory (you can get to most places in Uruguay within a few hours), and the possibility to easily spot endangered species.

That might have been the reason why the Guaraní language translates the name Uruguay as “river of painted birds”, beacause of the diverse birds that soar the country sky. Today, there are five-hundred bird species, counting both native and migratory birds.

According to Biologist Adrián Stagi, member of the Aves Uruguay (Uruguay Birds) organisation, the country is in “remarkably good conditions” to practice Ecotourism in natural and rural spaces. “The bird-watching is done without travelling long distances, and the native flora is short and sparse. This allows to observe a great amount of species in the same day. In some places up to ninety species can be seen.”

The entryway to bird-Watching in Uruguay is the Esteros de Farrapos National Park, located in the Littoral Region (Northwest) Five different ecosystems converge in the area, allowing to watch all kinds of birds. The park is accessed from Nuevo Berlin via Route 20, half an hour away from Fray Bentos. The place has a marina and a tourist information centre.




Bird-Watching tours last between four and five hours, and cost about 50 USD per persona. The tours are tailored to the visitors’ preferences and you can find: aquatic species which are easily found in Rocha’s swamps; the forest birds found in the Northern Ravines; and with a single outing around Santiago Vázquez, Apenino and Pascual beaches, up to ninety-four species can be seen.

The tourists range from those who only want to capture the bird on their camera, to those who enjoy to both observe and educate themselves about birds. Bird-Watching travellers are often adults and the elderly, there’s a growing preference for Bird Watching among families and young couples.

The most common species are the Rufous Hornero, the Woodpecker, the Spot-Winged Pigeon. Endangered species such as the firewood-gatherer and the Pied-billed Grebe. What makes Uruguay unique is that albatrosses and peterls can be found with endangered species such as capuchinbirds, plovers, chestnut-bellied seed finchs, and the yellow cardinal.


  • Parque Lecocq
  • Guazuvirá
  • Balneario Solís
  • Laguna de Rocha
  • Bosque de Ombúes
  • Parque Santa Teresa
  • Parque San Miguel
  • Bañado de los Indios


Bird-Watching Tours:

Ecotours Uruguay

Birding Tours Punta del Este

Birdwatching Tours Punta del Este

Colonia Birding

Birding With Me

Guyrapytâ Birdwatching

Average ticket price 50 USD per passenger.