Skip to Content
Where to See Wild Flamingos in Colombia (Palomino)

Where to See Wild Flamingos in Colombia (Palomino)

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Want to see wild pink flamingos in Colombia (flamencos)? Here’s a quick guide on where to go to see these beautiful birds in their natural environment.

I think it’s safe to say that flamingos are among the most spectacular birds on the planet. Their spectacular color and strange characteristics mean that spotting them can be one of the most unique travel experiences you can have in Colombia.

But, where can you see Flamingos in Colombia?

In this guide, I’ll give you a complete rundown of where to go to see these spectacular birds in their natural habitat and how to get here! I’ll also include some photographs to inspire you to take this fun wildlife tour in the Colombian Caribbean.

Flamingos in wetlands

About the Colombian Flamingos

Flamingos in Colombia are actually quite rare. However, there is one particular spot on the northern coast of Colombia where visitors can spot flocks of the American flamingo.

These pink flamingos are generally not migratory birds, which means they stick around this region all year round.

A fun fact is that these guys get their color from their diet! This is the result of metabolized microscopic algae containing carotenoids. As the flamingos eat this algae and brine shrimp (which also feed on the algae), it results in its famous pink feathers.

Flamingos in colombia

See the Flamingos!

Want to see the wild flamingos of Colombia for yourself? Book the same day tour that I went on from Palomino by visiting the link below.

Where to See Wild Flamingos in Colombia

The best place to see wild flamingos in Colombia is at the Los Flamencos Sanctuary (Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Flamencos) near the village of Camarones in La Guajira.

This is close to the main northern port city of Santa Marta.

This sanctuary is a protected wetlands region just outside of the desert peninsula. This is quite a remote region of Colombia, and visitors will need to hire a licensed guide to enter the sanctuary.

Wild flamingos palomino map

How to Get to Los Flamencos Sanctuary in La Guajira

While it is possible to drive or get a bus to Camarones from Santa Marta, the best way to see flamingos in Colombia is to take a tour from the backpacker town of Palomino. You can click that link for detailed information on how to get here first.

This tiny beach town is located just west of Tayrona National Park and is a popular spot on the backpacker trail, especially after visiting nearby Minca.

Colombian man near camarones

Flamingo Tour From Palomino

The best way to see the flamingos is to book the flamingo sanctuary day tour online in advance.

While initially, this seems a little steep, you definitely get your money's worth. The tour includes:

  • Private transport to Camarones (1 hour)
  • Sailing tour with a local guide to spot flamingos
  • Lunch included at Camarones
  • Return transport.

The local guide is a member of the community near Camarones and is very friendly and informative.

Man sailing boat

What to Expect on a Palomino Flamingo Tour

Interested in spotting flamingos from Palomino? Below I've summarized my experience so you know what to expect!

The Road to the Flamingo Sanctuary

From Palomino, you can expect a drive of approximately 1 hour to reach the turn-off to the flamingo sanctuary. This turns off at the town of Perico in La Guajira, just before Camarones.

Along the way, you'll get great views of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range to your right. Also, since there are no ATMs in Palomino, it might be a good idea to ask your driver to stop by one at Mingueo.

The Sailing Journey

From Perico, we took a dirt road for approximately 20 minutes before arriving at the beach inside Los Flamencos Sanctuary. Here, our local guide Jose rigged up his traditional sailing vessel before embarking on a journey out to find the flamingos. Unfortunately, this region of Colombia has been suffering a severe drought for the past few years. As a result, the banks have receded and the flora has turned to a mostly dry forest.

However, Jose told us that these beautiful pink birds are still always hanging around here, and you have a very high chance of spotting them. We sailed quickly across the shallow water and within 20 minutes we spotted a huge flock of flamingos!

Man sailing in colombia

Flamingo Spotting

We were fortunate enough to spot many different bird species on our adventure to find the flamingos. We noticed that many species had turned red or pink, even the ibis!

Jose lowered the sail as we approached the pink flamingos. He told us that these birds can be frightened easily, so it's best to approach slowly.

Below are some photos that I was able to capture during my visit.

Ocean bird in the wetlands
Pink bird in colombia
Pink american flamingos in camarones
Colombian flamingos

Side-Trip to Camarones

After approximately 2 hours of sailing and bird spotting, we were back in the car and on our way to Camarones. Our guide took us to a local spot on the beach called Pastora Choles, where we enjoyed a seafood lunch with coconut rice.

More Wildlife Photos from Los Flamencos Fauna & Flora Sanctuary

Pink american flamingos
Red bird in colombia
Pink american flamingos in flight
Flying pink flamingos in colombia

I hope you've enjoyed this quick guide on how to find wild flamingos in Colombia. For more South and Central America travel guides, check out the useful list below!

  • Medellín Travel Guide: Discover fun activities and top highlights in Medellín
  • San Andrés Island: Guide to Colombia's best Caribbean Island
  • Minca Travel Guide: Discover incredible hikes, beautiful fincas, epic jungle waterfalls, and all-around relaxing vibes.
  • Things to do in Guatapé: Travel to Colombia's most scenic Antioquian town, known for its vibrant streets, traditional street art, and the famous Piedra del Peñol.
Girl and sunset at coffee plantation in minca

Colombia Accommodation Guides

Find the best places, areas, and accommodation picks across Colombia.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.