The Santa Marta Mountains are the highest coastal mountains in the world, with spectacular birding that covers an altitudinal gradient from to 630 m (2,050 ft) in the town of Minca to 2,600 m (8,530 ft) at Cerro Kennedy. The birding localities are amongst the best birding destinations on Earth, due to the fact that the area is one of the most important endemism centers in the world with more 22 of Colombia’s 76 endemic species restricted to the mountains.
The tiny, picturesque town of Minca is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra and surrounded by well-kept, shade-grown coffee plantations that provide good habitat for birds. Hummingbird feeders in town attract Rufous-breasted Hermit, the endemic White-tailed Starfrontlet, Long-billed Starthroat, and the endemic Santa Marta Woodstar.
The road up the mountain to the Cuchilla de San Lorenzo is a birders dream come true. Target species along the road include Black-fronted Wood-quail, Yellow-fronted Whitestart, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Black-chested Jay, White-bellied Antbird, the near endemic White-tipped Quetzal. Endemics that owe their name to the range are Santa Marta Antpitta, Foliage-gleaner, Bush-tyrant, Mountain-Tanager, Warbler, Brush-finch, Warbler, Screech-owl, and Parakeet.