Check out Colombia Photo Galleries of past Mushroaming Adventures:
275 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2017 220 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2016
190 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2015 130 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2014
250+ photos from Colombia 2020 , Colombia Cordyceps 2020
MushRoaming Colombia 2023 - April 22 to May 5
Expert guided by Daniel Winkler & Dr. Tatiana Sanjuan
Colombia Tour Description 2023
by Tatiana Sanjuan PhD
The tour will start April 22 in the buzzing Andes metropolis of Bogotá, where we will sample the rich culture and learn about its political history. In the morning we will visit Bogotá Botanical Garden which has reopened its Tropicarium. In the afternoon we will explore the historic neighborhood Candelaria in the heart of the city.
Sunday early in the morning we will drive north in our van from Bogotá to the Tinjaca area of the department (state) of Boyaca. This area is rich in extremely biodiverse Andean oak forests, the southern-most Quercus forest on the globe, where we will hunt mushrooms. Indigo Milkcaps, Chanterelles, boletes and many other mushrooms wait to be found. The next day we will visit the oak forests of Iguaque National Park near Villa de Leyva, a town frozen in time from when the Spanish colonized Colombia, where we enjoy dinner.
From Tinjaca we depart towards the Llanos Orientales Region, the Eastern Plains. However, on the way we will visit the Páramo de Guaneche where the Bogotá River originates, with its fascinating high altitude eco-system including the famous Dr. Seuss tree-like “frailejones”, Espeletia in the aster family. Afterwards we will drive via Sisga Highway, a system of thirteen tunnels and we will witness the transformation from dry canyon ecosystem to wet forest. We will sleep in Macanal, with an amazing view.
This section below saw some changes to avoid unnecessary driving, latest version is in the table below
April 26 early in the morning we stop in Santa Maria Forest, one of the high diversity mountains in Boyacá, before continuing our trip to the Mani region of Casanare in the Llanos Orientales. The next day we will visit Tierra de Paz, an ecological project initiated by a man who decided to restore a forest close to the river Cusiana. We will watch monkeys, caimans and birds, with mushrooms hopefully growing everywhere. At noon we will travel to the amazing Tinije, a lake in the middle of nowhere, where we will see the awesome Morichal ecosystem where Mauritia flexuosa palms offer habitat to birds, monkeys and other mammals; The sunsets here are spectacular.
April 28 we continue our travel to Yopal, the capital of Casanare, but before arriving there we will visit Tauramena in the Zambo forest, a community forest established to protect White-bellied spider monkeys, Atheles belzebuth. In the afternoon we will arrive in Yopal where we hope to enjoy the sunset from the Virgen statue on Manare Hill, followed by a good dinner and nice bed.
April 29 we will climb the Venado Hill, a hiking trail of 5 mi/8 km through dry tropical forest with high biodiversity. We will have a picnic breakfast, then return to the town and rest in the hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the Garcero, a place where thousands of Great egrets (Ardea alba) meet to roost.
April 30 we travel to the Llanos Orientales. En route we visit Nunchia, an amazing little town which produces some of the best chocolate in Colombia. At noon we will arrive at the Hato El Encanto de Guanapalo, a typical Llanos ranch where cows and wild animals live in harmony.
May 1st early in the morning we walk to Caño Suarez to find the mushrooms typical in the dry forest, and hopefully not get surprised by a puma. In the afternoon we will have the option to enjoy a horse ride through the savanna or rest around the lake to search for mushrooms. The next day a “Safari Llanero” will take us to see big animals such as capybara, deer, ant-eaters and turtles. In the afternoon we walk in the deer forest.
May 3rd, we start our return to Yopal. First, we visit the town of San Luis de Palenque for a sumptuous lunch in the restaurant La Patrona with typical music of the region. We will sleep in Yopal.
May 4th we will visit the trail of La Virgen del Morro where we will mushroam in a forest. In the afternoon, a rest during the heat of the day, and then enjoy our Fungal fellowship’s Farewell dinner in the Buenavista Hills restaurant.
May 5th in the morning we will visit a riverine forest of Rio Cravo Sur near Sirivana where in 500 yards more than 40 species of mushrooms have been found. We will enjoy a lunch of the typical food of Yopal, our tours last collective adventure.
Late afternoon or next morning flight back to Bogotá, according to participants needs to catch their international flights.
For preregistration do send us an email, the 2019 and 2020 tours sold out!
Below a graphic tour outline
(with some improvements added 12-22-2022)
Please note that sometimes the itinerary might have to be changed due to circumstances.
Colombia is a very diverse, listed as one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries, actually the most biodiverse per square kilometer. Colombia is a truly fascinating country. Traveling in Colombia is such a joy. Colombians seem so happy and proud to share their country with foreigners again. It is emerging as one of the most enticing destinations in South America since civil unrest has ceased and normality has returned. Colombia is located at the nexus of South and Central America.
$4150 (8-10 participants)
$4450 (7 participants) - $4950 (6 participants)
We expect the tour to fill up to 8 participants
Price includes all expenses on the ground for accommodations in double room where available, meals & ground transportation. Not included are alcoholic drinks, coffee breaks, snacks, laundry, tips, souvenirs, etc. Also not included are the 2 flights within Colombia (together around $120) and airport shuttles at the beginning and end of the tour.
Single room extra charge $450 (when available).
Note: For years Colombia's tourism has suffered from lack of security in the country. However, the security for foreigners has substantially improved in recent years. In late 2016 the government has signed a peace accord with the biggest rebel fraction and Colombia is moving beyond the painful decades of internal violent clashes and tourism is picking up again. Still providing safe travels is most important to us and we need to state that there is a slight chance that we would need to adjust the itinerary in case of unforeseen changes in public safety.
Some photos from our previous Mushroaming Colombia journeys:
These oak-associated chanterelles are very closer to the Smooth Chanterelle Cantharellus lateritius.
Clouds enshroud the mountain oak forests (Quercus humboldtii).
Bromelias in Andean oak (Quercus humboldtii) forest. Photo: Tatiana Sanjuan
A scarlet Favolaschia, which is a gorgeous wood decaying member of the Mycenaceae family. Most Mycenaceaea members are regular gilled mushrooms.
A Guzmania, a member of the Bromeliaceae family, which also includes pineapples and Tillandsia.
Laternea dringii, a tiny but gorgeous strange stinkhorn endemic to the neotropics growing in late stage decaying wood in Rio Claro, Antioquia, Colombia.
Río Claro - note the waterfall coming out of a karst cave.
Looking down a street to the cathedral in Barichara. Photo: Tatiana Sanjuan
Diverse neotropical forests in Maraquita.
Nice juicy, big chanterelles. Hardly any Chanterelles or for that matter any other edible mushrooms are collected in Colombia due to lack of knowledge. The exception is in the Villa de Leyva area, where people collect corals, chanterelles and a neotropical Shiitake relative.
Lentinula aciculospora is a close cousin of Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) and also a good edible and known as such in the Villa de Leyva area.
A Ramaria sp. coral known locally as "Manita" and appreciated as an edible mushroom. Seen near Iguaque Parque Nacional.
A "Zombie ant" with the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis growing out of its neck. This ant was direct by the fungus in this location. At this point the fungal fruiting body is not developed yet beyond a little "horn-like" structure. Once the fungus has moved the ant in its final location for optimal spore dispersion, it makes the any bite into a leaf or twig and/or clasp a twig. Then the ant will be killed off by the fungus and the fungal mycelium will anchor the insect to the site. At this point the fruiting body will grow and mature.
A Cordyceps stroma growing out of a steep slope. Digging out will reveal its identity, see below...
Ophiocordyceps caloceroides group growing on a trap-door idiopidae spider. See below for a close up (the tip had been sniped of for analysis.
Link to my Cordyceps of Colombia blog page
Farmers from Pauna Boyaca with edible corals (Ramaria sp.) and Indigo milkycap (Lactarius indigo). Photo: Tatiana Sanjuan
Frida Cacao is the best place to taste the locally grown chocolates. Photo: Tatiana Sanjuan
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii seen in Maraquita. Elsewhere known as the Flowerpot Dapperling.
Laternea pusilla, a strange stinkhorn fungus.
A porcini-like Bolete we found near Villa de Leyva. It could be Boletus variipes. It had the nutty mild taste, people love in porcini.
Clathrus sp. stinkhorn with egg of immature stinkhorn. Seen in Tayrona.
A Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruviana) seen in Jardin.
Boletellus ananas growing with Humboldt's oak in the Colombian Andes. What a beautiful and strange partial veil from the extended skin of the cap (pileipellis) this bolete has! In the USA it is reported from Florida. Furthermore, in Southwest China and Tibet grows a very similar mushroom, so far listed under this name.
The tiny Marasmius sprucei growing out of twigs.
As many other members of the Balaonphoraceae family this Heliosis sp. looks quite fungal. Actually some of its cousins were first erroneously described as fungi! Balaonphoraceae are direct root parasites and do not produce any photosynthetic sugars themselves, but feed of others plants.
Once in flower Balaonphoraceae do not look very fungal anymore, but are still a very strange plants. This should be a male Langsdorffia hypogaea. Seen in Chicaque, April 2015 in 2400m.
Lactarius indigo, a spectacular milk-cap that is oak associated from the US East Coast down to Colombia. It is also edible.
The ubiquitous Blewit, Lepista or Clitocybe nuda. A good edible!
A hiking path passing through the cloud mountain oak forest. The temperature is perfect for hiking under such conditions!
Diglossa cyanea, the Masked Flower-Piercer is easy to observe in Chicaque.
Tatiana Sanjuan, our Colombian guide and PhD mycologist. She is good with mushrooms and people! and loves to share her fascination for her home country. Daniel Winkler on her side in the cloud forest in front of a big Andean oak (Quercus humboldtii) back in 2013.
A Cordyceps close to C. militaris growing on a giant larva in Rio Claro
Isaria tenuipes, a Cordyceps anamorph so abundant, we stopped photographing it.
A gorgeous Favolaschia seen in Chicaque Preserve, 2500m.
The cluster of the above depicted individual Favolaschia growing from a big fallen branch.
Hymenogloea papyracea, a gilled mushroom from the Marasmiaceae family without gills.
Xylaria teleomorph and anamorph growing side by side.
"Sombrillas o caicas" (Macrolepiota colombiana), Colombian parasol, a choice edible mushroom. Source: Ruiz, Angélik; Henao M., Luis Guillermo; Peña, Yiny Consuelo; Martínez, Eduard 2008. Hongos comestibles de Iguaque. Bogotá Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humbold, 8 p.
A Masdevallia ignea orchid encountered in Bogota's beautiful Botanical Garden. Masdevallias are endemic from Mexico to south Brazil. They mostly grow in the higher regions from 2500 to 4000 m, especially in the Andes.
A wild Fuchsia.
Begonia flowering near Termales del Ruiz in 2600m.
A giant Gunnera hiding Heidi in the highlands.
A tiny Gunnera flower branching off a ground covering vine growing in the Paramo. Most people know Gunnera as giant perennials.
Leotia viscosa, also known as Chicken lips, is also encountered in North America and Europe.
Dictyonema sp., a lichenized basidiomycete from the Hygrophoraceae. In the past there was only a few species recognized, but new DNA research shows an incredible diversity of maybe 100 or even more species. In Ecuador grows Dictyonema huaorani, which is reported to be psychedelic.
A very striking and widely distributed forest lichen in tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas: Cryptothecia rubrocincta, known in North America as the Christmas wreath lichen.
All pictures © Daniel Winkler unless otherwise noted
48 Cordyceps photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2020
165 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2019
275 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2017
220 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2016
190 photos from Mushroaming Colombia 2015
130 photos Mushroaming Colombia 2014
Page first uploaded April, 2013
Last update Sept. 13, 2019