Travel with GGAS

Are you thinking of traveling outside the Bay Area? Do you want to expand your life list while experiencing a different environment or a different culture? If so, consider these upcoming guided trips, all designed especially for GGAS. For information, a detailed itinerary, and registration, please contact GGAS Travel Coordinator Pat Kirkpatrick at or her assistant Rubi Abrams at

Each trip includes a registration fee that benefits Golden Gate Audubon’s conservation and environmental education programs. So you’re not only enjoying a terrific vacation, but you’re helping support Bay Area bird conservation!

We welcome suggestions for future trips. If you have been on a birding trip that was especially wonderful, experienced a terrific guide, or have a suggestion of an area to visit, please email Pat or Rubi.

Click here for a downloadable flyer that lists all our 2016 trips. Print it out and share it with a friend!


Costa Rica

March 30 – April 9, 2016

Resplendant Quetzal by Wlizabeth Lauer

Resplendant Quetzal by Elizabeth Lauer

Costa Rica is blessed with remarkable biodiversity due to its tropical latitude, tremendous topographic diversity and strong conservation ethic. Led by Mark Pretti of Mark Pretti Nature Tours, you will visit Pacific rainforest, Chiriqui Highlands cloud forest, and the Caribbean slope. Enjoy the spoiled comfort of some of Costa Rica’s finest accommodations while you:

  • Explore the Pacific slope where the tropical deciduous forest of the west coast meets the rainforest that runs to the border with Panama.
  • Bird in the Carara National Park and the Rio Tarcoles area.
  • Enjoy the mountains in the cloud forest seeing some of the endemic birds in the Chiriqui Highlands
  • Hike in one the premier birding spots in Costa Rica at Rancho Naturalista, well know for its hummingbirds and fruit feeders.

Cost: Approximately $3,200, double occupancy. Single supplement is $340. Final price will be posted shortly. Includes all lodging, meals, entrance fees and ground transportation from San Jose, Costa Rica. Limited to 8 participants.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams for more information.


South Texas in Spring Migration

April 10 – 19, 2016

GRJA April Sable Palms TX 0668 100dpi

Green Jay by Eddie Bartley

Our 2015 trip to South Texas for spring migration was such a hit that we’re offering it again. Join Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of Nature Trip to visit the famous spring avian migrant traps during the peak period of the Gulf of Mexico spring migration.

  • Explore Mustang, Padre Islands, Corpus Christi, Laguna Atascosa, Sabal Palms and surrounding areas.
  • Experience the distinctive sub-tropical habitats of the Rio Grande Valley in wonderful parks and refuges.
  • Observe unique avifauna and other wildlife that exists nowhere else in the US.
  • Enjoy a full day nature tour of the world famous King Ranch.
  • Travel as a small group in a spacious and comfortable van with experience nature and bird guides.

Cost: $2,850 per person based on double occupancy (single supplement $600), including all transportation, park fees, lodging and all meals. Air and ground transportation to Corpus Christi is not included. Limited to 8 participants.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams for more information.


Southeast Arizona

May 5 – 11, 2016

Elegant Trogon by Bob Lewis

Elegant Trogon by Bob Lewis

This trip is FULL. Contact Pat to be put on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Mark Pretti leads birding trips throughout the hemisphere, but Arizona is his home state… and Southeast Arizona is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the U.S. Habitats include the Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert, as well as the dramatic “Sky Islands” where species from the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Madre come together.

You’ll explore most of these habitats, visiting many of the birding and wildlife hotspots —Madera Canyon, the Patagonia area, Ramsey, Huachuca, Carr Canyons and the San Pedro River. You’ll likely see Elegant Trogon, Vermilion Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler Lucy’s Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, three species of Myiarchus flycatcher, and Thick-billed Kingbird, as well as up to 10 species of hummingbirds.

COST: $1,650 per person, double occupancy, and includes all lodging, meals, tips, admission fees, guide services and ground transportation from Tucson, AZ. Single supplement is $160. Limited to 8 participants.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams  for more information.


Southern Oregon

May 27 – 30, 2016

Calliope Hummingbird by Harry Fuller

Calliope Hummingbird by Harry Fuller

By popular demand, Harry Fuller will lead this Memorial Day weekend trip for a fifth year in a row. You’ll hit the best birding spots of Southern Oregon – Mr. Ashland, the Siskiyou Mountains, and Klamath Basin. Harry, who lives in Oregon, will help you spot Sandhill Crane, nesting Ospreys and Bald Eagles, Great Gray Owl, Vaux’s Swift, White-headed Woodpecker, Green-tailed Towhee, Black Tern, Calliope Hummingbird, and Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatchers. Click here to read a firsthand account of the 2014 trip.

Cost: $299. Includes guide, local transportation, dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday or Sunday. The trip does NOT include the transportation to Ashland, lodging, or most meals. Limited to 10 people.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick at or Rubi Abrams  for more information.


Eastern South Africa

Oct. 13 – 26, 2016 

Optional Western Cape extension – Oct. 26-31

Lion by Leon Fouche

Lion by Leon Fouche

Fulfill the dream of a lifetime! This small group tour by South Africa-based Rockjumper Birding Tours will give you unparalleled access to the amazing wildlife of that country.

The Eastern South Africa trip begins in Johannesburg (you should arrive on October 12) and then head northwards to birding in the Rust-De-Winter area. The 14-day main trip includes these highlights:

  • Three days in Kruger National Park where you’ll see the “Big 5”—Lion, African Elephant, Leopard, African Buffalo and White Rhinoceros. See great birds including five species of vultures in the bushveld.
  • Two days in Wakkerstroom and surrounding areas for viewing birds in the wetlands.
  • Bushveld birding in Mkuze Game Reserve, excellent habitat for raptors and flock birding.
  • St. Lucia, a World Heritage Site nestled on the shores of a lake. Venture on to a nearby river mouth for views of Hippopotamus and Nile Crocodile.
  • Isimangaliso Wetland Park for grassland and forest birds. You might also see Common Reedbuck, Warthog and Common Zebra, as well as Red Duiker and Samango Monkey.
  • Dlinza Forest with coastal and mist belt bird species.
  • The forested hills of Karkloof for many African endemics. Continue onto the grasslands to track down the Blue Swallow.
  • Day trip up the Sani Pass into Lesotho for highland endemics.
  • Head from Underberg to Durban to either fly home or continue with the Cape Extension.

Cost for main trip: ZAR 48,500.00 per person sharing (approx. US $3,960.00) Single supplement ZAR 3,350.00 (approx. US $275.00 per person.) Limited to 6 participants.

The six-day extension to the Western Cape includes these highlights:

  • Cape Town, with a visit to  the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to see the magnificent Protea gardens.
  • Seabird boat outing to see the pelagic birds off Cape Town, and Boulders Beach in Simons Town to see the African Penguin colony.
  • Hottentots-Holland Mountains to see the Cape Rockjumper.
  • West Coast National Park with its scenic coastal reserve and Langebaan Lagoon.
  • The fruit-growing valley of Ceres and the semi-arid, central plateau of Karoo.
  • Return from Ceres to Cape Town and departure.

Cost for Western Cape extension: ZAR 19,500.00 per person sharing (approx.: US $1,595.00) Single supplement ZAR 650.00 (approx. US$165.00 per person.) Limited to 6 participants.

Both the main trip and extension include all meals; accommodations; ground transportation; park, reserve and garden fees; pelagic outing; routine gratuities such as hotel and restaurant staff; local guides at certain sites; and guiding services and costs of Rockjumper leader.

They do NOT include ANY international or domestic flights; visa fees; beverages and bottled water; special gratuities such as for the Rockjumper tour leader; or trip insurance.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams  for more information.


Amazonian Ecuador

Oct. 24 – 30, 2016

Optional Northwest Ecuador extension – Oct. 19-24

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager by J. Drummond

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager by J. Drummond

Explore the Amazon basin in Ecuador by boat, foot, and canoe under the expert leadership of the Partnership for International Birding. Expect to see over 100 species of canopy birds, plus monkeys, marmosets, bats, and multiple parrot species enjoying a natural clay parrot lick. During the optional pre-trip extension to Northwest Ecuador, you’ll bird the Andean foothills, Choco lowland forest, and visit a Cock-of-the-Rock lek, adding as many as 200 species to your visit.

Highlights of the seven-day, six-night main trip to the Amazon Basin include:

  • Fly to Coca from Quito and take boat ride and short walk to the ecotourism Sani Lodge in the Amazon, where you will see many species of monkeys, marmosets, Agouti, bats and hundreds of birds.
  • Venture in canoe and on foot to the forest tower to see over 100 species of canopy birds.
  • Head by boat to Yasuni National Park to observe several species of parrots enjoying the natural clay cliff parrot lick.
  • Explore trails around Sani Lodge reserve through the jungle and primary rainforest.

Highlights of the six-day, five-night Northwest Ecuador extension include:

  • Upon arriving in Quito, head to lodge at the Puembo Birding Gardens to see many species of tanagers, finches, warblesr and hummingbirds.
  • Early start for the Mindo area to see a number of endemic birds and then on to the Sachatamia lodge in a forested preserve.
  • Paz de las Aves to see the Cock-of-the-Rock lek. Large flocks containing multiple species make for fantastic birding.
  • Explore Rio Silanche from the top of the tower as birds begin their day just after sunrise and see 80+ bird species. The area includes the Choco lowland forest at 1200 altitude with extensive trails for exploration of forest and birds.
  • Milpe Bird Sanctuary in the Andean Foothills, considered by birders as one of the finest sites in all of Ecuador. See 100+ species.

Cost: Main Amazon Basin trip is $2,790, double occupancy. Single supplement is $490. Pre-trip extension to Northwest Ecuador is $1,190, double occupancy. Single supplement is $140.

Costs include round trip flight to Coca from Quito for the main Amazon trip, and lodges, meals, local transportation, and guides for both trips. Limited to 8 participants. There is a $100 additional charge for each trip if the group is smaller than 7 people.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams  for more information.


Oaxaca, Mexico

December 6 – 16, 2016 

Western Mexican Chachalaca by Liz & Larry Kuo

Western Mexican Chachalaca by Liz & Larry Kuo

The state of Oaxaca is wonderfully diverse in flora and fauna, history, culture cuisine and scenery. Led by Mark Pretti of Mark Pretti Nature Tours, this trip is designed to provide optimum exposure to this richness at a comfortable pace while enjoying unique and superb lodging, great natural history and birds. You will:

  • Explore Teotitlan, a Zapotec town well known for its weavings and impressive ruins of Monte Alban as well as its birds.
  • Enjoy Sierra Jaurez to enjoy the Madrean forest with giant agaves and other flowering plants to see the endemic bird species of the area.
  • Move onto the Sierra Miahuatlan mountain ridge area surrounded by pine forest to see many hummingbirds and orioles, etc.
  • Traverse a spectacular transect from the high mountains to the Pacific coast with stops in the evergreen forests of the coffee growing areas.
  • Visit the Puerto Escondido area at the mouth of the Rio Colotepec, rich in shorebirds.
  • Enjoy a day of culture, cuisine and ethnobotany with the staff of Seasons of My Heart Cooking School.

Cost: $2,975 per person, double occupancy. Includes all meals, lodging, entrance fees and local transportation. Single supplement is $250. Limited to 8 participants.

Contact Pat Kirkpatrick or Rubi Abrams  for more information.