Diademed Sandpiper-Plover – Birding the Yeso Valley


The Yeso Valley is well known for being one of the most accessible places to see the sought-after Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. This beautiful and enigmatic mountain shorebird breeds in the high elevation bogs of the valley and will be our main target for the day. Members of Albatross are proud to have led a research project on the species for many years, and thus have a great track record for finding it.

In addition to the Sandpiper-Plover there are many other interesting species we will be stopping to look for on our way to higher elevations. Among them are the endemics Crag Chilia and Moustached Turca; Torrent Ducks in fast-moving rivers, and many Andean specialties like White-sided Hillstar, Andean Goose, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Black-fronted and White-browed Ground-Tyrants, Greater Yellow-finch, Yellow-rumped Siskin, Andean Condors and Mountain Caracara. Reaching higher elevations we will also be able to see some more rare and localized species like Creamy-rumped Miner and Grey-breasted Seedsnipe.

The scenery here is some of the most beautiful and dramatic in Central Chile. High mountains, turquoise lakes, hanging glaciers and white-water rivers combine to make a magnificent spectacle.


Birding the Yeso Valley can easily be combined with other day tours out of Santiago.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Birding
  • Group Size Small Group

Private trips can be organized on any day from October to May.


  • The spectacular Diademed Sandpiper-Plover
  • High elevation specialist species
  • Incredible mountain landscapes


  • Relaxed pace; short easy walks. Plenty of water and slow pace is advised at high elevation.

 Ease of Birding

  • Most species show easily, with some trickier low-density species
  • Transport: SUV for 1-3 people, minivan for 4-6 people
  • Pick-up/drop-off at your hotel in Santiago
  • English speaking guide with birding equipment
  • Snacks (fruit, nuts, cereal bars, water)
  • Picnic lunch
  • Park entrance fees
  • eBird checklists for the day’s stops

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Additional information

Trip Reports


  1. THE Yeso Valley

    Starting time: pick-up at your hotel in Santiago around 6:30 a.m. Note that starting may vary slightly depending on time of sunrise.

    See map insert for an overview of the route and main hotspots visited during the tour.