Rio Blanco has been touted as one of the three top places to go birding in the world. Only 30 minutes from the city of Manizales, the reserve covers 3,218 ha (7,945ac) with an altitudinal range between 2,240 m (7,350 ft ) to 3,700 m (12,140 ft). It is possible to observe 6 species of Antpitta within a few hours at the three feeders located within a short hike from the lodge: The endemic Brown-banded, Bicolored, Undulated, Chestnut-crowned, Chestnut-naped, and Slate-crowned Antpitta. The seldom seen Slaty-backed Nightingale Thrush and Gray-browed Brush-Finch also feast at the feeders. The very rare Masked Saltator can sometimes be observed in the vicinity of the lodge.
Along with endemic and rare species, this area boasts many sought after species that include: Tyrannine Woodcreeper, the erratic White-capped Tanager, Golden-faced Whitestart, the impressive Sword-billed Hummingbird, Dusky Piha, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanagers, Grass-green and, Powerful Woodpecker, and the hard to see Ocellated, Blakish and Spillman’s Tapaculos. Black-billed Peppershrike, the attractive Plushcap, Mountain Cacique, and Golden-plumed Parakeet are also possible.