The Golden-naped Tanager is resident in the Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The species been recorded from 1100 m to 2400 m, but it is most frequent above 1500 m (Isler and Isler 1987, Parker et al. 1996, Restall et al. 2007a).
In Colombia, Golden-naped Tanager occurs in Colombia on both slopes of the west and central Andes and from Cundinamarca southward and also on the west slope of the Eastern Andes (Hilty and Brown 1986). This tanager occurs south along the west slope of the Andes to El Oro and western Loja, Ecuador (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a), and along the east slope of the Andes from Ecuador south to Santa Cruz, Bolivia (Hennessey et al. 2003).
There is no evidence that Golden-naped Tanager is migratory.