Nowhere inspires more awe and wonder at the raw beauty of remote nature like the Amazon Basin of South America. Pioneered by Major Candido Rondon de Silva, explorations in this region of Brazil became the stuff of legend, as Rondon enabled the first telegraph line and subsequently the first road, to cross the Brazilian Amazon. He discovered numerous indigenous groups, named several major rivers, and is hailed by many Brazilians as one of the true heroes of Brazil’s native people and lands.
This area of Brazil became most famous with the publication of a biographical work on Theodore Roosevelt’s ill-fated expedition on the Rio de Duvida (River of Doubt). None other than Rondon himself escorted and outfitted the expedition in 1914, that nearly cost the ex-president his life. The mishaps of Roosevelt’s adventure only added to the mystique and draw of the area, which continues to be one of the least-accessible, most remote areas in the world. Luckily for us, the Pousada PiraAçu is a very conveniently located lodge where superb birds and wildlife await, including the near mythical Rondonia Bushbird. We will focus our efforts on seeking out the numerous special bird species on the lodges many trails and river systems. Fine birding will be had in the Porto Velho and Humaita area, on the West Bank of the Madeira River, where we will have exposure to completely unique habitats, and species, on the other side of the Madeira interfluvium. This will be an unforgettable adventure into the heart of the Amazon!
2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.
Rondonia Bushbird, Harpy & Crested Eagles, Cryptic & Slaty-backed Forest Falcons, Brown-banded & Western Striolated Puffbird, Ivory-billed Aracari, Golden-collared & Gould's Toucanet, Bonaparte’s, Crimson-bellied & Santarem Parakeet, Peruvian Warbling, Rondonia Warbling, Humaita, Black, Sooty, White-throated, Banded, Rufous-faced, Ferruginous-backed, White-breasted, Spot-backed, Dot-backed, Scale-backed & Hairy-crested Antbirds, Black-necked Red Cotinga, Crimson Fruitcrow, Purple-breasted, Spangled, Purple-throated & Pompadour Cotingas, Blue-backed, Black, Snow-capped, Flame-crowned, Band-tailed, Red-headed & Fiery-capped Manakins, Black-spotted & Pale-faced Bare-eyes, Variegated, Alta Floresta, & Thrush-like Antpittas, Predicted, Plain-throated, White-eyed, Madeira, Ornate, Sclater’s, Ihering’s, Rusty-backed & Leaden Antwrens, Saturnine, Glossy, Natterer’s Slaty, White-shouldered, Amazonian & Pearly Antshrikes, Masked Crimson, Red-shouldered, Black-faced, Hooded, Red-billed Pied, Flame-crested, Fulvous-crested, White-winged Shrike, Dotted, Masked, Paradise, Opal-rumped, Green-and-gold, Swallow & White-rumped Tanagers, Small-billed, Grey, White-throated, Brazilian, Variegated & Red-winged Tinamous, Spix’s Guan, Nocturnal & Razor-billed Curassows, Campina Jay, Sunbittern, Sungrebe, Dark-winged Trumpeter, Tawny-bellied Screech, Crested, Spectacled, Amazonian Pygmy, Black-banded Owls, Long-tailed, White-winged & Rufous Potoos, Spot-tailed & Little Nightjar, Crimson Topaz, Needle-billed, Great-billed & Reddish Hermits, Black-eared Fairy, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Black-bellied Thorntail, Long-billed Starthroat, Grey-breasted Sabrewing, Blue-chinned, Rufous-throated & White-chinned Sapphires, Black-girdled Barbet, Curl-crested & Red-necked Aracaris. Top Mammals
Lowland Tapir; Puma; Jaguar. Habitats Covered
varzea forest, Beni savannah, white sand forests, cerrado, small oxbow lakes, seasonally flooded areas, mixed terra firme forest, patches of slender bamboo, wide floodplains, transitional forests, upland terra firme and hilly terra firme forest Expected Climate
warm to hot and humid Max Group Size
8 with 1 local birding leader Tour Pace & Walking
moderate pace, some longer walks Accommodation
good Ease of Birding
moderate with numerous challenging species Number of Species Expected
450+ Photographic Opportunities
average to good
Overall we were very pleased with the trip. We have been to the tropics in various places in SA but hadn’t really experienced the heat of the Amazon. At first I was concerned about the siesta in early afternoon and the loss of bird time but by the third day I looked forward to it!! The lack of ant swarms, foliage-gleaners and mixed foraging flocks was disappointing. Some of the key target species had not been seen by local guides for several months to over a year. We hope it is not an on-going trend due to climate change but it may be. We felt fortunate to have had the opportunity and hope that others can continue to have this experience. We were pleased with the “tag-team effort” by Tuomas and Bradley. They worked well together with making sure the logistics flowed, everyone had their needs met as much as possible, and kept the pace moving. We were fortunate to have 8 people that had all travelled in groups before and were tolerant of various personalities and their strengths and weaknesses. Both Tuomas and Bradley were patient and talented in getting everyone (usually) in the group to see the target species. I will be giving a presentation to the local Audubon Chapter in November and will be recommending Rockjumper and their various trips to the group.
This was a really wonderful trip, so rich in birds, mammals, scenery and food. I really valued the outstanding knowledge all three guides shared with us, their constant awareness of our needs, and their senses of humor. We covered a lot of ground but there was always plenty of time for birding and we were always well fed. I really loved this trip and would recommend it to everyone who wasn't to see plenty of birds.
The tour was fantastic and both of our guides were excellent. We enjoyed traveling with Lev. He is so enthusiastic! He is an excellent birding guide and also very knowledgeable about the natural history of the animals we saw. That made the experience even more enjoyable. He worked very hard to enable us to see some of the trickier birds, like the Zigzag Heron that was hiding in the trees. It turns out, he even speaks 'zigzag', as he carried on a 10 min conversation (back and forth calls) with the heron, trying to coax him into a better view. It was wonderful having a local guide, Leo, on this trip as well. He added a lot to the birding experience, was essential for dealing with logistics, and had a wealth of knowledge about the history of Brazil and the places we visited, that made it an even more interesting trip. Well Done Rockjumper!!
Rob Williams was knowledgeable about all kinds of animals, and went out of his way to point out lizards he spotted that I would otherwise have missed. I greatly appreciate that. Some of the best moments on the trip for me included sightings of Jaguars, otters, Crab-eating Fox, agoutis, Guinea Pigs, Capybaras and Tegu Lizards. Iguazú Falls was spectacular.
I had the very best time on tour with Stephan. He is an excellent leader and a lovely, kind human being. In terms of his technical ability as a birding leader, his eyesight and hearing skills are excellent, which coupled with his first class fieldcraft and ID skills, meant that we saw/heard over 500 species during our tour. He also gelled well with the local guide Caio , so that in terms of finding, IDing and showing the birds to the group, we were treated to splendid views of our target species plus many many 'bonus birds' too. Stephan was also very patient with group members, some of whom for a variety of personal reasons, were less able to see the birds than the majority of the group-so that wherever possible-every group member who wanted to, had the opportunity to see every bird.