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!
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.
Lowland Tapir; Puma; Jaguar.
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
warm to hot and humid
Max Group Size
8 with 1 local birding leader
Tour Pace & Walking
moderate pace, some longer walks
Ease of Birding
moderate with numerous challenging species
Number of Species Expected
average to good
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!!
A fantastic inaugural tour of the Manaus area. As usual, rainforest birding presented its challenges, especially all those skulkers, the names of which invariably begin with ant-! However, our brilliant leader, Forrest Rowland, and his equally brilliant offsider and local guide, Brad, showed endless patience trying to get everyone to see as many species as possible - with almost 500 spp seen in 17 days! We visited a variety of habitats in addition to terra firme forest, including varzea, campinarana and riverine islands, each with a different suite of birds. The trip went off without a hitch with efficient van and boat transport, comfortable accommodation and delicious local food.
"The whole tour was perfectly organised: the transportation to the lodge, the accommodation itself, and of course the different trips incl the local guide. Our tour guide Carlos was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Everything went perfect. As this was my first experience with Rockjumper, I was pleasantly surprised about how effortless the whole trip was. I will for sure travel with you again!"
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.
Very productive and relaxing tour