When most people think of southeast Brazil they think of Rio, Carnivale, Sugarloaf Mountain and endless beaches. When birders think of southeast Brazil, they think – ENDEMICS. Amongst other claims to fame, Brazil hosts a spectacular array of endemic flora and fauna, including more than a reasonable share of stunning endemics. The southeast is a critical endemic zone, one that we will cover in a single Mega style tour.

From Rio de Janeiro, we’ll head north to the lowlands of REGUA for Rufous-capped Motmot and Crescent-chested Puffbird before ascending the mountains around Nova Friburgo in search of such delights as Grey-winged Cotinga, Three-toed Jacamar, Brassy-breasted Tanager and Green-crowned Plovercrest. Moving westwards, we’ll take in the famous sites of Itatiaia National Park, Paraty and Ubatuba for a plethora of new targets such as Itatiaia Spinetail, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Black-hooded Antwren, Brazilian Ruby, Buff-throated Purpletuft and Sao Paulo Tyrannulet.

As we begin moving southwards, we’ll visit Salesópolis to find the recently described Sao Paulo Antwren, Peruíbe for roosting Red-tailed Amazons and the wetlands of Piracicaba for the skulking Spotted Rail both Yellow-breasted and Rufous-sided Crakes. We’ll spend a few days at Intervales State Park, one of the most exciting places to bird in the southeast. A never-ending list of great birds may include Giant Antshrike, Purple-crowned Plovercrest, Spotted Bamboowren or Long-trained Nightjar. The neighbouring Atlantic Forest of PETAR hosts several tricky species such as Such’s Antthrush, Yellow-legged Tinamou, Variegated Antpitta, Swallow-tailed Cotinga and Black-headed Berryeater.

The final stretch of the tours takes us to the southernmost Brazilian states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Superb birding in a lovely region infrequently visited by birders. The southernmost tip of the Atlantic Rainforest of the Serra do Mar reaches the north eastern corner of the state with scenic canyons and upland plateaus typically characterised by Araucaria moist forests.

Southwards, the habitat changes into Pampa plains and grasslands with very few trees. The habitat along the coastline consists of distinctive Restinga scrub with nutrient-poor coastal dunes, sandy peninsulas, shallow saltwater lagoons and extensive mudflats that are home to numerous resident and migrant bird species. We will bird a variety of different and exciting habitats searching for specialities such as Marsh (Parana) Antwren, Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant, Scaled Chachalaca, Restinga Tyrannulet, Russet-winged Spadebill, Striolated Tit-Spinetail, Long-tailed Cinclodes, Freckle-breasted Thornbird, Grey-throated Warbling Finch, Straight-billed Reedhaunter and Saffron-cowled Blackbird.

The 2023 and 2024 tours will have logisitcal changes made post our 2022 tour. Prices and dates will be adjusted accordingly.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Sao Paulo, Black-hooded & Restinga Antwrens; Grey-winged, Swallow-tailed & Black-and-gold Cotingas; Brazilian, Brassy-breasted, Chestnut-headed & Diademed Tanagers; Sooretama Slaty Antshrike; Green-crowned & Purple-crowned Plovercrests; Three-toed Jacamar; Hangnest & Kaempfer's Tody-Tyrants; Saffron Toucanet; Black-capped Piprites; Brazilian Ruby; Surucua Trogon; Sao Paulo, Bay-ringed & Restinga Tyrannulets; Vinaceous-breasted & Red-tailed Amazons; Large-tailed & Giant Antshrikes; Bertoni’s Antbird; Araucaria & Striolated Tit-Spinetails; Spotted Rail; Rufous-sided & Yellow-breasted Crakes; Crested Doradito; Such’s Antthrush; Yellow-legged & Solitary Tinamous; Variegated Antpitta; Black-headed Berryeater; Canebrake Groundcreeper; Marsh Tapaculo; Spotted Bamboowren; Scaled Chachalaca; Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher; Green-chinned Euphonia; Long-tailed Cinclodes; Saffron-cowled Blackbird; Chilean Flamingo; Coscoroba & Black-necked Swans; Pinnated Bittern.
Habitats Covered
lowland and montane Atlantic rainforest, cerrado, old cacao plantations, open grasslands with secondary forest, highland Araucaria forest, coastal restinga
Expected Climate
warm to hot and humid but much cooler in the higher lying areas
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader and local birding leader
Tour Pace & Walking
our Mega tours are very fast-paced birding adventures designed for the dedicated lister and serious birder. The focus of the tour is to see as many of the endemics and area specials as possible in our given time. In order to cover the necessary route to maximise the species list we tend to spend a single night at most sites and travel large distances. There is very little down time aside from that spent driving from one site to the next. These tours are not suitable for dedicated or avid photographers; inexperienced or new birders; as well as anyone with serious mobility or health challenges.
Ease of Birding
moderate, with some very difficult species
Photographic Opportunities
good, but limited due to nature of tour
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Rob Williams was helpful above and beyond the call by going out of his way to make it an enjoyable tour.

Lev was a well kept secret from Rock Jumper ....incredible birder , bird guide, and overall naturalist . Would book another trip with Lev

Amazing trip! Wonderful birds, great accommodations and outstanding guides. Leo is an exceptional guide who is very personable and ensures everyone gets a chance to see even the hard to find birds.

Very productive and relaxing tour

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.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
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