Our Brazil birding, wildlife and photographic tours take us to the most biodiverse country in the world, offering a thorough selection of Brazil’s incredible highlights!
During our remarkable and thoroughly rewarding adventure we will be birding the celebrated Pantanal & Cerrado, the planet’s largest tropical wetland, encompassing 96,500 square miles (250,000 square kms) of emerald forests, savannas, swathing rivers and shallow lagoons; as well as exploring the scenic Chapada dos Guimarães with its Cerrado habitat full of local specialties. Our journey will expose you to the superb birding that this region is famous for, as well as some of the best mammal watching in South America! For those wishing to maximise their time spent in Brazil, we have also created an Amazon Rainforest extension set amongst thousands of acres of pristine forest and an extension to the incredible Iguazú Falls on the Brazil and Argentina border.
The Amazon Rainforest Birding Extension takes us to the soon to be famous Thaimacu Lodge. Here we will explore the trails and waterways while also scanning from a productive canopy tower in search of Bald Parrot, Razor-billed Curassow, Zigzag Heron, Cryptic Forest Falcon, Curl-crested Aracari, Rufous-faced and Bare-eyed Antbirds, and Fiery-capped, Flame-crested and Band-tailed Manakins to name just a few of the special species we hope to see!
Northeast Brazil is a land of outstanding contrast: from gorgeous white-sand beaches, to arid, cactus-topped plateaus, and the humid montane slopes in between. This region has all the beauty and diversity that any birder could ever hope for. Perhaps what this area is best known for, however, is the stunning array of beautiful endemics that flourish in the diverse habitats of Ceara, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Bahia. With this in mind, our North Eastern Mega Birding Tour explores all the best sites in this fascinating region and offers an impressive bird list that includes Lear’s (Indigo) Macaw, the striking Araripe Manakin and rare White-collared Kite! The immense state of Bahia is perhaps the most diverse in all of Brazil. We begin in the state of Ceara, visiting Serra de Baturite for Grey-breasted Parakeet, Ceara Gnateater and Buff-breasted Tody-Tyrant, before heading to Quixada for the rarely recorded Pygmy Nightjar and White-browed Guan. Chapada do Araripe puts us in position for the recently described Araripe Manakin and other superb species such as White-browed Antpitta and Great Xenops in advance of our visit to Canudos for the Critically Endangered Lear’s Macaw! The birding continues apace, as we head to Murici Reserve for a plethora of sought after species; the nearly extinct Alagoas Antwren, Scalloped Antbird, incredibly adorned Seven-colored Tanager, Orange-bellied Antwren and Alagoas Tyrannulet. White-collared Kite, Forbes’ Blackbird, Pinto’s Spinetail and Yellow-faced Siskin make up the target species near Tamandare before we head to Estancia for the endangered Fringe-backed Fire-eye. The next featured location is one of the best birding sites in Brazil, Chapada Diamantina. Hailed as perhaps the most breathtakingly beautiful of all Brazilian National Parks, it hosts a number of localised endemics including Hooded Visorbearer, the recently described Sincorá Antwren, Grey-backed Tachuri and Diamantina Tapaculo.
As our tour draws to a close, we head further south to Boa Nova. Located in the southwest of Bahia state where the Montane Atlantic forests meets Caatinga, this diverse location hosts over 430 bird species. Here we shall search diligently for the highly localised Slender Antbird, Narrow-billed Antwren, Bahia Spinetail and Pin-tailed Manakin. We then spend a few days in the delightful Serra Bonita Reserve, host to Pink-legged Graveteiro, Plumbeous Antvireo, Bahia Tyrannulet and Crescent-chested Puffbird before we end in the coastal lowlands of Porto Seguro where targets include White-winged Potoo, White-winged Cotinga, Bahia Antwren, Ochre-marked Parakeet, Red-browed Amazon and the rare Banded Cotinga. There are few tours that can offer 100 endemics in a matter of 21 days, but this tour of North Eastern Brazil can do just that.
The Alta Floresta Amazon Rainforests tour focuses on three primary lodges in the heart of the verdant southern Amazon basin - each boasting in excess of 500 species each! From the crystal clear waters of the Rio Sao Benedito II that flows through Rio Azul to the Rondonia specialists of Sao Nicolau and the canopy tower of the fishing lodge of Pousada Thaimacu – good accommodation and excellent food will supplement our bird filled days at each step of our journey. Unlike many forays to Alta Floresta, this is no mere extension, but an in-depth tour focussing on both the common and rarely searched for.
Never heard of Tocantins? How about Goias? Few people realize that the capital of Brazil is not Sao Paulo, nor is it Rio de Janeiro. Our Para, Carajas, Tocantins & Goias tour kicks off in the actual capital of Brazil, Brasilia, established in 1960. It seems impossible that a country explored more than 500 years ago only just declared its capitol 50 years back, but Brazil’s history is as mysterious and interesting as its birdlife. The latter is our focus of this tour, as we travel north from the capitol of this vast country in search of the countless endemics of this staggeringly diverse region. Ranging from isolated mountain ranges amidst cerrado savanna on the central plateau, west to the only recently discovered Araguaia River plain and Bananal Island, into the vast rainforests of the eastern Amazon, this tour is among the most exciting pioneer tours on offer. This unique expedition offers a truly rural, though very comfortable, Brazilian experience headlined by some of the rarest species in the World including Horned Sungem, Ocellated Crake, Buff-fronted Owl, Golden, Pfrimer’s and Pearly Parakeets, Maranhao Hermit, Bananal and Manu Antbirds, Araguaia River Spinetail, Crimson-fronted (Araguaia) Cardinal, the amazing Kaempfer’s Woodpecker, Dark-winged Trumpeter, Harpy Eagle, Dot-eared Coquette, Fiery-tailed Awlbill, White-tailed Cotinga, Black-bellied and Hooded Gnateaters, Red-and-black Grosbeak, and so many more!
Our short Blue-eyed Ground Dove extension takes us to Rolinha-da-cerrado Reserve, set aside for the protection of the recently re-discovered Blue-eyed Ground Dove. While our attention will focus primarily on the dove, we also spend some time in nearby endemism hotspots for such desirable species as Dry Forest Sabrewing, Horned Sungem, Cactus Parakeet and White-browed Antpitta.
When most people think of Brazil they think of Rio, Carnivale, Sugarloaf Mountain and endless beaches. When birders think of 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 Central East of Brazil is a fabulous transition region. It is home to habitats and corresponding fauna endemic to the northeast, as well as hosting many of the endemic species farther south. Furthermore, three of the most sought-after and dazzling of Brazil’s birds (and perhaps the entire continent’s) are found on our Espirito Santo & Minas Gerais tour: Brazilian Merganser, Blue-eyed Ground Dove and Cherry-throated Tanager. Those three species alone are enough to merit a trip to this fabulous region, but add in Hyacinth Visorbearer, Horned Sungem, Black-headed Berryeater, Swallow-tailed Cotinga and a whole host of Manakins, Hummingbirds and Tanagers, and this becomes one of the premier tours to the country that we can offer. With the most striking and memorable scenery in Brazil, delightful accommodations and cuisine, and a mammal list to make anyone drool (Maned Wolf, Giant Anteater and more endangered primates than one is likely to recall), this tour is enjoyable for hardcore birders and nature-enthusiasts alike.
No feature on the continent of South America is more recognizable, more written about, or more wistfully contemplated than the mighty Amazon River, the focus of our Our Manaus & Rio Negro tour. Despite this amazing river’s nearly 4000 miles of length, remarkably few ports of access exist. In fact, the entirety of the Amazon Basin, some 2,800,000 sq. miles (!), represents the largest contiguous area of intact rain forest, and least populated area, in the entire Western Hemisphere. No wonder the draw of the Amazon is irresistible to the nature-loving explorer in all of us! This tour is centred in the heart of the basin, in the states of Amazonas and Para, where we will access the entire suite of micro-habitats in the region. From the white water river islands and flooded varzea forests of the Amazonas and Negro river systems, across hilly terra firme, we will spend time in boats, and afoot, searching out the Amazon Basin’s most spectacular and iconic bird species. Wildlife possibilities range from Tapir and Pink River Dolphin to the elusive Jaguar. This tour is an in-depth exploration of the best Amazon birding has to offer.
Our Atlantic Forest Endemics tour covers the highlights of the threatened Atlantic Forests, seeking out a myriad of remarkable and rare endemic species. Habitats range from high mountains to lowland gallery forest and even an island where Red-tailed Amazons roost! Ubatuba, Intervales, Itatiaia and Volta Velha are among the big name sites that we will explore, with highlight species including Solitary Tinamou, Black-fronted Piping Guan, Surucua Trogon, Saffron Toucanet, Marsh Antwren, Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant, Red-necked, Azure-shouldered, Golden-chevroned and Green-headed Tanager, Spot-winged Wood Quail, Spotted Bamboowren, Green-crowned and Purple-crowned Plovercrest, Festive Coquette, Tawny-browed Owl, Long-trained Nightjar, Speckle-breasted and Variegated Antpitta, Itatiaia Spinetail, Black-and-gold and Swallow-tailed Cotingas, Bare-throated Bellbird, Hooded Berryeater, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Russet-winged Spadebill, as well as gorgeous tanagers, numerous antbirds, antwrens and huge spectacular antshrikes!
Our short Volta Velha Extension covers both the Serra da Graciosa and Volta Velha, two important birding sites in south eastern Brazil easily reached from Curitiba. Our primary interest will be focused on a number of endemics species that are easier here than anywhere else, including Red-tailed Amazon, Marsh (Paraná) Antwren, Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant, Restinga Tyrannulet, Black-backed Tanager, Marsh Tapaculo, Purple-crowned Plovercrest and Hooded Berryeater.
Our Rio Grande do Sul extension brings us to the southernmost state of Brazil, with 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 salt water lagoons and extensive mudflats that are home to numerous resident and migrant bird species. We will bird a variety of different and exciting habitats at two famous National Parks in the eastern part of the state where we will look for specialities such as Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, endangered Red-spectacled Amazon, Spotted Nothura, Black-necked and Coscoroba Swans, Giant Wood Rail, Dot-winged Crake, Chimango Caracara, Long-tailed Cinclodes, Mottled Piculet, Straight-billed Reedhaunter, Hudson’s Canastero, Black-and-white Monjita and Azure Jay to name a few.
Throughout our budget Atlantic Coastal Forest tour, you will be based at a comfortable and beautifully located eco-lodge, situated in the 57,000 hectare Tres Picos State Park only a relatively short distance from Rio de Janeiro. Here you will explore the numerous mosaics of trails around the lodge grounds and take short drives to explore several other habitats and elevations surrounding the reserve. You will also visit the nearby Serra Dos Orgaos National Park that holds a number of special birds.
Some of the avian gems that will be sought during this tour include Three-toed Jacamar, spectacular Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Saffron and Spot-billed Toucanets, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Saw-billed Hermit, Black-billed Scythebill, Giant, Tufted & White-bearded Antshrikes, Blond-crested and Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Black-and-gold and Grey-winged Cotinga and Brazilian Laniisoma. The area is also home to a massive variety of endemic tanagers and the beautiful Brazilian, Rufous-headed, Red-necked, Green-headed, Gilt-edged, Brassy-breasted, Golden-chevroned, Azure-shouldered and Olive-green can all be seen on this tour. Plenty of rarer and difficult to see endemics and specials are also found in this area and possibilities include Slaty Bristlefront, Spotted Bamboowren, White-breasted Tapaculo, Variegated Antpitta, Rufous-tailed and Cryptic Antthrush and Blue-bellied Parrot. This will be a very comfortably paced tour with no long drives! On some days you will have packed lunches, while on others you will return to the lodge for lunch. There will be ample time to unwind and to enjoy birding from the lodge grounds or even while relaxing by the natural swimming pool. Fruit trays and hummingbird-feeders placed throughout the grounds attract a variety of parakeets, hummingbirds and tanagers and are also excellent an excellent place to see Dusky-legged Guan. Birds are confiding and photographic opportunities are excellent. This tour captures the best of Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest endemic bird species, and after a week of birding you can expect to have seen around 250+ bird species, including around 80 Atlantic Rainforest endemics!