Travel with Wild Latitudes to experience some of the richest birding in the world as we explore two of Brazil’s top natural areas, the Pantanal and the Atlantic Forest.
The Pantanal is the single largest fresh-water wetland on Earth, and it’s truly a birders paradise. Over 4oo species of birds can be seen here, including the Hyacinth Macaw, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Sungrebe, Jabiru Stork, Buff-necked Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, and the Sunbittern, to name just a few of the avian highlights. This area is a known haunt of the Harpy Eagle, so we’ll also keep our eyes to the sky for this majestic species. Along the way we’ll also be searching for reptiles like the Yacare Cayman and mammals such as the Capybara, Giant Otter and the Black Howler Monkey, and we’ll make a special effort to find one of the region’s most elusive inhabitants, the Jaguar, the largest cat in the New World.
Next it’s off to the coast, where a dizzying array of hummingbirds await. We’ll visit local feeders to see the Violet-capped Woodnymph, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Saw-billed Hermit, and White-chinned Sapphire buzzing the feeders in a blur of activity. Then we travel into the mountains of the Atlantic Forest, where a plethora of tanagers, toucans and trogons can be found. Birds we’ll look for here include the Flame-crested Tanager, Surucua Trogon, White-eared Puffbird, Golden-winged Cotinga, Bare-throated Bellbird, and the Saffron Toucanet.
While in Brazil, we’ll be sure to experience much of the cuisine & culture of this amazing country, and learn about current conservation issues challenging it. Finally we head to Rio de Janeiro, to enjoy the sights and sounds of this vibrant city, and stay right on the coast, overlooking the beautiful beaches of Ipanema.
Arrival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shuttle to nearby Hotel Panamby. We’ll have a brief overview of the trip, followed by dinner at the hotel and an early evening.
After breakfast, we fly to Cuiaba, then travel overland into the Pantanal, birding as we go. Birds like the Hyacinth Macaws, Jabiru Stork, Buff-necked Ibis and Roseate Spoonbill are just a few of the species that await us in this birder’s paradise. We’ll gather in the evening to add the birds we’ve seen to our list before dinning at the hotel.
We’ll spend the day birding the area by boat, by vehicle and on foot to make the most of our time in the Pantanal. While in this vast wetland, we have a possibility of seeing all five of South America’s kingfishers, including the elusive American Pygmy Kingfisher.
After breakfast we head south, traveling deeper into the Pantanal. The location of our next lodge provides excellent birding, as well as good chances to see another highly sought-after species of the Pantanal, the Jaguar.
Today we’ll enjoy a full day cruising on the river by boat, the ideal platform from which to bird and watch for wildlife. We’ll have excellent chances of seeing the Yacare Caiman and Giant Otter, along with a myriad of water birds like the Rufescent Tiger-heron, Cocoi Heron and Green Ibis.
We’ll offer a bit of pre-breakfast birding, then head back North, birding as we go, looking also for primates like the Black Howler, Brown Capuchin and Black-tailed Marmosets. Birds we could see along the way include the Red-billed Scythbill, Crowned Eagle and the stunning King Vulture.
On this last day in the Pantanal, we will give priority to search for birds and other wildlife missing from our lists. These could include the Dusky-headed Parakeets, Red-shouldered Macaws and Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers.
Today is primarily one of travel. After breakfast, we travel to Cuiaba, then fly to Sao Paulo. From here we to travel overland to Ubatuba, a drive of about 2 hours. We hope to arrive to our Hotel before dusk, after which we check in and regroup for Dinner.
A full day of birding in Ubatuba, an area rich in birdlife, especially renowned for its hummingbirds. A few of the hummers we could see here include the Long-billed Starthroat, Swallow-tailed hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, and the adorable Festive Coquette.
We head into Itatiaia National Park today, located in the Atlantic Rainforest. This unique ecosystem is highly threatened and rich in endemic species, offering incredible birding opportunities, with possibilities of seeing the Plovercrest, Three-toed Jacamar, Dusky-legged Guan, Green-headed Tanager, and the gorgeous Saffron Toucanet, just to name a few.
Breakfast, then to spend the day birding the mid-sections of the Park, where we hope to see the Star-throated Antwren, the endemic White-throated and Ferruginous Antbirds, as well as several species of colorful tanagers, trogons & toucanets that are plentiful throughout the park.
Today we’ll bird the hotel grounds and feeders, then head to the upper areas of the Park. Here, birds like the endemic Golden-winged Cotinga, along with the Itatiaia Spinetail, Blue Manakin, Brassy-breasted Tanager and Gilt-edged Tanager are all possibilities. Lunch in the field. Chances for Tawny-browed Owl on the return to our hotel.
We'll travel overland to Rio de Janeiro, a journey of only 2-3 hours. We’ll check into our hotel located across for the famous beach of Ipanema, then visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that looks over the beautiful city of Rio. Early dinner, bird list, followed by free time in the evening.
After breakfast, everyone will have a free day in Rio to enjoy as they wish. We’ll offer an outing to bird the Botanical Gardens, and re-group in the evening at the hotel, collect our bags, then visit a nearby restaurant for dinner, after which we head to the airport to say our farewells before flying home.
PRICE of TOUR: $4,895
START DATE: Sep 20, 2020
DURATION: 14 days
GROUP SIZE: Up to 14
TRIP FOCUS: Birding and Wildlife
A true lover of the natural world, Steve Robertson has been a student of nature his entire life. First, as a little boy, who caught every creature he could for the mini zoo he kept in the garage, then later as an adult, leading scientific research expeditions into some of the most remote regions of the world, searching for rare species in such places as Tasmania, Madagascar and the upper Amazon Basin. With degrees in Wildlife Biology, advanced biology & education, Steve has worked in the field of Environmental Education for over 30 years. From 1998 to 2017, he served as the Education Director for the Audubon Society of Portland, creating a number of innovative programs including International Ecotours, a program that has won hundreds of accolades from around the country. During his time with Audubon, Steve personally designed and led Ecotours to over 20 countries, spanning six continents.
Ivan Phillipsen, Co-owner of Wild Latitudes, is a passionate naturalist with a background in scientific research. He holds an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in zoology. Natural history is Ivan’s true passion and what he is most excited to teach to others. Although he is fascinated by just about every aspect of nature, Ivan is particularly fond of birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, plants, and geology. Everything is interconnected in nature and Ivan takes a holistic approach when teaching about the natural world.
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