On this tour we will be staying in two comfortable lodges, both within protected areas of Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest. Half of the 103 bird species designated as ‘endangered’ in Brazil occur in the Atlantic forests and many other rare species are known only from this area. Our first base, Eco-lodge Itororo, is situated at an altitude of 1200 metres within the Tres Picos State Park. We will spend the first four days going in search of this area’s dazzling array of bird species before transferring to our second base, the Guapi Assu Bird Lodge which overlooks the Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu (REGUA). The reserve provides an excellent contrast in habitats and species from Tres Picos and we’ll explore the wetlands as well as lowland Atlantic forest, together with Serra dos Orgaos National Park in search of owls such as Tawny-browed Owl, cotingas including Shrike-like Cotinga, a dazzling array of hummingbirds and many more species.
Grade A/B. Most walks on this tour are undemanding, however, the High Altitude excursion at Pico de Caledonia and the Green Trail at Regua require a little experience in walking in montane and uneven terrain.
The Atlantic rainforests of south-eastern Brazil offer the visiting birder a wealth of species that include a large number of endemics. Less than 7% of the original forest cover now remains in the state of Rio de Janeiro but, thankfully, the majority of this is now protected. Half of the 103 bird species designated as ‘endangered’ in Brazil occur in the Atlantic forests and many other rare species are known only from this area. This rare habitat provides a wonderful base for this new tour, our time here being split between two very comfortable lodges, both situated in protected areas.
Eco-lodge Itororo, located in the Tres Picos State Park, is situated at an altitude of 1200 metres and offers the perfect location from which to observe a whole host of endemic birds. Over 150 species of bird have been recorded in the lodge’s grounds alone and the feeders here offer a quite remarkable opportunity to photograph a stunning mixture of colourful tanagers, parakeets and toucanets. Using the lodge as a base, we will access the higher altitude areas for the first four days of the tour, where we can expect to see a dazzling array of species, with highlights likely to include Spot-billed and Saffron Toucanets, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Black and Gold Cotinga and the stunning Plovercrest.
The Guapi Assu Bird Lodge is beautifully situated on a small hill overlooking the restored wetland area of the Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu (REGUA). The wetlands, together with the surrounding lowland forests, provide the perfect contrast to the higher areas explored earlier in the tour and here we are likely to encounter an exciting variety of new species. Exploring the lowland areas of the Atlantic forest, together with the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, new birds are likely to include Rufous-sided Crake, Giant Snipe, Rufous-capped Motmot, Channel-billed Toucan, Tawny-browed Owl, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird and Shrike-like Cotinga.
Based in two very comfortable lodges, with a plethora of birds on their doorsteps, excellent photographic opportunities, and a flexible itinerary that allows you to opt in and out of the daily excursions, this tour is designed for those of you that enjoy birdwatching, but do not want to be tied in to a rigidly fixed programme.
Extensions (ask us for quotation)
IGUAZÚ FALLS EXTENSION
Located on the Brazilian border with Argentina and Paraguay, Iguazu is often regarded as one of the greatest waterfalls in the world. Standing over 30 metres taller than the Niagara Falls, their location within the Iguazu National Park surrounds them with a wealth of wildlife and bird species, many of which can be observed via exploring the park’s extensive network of walking trails. Exploring the park on both the Brazilian and Argentina sides of the border is highly recommended in order to get the most out of your stay here. Residing in the heart of the forest for the duration of your stay, you will become immersed in an environment so very different from that encountered in the Pantanal; Iguazu National Park really is a worthy addition to any Brazilian venture!
RIO DE JANEIRO EXTENSION
A stark contrast from the wilderness of both The Pantanal and Iguazú Falls, the visit to the city of Rio de Janeiro offers a cultural experience which is hard to rival elsewhere in Brazil. Often dubbed as the ‘Marvelous City’ Rio acted as the capital of Brazil until 1960 and is home to some of Brazil’s most famous tourist attractions such as Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) and the Christ the Redeemer statue (Corcovado). However, the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle cannot detract from city which is surrounded by natural; nestled between the lush, green rolling mountains and the crystal depths of the Atlantic Ocean, a stay in Rio will allow you to capture the essence of Brazil as found nowhere else in the country.
GIANT ANTEATER EXTENSION - CAMPO GRANDE
Campo Grande, known locally as the Cidade Morena for its red earth, lies near the headwaters of the Anhanduí River, in the Maracaju Mountains at 540m above sea level. The aim of this extension is to observe the incredible Giant Anteater in stunning open scenery, and maybe even to walk with them! Of course Giant Anteaters will be the main focus on each outing, but there is much more besides in this area, with both Six and Nine-banded Armadillos possible and Southern Tamandua if we are lucky, with a range of different birds and Red-legged Seriema being far more widespread in this area than on the main tour.
HARPY EAGLE AND SOUTHERN AMAZON EXTENSION
Harpy by Helen MayfieldAs recently as January 2017 a Harpy Eagle biologist Everton Miranda learned that a huge chunk (around half the size of the UK) of the southern Amazon is blessed with an extensive network of forest workers who criss cross the forest but do not hunt at all. These non-hunting informants have shown us previously unknown concentrations of large, charismatic, and extremely habituated animals that include such photographers’s holy grails as Harpy Eagles, Brazilian Tapirs, Scarlet, Blue-and-Gold, and Red-and-Green Macaws, and four particularly beautiful and elusive primates: Woolly Monkeys, Black-faced Spider Monkeys, Red Howler Monkeys and the endangered White-nosed Saki..
GIANT ANTEATER EXTENSION - PIUVAL
With expert guidance, early morning and evening sessions will see you go out in search of Anteaters in Piuval and with our guide we can give you the best chance of success as well as enjoying a whole host of other wildlife. Our base has lovely grounds, a swimming pool and Wi-Fi providing a perfect place to relax between morning and late afternoon searches. The Caipirinha is very good here also!
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Présente le mardi et vendredi toute la journée
Fri 22nd Jan - Sun 31st Jan 2021 : from 3791€
Fri 19th Nov - Sun 28th Nov 2021: from 3791€
* These tours are operated by Naturetrek (ABTA Y6206) for which Nature et Terroir acts as agent.
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Please note that the itinerary below offers our planned programme of excursions. However, adverse weather & other local considerations can necessitate some re-ordering of the programme during the course of the tour, though this will always be done to maximise best use of the time and weather conditions available.
We depart London Heathrow in the morning on a direct scheduled British Airways flight. Arriving into Rio in the evening, we transfer to a hotel near to the airport before travelling the 2.5 hour drive onto the eco-lodge the following morning.
Following an early breakfast, we will be met by a representative and transferred to the Eco-lodge Itororó, approximately 150km away from the airport. Andy Foster will be waiting to welcome you upon arrival at the lodge, where we will be shown to our rooms. Shortly after we will gather on the main veranda where we will begin to see our first Atlantic Rainforest Forest species on the many feeding stations that this comfortable lodge has to offer. The rest of the day will be spent within the lodge grounds and we will use the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the many different species that frequent the feeders, enjoying the vibrant colours of the tanagers, marvelling at the extraordinary bills of the toucanets and trying to distinguish between the many hummingbirds that hover effortlessly metres in front of us, sipping syrup from the rows of feeders on offer. For those keen on photography the feeding stations provide the opportunity to photograph an enormous range of species at very close range.
Species we can expect to see today include Dusky-legged Guan, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Scalethroated Hermit, Plovercrest, Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Surucua Trogon, Spot-billed Toucanet, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Grey-bellied and Pallid Spinetails, White-browed Foliage Gleaner, White-collared Foliage Gleaner, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, White-throated Woodcreeper, Scaled Woodcreeper, Lesser Woodcreeper, Bertonis Antbird, Ochrerumped Antbird, Brazilian Antthrush, Rufous Gnateater, Blue Manakin, Pin-tailed Manakin, Grey-hooded Flycatcher, Drabbreasted Bamboo-Tyrant, White-rimmed Warbler, Fawnbreasted Tanager, Azure-shouldered Tanager, BrassyBlond-Crested Woodpecker breasted Tanager, Uniform Finch and Green-winged Saltator.
Pico de Caledonia, High Altitude Excursion
With 170+ species recorded in the lodge grounds alone, including 70+ Atlantic Rainforest Endemics, there are sure to be a few members of the group who would be happy to spend their entire time at the lodge and if you would like to do this, you are very welcome to. However, the plan for the holiday is to cover the whole altitudinal range of the Serra do Mar Mountains, therefore ensuring that we maximise our chances of seeing as greater variety of species as possible.
Refreshed from a good night’s sleep, today we will start at the top of the altitudinal range available to us. Driving for approximately an hour up to an altitude of 1800m, we will begin a full day of birding the upper levels of the Serra do Mar Mountains. Walking slowly up to an altitude of 2300m, we will search for a variety of high altitude species including the endemic Itatiaia Thistletail.
As we gain altitude and continue our walk up a steep road we see a change in the habitat; small, stunted trees surrounded by bamboo and other low vegetation provide the first areas in which we hope to see Bay-chested Warbling Finch, Diademed Tanager, Blue-billed Black Tyrant and Rufoustailed Antbird. As we walk further uphill we begin to enter the habitat where we stand a good chance of seeing the rare and endemic Grey-winged Cotinga, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet and the Black and Gold Cotinga. We will also search in this area for the Brazilian Antthrush and Mousecoloured Tapaculo. Almost at the summit we hope to conclude our ascent with views of the rare and endemic Itatiaia Thistletail.
Whilst this small, wagtail-sized brown bird will certainly not be the most exotic looking species that we’ll see during our stay, it was only discovered in the area a few years ago, and is highly desirable amongst keen birders.
Three-toed Jacamar Extension
After breakfast we will have an early departure for a day of open country birding. On this full day excursion we visit several sites where the endemic Three-toed Jacamar is regularly found. Along the way we pass through a variety of habitats and cover a fair distance (200 km) stopping regularly en route to look for other species.
The Three-toed Jacamar, is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, with an estimated population of less than a 1000 individuals However, this is far from a single species quest and we are likely to encounter a wide array of species across the course of the day. Stretches of water are likely to hold Whistling and Capped Heron with Black-capped Donacobius in the marginal vegetation, whilst the open grassland and patchy secondary forest will no doubt attract the attention of an interesting mix of raptors including Plumbeous Kite, Savanna Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Aplomodo, Laughing and Bat Falcon. Passerines and near passerines of this habitat that we could see, include such delights as Blue-crested Jays, White Woodpecker, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Striped Cuckoo and Black-necked Aracari. It is not unusual for us to find nearly 100 species on this excursion, including an extensive list of Tanagers such as Hooded, Hepatic, Brazilian and Gilt-edged Tanager.
Macae de Cima
Today we will spend a full day birding at an altitude of between 1000m to 1450m. We will start with a 25 minute drive until we arrive at the beginning of the Macae de Cima trail, a great trail that runs through a variety of habitats including primary forest, bamboo and secondary growth. All of these habitats combined provide perfect conditions for a great variety of birds.
This trail really is very special and we will slowly drive along the track stopping and birding at various points throughout the day with short walks in between. Birds we hope to see on this trail include Plumbeous Pigeon, Scale-throated Hermit, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Pallid Spinetail, Orange-eyed Thornbird, White-collared Foliage-Gleaner, Giant Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Bertonis Antbird, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Rufous Gnateater, Black and Gold Cotinga, Bare-throated Bellbird, Pin-tailed Manakin, Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin, Drab-breasted BambooTyrant, White-rimmed Warbler, Chestnut-headed Tanager, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Brassybreasted Tanager and Green-winged Saltator.
Eco-lodge Itororo Blue and White Trails
The Itororo Lodge grounds really warrant a full days birding, so we will spend the morning birding the Blue Trail returning to the comfort of the Lodge for lunch, followed by some birding on the White Trail during the afternoon. Today we hope to see some of the following species: Brown Tinamou, Dusky-legged Guan, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black and White Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Scale-throated Hermit, Plovercrest, Brazilian Ruby, Surucua and Black-throated Trogon, Saffron and Spot-billed Toucanet, Yellow-eared and Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped, Pallid, Grey-bellied and Chicli Spinetail, White-browed, White-collared, Buff-browed and Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner, White-throated, Lesser, Scaled and Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Giant and Variable Antshrike, Star-throated Antwren, Bertonis and Ochre-rumped and Dusky-tailed Antbird, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Rufous-tailed Antthrush, Rufous Gnateater, Gray-capped Tyrannulet, Gray-hooded Flycatcher, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Gray-hooded Attila, Bare-throated Bellbird, Greenish Schiffornis, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Yellow-legged Thrush, White-rimmed Warbler, Half-collared Sparrow, Chestnutheaded, Black-goggled, Ruby-crowned, Azure-shouldered, Golden-chevroned, Fawn-breasted, Brassy-breasted and Burnished-buff Tanager, Uniform Finch and Green-winged Saltator.
Eco-lodge Itororo before transferring to Regua
This morning we will depart from Eco-lodge Itororo at around 07.30 and take a 45 minute drive to the Cedae Trail where we will bird for a couple of hours. This is a great trail located at 550m in altitude where we hope to see species such as Pale-browed Treehunter, Green-headed, Red-necked and Olive-green Tanagers, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Spot-backed Antshrike and Mantled Hawk. Late morning we will drive for a further 45 minutes and check into the comfortable Guapiassu Bird Lodge at the Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Acu. The lodge is situated overlooking an impressive wetland restoration project that was started several years ago and now compromises a fantastic mix of small lakes, marshland and replanted tabebuia trees, bordered by lowland humid evergreen forest. REGUA now owns and administrates an area of over 7,500 hectares. The reserve protects a total cross section of the Atlantic rainforest protecting many species of birds endemic to the Atlantic forests.
After lunch we will take a walk around the wetlands where we will start to see a whole range of new species including Whistling and Capped Heron, Brazilian Teal, White-faced and Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Grey-headed Kite, Savanna Hawk, Limpkin, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, White-headed Marsh Tyrant and Chestnut-capped Blackbird. Surrounding the wetland is lowland forest, a habitat very difficult to encounter as much of this habitat has been destroyed in the past. We venture into this forest in the hope of finding species such as Reddish Hermit, White-chinned Sapphire, Rufouscapped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Sooretama Slaty Antshrike, White-flanked Antwren, Unicolored Antwren and Long-billed and Moustached Wren.
This evening we will go out in an open top vehicle for some night birding, species we hope to see include Tawny browed Owl, Mottled Owl, Black Banded Owl, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Pauraque as well as Common Potoo and that extraordinary star of the wetlands, the Giant Snipe.
The Green Trail at Regua
After an early breakfast we will be transferred to the start of the Green trail, this great trail leads through lowland forest and has already had over 100 species recorded along it! Our target birds for today include Saw-billed Hermit, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Reddish Hermit, Pale-browed Treehunter, Blackcapped Foliage-Gleaner, White-eyed Foliagegleaner, Star-throated Antwren, Unicolored Antwren, Silvery-flanked Antwren, Rufouscapped Antthrush, Pin-tailed Manakin, Southern Antpipit, Elegant Mourner, Rufouscapped Motmot, Blue Manakin, Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Lesser Woodcreeper and Buffbellied Puffbird.
Regua Wetlands, lowland forest and transfer to Rio
We will spend our last morning birding around the wetlands, the lowland forest and another short trail for a couple of great target birds, Frilled Coquette and Yellow-fronted Woodpecker. There will also be time for enjoying the stunning views from this great reserve. Lunch will be taken at the lodge before departing back to Rio de Janeiro airport, in time for our evening flight back to London.
The tour concludes in London, where we will land in the early afternoon.