Brazil – Tour Description

Main Tour – Pantanal

Day 1 – Arrival in Brazil
Our meeting place for this tour is Cuiaba, a city close to the northern entrance of the Pantanal area. This town is well connected by many daily flights from Sao Paulo as well as from Rio de Janeiro.
We ask our fellow travellers to arrive before 16.00 in the afternoon; this will normally not be any problem because there are many connecting flights from Rio de Janeiro as well as from Sao Paulo. We will travel in the afternoon to Serra das Araras (distance approx. 110km).
Here we will stay in Pousada Currupira d’ Araras for 2 nights. A nice place located in an 800ha native forest where more than 380 bird species have been recorded, including the Harpy Eagle. The Pousada offers a large private lake. It has 19 rooms and its restaurant serves typical food from the region, well-known throughout Brazil for its hospitality and nature. 

Day 2 – Serra das Araras
das Araras is an assortment of spectacular plateaus surrounded by humid forest as well as savanna, boasting an avifauna that is as much Amazonia as Cerrado. While cattle ranching and mining have contributed to extensive environmental degradation, our hotel itself is certainly located in an attractive setting. These different ecosystems, both natural and manmade are creating a dynamic environment for birding, where it’s possible to see Greater Rhea, Wattled Jacana, Toco Toucan, Sharpbill, and Harpy Eagle from nearly the same spot. For Birders a most interesting place to visit. The place where we stay is close to a nesting area of the Harpy Eagle and we expect to get some very good views of these wonderful eagles. 

Day 3 – 5 – Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel 
breakfast we will leave the Serra das Araras and head for the Pantanal region.  The distance is around 280 km of which the last 65 km are on an unpaved track, which in fact is the famous Transpantaneira. The Transpantaneira is the main road through the Pantanal area, it is quite dusty and bumpy, but the birding along this track is spectacular.  We will stay in the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel. This hotel has 35 rooms, all with bath/shower and air conditioning. It is a good place to start our trip in the Pantanal.  Even non-birders admired the activity just outside the reception area, where cut-fruit trays attract Chestnut-eared Aracaris (above), Purplish Jays, Orange-backed Troupial, Silver-beaked Tanagers, Palm Tanagers, Grayish Saltators and Chalk-browed Mockingbirds.  Yellow-billed Cardinals, Saffron Finches, Giant, Shiny and Bay-winged Cowbirds crowded around tiered troughs filled with cornmeal.
We will go for a boat-trip on the Pixaim River, having walks and other excursions in the midst of the Pantanal. It is also a good location for a night excursion to observe animals, which are more active at night. 

Day 6 – 8 – Porto Jofre
breakfast we will depart and travel south on the Transpantaneira to Porto Jofre. The distance is around 90 km and we expect to arrive in Porto Jofre before lunch. During the transfer we will have regular stops for bird watching and wildlife viewing.
Porto Jofre is situated at the end of the Transpantaneira on the banks of the Cuiaba River, in western Mato Grosso state. Porto Jofre is adjacent to wetlands with marshland habitats rich in waterfowl, migratory birds and other wildlife. The area is a protected Ramsar and World Heritage Site. It is a very good location to see the “big three”, giant Otter, Jaguar and Tapir.
We will stay in the Porto Jofre Hotel for 3 nights. The hotel has 28 rooms, built in blocks of 2 rooms. Accommodations are very simple as this eco destination also doubles as a fishing lodge but all rooms have air conditioning and are spacious. Tasty and varied meals are served in a communal dining room and an outdoor pool provides refreshing relief from the heat.
We will have 2 and a half-days to explore the area doing forest walks, car rides and boat trips.

Day 9 – 11 – Pousada Rio Claro
breakfast we will depart and travel back north to Rio Clara Lodge. This lodge is located half way along the Transpantaneira, then driving for 3km on private road into the Pantanal we will arrive at the lodge, which is situated directly on the bank of the river Rio Claro. All rooms are comfortably furnished, incl. bathroom with shower and toilet as well as air-conditioning and ventilator. The lodge offers more then 20 rooms, a swimming pool, and a separate restaurant with bar. 
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are each served as a warm and cold buffet in the restaurant (local cuisine only).
The river gives great opportunities to see the Agami Heron, Sungrebe, 5 Kingfisher species, fishing raptors, herons and so on, and there is no better place to see the abundant amount of fish available for birds and other animals. 
This river is also a good place for River Otter and the Giant Otter. 

Day 12 – Departure
is our last day. We do have time for a trip in the morning before leaving for Cuiaba, where we are planning to arrive at around midday. We will take a farewell lunch in a restaurant close to the airport and finally we will prepare for our departure back home.
Those who have booked the extension, will get a flight to Sao Paulo, where the group will arrive in the afternoon. We will get the shuttle bus to go to our hotel near the airport 

Extension – Atlantic Forest

Day 1 – 3 – Itatiaia National Park
will depart after an early breakfast to drive to the Itatiaia National Park. The distance is around 250 km partly on unpaved roads. We expect to arrive around lunchtime.
We will stay in Hotel Do Ype for 3 nights. The hotel is located in a privileged part of the Itatiaia National park at an altitude of 1250 m.  Guests are based in small Cabins with basic but clean accommodation. The hotel has some feeders for birds, which makes it interesting for photographers. The food is excellent.

In the afternoon we will spend time to watch fantastic birds visiting the gardens and bird feeders of our hotel. Possible Birds: Brazilian Ruby, White-throated Hummingbird, Frilled Coquette, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Versicolored Emerald, Dusky-throated & Scaled-throated Hermit, Black Jacobin, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Black-eared Fairy Dusky-legged Guan, Saffron Toucanet, Green-headed Tanager, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, White-bibbed Antbird, Star-throated Antwren. 
Since, we shall stay long enough to watch the Sunset; we also will be looking for Short-tailed Nighthawk and, right after, the Tawny-browed Owl, Ferruginous & Least Pygmy-Owl and Variable Screech-owl 

On the second day we will leave early to go to the upper part of the National Park, where we shall spend the entire day, having a packed lunch. 
We will look for the very rare & endemic Golden-winged Cotinga. Other birds we are looking for are Itatiaia Spinetail, Blue Manakin, White-browed Warbler, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-breasted Plover-Crest, Great Pampa-Finch, Thick-billed Saltator, Golden-winged Cacique, White-crested Tyrannulet, Blue-billed & Velvety Black-Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Streamer-tailed Tyrant and White-bellied Seedeater. 
We will stay long enough to search for Rusty-barred Owl. 

On the third day we will be exploring trails. Returning to the lodge for a nice meal and some rest at noon. We will search carefully for the Endemic Antwrens, such as the Star-throated and Ferruginous Antwren, White-bibbed Antbird, Brown Tanager, Blue-naped Clorophonia, Black-billed Scythbill, Rufous Motmot, Brown Tinamou, Picazuro Pigeon, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrotlet, White-collared Swift, Sick’s Swift, Surucua Trogon, Barred Forest-Falcon, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Plumbeous Pigeon, Black-throated Trogon, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Brazilian and Such’s Antthrush, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Rufous Gnateater, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Large-headed Flatbill, Brassy-breasted & Gilt-edged Tanager and Blackish-blue Seedeater. We shall stay long enough, again, for some Owling. 

Day 4 – 6 – Ubatuba
will leave after breakfast going to Ubatuba. The distance is approx. 210 km. We will make several stops, looking for: Rufous-sided Crake, South American Snipe and Firewood Gatherer. We will have lunch during our transfer.
Once we arrive in Ubatuba, we shall make a stop on a wonderful property where we may see the Red-necked Tanager. This place also has a very nice feeder: Saw-billed Hermit, Somber Hummingbird and Festive Coquette, are normally seen here.
We will stay at the Ubatuba Palace Hotel for 3 nights.  The hotel is located within walking distance of Ubatuba’s city center and beaches, Ubatuba Palace Hotel offers rooms with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Features 2 swimming pools. All rooms of Ubatuba Palace hotel are equipped with a private bathroom and cable TV.  Ubatuba Palace hotel’s buffet restaurant serves international and Brazilian cuisine.
Eventually, we may have some time for a walk and birding on the beach looking for Kelp Gull & Brown Bobby.

We have two wonderful days to explore this marvelous area, in both mornings and afternoons, with a nice break for lunch on both days. In Ubatuba, we will have chances for fantastic birds, such as: Bare-throated Bellbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Streak-capped Antwren, Slaty Bristelfront, Buff-throated Purpletuft, White-bearded Manakin, Sharpbill, Mantle Hawk, Gray-hooded Flycatcher, Long-billed Wren, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Rufous-winged Antwren, Scaled Antbird, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Lesser Woodcreeper, Channel-billed Toucan, Fork-tailed Tody-flycatcher, Long-billed Gnatwren, Spotted Bamboowren, Uniform Crake, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Spot-backed Antshrike, Eye-ringed Tody-flycatcher, Long-billed Wren, White-tailed Trogon, Slaty Bristlefront and Rufous-capped Antthrush., Spot-breasted Antvireo, Blond-crested & Yellow-throated Woodpecker. Owling can be very productive here: Mottled Owl, Long-tufted Screech-owl, Least Pygmy-Owl and Pauraque

Day 7 – Departure
breakfast, depending on the departure time of our fellow travellers we will be transferred to the airport of Sao Paulo (travel distance 160 km) where we will say farewell to Brazil for this time. We are sure that it will not be the last time for you, because Brazil is such a great destination for Birders.

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