BRAZIL

THE PANTANAL WETLANDS & SIERRA DE ARARAS

Dates

July 2nd /13th 2016 & 2017

Tour Cost

2440.- GBP

Single room supplement

275.- GBP

Group size

12 with two leaders

Tour leader

Josele J Saiz & Paolo Boute

Airport

Airport : UK - Sao Paulo - Cuiaba (UK to Cuiaba, via Sao Paulo approx. 800 GBP return).

What´s included

All ground transport. five boat trips, all meals, services of guides and reserve entrance fees. Accommodations throughout are very good: clean, comfortable rooms, all ensuite with A/C and all in lovely locations. Transport in a comfortable "VOLARE" motor vehicle with A/C, driven by local driver/guides. We want to offer each guest a window seat.

What´s not included

Return flights between the UK and Sao Paulo/Cuiaba - with any 'en route' overnight stay that may be involved, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.

Tour code

Superb tour in one of the best Brazilian natural areas, excellent birding and mammal opportunities, including Jaguar.

Selected species list

Harpy Eagle, Toco Toucan, Sunbittern, Hyacinth Macaw, Nacunda Nighthawk, Great Potoo. Jaguar, Maned Wolf, Ocelot, Brazilian Tapir, Crab-eating Fox, Crab-eating Racoon, Giant River Otter & Giant Anteater.

Introduction

Brazil, one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet, is a dream destination for any naturalist. During this tour we will explore the celebrated Pantanal, the planet's largest wetland, encompassing 96,500 square miles (250,000 square kms) of emerald forests, savannas, swathing rivers and shallow lagoons; as well as the verdant Amazon rainforest with its amazing diversity of avifauna rivalled nowhere else on earth. The Pantanal is on three major migratory routes for birds and as the water level retreats considerable numbers of fish and amphibians become trapped in pools, providing a rich source of food. In many respects this is perhaps the easiest place in South America to watch a wide variety of tropical wildlife and our tour is timed to coincide with maximum bird numbers, abundant flora and the most tolerable weather conditions. 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! The Pantanal is home to a number of mammals including Giant River Otter, Ant-eaters, Crab-eating Fox, Ocelot and Jaguar. In addition, just to the north of the Pantanal wetlands lies a completely different biome, the arid Cerrado, where a quite different community of birds occur and where patches of gallery forest provide a chance for species of a more Amazonian character.

Itinerary

Day 1 - July 1 - Depending on flight times and airline used you will travel on this day, or the following day, to join the start of the tour in Cuiaba.

Day 2 and 3 - July 2,3 - Arrival at Cuiaba Airport (start of tour proper) and transfer to the Serra das Araras, arriving mid afternoon. We may have time to search for the Harpy Eagle and other interesting birds such as Cream-Coloured, Lineated and Yellow-Tufted Woodpeckers. We may also see White and Gray Hawks. We will stay long enough in the evening to try for Tawny-bellied Screech and Spectacled Owls. Return to the Lodge, complete our check lists and then dinner. Overnight at the Curupira Lodge.

Day 4- July 4 - After an early breakfast we will transfer to the Pantanal, birding en route, arriving by lunch time. In the afternoon we’ll take a forest walk in search of birds such as the Mato Grosso Antbird,  Saffron-billed Sparrow, Jabiru and Hyacinth Macaw. We will also undertake a boat ride, followed by a visit to an observation tower, from where we will see a colony of Roseate Spoonbills. Again, we will stay long enough for night birds, such as Nacunda and Band-tailed Nighthawks, Great and Grey Potoos. Return to the lodge. Overnight at the Piuval Lodge.

Day 5- July 5 - After an early breakfast and check out, we will be transferring to the Porto Jofre Hotel. With lots of birdwatching and lunch along the route, we may see Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Black-capped Donacobious, Yellow-billed and Red-Crested Cardinal, just to mention a few. We will be arriving at the Porto Jofre Hotel by the end of the day and just in time to appreciate a very beautiful sunset.  Overnight at the Porto Jofre Hotel.

Day 6- July 6 - After yet another early breakfast we will have a full morning boat ride in search of the very famous Jaguars. Believe it or not, we may see more than just one! Besides the Jaguar(s), we may also see Southern Screamers, Black Skimmers, Large and Yellow-billed Terns, Collared and Pied Plovers. We will return for lunch and after a short break, embark on another boat ride in the afternoon. Return to the Lodge at the end of the day. Overnight at the Porto Jofre Hotel.

Day 7- July 7 - After an early breakfast we will check out and transfer to the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel, with birdwatching along the route. Targets are Chotoy and Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Maguari Stork, Savanna and Great Black Hawks. We will arrive at lunch time and after a siesta we will take a lovely boat ride in search of all the five South American Kingfishers (Ringed, Amazon, Green, Green-and-Rufous and Pygmy), plus the very rare Agami Heron. We will return at sunset, with a night drive in search of  nocturnal mammals such as Ocelots, Crab-eating Fox and Crab-eating Raccons. We may also find Scissor-tailed and Spotted-tailed Nightjars. Overnight at the Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso.

Day 8- July 8 -   An early breakfast will be followed by a forest walk. Targets include Helmeted Manakin, Large-billed Antwren, Red-billed Scythebill, Band-tailed Antbird (...again), just to mention a few. Return by noon for lunch and siesta. In the afternoon another boat ride in search of species we may have missed before. Later, we will have another night drive with the same purpose - finding any missing animals/birds from the previous night. Return to the lodge. Overnight at the Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso.

Day 9- July 9 - We’ll check out after an early breakfast heading for the Penhasco Hotel, in the village of Chapada dos Guimarães, right at the border of the National Park of the same name. We will arrive for lunch at a typical local restaurant, before checking in at our hotel. In the afternoon we will be birding for Brazilian Savanna (known as the Cerrado) specialties, such as White-banded & White-rumped Tanagers, Collared Crescentchest, Horned Sunbeam, among many other very interesting birds. We shall stay long enough to try for Tropical Screech-Owl. We will return to the village for dinner and then return to our hotel. Overnight at the Penhasco Hotel.

Days 10 and 11- July 10,11 Another early breakfast and for the first part of the day we will return to the Cerrado in search of as many birds as possible, including Chapada Flycatcher and Checkered Woodpecker. Once it gets hot in the morning, we will move to a forested area in search of  Band-tailed and Fiery-capped Manakins. We’ll return to the village for lunch and then a break at our hotel before returning to the Cerrado once more – for those missing birds, which might this time include Rusty-backed Antwren, Pale-breasted Spinetail and both Red-winged and Small-billed Tinamous. Again, we should stay long enough for some ‘owling’, this time trying for Rufous Nightjar – a bird with a very interesting call. Both days, overnight at the Penhasco Hotel.

Day 12- July 12 - After another early breakfast we will check out and, time permitting, bird en route to Cuiaba Airport for your internal flight and connection at Sao Paulo - arriving home the following day.

Gallery

Testimonials

Hi Josele

Just a quick email to thank you for a brilliant time in Brazil and look forward to seeing you on the next trip.
Your trips are so good and we already look forward to the next one.

Sue & Richard Juluy 2016

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Hello Josele
I just want to thank you for organizing the amazing trip to the Pantanal - Ken and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it was quite hectic at times, as you know. Paolo is an most knowledgeable birding guide and although at first we thought him rather arrogant by the end of the trip we really got to like him. The fact that Paolo also gave us a cultural experience as well and the talk on the history of Matto Grosso greatly added to the pleasure of the trip. The birding was exceptional and as for the jaguars - who could ask for more!
Thank you once again and we hope to join you on further birding tours in the future. We have the Iberian Lynx trip you mentioned in mind for 2015.
Best wishes
Zoë & Ken- 2013

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Hi Josele,
I am very well and still enjoying the memories of our fantastic trip to Brazil.
I am attaching my images as requested. I am afraid I could not get very good images of the otters but I've attached what I have.I have attached a small selection of the pictures and you can choose what you prefer.
I look forward to seeing the trip report in due course.
Finally I just wanted to say a big thank you for organising such a successful trip.
Regards David Lund - 2013

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Hi Josele

Thank you very much for the bird list and photos (including some excellent ones from our keenest photographer David). I am still working through my photos to reach the 'best 100' to share online.

We very much enjoyed a wonderful experience of the Pantanal and the two more upland areas, followed by the magnificent Falls. Thank you so much for organising it and arranging for Paolo to be our truly expert guide. Thanks also to Andy for putting together such a good group of people.

Best wishes Dorian 2013

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