- A diverse and rich wildlife experience; the superb Pantanal, the Amazonian Rainforest at Serra das Araras, cerrado grasslands and canyonlands
- Spectacular wildlife from Hyacinth Macaws and immense numbers of waterbirds to tapirs and possible jaguar
- A photographers dream - magnificent wildlife and stunning scenery
In our exciting birding tour of Southern Brazil, we visit the fabulous Pantanal, Amazonian rainforest, canyonlands and cerrado (savanna) grasslands. We start in the Pantanal, the largest and most important wetland in South America, literally teeming with birds! Herons, egrets, storks including Jabiru, ibis, waterfowl, and spoonbills occur in wonderful abundance, along with a diverse array of other wildlife, including Jaguar. This is home to one of the world’s most resplendent birds, the huge, impressive Hyacinth Macaw!
Following this marvelous experience we will visit the spectacular canyonlands of Chapada, with another suite of new species including the bizarre Streamer-tailed Tyrant.
Last, but not least, we will visit the Amazon rainforest, with spectacular biodiversity. The birding here is diverse and exciting and there is even a possibility of seeing Harpy or Crested Eagle.
Day 1: Arrival in Cuiaba
Our Brazil Amazon & Pantanal birding tour starts in Cuiaba where we meet for an evening meal to discuss our upcoming adventure. Night in Cuiaba.
Days 2 and 3: Birding and boat rides in the Pantanal
On the first morning of our tour, we will have an early breakfast then begin our long drive to the fabulous Pantanal and check-in for a two-night stay our hotel. We will have ample opportunity to bird and photograph the profusion of species along the Transpantaneira. Birds throng the wetlands; we will especially look for scarcer species such as the shy Plumbeous Ibis, Maguari Storks and Rufescent Tiger-herons.
Raptors are seemingly everywhere: Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures, Crane, Black-collared and Roadside Hawks, Gray-headed and Snail Kites and more. On slightly higher ground, gallery forests have taken hold, and are often alive with wildlife. It is in these forests that we search for Toco Toucans, Bare-faced Curassows, and Chestnut-bellied Guans. As well as these spectacular birds, we may see Great Rufous Woodcreeper and White Woodpecker in this area.
The forest walks should reveal many birds including Mato Grosso Antbird, Helmeted Manakin, and Large-billed Antwren. We are likely to encounter several flycatchers, ground-doves including Long-tailed, horneros, cardinals and seedeaters, and possibly White-naped Xenopsaris.
On our boatrides, we will find more of the Pantanal specialties and wetland species including Jabiru, all five South American Kingfishers, and perhaps the colorful Agami Heron. Nights at Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso.
Day 4: Transfer to Porto Jofre
After some early morning birding, we transfer to Porto Jofre. As we drive along the famous Transpantaneira, a dirt road that traverses the Pantanal, we have an overview of this incredibly rich area with wildlife in abundance. We will make stops along the way, and we may see up to 100 species today! Night in Porto Jofre.
Day 5: Full day on the Cuiaba River
Another unforgettable day! After breakfast, we have a morning boat trip on the Cuiaba River, a highlight of the tour. We have a good chance of seeing a Jaguar; the Pantanal jaguar is actually larger than the Amazonian one. We explore the margins of the river in search of this great cat, as well as other impressive fauna and flora.
After an afternoon break for lunch, and perhaps a siesta, we will return to the river for an afternoon boat trip. Between the two boat trips, we should end up with an impressive array of birds, possibly including Sunbittern and Sungrebe, and in dry scrub and woodland on the river banks Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Peach-fronted Parakeet, Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant.
There could also be caimans, capybaras, Giant Otters and probably a few other mammal and reptile species, maybe even anacondas! Night in Porto Jofre.
Day 6: North in the Pantanal
Today we again drive almost the full length of the Transpantaneira highway, focusing on species we have not seen already. After dinner we will have a 1-2 hour safari in an open truck to look for nocturnal creatures, perhaps including Common Pauraque, Little Nightja, Spot-tailed Nightjar, Great Potoo, Crab-eating Fox, Crab-eating Raccoon and even Brazilian Tapir. Night at Piuval Lodge in the Pantanal.
Day 7: Transfer to Chapada dos Guimaraes
After early morning birding, in which we are likely to encounter some birds that are difficult to find in the interior of the Pantanal such as White-fronted Woodpecker and Great Rufous Woodcreeper, we make the nearly 3-hour journey to Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimaraes, our base for 3 nights.
Days 8 and 9: Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park
The scenery in this magnificent park is astonishing! Situated at the western edge of the Planalto do Mato Grosso, the canyonlands and waterfalls of this park are truly impressive. We can expect a wide diversity of wildlife, from macaws to hummingbirds.
We search for some of the endemics of the Cerrado (dry scrub savanna), including White-rumped and White-banded Tanagers, Collared Crescent-chest, Plumbeous Seedeater, Black-throated Saltator, and Campo Suiriri. Nights in Pousada do Parque.
Days 10 - 12: Jardim da Amazonia (Garden of the Amazon)
We have a half-day drive to our next location, Jardim da Amazonia (Garden of the Amazon), where we will have 2 ½ days to explore. The next two days we will have a morning and an afternoon boat ride with a lunch break at shore.
This area has very high biodiversity in a rainforest setting, truly a part of the Amazon Rainforest. Some of the birds we will look out for are Cone-billed Tanager (found in very few other places in the world), Razor-billed Curassow, Ocellated Poorwill, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Blue-cheeked Jacamar, White-throated and Rufous-faced Antbirds, Rufous-tailed Flatbill, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Red-necked and Chestnut-eared Aracaris, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Black-crowned and Masked Tityras, Spotted Puffbird, White-banded Swallow, Black Caracara, Black-eared Fairy, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Black-girdled Barbet, Scaled Pigeon, Laughing Falcon, Red-bellied, Red-shouldered Macaws and Blue-and-Yellow Macaws. There is even a possibility of seeing Harpy or Crested Eagle.
Day 13: Transfer to Cuiabá
After some morning birding in this special area, we will have lunch and then transfer to Cuiaba. We will spend our final evening reviewing our checklists and reflecting on our amazing trip over a delicious dinner. Overnight Night in Cuiaba.
Day 14: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to the Cuiaba airport where our Brazil Amazon & Pantanal birding tour ends, and connections made for flights home. Participants can book their flights home anytime today.
Departures & Prices
Tour Price Includes
- All accommodations (comfortable hotels in good birding locations)
- All meals
- Ground transportation (Bus or van with driver and AC)
- Airport transfers
- Boat rides - 3 locations
- Night safari in open truck
- Eagle-Eye Tours guide + a local guide with 5 - 12 participants
- All park, conservation, entrance fees
Tour Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from start/end location
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
What to Expect
What to Expect
Our Brazil Amazon & Pantanal tour is primarily a birding tour, but we will also seek out the incredible wildlife in the area. You can expect mostly early mornings with excursions before breakfast, or transfering to a new location right after breakfast. We will spend the majority of the day out birding, although we may take a break in the heat of the day. In the evening, after dinner, we will discuss the day’s events and sightings, listing the birds and other wildlife seen, and have a briefing for the next day’s activities. We might also have the opportunity for a night excursion to look for nocturnal wildlife.
Most meals will be taken at the lodges, but on some days we have picnic lunches prepared, in order to maximize time in the field and allow for a more flexible schedule.
Accommodations are a mix of hotels and lodges, with mainly standard rooms and some superior rooms.
We will be walking mainly along quiet roads, or on relatively wide and easy-to-follow trails. The terrain is mostly flat, but might be muddy in places.The walking is easy to moderate; although we can be out for up to 5 hours
Our tour includes several days with half-day drives of 3-4 hours driving time including rest stops, in order to reach key sites.
The weather will be rather hot (around 30°C/ 86°F) and humid, with a mixture of sun and cloud and occasional drizzle or rain.
For many, the highlight of the tour are the boat rides. They will be along calm rivers, for up to 3-4 hours at a time, and some days we will have a boat ride in the morning and afternoon. Please note that there will not always be a bathroom on board.
Even though we cannot guarantee a sighting of the animals below, we feel quite confident that an encounter with the ones listed below is quite likely.
- Hyacinth Macaw
- Great Rufous Woodcreeper
- Streamer-tailed Tyrant
- Scissor-tailed Nightjar
- White Woodpecker
- Toco Toucan
- Southern Screamer
- Blue-winged Macaw
- Possible Harpy and Crested Eagles
- Jaguar possible
- Brazilian Tapir
- Giant Otter
Past Tour Checklists
Past Tour Checklists
View the list of birds and other wildlife we encountered on our past tours.