When most people think of Brazil, they think of Carnival, Sugarloaf and endless beaches, but we think of the Pantanal and the Atlantic forests. Between large wetlands, savannahs and emerald forests, these two great ecosystems are excellent places to start discovering Brazil. It is also the best place on the continent to observe some great fauna, like mammals, which, with some 600 species, are omnipresent.

15 days
From 5680 US$
Birdwatching trips in South America Birdwatching trips in South America
Photographic safaris in South America Photographic safaris in South America

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Xavier Amigo

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Xavier Amigo
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15 15 days

Day 1: Arrival in Sao Paolo - Cuiaba


After arriving at the Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paolo, your guide will welcome you before heading directly to the local airport in Congonhas for our internal flight to the capital of the province of Mato Grosso, our next point of departure, to visit the mythical Pantanal. The waiting time at the airport will allow us to get to know each member of the group. After a 2h30 internal flight we arrive in Cuiaba where the transport to our hotel will be waiting for us. A good night's sleep will be the best option after this long journey. For those who still have some energy left, we can go for a walk in the Mae Bonifacia Park, not far from the hotel.

Dinner and overnight stay in a country hotel in Cuiaba.

English-speaking welcome and transfer

Day 2: Cuiaba– Poconé – Porto Joffre


After breakfast we will board our air-conditioned vehicle for a long drive south. During this first motorized trip we will have the opportunity to review the tour in detail, to deal with several themes related to the trip, the species present but also to talk a bit about the history of this large and diverse country. Arriving in Poconé, we will take the Transpantaneira road. Along this northern section of the famous road, we will make our first observations during the whole day. During the first local lunch we will be able to stroll around the garden of the restaurant in search of some gregarious species. We will continue our observations, between savannah and road and river banks until the Transpantaneira ends.

Dinner and overnight in a standard lodge on the banks of the Cuiabá River.

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Undulated Tinamou, Black-hooded Parakeet, Yellow-collared Macaws, Common Thornbird, Southern Screamer, Plumbeous Ibis, Bare-faced Curassow, Greater Rhea, Whistling Heron, Long-tailed Ground-Dove, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Planalto Woodcreeper, White Woodpecker, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Red-crested Cardinal, Orange-backed Troupial, Gray-crested Cacholote,, Nacunda Nighthawk, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.

Day 3: In search of the jaguar


From the banks of the Cuiaba River, we will board our speedboat to head to the best viewing areas for the main target of the day: the Jaguar. We will spend the day navigating different rivers and exploring their banks and claylicks. We have a radio communication system between the different boatmen which maximises the opportunity to observe this feline, so rare elsewhere. Once again, it is the dry season that drives the Pantanal Jaguars to the riverbanks, as does its prey, attracted by the water. It is common to observe these big cats sharing the area with other mammals and reptiles that will remain in sight for long hours, indifferent to the presence and the looks of photographers and observers. We will take advantage of these pleasant and rich waterways to complete our ornithological observations. Families of giant otters are also easy to observe in this area.  The time of return to our lodge will be dictated by the observations made during the day.

Dinner and overnight stay at the same Fazenda.

English-speaking naturalist guide

Day 4: Porto Jofre – Rio Claro


We will complete our observations with another morning outing. The site will be chosen according to the species observed or not the day before. The rest of the day will be dedicated to the exploration of the Pantanal. The largest wetland on the planet sees the first seasonal rains arrive at the end of October and the beginning of November. Until then, the lack of water forces all animal species into large mixed congregations along the rivers. In many places, large reptiles live alongside capybaras and waders. Several species of deer cross the swampy expanses where the jaguar and the maned wolf hunt. This phenomenon of seasonal flooding acts as a regulator of the dynamics of animal and plant communities. It’s a fragile balance, surprising and full of life. The Transpantaneira road, which runs northwards, is long and straight, but also full of surprises and excellent opportunities for wild encounters.  It is normally a two hour journey between the two accommodations, but given the wide variety of wildlife rich areas, it will probably take much longer than that. On arrival to our new accommodation we will take advantage of the various feeding and watering areas to add to our list of new species of tanagers, guans, caciques, toucans and hummingbirds.

Dinner and overnight at the Pousada Rio Claro

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Red-legged Seriema, Boat-billed Heron, Sungrebe, Sunbittern, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Green and Amazon kingfisher, Agami Heron, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Solitary Black Cacique, Silver-beaked Tanager, Grayish Saltator, Grayish Baywing, Band-tailed Antbird, Rusty-backed Spinetail, Buff-breasted Wren, Large-billed Antwren, Golden-green Woodpecker, Helmeted Manakin, Flavescent Warbler, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Black-banded Owl

Day 5: Rio Claro – Santa Teresa


Located further south in the Pantanal, the Fazenda de Rio Claro has redirected its economic activity towards tourism and conservation. Numerous trails lead through the gallery forest areas, home to special vegetation, a large number of undergrowth birds and some mammals, including several primates. Lastly, from the lodge, we will board our motorboats to explore the bends and curves of the Rio Claro and discover a large number of aquatic species. From the banks, we will walk along the Trilha dos macacos (monkey trails) to try to find some difficult species such as the Common Potoo, several anteaters and flycatchers. In the late afternoon we will make a short trip to our new Fazenda.

Dinner and overnight in Santa Tereza

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Undulated Tinamou, Roseate Spoonbills, Zigzag herons, Pygmy Kingfisher, Chestnut-bellied Guan, White-fronted and Pale-crested Woodpeckers, White-lored and Cinereous-breasted Spinetails, Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Subtropical Doradito, Red-billed Scythebill, Flavescent Warbler, Moustached and Fawn-breasted Wrens, Purplish Jay, Nanday Parakeets, Saffron Finch and Chestnut-bellied Guan. Helmeted Manakin, Stripe-necked TodyTyrant, Plain Inezia, Flavescent Warbler, Large-billed Antwren, Pale-crested Woodpecker, White-eyed Attila, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher, Forest Elaenia, Moustached Wren, Golden-green Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and White-lored Spinetail, Mottled Owl, Black-banded Owl

Day 6: Santa Teresa - Piuval


Located on the banks of the Pixaim River, between Cerrado and riparian vegetation, this private reserve is entirely dedicated to conservation and tourism. These 360 hectares are home to, in addition to 360 species of birds, a large number of mammals, including the giant otter, caiman, capibara, several species of primate and the rare Ocelot and the mythical Tapir. The trails in the reserve allow us to get close up to the sites of interest, including the observation tower and the Pixaim River. After this long day of observations we continue north to our last fazenda. First night walk after dinner to try to observe owls, poorwills and potoos.

Dinner and night in a charming hotel

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

King Vulture, Chaco Chachalaca, Rufous Hornero, Gray-crested Cachalote, Amazon Kingfishers, Toco Toucans, Yellow-billed and Red-crested Cardinals, Purplish Jay, Orange-backed Troupial, Bay-wings, Grayish Saltator, Picazuro Pigeon, Long-tailed Ground-Doves, Chestnut-eared Aracaris, Campo Flickers, Vermilion Flycatchers, White-rumped Monjitas, Bare-faced Curassows, Hyacinth Macaw, Chotoy Spinetail, Helmeted Manakin, Blue-crowned Trogon, White-wedged Piculet, Mato Grosso and Band-tailed Antbird, Large-billed Antwren, Greater Thornbirds, Fawn-breasted Wren, Capped Heron, Green Ibis, Wood Stork, Osprey, Southern Caracara, Giant Wood-rail, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher.

Day 7: Piuval


The different types of woodland habitats as well as the open vegetation areas, combined with the multiple special facilities of this farm-reserve, allow for the easiest and most surprising observations of this region of the Northern Pantanal. We will combine day and night walks, travel by safari truck, climb tup the observation towers and stalk areas to visit the different ecotones of this conservation area: swamps, savannahs, riparian vegetation, gallery forest, flooded pastures, all biotopes are present here. A new night out will take us on the trail of some emblematic mammals: the giant armadillo, the crab-eating fox, the anteater, and the South American tapir.

Dinner and night at the same Fazenda

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Black-collared Hawk, Hyacinth Macaw, Blue-fronted Parrot, Toco Toucan, Yellow-billed Cardinals, Chestnut-bellied Guan, White-face Ibis, Jabiru, Maguari Stork, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Mato Grosso Antbird, White-lored Spinetail, Scarlet-hooded Blackbird , Rusty-collared Seedeater, Chotoy Spinetail, Suiriri Flycatcher, Guira Cuckoo, Band-tailed Nighthawks Spot-tailed Nightjar, Pauraque

Day 8: Piuval - Cuiabá


In the middle of these flooded savannas, other ecosystems cut through the landscape, such as the gallery forests, which we will also explore. A short drive up the Transpantaneira road will be our last opportunity to complete our species list and our collection of beautiful photos. Along the red dirt road we will look for various waders, raptors and alcids, but also our last mammals and large reptiles. Arrival in the late afternoon near the airport of Cuiaba where we will spend the night. If the weather allows it, we’ll be able to rest by the swimming pool in order to recharge our batteries for the second part of the trip.

Dinner and overnight stay in Hotel Fazenda in Cuiaba

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Maguari Stork, Black-collared Hawks, Streamer-tailed Tyrants, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, White-naped Xenopsaris, King Vulture, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Golden-collared Macaw, Boat-billed Heron, White-wedged Piculet, White-tailed Goldenthroat, Sungrebe, Pied Lapwing, Yellow-billed, Large-billed Terns, Black Skimmer, Greater Ani, Anhinga, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Sungrebes, Blue-and-yellow Macaw

Day 9: Cuiaba – Rio de Janeiro - Guapiaçu


After breakfast, transfer to Cuiabá airport for our flight to Rio de Janeiro, after a stopover in Brasilia and a two and a half hour flight, we will land at Santos airport to immediately head to our new observation area; the Brazilian Atlantic forests. The most important endemic hot spot of the country. During the next few days, we will walk between two lodges of ornithological importance that will allow us to maximize our observations without getting too tired. The programme includes feeders and quiet walks. After a two-hour drive to the north-east, we will enter the conservation area of the REGUA reserve, where we will start our first observations. The rest of the day will be spent exploring the various feeding sites around the lodge. Possibility of a night walk after dinner.

Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Brazilian Teal, Masked Duck, Grey-headed Kite, Savanna Hawk, Limpkin, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Yellowish Pipit, Chestnut-capped Blackbird, Reddish Hermit, White-chinned Sapphire, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, White-flanked Antwren, Unicolored Antwren, Brazilian Laniisoma (Shrike-like Cotinga), Long-billed Wren. Tawny-browed Owl, Common Potoo, Common Pauraque, Scissor-tailed Nightjar.

Day 10: Guapiaçu


The REGUA project conserves more than 550 hectares of high Atlantic forest along the Guapiaçu River watershed. Here 470 species of birds have been recorded, including 62 national endemics. For those with previous birding experience in the Neotropics, the vast majority of species will be new here. This is due to the isolation of this semi-mountainous coastal region. Endemic means fragile. Only 7% of the original Brazilian Atlantic forest cover remains today. The conservation work in this reserve is unique and well worth the visit. Depending on the weather conditions we can visit several trails, including the Brown trail, which is the first immersion in reclaimed secondary forest. An easy trail of lowland forest (50m) with streams and sparse vegetation.

Dinner and overnight at the same lodge

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Tataupa Tinamou, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, White-chinned Sapphire, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Channel-billed Toucan, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Blond-crested Woodpecker, White-flanked Antwren, Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike, White-bearded Manakin, Shrike-like Cotinga, Green-backed Becard, Southern Antpipit, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Long-billed Wren, Brazilian Tanager, Black-goggled Tanager, Black-legged Dacnis, Spot-tailed Nightjar, Barn Owl, Black-banded Owl, Tawny-browed Owl,

Day 11: Guapiaçu - Itororo


Early in the morning we head to a new sighting area. After a 30 minute drive, we will take the Red Trail, leading to the higher areas of primary and elfin forest (500m). The topography of this trail is more difficult, but allows access to "major" elevations and therefore completely different species from the lower areas. The mountain relief also allows us to observe certain canopy areas and thus have access to this vegetative fringe containing specific species and offering superb landscapes of the Serra dos Organos massif. We head back down to the lowlands to collect our belongings and set off for our new accommodation. An endless ballet of new species awaits us around our Lodge. An excellent opportunity to get some new species for our lists.

Dinner and overnight in a charming Eco-Lodge

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Solitary Tinamou, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Mantled Hawk, Barred Forest-Falcon, Plain Parakeet, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Surucua Trogon, Spot-billed Toucanet, Saffron Toucanet, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker, Giant Antshrike, Salvadori’s Antwren, Ferruginous Antbird, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Variegated Antpitta, Spotted Bamboowren, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Oustalet’s Tyrannulet, Russet-winged Spadebill, Pin-tailed Manakin, Brown Tanager, Olive-green Tanager, Half-collared Sparrow, Black-throated Grosbeak, Green-chinned Euphonia, Least Pygmy-Owl, Mottled Owl, Black-capped Screech-Owl, Common Potoo, Long-tailed Potoo

Day 12: Itororo


Itororo Lodge is without doubt one of the best options for maximising birdwatching and photography sessions. The various trails around the lodge allow for countless opportunities to expand our list. We will come across areas of primary forest, secondary forest, bamboo, the orchid garden, etc. There is no shortage of walking and trail options close to the lodge, mixing all these different ecosystems and hosting a large number of Atlantic forest endemics. We will also take some time to wander around the feeding grounds near the lodge and get some great shots.

Dinner and overnight in a charming Eco-Lodge

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Lemon-chested Greenlet, Black-backed Tanager, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Brazilian Tanager, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Ash-throated Crake, Three-toed Jacamar, Gilt-edged Tanager, Hooded Tanagers, Scaled Woodcreeper, Blue-winged Macaw, Black-necked Aracari, White-eared Puffbird, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Magpie Tanager, Burnished-buff Tanager, Plain Parakeet, White-throated Hummingbird

Day 13: Semidouro Road


Depending on the species seen in the previous days, the climate and the pace of the trip, this day can vary in content. There is no lack of options around this area to enjoy the diversity of species. One of the possible options will be to go up to the high areas of the Serra dos Orgaos in search of new species with a more limited distribution and confined to the colder altitudinal fringes. We will focus particularly on the Three-toed Jacamars, a rare endemic of the area. It will also be possible to walk the Cedae trail, close to the lodge, or the so-called Macae de Cima trail.

Dinner and overnight at the same lodge.

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Dusky-legged Guan, White-eyed Parakeets , Purple-throated Euphonia Three-toed Jacamar, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Sombre Hummingbird, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Pileated Finch, Toco Toucans, Saffron Finch, Blue-winged Macaws, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Green-barred Woodpecker, Moustached Wren, Curl-crested Jays, White-eared Puffbird, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Ferruginous Antbird, Crested Black-Tyrant, Cinnamon Tanagers, Olive-green Tanagers

Day 14: Pico Da Caledonia


The main reason to go to the heights of this coastal massif is to reach, by vehicle of course, the ecosystems perched above 1700 metres. It is here that the most restricted and isolated species of the country evolve. They cannot be observed anywhere else, and this is what is known as micro-endemism. Depending on the climate and the state of the road, we will try to reach the highest parts of the massif in order to look for the most remote and restricted species. The descent will be gradual and on foot for the rest of the day. Picnic on site. The changes in habitat are really noticeable and we will give plenty of clues on the presence of special species at each one: dwarf and bamboo forests, scree, scrub, fern forests. We return to our lodge in the middle of the afternoon to rest and complete our observations of the watering holes.

Dinner and overnight at the same lodge.

English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Bay-chested Warbling Finch, Diademed Tanager, Blue-billed Black Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Grey-winged Cotinga, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Black and Gold Cotinga, Brazilian Antthrush, Mouse-colored Tapaculo. Itatiaia Thistletail, Velvety-black Tyrants, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Large-tailed Antshrike, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch

Day 15: Itororo – Restinga – Rio De Janeiro


Early breakfast before heading back to the village of Silva Jardim to visit one of the country's finest conservation efforts. Since 1971, the Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Project has implemented and has been monitoring a breeding plan for what is one of the most vulnerable primate species on the planet. This small endemic monkey is restricted to a few isolated areas of the Mata Atlantica and is subject to enormous anthropogenic pressures. The conservation of this environment also benefits other species, including a large number of birds. As we walk along the paths we will be aware of the presence of this fauna. In the early afternoon we will head back to the coast and complete our list with some maritime and shoreline species. We will be looking for one of the most restricted endemic species of the country, the Restinga's Grebe. This species, discovered in 1990, has been classified as critically endangered, due to the reduction of its unique habitat. We will continue our journey towards Rio de Janeiro, following part of the coastline until we reach the international airport of Galeao

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English-speaking naturalist guide, private transport

Restinga Antwren, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Lemon-chested Greenlet, Black-backed Tanager, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Brazilian Tanager, Brown Boobies, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Restinga Tyrannulet, Azure Jay, Dusky-tailed Antbird, Chestnut-headed Tanager, Bare-throated Bellbird

Dates of the next departures

From Oct 06 to Oct 20, 2024
Open to booking (6 places left)

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Dates Status
From Oct 06 to Oct 20, 2024 Open to booking (6 places left)

Prices per person

2 travelers 4 travelers 6 travelers 8 travelers
9,825 US$ 6,690 US$ 5,680 US$ 5,355 US$

You are a group of travelers and want a special rate? Contact us. Request a personalized quote


  • Private transport (petrol, road taxes, parking, insurance for vehicle and passengers)
  • Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • All transfers as mentioned
  • Bilingual naturalist guide for the whole tour
  • Local guide for the Pantanal and private reserves
  • 24 hour assistance
  • Accommodation in double rooms with private bathroom - (Hotels, Fazendas, Pousadas and charming Lodge)
  • All meals as mentioned picnics for some hikes. Snacks
  • Telescope available with digiscoping facilities

Not included

  • International flight. (You can consult our list of tour operators offering flights).
  • Excursions and activities indicated as optional in the programme.
  • Luggage weight supplements for flights (23 kg allowed on internal flights).
  • Single room supplement. Except in Itororo
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks for all meals.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Personal insurance.
  • Bank commissions for payments.

Important note

Itineraries may be subject to last minute changes due to natural disasters or changes in domestic legislation. The visitor must take into account and accept the possibility of last minute changes in the organisation of the trip. The operator therefore reserves the right to make any changes necessary to ensure the safety and integrity of the travellers and to comply with the laws in force. The hotels are given as an indication subject to availability at the time of booking the tour. In case of unavailability, a hotel of the same category will be proposed.

* In US dollars based on double room accommodation. These rates are valid for the dates selected but may be subject to increase at the time of booking and depending on the tourist season and local holidays. Our quotations are calculated in US Dollars and we are committed to this amount. The equivalent value in Euros or in any other currency is therefore indicative and calculated on the basis of the exchange rate on the day of the offer.

Your guides for this trip

Cirilo Vieira

Cirilo Vieira

en es br
Cirilo grew up between Rio de Janeiro and a bucolic village on the South Atlantic coast, where he spent a lot of time on the beach. He was always attracted to the outdoors and wildlife, which led him to study biology. As part of his biology course at the university, he did a three-year internship at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. It was here that he realized that nature should have a greater place in his life, and birds too. Later, he joined his friends Andy and Cristina Foster, instigators of the famous lodge "Serra dos Tucanos" where he worked for three and a half years. He then learned about marine biology through the observation of marine mammals, aboard a seismic vessel. In 2015, he returned to REGUA, in the southeast of Brazil, where he stayed for 4 years as a guide specialized in Birdwatching. Thanks to his excellent English, Cirilo likes to accompany his guests and show them the birdlife of the coastal Atlantic forests, and in particular the Bataras that conform his favorite family. Cirilo now lives in Teresopolis with his wife Alejandrina and son Martin. He will be your birding guide for all birding trips in Brazil.
Hugo Foxonet

Hugo Foxonet

en es fr
Hugo Foxonet is an ornithologist, herpetologist and chiropterologist based near Cayenne in French Guiana. With 5 years of naturalist expertise in the Guiana Amazon and numerous trips throughout South America, he has accumulated in-depth knowledge of the species and their ecology. He now guides ornithological outings and stays to share his passion, and accompanies numerous Nature Experience trips in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Guyana and Argentina. His surveys are particularly focused on the endemic specialities of the different bio-regions, so he can help you find some of the rarest and most localized species on the continent, from the vast swamps of the Pantanal, the tropical Andes, the cerrados of the Chapada dos Guimarães, the forests of the Yungas and the mountainous vegetation of the Mata Atlantica.

Characteristics of the trip

Travel theme

Birdwatching, naturalist and photography


Specialised bilingual guide


from 4 to 8 people

Arrival city

Sao Paolo

Departure city

Rio de Janeiro


Charming Hotels, Lodges, Pouzadas and Fazenda

Physical condition

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