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Bird Watching Holiday, Brazil: Birding Pantanal + Chapada (Cerrado) Vacation

Brazil Birding: Pantanal + Chapada + Paraty
JPV10C
10 NIGHTS
FROM £4,495
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Bird Watching Holiday Brazil Birding Pantanal Chapada Cerrado Vacation

This wonderful bird watching holiday in Brazil combines birding in the wildlife-rich Pantanal wetlands, with Chapada dos Guimarães in the cerrado, the lush Brazilian savanna. Enjoy birding along the Transpantaneira road and along the banks of the Pixaim and Clarinho Rivers. Also enjoy night drives to see nocturnal species. End your birding vacation relaxing in beautiful Paraty. All birding & transfers included.

Bird Watching Holiday Brazil Birding Pantanal Chapada Cerrado Vacation
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Birding Vacation Pantanal
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Cuiaba
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Transpantaneira Birding
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Pixaim River
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Clarinho River
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Cerrado
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Chapada dos Guimarães
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Paraty
• 
Serra da Bocaina National Park
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Bird Watching Holiday Brazil
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Birding Vacation Pantanal
• 
Cuiaba
• 
Transpantaneira Birding
• 
Pixaim River
• 
Clarinho River
• 
Cerrado
• 
Chapada dos Guimarães
• 
Paraty
• 
Serra da Bocaina National Park
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Bird Watching Holiday Brazil
Day 1
You will be met at Cuiaba Airport by your guide and transferred to the capital city of Mato Grosso state, situated in the exact centre of South America.
 
Check into your hotel and relax in your warm surroundings.
Day 2
This morning transfer 3.5-hours from Cuiaba, travelling along the Transpantaneira Highway to your lodge situated in the northern Pantanal and bird watching along the way.
 
The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland, with 78% fully covered by water during the rainy season and offering the highest concentration of wildlife in all the Americas. Located in the centre of the continent, it is 10 times larger than the Everglades in Florida, USA and covers an area greater in size than the United Kingdom. Spanning three countries, it is situated mainly in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, but also extends into Bolivia and Paraguay.
 
It is a geographic mixing bowl - containing elements of savanna, rainforest, semi-arid woodland and open grasslands. As such it offers some of the finest birding and mammal viewing on the continent. Given the relatively small amount of thick rainforest cover compared to the Amazon, the Pantanal is one of the best places in the world to spot the elusive jaguar in the wild.
 
On arrival refresh yourself at your lodge, before enjoying a late afternoon birding walk in this wildlife paradise followed by a beautiful sunset.
Day 3
We rise early today for birding in the vast Pantanal Wetlands - one of the last untouched wildlife sanctuaries in the world, stretching over 96,000 square miles (250,000 square km).
 
Comprising a wide variety of habitats ranging from Brazilian savanna ('cerrado') and grasslands, to semi-arid woodland, Amazon and Atlantic rainforests, the Pantanal offers much easier birding and game viewing than in the dense jungles of the Amazon Basin. These vast tropical floodplains are home to an amazing diversity of birdlife, with nearly over 650 species including the spectacularly blue Hyacinth Macaw, a parrot cloaked in deep indigo plumage with yellow eye patches, and the Jabiru stork - the second largest flying bird in the Americas after the Andean condor. There are also at least 159 different mammals, 93 reptiles, 53 amphibians, 260 fish and over 1,100 butterfly species.
 
On your first early morning birding walk you can hope to see the White-eyed parakeet, Monk parakeet, Rufous hornero, Yellow-browned tyrant, Purplish jay, Sayaca tanager, Saffron finch, Red-crested cardinal and many more. In the afternoon we climb an observation tower with possibilities of spotting the Sun bittern, Little blue heron, Whistling heron, Bare-faced ibis, Snail kite, Purple gallinule, Yellow-billed tern, Amazon kingfisher, Pygmy kingfisher, Barred antshrike and more. Other colourful species include the Hyacinth macaw, Roseate spoonbill, Southern screamer, Chestnut-bellied guan, Bare-faced curassow, Red-legged seriema, Chestnut-eared aracari, Blue-crowned parakeet, Orange-backed troupial, Blue-crowned trogon, Toco toucan, Yellow-billed cardinal and the diminutive Rufous-tailed jacamar. You can also see several species of ibis, egrets, storks, skimmers, terns, hawks, kites and a host of other raptors and passerines. In the evening we take a night drive looking for the Black-crowned night-heron, Nacunda nighthawk, Pauraquee, Great horned owl, Common potoo and other birds of the night.
 
Millions of capybara, the world's largest rodent, and Yacare caiman (similar to alligators) also live here as well as the Brazilian tapir, one of the largest mammals in South America with a strange trunk-like nose. You can hope to see the Crab-eating raccoon, South American coati (nicknamed the hog-nosed raccoon because of its pig-like snout.), Crab-eating fox, Giant anteater, Lesser anteater, Collared anteater, Black-striped capuchin monkey, Brown capuchin, Howler monkey, Agouti, Tayra, White-lipped peccary, Collared peccary, Chacoan peccary, Red brocket deer, endangered Marsh deer, the ostrich-like Greater Rhea and the diminutive Black-tailed marmoset. If you are fortunate you may see an ocelot, a spectacular wild cat also known as the Dwarf leopard.
 
Along the waterways you can hope to see vocal families of endangered Giant otters, Anaconda and many other mammals, reptiles and birds. The riverbanks of the Pantanal also offers the best opportunity to see the apex predator of the region - the mighty jaguar. Similar in looks to a leopard, but bulkier and heavier set, the jaguar is the most powerful of the big cats and the third largest in size after the tiger and lion. The best time to visit the Pantanal to see a jaguar is during the dry season (July to September) when rainfall is at its lowest and the wetlands gradually dry out, forcing the animals to congregate around the rivers and ever-diminishing lagoons. However a sighting of this magnificent creature in the wild is never guaranteed.
 
Activities vary by lodge and in addition to birding you can usually also enjoy guided walks, boat rides, game drives, catch-and-release fishing and night walks. Horse riding is available at some lodges (either included or at an extra charge).
Day 4
After early breakfast, today we drive 20-miles (32-km) along the Transpantaneira towards the Pixaim River.
 
Enjoy birding along the Transpantaneira where you can hope to see the Chotoy spinetail, Scarlet-headed blackbird, Southern screamer, Lesser yellow-headed vulture, Savanna hawk, Black-coloured hawk, Roadside hawk, Laughing falcon, Greater rhea, Jabiru stork, American wood stork and many more.
 
After lunch at a local lodge, we hike through a forest and take a boat ride along the Pixaim River looking for species such as the rare Agami heron, Sungrebe, American pygmy kingfisher and Boat-billed heron. Along these waterways you can hope to see vocal families of endangered Giant otters, Anaconda and many other mammals and reptiles. The riverbanks of the Pantanal also offers the best opportunity to see the apex predator of the region - the mighty jaguar. Similar in looks to a leopard, but bulkier and heavier set, the jaguar is the most powerful of the big cats and the third largest in size after the tiger and lion. The best time to visit the Pantanal is during the dry season (June to November) when the wetlands gradually dry out, forcing the animals to congregate around the rivers and ever-diminishing lagoons. However a sighting of this magnificent creature in the wild is never guaranteed.
 
We enjoy dinner at local lodge, before returning along the Transpantaneira with more nocturnal birding along the way.
Day 5
Rise early for more early morning birding around your lodge, where you can look for species not yet seen such as the White-browed meadowlark, Bearded tachuri and Crested oropendola
 
After breakfast we drive to the Clarinho River for further birding, both on foot and in kayaks. The flora in the Pantanal is also astonishing, with over 3,500 different species including many aquatic plants, as over 80% of the wetlands are submerged during the wet season. After lunch around a campfire, enjoy more birding on the savanna as we drive back to our lodge.
 
In the evening enjoy another birding night walk and star gazing in the clear night skies of the southern hemisphere.
Day 6
After breakfast we drive 4.5-hours to Chapada dos Guimarães in the heart of the Cerrado, a vast tropical savanna that is considered the richest in the world, due to its high plant diversity with over 10,000 different species, 44% of which are endemic. Most of Brazil’s large rivers have their source here.
 
Situated northeast of Cuiba, spectacularly beautiful Chapada dos Guimarães National Park is over 2,600 ft (800 m) higher than the flat plains of the Pantanal, so is much cooler and has stunning table-top mountains, ravines, caves, streams and waterfalls. It is a paradise for birders and walkers, with a bio-diversity that includes 837 recorded birds species, over 160 different mammals and 120 reptiles.
 
Along the way we stop for lunch at local restaurant situated near a beautiful waterfall and enjoy birding along a hummingbird trail. We also walk along the Hell’s Gate trail before checking into our lodge.
Day 7
Rise early for some birding in your lodge grounds this morning.
 
After breakfast we drive along the Água Fria Road spotting the special birds of this region including the Collared crescentchest, White-eared puffbird, Rufous-winged antshrike and many more.
 
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the 'Mirante da Geodesia' lookout point, which marks the geographic centre of Latin America. We also visit the 'Vale da Benção' for more birding, before return to our lodge for dinner. In the evening enjoy a night walk to observe nocturnal birds.
Day 8
After some final early morning birding, transfer 1-hour to Cuiaba Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Guarulos Airport in Sao Paulo and transferred 4-hours to the seaside town of Paraty on the scenic Emerald Coast.
 
Check into your hotel in this beautifully restored colonial town that was one of Brazil's most important ports during the 18th century gold rush and explore on foot its cobbled streets.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Portuguese.
Days 9 To 10
At leisure to relax on the beaches of Paraty and absorb the wonderful atmosphere of this old Portguguese colonial town, with its white-washed buildings and beautiful bay.
 
Amble through the narrow pedestrianised streets of the historic centre that is today a World Heritage site and admire the old houses, many of which are adorned with Masonic symbols. You can visit the colossal First Church of Our Lady of the Remedies and the much smaller Chapel of Santa Rita built for emancipated slaves; browse in the market for handcrafts and see artists exhibiting their paintings. Afterwards relax in one of the many restaurants or pubs, where you can taste 'cachaça' - a popular rum-like Brazilian spirit used to make Caipirinha cocktails.
 
With over 65 islands in the surrounding ocean, you can also take a boat ride to swim, snorkel and dive in these crystal clear waters. A speedboat ride to Saco do Mamangua fjords, a collection of tree-covered isles and hump-shaped hills rising above an expanse of calm water, with beautiful beaches and umbrella-like palms is also recommended.
 
Alternatively head 30-minutes inland on an optional 4x4 tour to enjoy walking or birding in Serra da Bocaina National Park, part of Brazil's pristine Atlantic rainforest. With crashing waterfalls, verdant forests and sprawling open hills, this park is home to a host of exotic wildlife including numerous colourful tropical birds, the woolly spider monkey, white-lipped peccary and the black jaguar (panther).
 
If you enjoy history, you can visit the remains of the Caminho de Ouro ('Gold Route'), a 745-mile stone-paved road built by slaves in the 18th century, along which gold was shipped via Paraty to Europe. You can also see prehistoric cave paintings in this region.
 
In the evening visit the main square, where locals congregate for live samba music and dancing.
Day 11
Today transfer 4-hours from Paraty to Guarulos Airport in Sao Paulo for your flight home.
 
Note: your driver will only speak Portuguese.