Day 1: The tour begins in the Saõ Paulo International Airport at 8:00 a.m. We'll take a morning flight from São Paulo to Cuiabá, capital of the state of Mato Grosso. On arrival we'll drive south to Poconé, where we'll connect with the Transpantaneira highway. Not a highway by modern definition, it is actually a raised dirt track that crosses part of the world's largest freshwater wetland, the Pantanal, which covers approximately 90,000 square miles across Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. The Transpantaneira extends for 148 kilometers to Porto Jofre, with excellent roadside birding throughout its length. By basing ourselves in a comfortable lodge, we'll have easy access to the Pantanal and its birds. Walks from the lodge boat trips on streams and rivers and drives along the Transpantaneira will provide opportunities to feast from dawn to dusk on the avian offerings of this vast wetland. Dawn flights of parrots as they leave their nighttime roosts, Nacunda Nighthawks hawking in the early morning, Greater Rheas walking sedately through the grasslands with the calls of Buff-necked Ibises and Red-legged Seriemas in the background are just a few of the visions we'll hope to encounter along the way. Night in the Pantanal. Includes: (B), (Box L),(D).
Days 2-3: We'll have two days to explore the forest and open areas of our lodge and the Transpantaneira between Poconé and Pixiam. In addition to enjoying the spectacle of herons, ibises, Jabirus, Sunbitterns and parrot flocks, we'll spend time looking for such gems as Chaco Chachalaca, Chestnut-bellied Guan, White-lored Spinetail, Mato Grosso Antbird, Helmeted Manakin and the recently described Gray-crested Cachalote. Nights in the Pantanal. Includes: (B), (Box L),(D).
Day 4: After some early morning birding near the lodge we'll return to Cuiaba in time for our flight to Alta Floresta in the southern Amazon basin. Here we'll feel as though we have entered a different world. After a transfer to the Teles Pires River we'll enjoy a boat trip on the pristine Cristalino River as we make our way to the lodge. Late afternoon along the river can hold many surprises and our introduction to the Amazonian forest could include Scarlet, Red-and-green or Blue-and-yellow Macaws flying overhead, an Amazonian Umbrellabird crossing the river in front of us, Red-throated Piping Guans perched high in trees or, with incredible luck, a tapir taking a cooling swim in the river. Our lodge is located minutes away from the river with comfortable rooms, friendly and helpful staff and birds, birds, birds! Night at Rio Cristalino Lodge. Includes: (B), (Box L),(D).
Days 5-6: We'll spend our days walking trails near the lodge, surveying the canopy from a 30-meter tower and exploring the riverine forest by boat. With luck we may encounter an antswarm, allowing us to watch at close range such species as Bare-eyed Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye or even White-chinned Woodcreeper. With the birdlist for Rio Cristalino and the surrounding area exceeding 500 species, the many woodcreepers, furnariids, antbirds and flycatchers, combined with the local Crimson-bellied Parakeet, Striolated Puffbird, Musician and Tooth-billed Wrens, Rufous-capped Antthrush and at times the rare and unexpected such as Gray-bellied Hawk or Kawall's Parrot, will have many of us birding from dawn to dusk and beyond with stops only for some more of the incredibly delicious food provided by the staff and rest breaks during the heat of the day. Nights at Rio Cristalino Lodge. Includes: (B), (Box L),(D).
Day 7: After some early morning birding this superb area, we’ll sadly say farewell and take a last boat trip along the river to meet our transport to Alta Floresta. From here, we will catch our flight to Cuiabá in time for our connecting flight to the Saõ Paulo International Airport where the tour concludes. Connect to flight home depending on schedule or overnight the Saõ Paulo airport area. Night stay in the Saõ Paulo International Airport hotel if needed
Day 8: After breakfast, travel to International Airport for flight Home.
Braulio has more than 10 years experience in the region. He holds a Master Science degree in Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation, and is member of the Brazilian Ornithological Society (SBO), Neotropical Bird Club (NBC), and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Presently, he works in the Project "Ecologia do Gran Pantanal", from the German-Brazilian Program of Scientific Cooperation SHIFT (Studies on Human Impact on Forest and Floodplains in the Tropics) involving the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT) - BioScience Department; Mato Grosso State Government-State Environmental Foundation (FEMA); and the Max-Planck Institut für Limnologie (MPI)-Arbeitsgruppe Tropenokologie.
Braulio was in Ecuador in February 2001 working as a consultant for the Jocotoco Foundation. He found a new population of the extremely rare (considered extinct couple of years ago) Pale-headed Brush-Finch in less than a week working, not too bad for his first Ecuadorian and Andean birds experience! Braulio is equipped with a 82 mm Kowa 20-60X spotting telescope for seeing distant animals, Sony Tcm - 5000 Ev recording equipment, shotgun microphone and tapes for luring in rare and hard to see animals that respond to their own call bringing them into view, a spotlight for nocturnal viewing, and the appropriate bird, mammal identification books and updated checklist for your enjoyment. He lives in Cuiabá with his wife and child son.
John recently relocated to Orlando, Florida from the Great Lakes area. An avid and active birdwatcher, he has observed over 700 species worldwide. John earned BS degrees in both Wildlife and Biology, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. John’s passion for birding has taken him to Costa Rica, Brazil, south Texas, and many other exciting destinations. John’s work experience with birds is extensive. Most recently, he held a position as a Whooping Crane Aviculture Intern with Operation Migration, Inc. In this position, he assisted with chick rearing at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, as well as assisting with bird husbandry, training and with radio telemetry, tracking adult Whopping Cranes at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Necedah, WI. John also has field experience in observing and recording breeding rituals of Cooper’s Hawk, Greater Prairie-chicken and Sandhill Crane in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario, Canada. He also developed and led environmental education programs and activities for children and teens aged 5-18.
John is well organized, very friendly, and personable. He has a "working knowledge of Spanish" and is proficient in Portuguese. These traits and language skills, when combined with his extensive personal and professional birding experience make John an excellent choice for leading tours to Brazil and other tropical destinations for our company.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Brazil Nature & Wildlife Birdwatching Ecotourism