The Pantanal of Mato Grosso, a vast grassy lowland at the heart of South America that is home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on the continent is the world's largest freshwater wetland and, therefore, one of the world's best birding areas. The numbers of birds even in the rainy season are very impressive and all specialties are residents. A dead-end dirt road, known as the "Transpantaneira", pierces the Pantanal. Birding from this road can produce over 100 species in a day, and still chances to spot rare mammals such as Giant Anteater, Marsh Deer, Giant Otter and even Jaguars.
The Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park, lies at the western edge of the Brazilian central plateau, surrounded by cerrado (savanna-like) vegetation with some Amazonian semi-deciduous forest that support a number of species not found in the Pantanal.Due to the road conditions, water level and concentration of wildlife during the flooded season we do not go as far as the end of the Transpantaneira road or beyond. We maximize our time in the pantanal exploring our stakeouts for local specialties offering visitors the chance to enjoy the pantanal at maximum of possible confort. Notice that rainfall is not a problem at all during this flooded season, once our tropical rains do not last for hours or days, it is worth of mention that most of our tours during this period of the year barely face rainfall during our outings. By the way, the flooded season is our favorite to visit the pantanal, once you really can see why the pantanal is the world's largest wetland.
Pantanal & Chapada: 07 Day / 06 Night Itinerary
DAY 01 - CUIABA - PANTANAL
Tour will start at Hotel reception in Cuiaba at 07:00am. Immediate transfer to the PANTANAL, the first 100km of good paved road crosses a disturbed cerrado transition ecosystem, featuring examples of cerrado vegetation, gallery forests and a unique tall cerrado forest, we will stop for some birding when necessary. The pavement stops just after Pocone, and the Transpantaneira dirt road starts. A different habitat, birds all over, from Greater Rheas to tiny Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrants, the pantanal is full of life and is hard to don't see a bird in any bush we put our binoculars on! Two lodges will be used, both with different landscape. Our first lodge was a research base for a big Brazilian-Germany project to study the "Ecology of the Pantanal" because has nearly all habitats found in the whole floodplain. Several walks and birding from our vehicle will be a routine here. We will see an star bird at the very first day once there are Hyacinth macaws nesting in the near forest island, as well as Golden-collared Macaw, Blue-crowned, Monk & Golden-chevroned Parakeets, Turquoise-fronted & Orange-winged Amazons, Black-fronted Nunbird, Undulated Tinamou, Chaco Chachalaca, the Brazilian endemics Chesnut-bellied Guan and Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Savanna, Black-collared & Great Black Hawks. Dry forest specialties includes Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Black-bellied Antwren, Sooty-fronted Spinetail, Spot-backed Puffbird, Red-crested Finch, Saffron-billed Sparrow, White-lined Tanager, Lineated Wodpecker just to name a few. At night, Common Potoo, Great Horned Owl and Tropical Screech-Owl share with Pauraques our attention in our night outings. Our checklist will produces over 100 species a day! Overnight. (L,D)
DAY 02 - PANTANAL - RIO CLARO RIVER
Today we will go deep into the pantanal, we already had seen all common birds and several specialties but we want more! Our eyes are used to the birds and we can find them in every stop we do along the road. There are Rufous Hornero, Greater Thornbird, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Scarlet-headed & Unicolored Blackbirds, Black-capped Donacobius, Plumbeous Ibis, Jabirus. Our goal is the Rio Claro river with its rich gallery forest and this time of the year the only remnant of water. We will get there for lunch. This afternoon we will explore this area by boat, several birds are waiting for us among them all five South American Kingfishers: Ringed, Amazon, Green, Green-and-Rufous and American Pygmy Kingfishers,Rusty-backed Spinetail, Sunbittern and Sungrebe, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Lesser Kiskadee, Band-tailed Antbird, Boat-billed Heron and with some luck Agami Heron as well. Band-tailed Nighthawks fly over the river catching insects. But our main target has no feathers but fur, once occurred throughout Amazonian South America from Venezuela to northern Argentina, but it is now absent from most of this range. Its huge size (up tp 2m, 6.5ft, and 34kg, 75lb) and noisy vocalisations in family groups make it easy to find. Its luxurious pelt makes it a target of intense persecution by people. It remains now only in isolated and highly protected patches of its former range. There are only a few places left in South America where you can still hear the haunting whistles, screams, and hums of a group of theses wondrous animals as they frolic in the water of pristine lakes or river just like the one we are in looking for Giant Otters! Overnight. Band-tailed Nighthawk and many others. After dinner night tour to owling and spot nocturnal wildlife, Great Horned Owl, Little & Spot-tailed Nightjars are possible. (B,L,D)
DAYS 03 and 04 - PANTANAL
Two full days to explore the surrounding habitats and even birding along the Transpantaneira road as far south as we can go. Early breakfast and birding the gallery forest will produce some of the best specialties among them Mato Grosso Antbird, White-lored Spinetail, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Gray-crested Cacholote, Helmeted Manakin, Red-billed Scythebill, Rufous Casiornis, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Plain Tyrannulet, Green-backed Becard, Rufous-fronted Tody-Flycatcher. While birding the open habitats will produce Nanday & Monk Parakeets, Chotoy & Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, White-rumped Monjita, White-bellied Seedeater, Southern Screamer and many more, At night we will spotlight looking for night creatures. Overnight.(B,L,D)
DAY 05 - PANTANAL to CHAPADA DOS GUIMAR�ES NP.
Today we will drive back the Transpantaneira road, in our way to the Brazilian Central Plateau at the Chapada dos Guimaraes NP. Another change of habitat, landscape now are cliffs where Blue-winged Macaws (vulnerable), Blue-headed Parrot, Red-and-Green Macaw, White-eyed Parakeet, Swallow Flycatcher, Crested Black-Tyrant, Bat Falcon and many more could be seen. Lunch on route. Overnight. (B,L,D)
DAY 06 - CHAPADA DOS GUIMARAES N.P.
Full day birding the cerrado vegetation some different species here. Curl-crested Jays, Black-faced, White-rumped & White-banded Tanagers, Rufous-winged Antshrike, Rusty-backed Antwren, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Chapada Flycatcher, Campos Flycatcher, Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant (vulnerable), Coal-crested Finch (near-threatened), White-eared Puffbird, Plumbeous Seedeater, Horned Sungem (rare), White-vented Violet-ear, Black-throated Saltator, Gray Monjita, Yellow-billed Blue-Finch. Overnight.(B,L,D)
DAY 07 - CHAPADA NP. - CUIABA
Morning will find ourselves exploring the forest looking for Planalto Tyrannulet, Planalto & Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Planalto Slaty-Antshrike, Plain Antvireo, White-backed Fire-Eye, Band-tailed & Fiery-capped Manakins, Pectoral & Saffron-billed Sparrows, White-bellied Warbler, Tataupa Tinamou and many more. Afternoon transfer to Cuiaba, in our way back we will stop in a mature cerrado for our last birding of the tour, species likely to be seen are Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Green-winged Saltator, Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Masked Gnatcatcher, Hooded Tanager and last but not least (well this fit on the name), a dusk flight of Least Nighthawks. Transfer to your city hotel. End of our services. (B,L)
INCLUDED: Our birding tours are all included: lodging, meals from lunch on day 01 to lunch on day 07, outings, ground transportation, professional English-speaking naturalist guide, fauna checklist, fees (except to any source of drinks, available to buy at lodge) and start and end in Cuiaba, Brazil.
NOT INCLUDED: Air tickets to Cuiaba, any kind of beverages at lodges and hotels, medical costs or hospitalization, insurance, personal expenses as laundry, phone calls.
ACCOMMODATION: The Pantanal lodges used are the Piuval Lodge and the Rio Claro Lodge or Mato Grosso Pantanal in the Rio Claro/Pixaim river with private bathrooms, air-conditioning & swimming pool. The Chapada dos Guimaraes hotel is the Cantos da Mata or similar, located in downtown, five minutes from the Chapada dos Guimaraes NP.
RESERVATION: The dry season is also the highest in tourism, so book well in advance to confirm a room in the tour.
GROUP SIZE: Group Size is limited to 06 participants, unless special arrangements are made for private tours. Should only one space remain on a tour, our policy is to accept a couple traveling together, even at the risk of exceeding our stated tour limit.
UPON REQUEST: For tailor-made itineraries into the Pantanal & Chapada (or just any of them) in/out these months, logistical support, consult us.
Rates, bookings or any question or extra information, please contact us at:
Rates, bookings or any question or extra information, please contact us at:firstname.lastname@example.org
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