BIRDING – SOUTHERN PERU
Machu Picchu / Manu Could Forest
- Peru Classic Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu & Manu Road
- Machu Picchu & Tambopata Reserve
- Manu Road Short
- Manu Road & The Amazon
- Manu Road & the amazon Biosphere Reserve
The name “Pantanal” comes from the Portuguese word “Pantano” and is South America’s largest tropical freshwater wetland. The Transpataneira highway of Mato Grosso state provides access to varied habitats and a score of lodges, making it one of the ideal birding tours of South America. The Transpataneira is the only road to penetrate deep into the Pantanal constructed in 1976 to link the cities of Cuiaba in Mato Grosso and Corumba in Mato Grosso Do Sul. The 148km road extends south from the small town of Pocone only as far as Porto Jofre on the bank of the Cuiaba River and has more than 120 bridges, many of their original wooden construction. Depending on what is considered Pantanal habitat, this giant wetland is estimated to be between 140,000-210,000 km2. As much as 80% of the Pantanal floodplains get submerged during the rainy season, nurturing an incredibly biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants which in turn help to support a dense array of animal species. With bird watching tours of South America, it is easy to see the Toco Toucan, the electric-blue Hyacinth Macaw (the world’s largest parrot), Golden-Collared Macaw, and Bare-Faced Curassow, and mammals like Jaguar, Anteaters, Otters and a host of other species The Pantanal is to the Americas what the Serengeti is to Africa – birds and animals are literally everywhere. As the largest freshwater wetland, it contains a great variety of habitats such as grasslands, swamps, gallery forests, forested islands, other forest types, and marshes. The aquatic heart of South America showcases some of the most breathtaking gatherings of mammals, birds, and reptiles that one could ever hope to see, the site of South America’s greatest wildlife concentrations, and birds are no exception. There are over 475 species of birds in Pantanal, many of which are aquatic and marsh birds, the numbers of which are so impressive, they need to be seen to be believed.
Resident species from Brazil are complemented by seasonal visitors from other parts of the Americas. The Pantanal’s wildlife spectacle is not limited to birds and its relatively open landscape facilitates seeing some of South America’s large land animals. 135 mammal species including the world’s largest rodent, the pig-sized Capybara, the continent’s heaviest land mammal, South American Tapir, Marsh Deer, Collared and White-lipped Peccaries, Giant River Otter, and the increasingly not so hard to see, a local population of the legendary and majestic Jaguar (seen by 90% of our visitors). Around 80 reptile species live here, including the world’s largest gathering of alligators (Yacare Caiman), and the world’s biggest snake (Green Anaconda), Brazilians have good reason to be proud of the Pantanal’s exuberant wildlife. And during the Birding Tours of South America, you will get to watch different kinds of animal species other than bird species. The renewed appreciation for their wildlife and ever-increasing involvement in ecotourism alongside their traditional Pantaneiro cattle ranching is a good example of sustainable land use, combining cultural tradition and environmental protection to the area, which was not the case in the past.
|Hotel, Lodges||International & Domestic Flight Tickets|
|Private toilets||Airport Taxes|
|Hot water||Visa Fees|
|WiFi||Any alcoholic Beverage|
|Full meals, soft drinks||Phones Calls, Laundry|
|Private land & boat transportation||Taxis, extra activities|
|Entrance fees||Tips (optional)|
|Birding guide.||Other items of personal nature|
Day 1 – 2 – 3 : Cuiaba to Our First Selected Lodge: We will bird along the first 10-15km of the famous Transpantaneira Road, a raised dirt road that crosses many of Pantanal’s wetland habitats. The area offers an impressive array of fauna and flora to visitors. Made up of a mosaic of grassland and woodland, the area holds amazing avian fauna such as Greater Rhea, Red-Legged Seriema, Bare-Faced Curassow, Chestnut-Bellied Guan, Rusty-Margined Guan, Southern Screamer, Brazilian Teal, Whistling Heron, Buff-Necked Ibis, Plumbeous Ibis, the majestic and overlooked Jabiru, Lesser Yellow-Headed Vulture, King Vulture, South American Snipe, Hyacinth Macaw, Peach-Fronted Parakeet, Guira Cuckoo, Green-Barred Woodpecker, Narrow-Billed Woodcreeper, Great-Rufous Woodcreeper, Red-Billed Scythebill, Gray-Crested Cacholote, and Yellow-Chinned Spinetail to mention but a few. Overnight at selected Transpantaneira lodgings.
Days 4 – 5 – 6 : Along the Traspantaneira road we’ll find the best wildlife spots to see birds and other wildlife of the Pantanal. Our next selected lodge is located further into the heart of the Pantanal. Many of the lodges are converted from cattle ranches but have excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings. Mammalian highlights could include Giant Armadillo and Bush Dog, both so rare as to be near-mythical. The marvelous and impressive Giant Anteater and the equally impressive Brazilian Tapir, South America’s largest mammal. are more commonly seen. Other mammals include several species of Deer, Crab-Eating Fox, South American Coati, Southern Tamandua, Capybara, and if luck is with us Ocelot. But the Pantanal is not restricted to just great mammalian wildlife, but the avian life also most impressive. This area supports around 310 bird species, including 13 psittacidae, 7 owl, 11 woodpecker, and 16 hummingbird species. Some of the species we shall be looking for are Scarlet-Headed Blackbird, Masked Gnatcatcher, Helmeted Manakin, White-Lored Spinetail, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Toco Toucan, Hyacinth Macaw, Grater Rhea, plus many other iconic species of the Pantanal. We will visit marshlands, areas of dry grassland, gallery forest and dry woodlands each home to a variety of avifauna as well as birding along the famous Transpantaneira road.
Day 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 : During our stay at Porto Jofre we will take boats out onto the river to visit the State Park. Our stay is divided between Porto Jofre (and our lodge) and outings to have great success with wildlife. The Hotel in Porto Jofre gives us access to the untouched Pantanal State Park by boat. It is on this boat trip that we hope to see Jaguar, Giant River Otter and perhaps Tapir, amongst a host of other species in this un-spoilt area. The rough pasture behind the lodge holds dainty Long-tailed Ground-Doves and a roost of impressive Nacunda Nighthawks. We will be able to see a close hand both the Jabiru and Southern Screamer at a roost accompanied by hundreds of egrets and ibises. We shall also see the less common Plumbeous Ibis and hundreds of raptors. These include Grey-headed and Snail Kites, Crane, Savanna, Black-collared, Roadside and Short-tailed Hawks, Southern Crested-Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, American Kestrel and Aplomado Falcon. The scattered patches of gallery forest in the area are home to the Hyacinth Macaw. We shall see a good number of these birds and take time to watch them feed and flap about in the palm groves. Along the highway we should see Chestnut-bellied Guan, Chaco Chachalaca and the bizarre Bare-faced Curassow. As well as taking a boat trip in search of mammals we shall take a night drive to see Ocelot, Jaguarundi, Jaguar and Crab-eating Fox, Coatimundi and other mammals. During the day we shall also see a huge variety of birds that may include Anhinga, Muscovy Duck, Brazilian Teal, Whistling, Little Blue, Capped and Cocoi Herons. A bit of luck may produce the lovely Agami Heron or a Boat-billed Heron. Bare-faced, Green and Buff-necked Ibises are common and we shall see many hundreds of Roseate Spoonbill, Wood and Maguari Storks, Purple Gallinule and Limpkin. In the drier areas Monk, Peach-fronted and Yellow-chevroned Parakeet and Turquoise-fronted Amazon are common. We shall also look for Little and Striped Cuckoos, Guira Cuckoo, Band-tailed Nighthawk, Glittering-throated Emerald, Blue-crowned Trogon, Green-and-rufous and Pygmy Kingfishers, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White and Pale-crested Woodpeckers, Red-billed Scythebill, Greater Thornbird, Grey-crested Cacholote, Purplish Jay, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Masked Gnatcatcher, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Yellow-billed Cardinals, Saffron and Red-crested Finches, Rusty-collared and White-bellied Seedeaters, White-browed, Chopi and Scarlet-headed Blackbird. If we are lucky we will find one or two of the more uncommon birds of the area, which include Golden-collared Macaw, Black-hooded Parakeet, Buff-bellied Hermit and Golden-green Woodpecker. For our final morning a walk and visit to the Observation Tower (25 meters) from where we have fantastic views of Pantanal. It is a great area for photography. After an early lunch, we drive to Cuiabá for connecting flights to final destinations.
Some Birds: Greater Rhea, Red-Legged Siriema, Guira Cuckoo, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Boat-billed Heron, Capped Heron, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Bare-faced Curassow, Sungrebe, Osprey, Black-collared Hawk, Toco Toucan, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Blue-fronted Parrot, Amazon, Green and Ringed kingfishers, Baywing, Rufous-Bellied Thrush, White-Rumped Monjita, Gray Monjita, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Silver-beaked Tanager, Donacobius, Troupial, Blue-crowned Trogon, Blue-crowned Motmot, Golden-green Woodpecker, Buff-bellied Hermit, Plain-crowned Spinetail, Great Antshrike, Mato Grosso Antbird, Band-tailed Antbird, Large-billed Antwren, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Helmeted Manakin, Picazuro Pigeon, Gray-headed Tanager, Masked Gnatcatcher, Hyacinth Macaw, Golden-collared Macaw, Jabiru and Maguari Stork, Southern Screamer, Great Horned Owl, Great Potoo, Striped Cuckoo, Pygmy Kingfisher, Gray-crested Cacholote, Chotoy Spinetail, Rusty-backed Antwren, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Large-billed Tern, Black Skimmer, Collared Plover, Pied Lapwing, Plumbeous Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, King Vulture, Laughing Falcon, Band-tailed Nighthawk, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Undulated Tinamou, Chestnut-bellied Guan, Sunbittern, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Pygmy Kingfisher, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Blue-tufted Starthroat, Black-throated Mango, White-wedged Piculet, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Dull-capped Atilla, Hooded Tanager, Red-crested Finch, Rusty-collared Seedeater .
Some Mammals: Marsh Deer, Brazilian Tapir, Jaguar, Black Howler Monkey, Giant Otter, Brown Capuchin Monkey, Pantanal Marmoset, Ocelot, Giant Anteater, Southern Tamandua, Crab-eating Fox, Red Brocket Deer, Giant Armadillo, Capybara, Tayra. And Peccaris.