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Brazil: Central Amazonia

Using Manaus as our base, we will explore the huge Brazilian state of Amazonas, in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. Covering two primary areas of endemism: the Guianan Shield (extending north to the Caribbean) and the Imeri (between the Negro and Amazon Rivers), we will see sought-after birds like Guianan Cock-of-the-rock and the odd Capuchinbird, among 400 possible species! Visiting two amazing canopy towers and enjoying some of the best boat-based river birding experiences in South America for a supreme range of endemics and specialties, from parakeets and hummingbirds to manakins and tanagers.

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Price: $

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Leaders:

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Single Room Supplement: $

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Group Size Limit:

6

Deposit: $

TBD

Add a Title

Price: $

TBD

Leaders:

Add a Title

Single Room Supplement: $

TBD

Group Size Limit:

Deposit: $

TBD

Accommodation:

Comfortable hotels and guesthouses throughout.

Walking difficulty:

Easy and flat forest trails with roadside birding, though we will be covering lots of ground. Two 40m canopy towers with stairs.

Tour cost includes:

All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes:

Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks, and other items of a personal nature.

Day 1: Arrivals into Manaus International Airport (MAO). If time allows, birding in the afternoon north of Manaus. We can expect to find Paradise Jacamar, Black Nunbird, Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper, Black-headed Antbird, and with luck, even Black-throated Antshrike, Guianan Red Cotinga, Capuchinbird, and Todd’s Sirystes. Night in Manaus.


Day 2: We should spend most of the morning at the fantastic MUSA canopy tower in Manaus, from where we expect to see a high number of birds, including Marail Guan, Black-faced Hawk, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Guianan Trogon, Guianan Puffbird, Black-spotted Barbet, Green and Black-necked Araçaris, Guianan Toucanet, Golden-collared Woodpecker, Lined Forest Falcon, Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet, Golden-winged Parakeet, Caica, Dusky, Blue-headed, and Red-fan Parrots, Diademed Amazon, Spot-backed Antwren,  Guianan Woodcreeper, Spangled and Pompadour Cotingas, Glossy-backed Becard, Painted Tody-Flycatcher, Todd’s Sirystes, Buff-cheeked Greenlet, Golden-sided Euphonia, Dotted and Red-billed Pied Tanagers, Yellow-green Grosbeak, and more. Later, the trail underneath the tower can offer chances for some other terra firme species like Yellow-billed Jacamar, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Guianan Warbling Antbird, and Ferruginous-backed Antbird. From MUSA we hit the road to reach the town of Itacoatiara on the north bank of the mighty Amazon River. Night in Itacoatiara.


Day 3: Morning boat trip to flooded varzea forest. Taking side channels on the north bank of the Amazon, we will search in particular for the endemics Varzea Piculet and Scaled Spinetail. This lovely boat ride will include chances for some other interesting birds, such as the endemics Glossy Antshrike and Klages’s Antwren, plus Slender-billed Kite, Ash-breasted Antbird, the stunning Crimson-hooded Manakin, and White-eyed Attila. In the afternoon, we will be driving back to Manaus for overnight.


Day 4: Morning at ZFII Tower north of Manaus (with 4x4 vehicle and lunch box). This amazing canopy tower is deep in pristine terra firme. Combined with trail and roadside birding, we should have chances for a fine selection of regional specialties, including Black Curassow, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Diademed Amazon, Caica and Dusky Parrots, Waved Woodpecker, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Black-throated Antshrike, Rufous-throated, White-plumed, and Ferruginous-backed Antbirds, Rufous-bellied Antwren, Brown-bellied Stipplethroat, Spotted Antpitta, Yellow-throated Flycatcher, Olive-green Tyrannulet, the rare Boat-billed Tody-Tyrant, Tiny Tyrant-Manakin, Purple-breasted and Pompadour Cotingas, the most wanted Crimson Fruitcrow, Guianan Red Cotinga, Guianan Gnatcatcher, Wing-banded Wren, Collared Gnatcatcher, and Blue-backed Tanager, along with more chances for Golden-collared Woodpecker, Painted Tody-Flycatcher, Glossy-backed Becard, Todd’s Sirystes, Dotted Tanager, and more. Later, we will continue north to the town of Presidente Figueiredo, where we should arrive by mid-afternoon, and spend the rest of the day birding the nice grounds of Iracema Falls. Here, we will be looking for Crimson Topaz (one of our main targets), Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Straight-billed Hermit, White-chinned Swift, Golden-spangled Piculet, Painted Parakeet, Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Dusky Antbird, White-throated Manakin, Cinereous Becard, Dusky Purpletuft (rare), and have more chances for Black Curassow. Night at Iracema Falls.


Day 5: Early morning at Iracema Falls, with more chances to catch up with any possible missing targets (parrots, antbirds, cotingas, and manakins). Later, we will visit Cachoeira da Onça, a special site for the strange Capuchinbird and the legendary Musician Wren. After lunch in the town of Presidente Figueiredo, transfer to the guesthouse Paraíso do Calango Azul for check-in and birding the rest of the day at nearby terra firme forest. Night at Paraíso do Calango Azul.


Day 6: We will spend today in the lovely grounds of the Mari Mari guesthouse. Here, we will enjoy the fascinating lek of Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. The stunted campinarana habitat offers specialties like Pelzeln’s Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-crowned and Black Manakins, and Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin. Others to look for in the area include Little Chachalaca, Black-faced Hawk, Bronzy Jacamar, Spotted Puffbird, White-throated Woodpecker, Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet, Red-fan Parrot, Slender-billed Xenops, Northern Slaty Antshrike, Cinnamon-crested Spadebill, White-fronted Manakin, Collared Gnatcatcher, and even the rare Crimson Fruitcrow. Night at Paraíso do Calango Azul.


Day 7: Morning at Ramal Tucumanduba (full day if necessary), a tall terra firme area where we will be looking for uncommon species such as Grey-winged Trumpeter, Black-throated Antshrike, Dusky Purpletuft, Crimson Fruitcrow, Purple-breasted Cotinga, Blue-backed Tanager, and others. More time in this good terra firme will maximise our chances with Black Curassow, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Rufous-throated and White-plumed Antbirds, Rufous-bellied Antwren, Brown-bellied Stipplethroat, White-fronted Manakin, Guianan Red Cotinga, Glossy-backed Becard, Olive-green Tyrannulet, Wing-banded Wren, and also to find potential mixed flocks. Night at Paraíso do Calango Azul.


Day 8: After seven days of birding in the Guiana Shield, it is time to move south across the Rio Negro (going back through Manaus) to the Imeri endemism centre and our next destination: the nice grounds of Pousada Cirandeira Bela in Manacapuru. Here, in the afternoon, we will bird some forest edge and trail in good terra firme, where we expect to come across birds such as Guilded Barbet, Ivory-billed Araçari, Brown-banded Puffbird, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Duida, Ocellated, and Bar-bellied Woodcreepers, Yellow-browed, Spot-winged, White-plumed, and White-cheeked Antbirds, Reddish-winged Bare-eye, Rufous-backed Stipplethroat, Brownish Twistwing, White-eyed Tody-Tyrant, Blue-capped Manakin, Black-necked Red Cotinga, and more. At night, we can try for the uncommon Rufous and White-winged Potoos. Night at Cirandeira Bela.


Day 9: This morning, we will have a very special boat trip to the Manacapuru Lake to search for the rare and poorly known endemic Chestnut-headed Nunlet. Besides our main target, we should find plenty of other species, including some typical varzea birds like Black-collared Hawk, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Festive Amazon, Long-billed and Striped Woodcreepers, Rusty-backed and Leaden Antwrens, Ash-breasted and Black-chinned Antbirds, Amazonian Inezia, and Amazonian Black-Tyrant. Afternoon back to Cirandeira Bela for more terra firme where we can search for the rare Crested Eagle (frequently recorded here!) and birds mentioned in the previous day. Night at Cirandeira Bela.


Day 10: An early morning start to look for Fiery Topaz at Cirandeira Bela. Rest of morning to cover the trails deep in the forest. After lunch, transfer to Novo Airão, a little further northwest. Check-in and birding in terra firme forest in the afternoon. Here, we will be looking for the uncommon Tawny-tufted Toucanet, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, endemic Diademed Amazon, Black-headed, Orange-cheeked, and Red-fan Parrots, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, White-chested Puffbird, Duida, Ocellated, and Bar-bellied Woodcreepers, Rufous-tailed Xenops, Pearly Antshrike, White-cheeked and White-plumed Antbirds, the stunning and uncommon Chestnut-crested Antbird, Reddish-winged Bare-eye, Rufous-backed Stipplethroat, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, White-crested Spadebill, Brownish Twistwing, Golden-headed and Blue-capped Manakins, Black-necked Red Cotinga, Musician Wren, Dotted Tanger, and others. Night at Amazonia Park & Suites in Novo Airão.


Day 11: Today, we will enjoy a marvellous boat trip to the huge and fascinating freshwater archipelago of Anavilhanas National Park in the Rio Negro. Riding across the water through the forest, this memorable session will feature species such as Streak-throated Hermit, Festive Amazon, Zimmer’s Woodcreeper, Blackish-grey and Black-crested Antshrikes, Cherrie’s Antwren, more chances for Klages’s and Leaden Antwrens, Ash-breasted and Black-chinned Antbirds, Long-billed Woodcreeper, the stunning Wire-tailed Manakin, Varzea Schiffornis, Speckled Spinetail, Band-tailed Nighthawk, and even chances of Amazonian Umbrellabird and the rare Crested Eagle. Back on land, we can try again for both White-winged and Rufous Potoos. Night in Novo Airão.


Day 12: Last full day of birding in Novo Airão, mainly in terra firme forest to search and maximise chances of birds mentioned on day 10. Night in Novo Airão.


Day 13: Morning of birding in Novo Airão, then transfer after lunch back to Manaus for overnight.


Day 14: Our last full day of the tour is dedicated to a beautiful boat trip on the Rio Amazonas to look for a handful of bird specialists on river islands. The large Marchantaria Island is where we will be searching for several of these typical Amazonian birds: Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Green-throated Mango, Tui and White-winged Parakeets, Short-tailed Parrot, Castelnau’s Antshrike, Black-and-white Antbird, Lesser Hornero, Parker’s and Red-and-white Spinetails, Cinereous Becard, Brownish Elaenia, River Tyrannulet, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Riverside Tyrant, Amazonian Black-Tyrant, Velvet-fronted Grackle, Oriole Blackbird, Pearly-breasted Conebill, Orange-fronted Yellow-Finch, and others. Night in Manaus.


Day 15: Transfer to Manaus Airport and end of the tour.

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