The Ultimate In Birding Tours

Brazil Tours

BRAZIL’S EASTERN AMAZONIA

Carajás, Maranhão, Tapajós & Belém

Tuesday 15th June – Saturday 3rd July 2021

Leader: Eduardo Patrial.

19 Days Group Size Limit 7

Birdquest’s Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tours are unusual and adventurous Brazil tours. Our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tour focuses on the many endemics and other specialities of the little-visited but bird-rich lower Amazon (Tapajós), mouth of the Amazon (Belém), Carajás and Maranhão regions. This splendid itinerary targets numerous Amazonian specialities, including a good number that are seen on no other Brazil tour, or indeed anywhere else.

Our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tour begins with a visit to the rarely-explored Tapajós (or Amazonia) National Park, situated on the west bank of the mighty Tapajós River in the southwest of the state of Pará.

From the remote town of Itaituba we will drive about two hours along the river’s west bank to reach Tapajós (or Amazonia) National Park, where we will stay for six nights. This national park protects a huge area of pristine Amazonian forest between the rivers Madeira and Tapajós and holds several amazing range-restricted birds. The system of trails in the national park should allow us to find most of them, together with a huge number of more widespread species that comprise an extremely rich local avifauna.

Our efforts will be concentrated on finding treasures like White-crested Guan, Golden Parakeet, Vulturine and Bald Parrots, Kawall’s Amazon, Dark-winged Trumpeter, Tapajos Hermit, Brown-chested Barbet, Harlequin Antbird and, with luck, Pale-faced Bare-eye and Hoffmann’s Woodcreeper.

A boat trip will take us to the east bank of Tapajós to look for the rare, enigmatic and threatened endemic Golden-crowned Manakin. Also on this side of the river we will be hoping to find some special targets that occur in the area between the Tapajós and Xingu Rivers such as Black-girdled Barbet, Bare-eyed Antbird and Alta Floresta Antpitta.

We will also have time for some birding around Belém, where targets will include Hooded Gnateater, Opal-crowned Manakin and the nominate race of Willis’s Antbird.

Moving southwards, we come to the hills of Carajás in southeastern Pará state. This spectacular and isolated Amazonian mountain range with summits of almost a thousand metres above sea level was once, millions of years ago, the starting point of the whole Amazon basin. The impressive variety of habitats found around here gather an impressive number of bird species, making Carajás National Forest one of the richest areas in the Amazon basin.

Our extended stay here will provide a great experience, during which we shall be looking for several species restricted to the Xingu-Tocantins interfluvium, and many other localized and species of less limited distribution. Included in this fantastic cast are White-crested Guan, Chestnut-headed Chachalaca, Dark-winged Trumpeter, Jandaya, Pearly and Santarem Parakeets, Vulturine Parrot, Dot-eared Coquette, Manu, Wing-banded and Rufous-faced Antbirds, Black-bellied Gnateater, Snethlage’s Antpitta, Para Foliage-gleaner, Peruvian Recurvebill, Brigida’s Woodcreeper, White-tailed Cotinga, White Bellbird, Blackish Pewee, Black-chested Tyrant, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher, Opal-crowned Manakin and Para Gnatcatcher.

Following this outstanding Amazonian experience, we will finish the tour collecting a few more endemics from a rarely-visited corner of northeast Brazil in the state of Maranhão. The town of Caxias is situated in between the Amazon Forest and the dry Caatinga of the northeast, a transitional area featuring a drier forest rich in palms, locally known as ‘Mata dos Cocais’. In addition, the surroundings of Caxias still offer some Cerrado habitats to explore. Three days here will give us the chance to locate some important, restricted-range birds, such as Kaempfer’s Woodpecker, a very rare and stunning species rediscovered only about ten years ago. Other important endemics we will be searching for here are Buff-browed Chachalaca, Moustached Woodcreeper, Hooded Gnateater and a new Myornis pygmy-tyrant.

The diversity of habitats in this area will also add some other great birds such as the endemic White-napped Jay, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Planalto Slaty-Antshrike, Pectoral Antwren and Ash-throated Casiornis, Cerrado specialties like Curl-crested Jay, White-rumped Tanager and the amazing Coal-crested and Blue Finches, and some other rarities like Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Bearded Bellbird and Blackish-blue Seedeater.

Birdquest has operated Brazil birding tours to the country’s Eastern Amazonia region since 2006.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels in Belém, Parauapebas and Caxias are of good standard. At Tapajós National Park we will stay at a simple pousada (guesthouse), the only accommodation in the area. Bathrooms are shared. Road transport is by minibus and roads are good.

Walking: The walking effort during our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tours is mostly easy, but there are some moderate grade walks.

Climate: It is generally hot and humid. Periods of sunshine alternate with overcast spells and there is regular rainfall.

Bird Photography: Opportunities during our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tours are worthwhile.


PRICE INFORMATION

Birdquest Inclusions: Our tour prices include surface transportation, accommodations, meals and entrance fees.

We also include all tipping for local guides, drivers and accommodation/restaurant staff.

We also include these flights: Belém-Itaituba-Belém, Belém-Carajás and Maraba-Teresina (often via Brasilia).

Deposit: £720, $930, €810.

TO BOOK THIS TOUR: Click here (you will need the tour dates and deposit amount)


2021: provisional £6760, $8450, €7430. Belém/Teresina.

Single Supplement: 2021: £500, $630, €550.

The single supplement will not apply if you indicate on booking that you prefer to share a room and there is a room-mate of the same sex available.

There are only a limited number of rooms at the pousada at Tapajós, which is not covered by the single room supplement. A limited amount of single accommodation will probably be available here on arrival at no extra charge. So far as is possible, priority will be given to those taking single accommodation who book earliest.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

 

 

BRAZIL’S EASTERN AMAZONIA BIRDING TOUR: DETAILED ITINERARY

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 1  Our tour begins this afternoon at Belém, at the mouth of the mighty Amazon, where we will overnight.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 2  We will take a morning flight westwards to Itaituba, located not far south of the junction of the Amazon and the Rio Tapajós. From here we will head southwestwards to the remote Tapajós (or Amazonia) National Park for a six nights stay.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Days 3-7  During our five full days in the huge Tapajós (or Amazonia) National Park we will be looking for a fantastic array of birds.

Among the birds we may well see during our visit are Razor-billed Curassow, Black-faced and White-browed Hawks, Golden, Crimson-bellied, Golden-winged and White-winged Parakeets, Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet, White-bellied and Bald Parrots, Kawall’s Amazon, Crested Owl, Sand-colored Nighthawk, Rufous Potoo, Tapajos Hermit, Pavonine Quetzal, Rufous and Broad-billed Motmots, Chestnut-capped and Brown-banded Puffbirds, Brown-chested and Black-girdled Barbets, Saturnine, Fasciated, Spot-winged, Blackish-grey, Plain-winged and Amazonian Antshrikes, Ferruginous-backed, Southern Chestnut-tailed, Blackish, Silvered, White-browed, Black-faced, Band-tailed, Dot-backed, Spot-backed, Common Scale-backed, Harlequin and Bare-eyed Antbirds, Spix’s Warbling-Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Alta Floresta Antpitta, Speckled Spinetail, Long-billed, Uniform and Ocellated Woodcreepers, Tapajos Scythebill, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, the stunning Black-necked Red-Cotinga, White-browed Purpletuft, Flame-crested and Snow-capped Manakins, Cinnamon Neopipo (or Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin) and Cinnamon-crested Spadebill.

More difficult specialities that we could find here include Hoffmann’s Woodcreeper, Pale-faced Bare-eye (or Pale-faced Antbird) and Golden-crowned Manakin.

Additional species of interest include White-crested Guan, Red-throated Piping-Guan, Cryptic Forest-Falcon, Dark-winged Trumpeter, Blue-and-yellow, Scarlet and Red-and-green Macaws, Santarem Parakeet, Red-fan and Vulturine Parrots, Hoatzin, Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Blue-cheeked and Great Jacamars, Rufous-necked Puffbird, Glossy Antshrike, Natterer’s Slaty-Antshrike, Wing-banded Antbird, the superb Black-bellied and Chestnut-belted Gnateaters, Amazonian Antpitta, Ruddy Spinetail, Spangled Cotinga, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Snethlage’s Tody-Tyrant and Rose-breasted Chat.

We will also see a great number of additional species of wide Amazonian distribution.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 8  Today we will return to Itaituba and catch a flight back to Belém for an overnight stay. There may be some time for birding at Belém this afternoon, or at Tapajós this morning, depending on flight schedules.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 9  We will spend the morning birding around Belém. Species we will be concentrating on include the handsome Hooded Gnateater, Opal-crowned Manakin and the nominate form of Willis’s Antbird (as this species may be split in future).

This afternoon we will fly southwards to Carajás (Parauapebas) in the southeastern part of the state of Pará. From there we will drive to the nearby town of Parauapebas for a seven nights stay.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Days 10-15  We will enjoy six full days birding the amazing hills of Carajás National Forest. Holding the largest iron ore reserves on the planet, the Carajás National Forest is run by Vale, the major mining company in Brazil and one of the biggest in the world. The iron outcrops are located on the top of the hills creating a peculiar stunted and dry habitat called ‘Canga’, where some Cerrado specialists and other open country bird species share the same area. The tall forests on the plateaus, foothills and valleys show a mega diverse Amazonia where huge and imposing Brazil Nut Trees decorate the vast landscape of Carajás.

Here we will look for some ultra-specialities such as Peruvian Recurvebill, Black-chested Tyrant and Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher. In the supporting cast are a truly fine selection of species, including some great endemics.

During our stay we will be looking for a great many species in these rich forests, but amongst them the following stand out: White-crested Guan, Red-throated Piping-Guan, Chestnut-headed Chachalaca, Harpy Eagle (we have a good chance of finding an active nest), Cryptic Forest-Falcon, Dark-winged Trumpeter, Marbled Wood-Quail, Hyacinth, Blue-and-yellow, Scarlet and Red-and-green Macaws, Jandaya, Pearly and Santarem Parakeets, Red-fan and Vulturine Parrots, Hoatzin, Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Silky-tailed Nightjar, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Dot-eared Coquette, Blue-cheeked and Great Jacamars, Striolated and Rufous-necked Puffbirds, White-throated and Waved Woodpeckers, Glossy Antshrike, Natterer’s Slaty-Antshrike, Manu, Wing-banded, Rufous-faced, Banded and Xingu Scale-backed Antbirds, Southern White-fringed Antwren, Variegated, Amazonian and Snethlage’s Antpittas, Black-faced Antthrush, Black-bellied and Chestnut-belted Gnateaters, Para Foliage-gleaner, Ruddy, Chestnut-throated, Cabanis’s and Ochre-cheeked Spinetails, Brigida’s Woodcreeper, Opal-crowned and Fiery-capped Manakins, Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Spangled, Purple-breasted and White-tailed Cotingas, White Bellbird, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Sharpbill, Snethlage’s and Zimmer’s Tody-Tyrants, Slaty-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Blackish Pewee, White-napped Jay, Coraya Wren, Rose-breasted Chat, Para Gnatcatcher, Spotted Tanager and Red-billed Pied Tanager.

There will also be a huge variety of more widespread species typical of the Amazonian basin.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 16  This morning we drive to Marabá airport and fly (probably indirectly via Brasilia) to Teresina and continue to the town of Caxias for a three nights stay, stopping for some birding along the way.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Days 17-18  To finish this fantastic trip we will cover the transitional habitats of eastern Maranhão state in search of a restricted group of endemics, in habitats that include the ‘Mata dos Cocais’ (dry palm forest), Cerrado and even areas of Caatinga. A major target in this interesting area is the superb and rare endemic Kaempfer’s Woodpecker, a species that favours the Guadua bamboo that grows in the ‘Mata dos Cocais’ and Cerrado. Other localized endemics we will be looking for include Buff-browed Chachalaca, the splendid Hooded Gnateater, Moustached Woodcreeper and a new Myiornis pygmy-tyrant.

The surroundings of Caxias offer varied habitats where we can also add a fine selection of more widely distributed species to our list, including Horned Screamer, Azure Gallinule, Crescent-chested and Caatinga Puffbirds, Pearly-breasted Cuckoo, Spotted Piculet, Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Rusty-backed and Pectoral Antwrens, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Bearded Bellbird, Ash-throated Casiornis, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Curl-crested Jay, Black-faced and White-rumped Tanagers, Coal-crested and Blue Finches, Sooty Grassquit and Blackish-blue Seedeater.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 19  The tour ends around midday at Teresina airport.

BRAZIL'S EASTERN AMAZONIA TOUR REPORT 2018

by Eduardo Patrial

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BRAZIL'S EASTERN AMAZONIA TOUR REPORT 2017

by Eduardo Patrial

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BRAZIL'S EASTERN AMAZONIA TOUR REPORT 2016

by Eduardo Patrial

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Other Amazonia birding tours by Birdquest include: