Thoughts of the Amazon conjure up an image of vast rainforests, remote rivers, secluded islands and some of the strangest, most colourful and rarest birds on the planet. This unique mega-tour visits 3 distinctly different areas within Amazonia: the fabled forest and rivers of Manaus, the secluded Rio Azul Lodge and the surprisingly seldom-visited Amazonia National Park. This region hosts a good selection of Guianan Shield endemics, as well as a number of Brazilian endemics, plus many rare, local and sought-after Amazonian species. We will make several excursions to explore isolated islands by boat, visit canopy towers offering a unique insight into canopy species, search numerous trails into the vast wilderness and visit a surprising series of different habitats on our exploration of this fascinating region. This tour is designed to see as many Amazonian species as possible, offering numerous opportunities to see the main key species and obtain great views of everything!
We begin in Manaus, once considered a mythical part of Amazonia where few birders have had the fortune to travel to. This is the heart of the immense Amazon rainforest, the greatest avian-rich ecosystem on our planet. It is situated near the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers and is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest and where these rivers join they form the mighty Amazon River. Access to the city is primarily by boat or airplane and this isolation helps to preserve both the natural environment as well as the culture of the city. And the birding is awesome! Our very first morning will be spent at a canopy tower where species such as Guianan Puffbird, Caica Parrot, Glossy-backed Becard, Guianan Toucanet, Guianan Woodcreeper, Black-spotted Barbet, Red-billed Pied Tanager, Black-faced Dacnis and Spotted Tanager can be seen. Moving on to Novo Airão and Anavilhanas National Park we will target awesome species such as Dark-winged and Grey-winged Trumpeters, Marail Guan, Agami Heron, Crested Eagle, White-winged Potoo, Red-fan, Black-headed and Festive Parrots, the stunning Golden Parakeet, Brown-banded Puffbird, Ivory-billed Aracari, Blue-crowned Manakin, White-plumed Antbird and more. Then we transfer to the other side of the Manaus area and Presidente Figueiredo. From our delightful pousada close to a Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock lek we have access to many more great new birds. The list of potential species is huge and includes Rusty Tinamou, Vulturine Parrot, Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Purple-breasted Cotinga, Capuchinbird, Dusky Purpletuft, Spotted, Variegated and Alta Floresta Antpittas, Harlequin Antbird, Reddish-winged Bare-eye, Black Manakin, Pelzeln's Tody-Tyrant and Crimson Fruitcrow to name just a few.
We will then spend a day exploring the Solimões River by boat before flying to the fabulous Rio Azul Lodge. The lodge lies 120 kilometres north of Alta Floresta (Mato Grosso), and is situated on the left bank of the Rio Azul in the south of the state of Pará. This is THE place to see the endemic Bald Parrot, as well as a ton of new birds including White-throated Tinamou, Zigzag Heron, Pavonine Quetzal, the endemic Tapajos Hermit, Santarem Parakeet, Bronzy and Paradise Jacamars, Black-girdled Barbet, Collared Puffbird, Glossy Antshrike, Flame-crowned and Snow-capped Manakins.
Our final destination will be Amazonia National Park where we are based at a delightful local pousada just ten minutes drive from the entrance to the National Park. The park was created in 1974, comprising 1,070,737 ha. and is situated in Itaituba and Trairão municipalities, Pará state, in the watershed of the Tapajós River, about halfway between Manaus and Belém. Here we will seek out some incredible birds such as White-crested Guan, Golden Parakeet, Razor-billed Curassow, Harpy and Crested Eagles, Cryptic Forest-Falcon, Crimson-bellied Parakeet, Brown-chested Barbet, Gould’s Toucanet, Blue-cheeked Jacamar, Guianan Red-Cotinga, White-tailed Cotinga, Black-necked Red Cotinga, Variegated and Alta Floresta Antpittas, Wing-banded Antbird, Ihering’s Antwren, Pale-faced Bare-eye, Hoffmann’s Woodcreeper, Musician Wren and White-browed Purpletuft amongst so many more possibilities.
This tour is designed to give us plenty of time to immerse ourselves in the amazingly varied avifauna of this splendid and little-explored corner of Amazonia. With expert local guides and the best lodges and pousadas located just a stones throw from the birding sites we will have the very best experience imaginable in this incredible area.