Brazil - Best of the Atlantic Rainforest

Sunday 8th September – Friday 20th September 2013

Red-necked-Tanager-by-SteveThe bird rich Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest has become well known in recent years due to several well placed lodges that offer the chance to see a good selection of birds within a short stay of 7 or 8 days. Now with our new itinerary you can see all these birds and much more as we visit the fantastic Intervales State Park, followed by the incomparable Itatiaia National Park and then on to the coastal area of Ubatuba. Birds abound and many birds are far easier to see here than other Atlantic Rainforest spots. This area of Brazil is well-known for its beautiful scenery where well-preserved forest covers the mountains and comes right down almost to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Many sought after and restricted range species will be sought in this exceptional itinerary, where you get a chance to bird a variety of habitats from mist shrouded cloud forests, wet tropical rainforest, lakes and marshes, open farmland, tumbling streams and dry coastal scrub. If you want a tour that really takes in the best of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest and looks for numerous endemics and specialities staying at all the right places including fantastic lodges with feeders that attract hummingbirds, tanagers and toucans then this is it! 


  • Shrike-like Cotinga
  • Black-and-gold Cotinga
  • Frilled Coquette
  • Itatiaia Thistletail
  • Black-capped Piprites
  • Festive Coquette
  • Buff-fronted Owl
  • Helmeted Woodpecker
  • Plovercrest
  • Sharpbill
  • White-bearded Antshrike
  • Saffron Toucanet
  • Red-breasted Toucan
  • Speckle-breasted Antpitta
  • Swallow-tailed Cotinga
  • Slaty Bristlefront
  • Black-fronted Piping-Guan
  • Rufous Gnateater
  • Hooded Berryeater
  • Buff-throated Purpletuft
  • Great Pampa-Finch
  • Eastern Striped Manakin
Day 1 Depart UK or other destinations - Sunday 8th Sept
If you are departing from the UK or other country then try to arrive on in Sao Paulo on the 8th Nov. We will then overnight in a hotel near the airport ready for the start of our tour after breakfast the following morning - Mon 9th Sept. Night Sao Paulo

Days 2 - 5 Intervales State Park - 9th - 12th
Soon after leaving Sao Paulo we will be heading a couple of hours southwest towards the incredible Intervales State Park. This huge Swallow-tailed-Cotinga-by-Steve Birdpark is a birding mecca and holds large numbers of endemics that thrive in the wet Montane forest, many of which are easier to find here than anywhere else. We have three full days to get to know this superb area and its myriad of birds. Walking the trails will soon introduce us to many of Brazil’s specialities and we could soon be watching Bare-throated Bellbird, Mantled Hawk, Spot-billed Toucanet, White-tailed and Black-throated Trogons, Scaly-headed Parrot, Maroon-bellied and Plain Parakeets, Gray-hooded Attila, Rufous-browed Peppershrike and Rufous-capped Motmot. There is plenty to see right around our lodge where Dusky-legged Guans are common, Large-tailed Antshrike can show well and hummingbirds include such gems as Black Jacobin, White-throated Hummingbird, Amethyst Woodstar, Dusky-throated Hermit and the stunning Swallow-tailed Hummingbird. Swallow-tailed Cotingas often nest near the restaurant and the stunning Long-trained Nightjar can often be seen flying around at dusk. A search of the nearby forests should reveal Saffron Toucanets, Red-breasted Toucan and a variety of woodpeckers such as Green-barred, Yellow-fronted, Lineated, White-browed and with a lot of luck the rare Helmeted Woodpecker. Other exciting and sometimes rare species include Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Pileated Parrot, Blue-bellied Parrot, Hooded Berryeater, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Sharpbill, Buff-bellied and Crescent-chested Puffbirds, Black-Yellow-fronted-woodpecker by Steve Birdthroated Grosbeak, Cinnamon-vented Piha, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Variegated Antpitta, Such’s Antthrush, Shrike-like Cotinga, Green Schiffornis, Wing-barred Piprites, Black-billed Scythebill, Scalloped and Planalto Woodcreeper, the rarer Pale-browed Treehunter, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Buff-fronted, White-eyed and White-collared Foliage-Gleaners, Giant, Spot-backed, Tufted and White-bearded Antshrikes, White-shouldered Fire-Eye, Ochre-collared Piculet, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Orange-breasted and Red-eyed Thornbird, Shear-tailed Gray-Tyrant, Squamate, Bertoni's, Ochre-rumped, Ferruginous and Dusky-tailed Antbirds. Extensive areas of Bamboo are home to species like Buffy-fronted Seedeater, Uniform Finch, Brown-breasted Pygmy-Tyrant and if we come across any mixed species feeding flocks we could have an adrenalin filled time with Chestnut-backed, Rufous-headed, Golden-chevroned Olive-green and Brown Tanagers, Three-striped Flycatcher, Grey-bellied, Pallid and Rufous-capped Spinetails, Streak-capped Antwren, White-crested, Oustalet’s, Sao Paulo, Bay-ringed, Gray-capped and Mottled-cheeked Tyrannulets, Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin, Green-backed Becard, Atlantic Royal Flycatcher, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Black-legged Dacnis, Half-collared Sparrow and Gray-throated Warbling-Finch. The very shy Solitary Tinamou can sometimes be seen and even more luck would be needed to entice a Red-and-white Crake into the open. At night we have chances for Tropical Screech-Owl and if our lucks is still in then both Rusty-barred and Buff-fronted Owls. 4 Nights Intervales

Days 6 - 8 Itatiaia National Park - 13th - 15th
Leaving Intervales we will drive towards another fantastic area Itatiaia National Park. Once there we will make a stop at a marsh to look for Blackish Rail, Wing-banded Hornero, Chestnut-capped Blackbird, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Masked Water-Tyrant, Masked Yellowthroat, Cinnamon Tanager, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Lesser Saffron-Toucanet2Yellowlegs, and Rufous-capped Spinetail. We’ll stay three nights in a lovely hotel with feeders that attract some of the most colourful birds on the planet, including Green-headed Tanager, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker and Saffron Toucanet. In the gardens Dusky-legged Guans are common and sometimes accompanied by Gray-necked Wood-Rail. We will take early breakfasts at 5:30 before checking the garden and the many trails with their splendid array of species. There are good chances for Black-billed Scythebill, Streaked Xenops, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Frilled Coquette, Brazilian Ruby, Versicolored Emerald, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Scale-throated Hermit, Olive-green Tanager, White-bearded Antshrike, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Greenish Schiffornis, Lineated and Yellow-browed Woodpeckers, Blue-winged Macaw, White-throated Tapaculo, Scale-throated Hermit, Tropical Pewee, Cliff Flycatcher, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Large-headed Flatbill, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Rufous-capped Motmot, Crested and Chestnut-crowned Becard, Red-capped Parrot, Tropical Parula, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Yellow-legged Thrush, and Black Hawk-Eagle. We’ll have two full days to explore the beautiful, epiphyte-laden forest of Itaciaia National Park and birding the trails will give us a chance of some Sharpbill-by-Steve-Birdshy species like Such’s and Rufous-tailed Antthrushes, Rufous Gnateater, and more of the Atlantic Forest’s unbeatable antbirds like Bertoni’s and White-bibbed Antbirds, Star-throated Antwren, Sirystes, Scaled Woodcreeper, Swallow-tailed Manakin, Red-rumped Cacique, . This is also one of the best spots for the very local Robust Woodpecker. The highest peaks in southern Brazil are easily accessed by a dirt road on the other side of the park, and species like Itatiaia Thistletail, Black-capped Piprites, and Thick-billed Saltator are more easily seen here than anywhere else. Targeting the cute Speckle-breasted Antpitta usually involves a bit of hard work, but our guide has had great success with it over the last few years. We will also get to explore  the agulhas negras trail. This awesome trail offers chances of Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Pallid Spinetail, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Rufous-tailed Antthrush, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Plumbeous Kite, Black-capped Piprites, Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Burnished-buff and Black-goggled Tanagers, Double-collared Seedeater, Thick-billed Saltator, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Surucua Trogon, Maroon-bellied Parakeets, Plumbeous Pigeon, Itatiaia Spinetail, Bertoni’s Antbird, Rufous-winged Antwren, Rufous-backed Antvireo, White-rimmed Warbler, Sharpbill, Tawny-headed Swallow, Plovercrest, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Fawn-breasted, Brassy-breasted and Diademed Tanagers, Golden-winged Cacique, Red-rumped Warbling-Finch and Great Pampa-Finch. 3 nights at Hotel do Ype.

Days 9 - 11 Ubatuba - 16th - 18th 
Festive-Coquette by Steve BirdAfter our final breakfast at Itatiaia we will take a look at the feeders from the balcony and then make our way out of the park and towards the coastal town of Ubatuba. Known as the Costa Verde (Green Coast) this region is the home to around 46 Brazilian endemic species. In contrast with Itatiaia many of the birds that live in this region are closely associated with coastal forests at lower altitude and with very different flora. Once there we will make a quick stop at a restaurant with superb bird feeders where we can expect Red-necked Tanager, Green-headed Tanager, Brazilian Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Saw-billed Hermit, Violet-capped Woodnymph, and Sombre Hummingbird. Later on we will check in to our hotel, after which we can talk a short walk to look for shorebirds, terns, Brown Booby, Kelp Gull and Snowy Egret. We will have two full days birding in this paradise! Following a short drive to a private park we have very good chances to see some very special birds such as Buff-throated Purpletuft, Chestnut-crowned Becard, the stunning Festive Coquette and White-chinned Sapphire. We can also expect Scaled Antbird, Brazilian Tanager, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Streaked and Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Sick’s Swift, Yellow-headed Caracara, Social Flycatcher and Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail. We will then return to town for lunch after which we will take another short drive for afternoon birding at an Eco-resort where we will look for excellent species such as Riverbank Warbler, Spot-breasted Antvireo, Rufous-winged Antwren, Ferruginous Antbird, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Creamy-bellied and Yellow-legged and Creamy-bellied Thrushes, Red-rumped Cacique, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Olive-green, Black-backed and Brassy-breasted Tanagers and possibly Crane Hawk, Least Grebe, Channel-billed Toucan and Cocoi Heron. With one more entire day at this amazing birding area, we will leave early and drive to a private property where we can see feeders alive with hundreds of hummingbirds and tanagers. We could see 11 or more species of hummingbird including the delightful Festive Coquette, Black-throated Mango, Saw-billed Hermit, White-chinned Sapphire, Amethyst Woodstar, Sombre Hummingbird and Swallow-tailed-HummingbirdBlack Jacobin. A parade of other species could include Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Palm Tanager, Violaceous Euphonia, and Green Honeycreeper. Just around the house there is an awesome trail giving chances for Green-backed Becard, Buff-bellied Puffbird, Slaty Bristlefront, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, Euler’s Flycatcher, Swallow-tailed Manakin, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, White-barred Piculet, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Plain Antvireo and Barred Forest-Falcon. Another short drive will take us to a farm to look for White-bearded Manakin, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Long-billed Wren, Flame-crested Tanager, Green-barred Woodpecker, White-tailed Hawk, Black-tailed Tityra, Yellow-bellied Elaenia and Pale-breasted Thrush. The very rare Brown-backed Parrotlet can sometimes put in an appearance near the coast and if we hear that they are around we will make an effort to look for this rarely seen bird. Yet another farm will give us chances for Solitary Tinamou, Scaled Woodcreeper, Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant, Red-eyed Thornbird, Scaly-headed Parrot, Saffron Finch, Gray-hooded Attila, Star-throated Antwren, Pin-tailed Manakin, Mouse-colored Tapaculo, Short-tailed Antthrush, Squamate Antbird, Gray-headed Flycatcher, Variable Antshrike, Short-tailed Hawk, Rufous-thighed Kite, White-spotted Woodpecker and White-tailed Trogon. An area of wetland surrounded by forest and scrub may produce Black-capped Donacobius, Green-backed Trogon, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Bran-coloured and Whiskered Flycatchers, Greater Ani, Striped Cuckoo, Lemon-chested Greenlet, Blue-winged Parrotlets, Black-tailed Tityra, Yellow-chinned and Spix’s Spinetails, Masked Water-Tyrant, White-ruffed Manakin and White-bellied Seedeater. 3 nights Ubatuba

Days 12
Ubatuba – Sao Paulo - End of Tour - 19th
Depending on flight times we may have time for further exploration of the area before heading back to Sao Paulo in time for our international departures.If returning to UK you will get back on - Fri 20th Sept

Streamer-tailed-Tyrant2Leader: Zoothera Guide and Eduardo Patrial

Ground Price: £2495.00

Airfare: £750.00 - £950.00  (Approx) UK/UK

Single supplement:

Deposit: £400.00

Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 6, max 11

Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms, all meals from dinner on 8th to breakfast on 19th, ground transport throughout in air-conditioned bus, park entrance fees, bottled water, and services of leaders.

Not included
International flight, (£750 - £950) insurance, drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature.

Our hotels and lodges are all of a high standard and all are within easy reach of the areas we wish to bird.

Black-cheeked-GnateaterTour Code: This is a standard birding tour with all day birding. We will sometimes take picnic lunches unless close to our lodge where we will take a restaurant lunch. The weather can be unsettled at this time of year, so expect some cooler weather with the chances of an odd shower, which is far better than sunshine for birding! This tour offer great photo opportunities.

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2011 Trip Report Brazil Atlantic Rainforest Photo Gallery

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