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Toco Toucan. Photo by Gina NicholBRAZIL:
Pantanal Birding &
Wildlife Safari

With Eduardo Patrial!
September 23 - October 1, 2017

Plus: Pre-trip extension to
Jardim da Amazônia Lodge!

Trip Cost>     Extension info>     Registration Form>   
Contact to reserve your space!

The world renowned Pantanal region of Brazil comprises a mosaic of habitats that play host to such a vast variety of wildlife that the Pantanal is often compared to the plains of Africa. Our South American safari takes you along the Transpantaneira Highway, where spectacular concentrations of water birds including Maguari and Jabiru Storks, kingfishers, egrets, and herons wade and feed in vast, open wetlands. Five foot tall Greater Rheas (South America’s equivalent to the Ostrich) roam the surrounding pasturelands along with Red-legged Seriema, Plumbeous Ibis and Southern Screamers. The air is filled with the raucous calls and colors of Toco Toucan (Photo: Gina Nichol) Hyacinth, Red-and-Green, Red-bellied, and Golden-collared Macaws. Tropical animals including Giant Otter, Capybara, Jaguar, Yellow Anaconda, Brown Capuchin Monkey, and Spectacled Caiman are among the remarkable wildlife of this extraordinary area.

Jaguar (Photo: Gina Nichol)This tour is designed to explore the diverse, stunning habitats of west central Brazil in search of dazzling birds and exotic wildlife of the Pantanal region. In addition to birding on foot and from our comfortable vehicles, we've included a full day boat trip on the Cuiaba River to look for the Jaguar (Photo: Gina Nichol) that inhabit the area. Renowned as one of the easiest places in the world to see this elusive cat, this trip also includes the chance for Giant Otter and Brazilian Tapir as well as many bird species that live along the river.

Our itinerary includes a visit to the beautifully eroded red rock canyons and waterfalls of Chapada dos Guimarães and the surrounding cerrado habitat, home to a number of unique species such as Red-legged Seriema, White-rumped Tanager, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Curl-crested Jay, and Guira Cuckoo, and the recently described Chapada Flycatcher.

ZigZag Heron. Photo by Gina Nichol.And, this year we have added a new, very special pre-trip extension to Jardim da Amazônia Lodge to look for Amazon specialties including Crested Eagle, Zigzag Heron (Photo: Gina Nichol), Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Dot-eared Coquette, Black-bellied Thorntail, Black-girdled Barbet, Pink-throated Becard, White-browed Purpletuft, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Blue-cheeked Jacamar, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Snow-capped Manakin, Blue-necked and Dotted Tanager, Slaty-capped Shrike Vireo, the recently described Cryptic Forest-falcon, and the rare Cone-billed Tanager.


What sets this trip apart?
Sunrise Birding has conducted many successful tours to the Pantanal and we have fine-tuned this itinerary to visit the very best wildlife areas and stay in the best lodges.  This tour offers exceptional value and represents a price reduction over previous years without sacrificing quality.

Eduardo Patrial. Photo by Gina Nichol.

More than that, this tour will be led by one of the top guides in Brazil, Eduardo Patrial (Photo: Gina Nichol).  Eduardo is our very good friend and though he is in high demand, he is pleased to lead our Pantanal tour with his extensive knowledge and field experience. Eduardo lives in Londrina in southern Brazil and guides all over the country. Eduardo's early ornithological experience includes banding and surveying birds and conducting field research in several regions of Brazil including the Pantanal, the Caatinga, the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest among others. His years in the field have resulted in his superb understanding of bird habits and habitats. He is an avid bird sound recordist and has an extraordinary knowledge of bird songs. Eduardo is simply a master at finding birds! His excellent English, pleasant personality, good humor and way with people make him a fabulous tour guide.

In addition, Diego Calderon will the Sunrise Birding leader for this tour with 8 pax or more.   Diego's strong passion for birding, knowledge of the birds and excellent birding and leadership skills make him one of the very best guides in South America.  Together, Eduardo and Diego are the dynamic duo of birding.   Don't miss your chance to experience the wonders of Brazil with two of the very best guides in the field. 

Join Sunrise Birding to explore South America's wildlife center, the Pantanal, one of the most ecologically diverse regions of the world!

Past trip reports and photos:  2013   2014   2015


Day 1
After arrival in CUIABA, Brazil (Airport code: CGB). Plan to arrive today and overnight in a hotel near the airport.

Day 2
This morning after breakfast we will travel south into the Pantanal. At Pocone, we will leave the paved road and continue on the Transpantaneira Highway, a raised dirt road that runs for 90 miles, crossing more than 100 plank and log bridges into the heart of the Pantanal. The "highway" is an ideal vantage point for viewing wildlife in the open grasslands and sprawling marshes of the Pantanal. We’ll make several birding stops along the road searching the fields and pools for Greater Rhea (Photo: Gina Nichol), Wattled Jacana, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, White-winged Swallow, Black-capped Donacobius, and Rusty-collared Seedeater. From the raised bridges, we’ll look for Whistling, Cocoi, Capped, and Purple Heron as well as a variety of kingfishers, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Plumbeous, Buff-necked, and Green Ibis. We’ll watch for raptors hunting above the grasslands and hope for views of Great Black, Savanna and Roadside Hawk, as well as the huge Nacunda Nighthawk roosting among the cattle. As we move further along the road, we’ll likely encounter Marsh Deer, Capybara, Caiman, Yellow Anaconda and other wildlife species. By the time we reach our lodge, we’ll have a good sense of the numbers and variety of animals we are likely to encounter here. Night Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso.

Day 3
Jabiru (Photo: Gina Nichol)As the sun rises, we will wake up to the noisy morning chorus of the Pantanal -- territorial duets of Chaco Chachalacas, haunting cries of Southern Screamers, and the distinctive, raucous calls of Buff-necked Ibis. Before breakfast, we will embark on our boat cruise on the Pixaim River. We'll expect good views of many birds including Anhinga, Wood Stork, Snail Kite, Ringed Kingfisher, Great Black Hawk, Jabiru (Photo: Gina Nichol), Greater Ani, Black-fronted Nunbird, and Blue-throated Piping Guan. We should see Sunbittern and hope to find the secretive Sungrebe while surveying the river edges for Caiman and Capybara. Hopefully, we'll find the Giant Otters that live in the river as they are often curious and will sometimes approach the boats allowing very close views. Other birds possible on our cruise include Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher, Black-capped Donacobius, Black-collared Hawk, and Solitary Cacique. After a couple of hours we return for breakfast and by then we should have a good list under our belts.

After breakfast, we will bird the grounds of our fazenda and the trails along the river. The lodge feeders can hold Yellow-billed Cardinal, Saffron Finch, Purplish Jay, and Bay-winged Cowbird but it's the riparian trails that hold some of the real gems. As we make our way into the forest, we'll check the river banks for Pale-legged Hornero and check for Greater and Rufous-fronted Thornbird (split from Common Thornbird). In the forest, we'll search for Helmeted Manakin (Photo: Gina Nichol), White-lored Spinetail, Mato Grosso Antbird, Rusty-backed Spinetail, Large-billed Antwren, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Rusty-fronted Tody Flycatcher, and Band-tailed Antbird.

In the afternoon, we continue along the Transpantaneira Highway into the heart of the Pantanal. We’ll make stops along the way to look at the incredible abundance of water birds and keep a watchful eye out for a first glimpse of the magnificent Hyacinth Macaw. Possible sightings include the elegant Capped Heron, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Monk and Golden-chevroned Parakeets, and a host of ibises, guans, storks, and spoonbills.

Our destination is an Ecolodge near the end of the road and shores of the Cuiabá River. We'll arrive slightly after dark as we will spent some time spotlighting for Crab-eating Fox, Ocelot, and even Giant Anteater along the road. 2 nights Porto Jofre.

Day 4
Hyacinth Macaws (Photo: Gina Nichol)This morning early risers can bird the area surrounding the lodge and check for species like Dull-capped Attila, Chivi Vireo, Silver-beaked Tanager, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher, Thrush-like Wren, Rufous Casiornis, and Chestnut-eared Aracari. No doubt by now we will have seen the magnificent Hyacinth Macaws (Photo: Gina Nichol) that live in the area and there should be excellent chances to photograph these brilliant blue birds, the largest of the parrot family.

After breakfast, we will take a boat trip on the Cuiaba River to look for Jaguar. The shores of the river are the best place to see this elusive cat as it comes to the banks to drink and rest during the day. We'll scan the river edges and likely see Large-billed Tern, Yellow-billed Tern, Collared Plover and Solitary Sandpiper during our search. This trip will also offer the opportunity to see Tapir, Giant Otter, and as the sun sets there is a chance for Band-tailed Nighthawk flying above the river.

Day 5
This morning we will spend some time birding around the lodge and the highway looking for White-winged Becard, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Variable (Epaulet) Oriole, Black-throated Mango, Green-breasted Mango, and White-bellied Seedeater. We'll hear the call of Undulated Tinamou and if we are lucky get a glimpse of one near the road. Other possibilities include Blue-throated Piping Guan (Photo: Gina Nichol), Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Fuscous Flycatcher, Blue-crowned Trogon, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Gray-crested Cachalote, and no doubt there will be noisy flocks of Yellow-chevroned Parakeets around and the unmistakable Hyacinth Macaw.

Rufescent Tiger Heron (Photo: Gina Nichol)A large pond filled with giant lilies in the grounds of our lodge will offer the chance to see Wattled Jacana, Striated Heron, Purple Gallinule, Rufescent Tiger Heron (Photo: Gina Nichol), and White-headed Marsh Tyrant walking among the huge lily pads. We’ll look for Nacunda Nighthawks, Pied Lapwings, Collared Plovers, and South American Snipe in the surrounding grasses. We’ll search along the road and in the nearby forest for Black-fronted Nunbird, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Moustached and Fawn-breasted Wren, and Swallow-tailed and Plumbeous Kite. We'll also scan the treetops for Brown Capuchin Monkeys and Green Iguanas.

Later in the morning we will leave this fabulous place and spend the day retracing our steps over the countless wooden bridges and looking for birds and wildlife on our way to our lodging for the night. We’ll make birding stops along the way and hope to see Vermillion Flycatcher, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Rufous Hornero, Roseate Spoonbill, White-eyed Parakeet, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Striped Cuckoo, White Woodpecker, and possibly Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. Once again we will spend some time spotlighting for mammals before our arrival at the lodge. The lodge itself provides opportunities to see mammals around the grounds including Brazilian Tapir and even Giant Armadillo. Night Pousa Alegre.

Day 6
Blue-throated Piping Guan (Photo: Gina Nichol)This morning we will continue to explore some areas along the Transpantaneira. Birds are literally everywhere, and by covering various forest types and swamps we may find Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Aplomado and Bat Falcons, Pearl and Snail Kites, Crane and Black-collared Hawks, Sungrebe, Buff-necked and Green Ibises, Undulated Tinamou, Brazilian Teal, Capped and Cocoi Herons, Sunbittern, the endemic Chestnut-bellied Guan, Blue-throated Piping Guan (Photo: Gina Nichol), Bare-faced Curassow, Toco Toucan, Green-winged Macaw, Peach-fronted, Yellow-chevroned and Monk Parakeets, Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Red-billed Scythebill, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, White Monjita, Gilded Hummingbird, Buff-bellied Hermit, Glittering-throated Emerald, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Pale-legged Hornero, Pale-crowned and Yellow-chinned Spinetails, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Black-capped Donacobius, Yellowish Pipit, Flavescent Warbler, Silver-beaked Tanager, Blue-crowned Trogon, Solitary Black Cacique, Thrush-like Wren, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, Purplish Jay, Yellow-billed Cardinal, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher, Uncolored and Scarlet-headed Blackbirds amongst many, many other possibilities. Night

Day 7
Red-legged Seriema (Photo: Gina Nichol)We'll do some birding in the local environs being the morning before leaving the pousada mid-day and heading toward Chapada dos Guimarães. The scenery will change markedly from open grasslands and wetlands to beautifully eroded red rock canyons and waterfalls of the Chapada. We'll make some stops to enjoy the scenery and will eventually reach the open, woodland-savanna habitat known as the cerrado. Here we will keep watch for unique cerrado species including Red-legged Seriema (Photo: Gina Nichol), Greater Rhea, and Black-throated Saltator. Late in the day, we will reach our lovely lodge in the heart of Chapada dos Guimarães Park and settle into our comfortable rooms for the evening perhaps enjoying a beverage on the veranda at sunset.

Day 8
This morning we will bird the Chapada dos Guimarães in search of the avian life of Brazil’s unique dry scrub habitat. We’ll have the day to explore the scrub, riparian areas, and lush cerrado forest filled with ferns, orchids, and bromeliads. The variety of habitats here are home to whole new assortment of bird species. Amidst spectacular scenery we’ll look for Yellow-ridged Toucan, King Vulture, American Swallow-tailed Kite, Crested Black-Tyrant, White-eyed Parakeet, Blue-headed Parrot, Biscutate Swift, Dot-eared Coquette, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Blue-crowned Motmot, the endemic Rufous-winged Antshrike, White-eared Puffbird, Large-billed Antwren, Masked Tityra, Band-tailed and Helmeted Manakin, White-bellied Warbler, Thick-billed Euphonia, Guira, Gray-headed, White-banded, White-rumped and Swallow Tanager (Photo: Gina Nichol), Blue and Coal-crested Finches, Chapadas Flycatcher, and possibly Crowned Eagle.

Day 8

After some final birding this morning, we will return to Cuiaba for afternoon flights out.

Leader: Eduardo Patrial.  With 8 or more clients, Diego Calderon will accompany Eduardo as the Sunrise Birding guide.

Pre-trip extension to Jardim da Amazonia Lodge
September 19 - 23, 2017

Our good friend and top Brazilian guide, Eduardo Patrial has found a new very special lodge less than 300 km north of Cuiabá in the transition zone of the amazon and cerrado with a wide variety of good Amazonian birds, including the rare Cone-billed Tanager. The lodge is situated in a diverse ecotone area and features good accommodation and food, a beautiful river, several trails and incredible birds. Some of the species on offer here include Crested Eagle, Zigzag Heron, Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Black-bellied Thorntail, Black-girdled Barbet, Spotted Puffbird, Gould’s Toucanet (Photo: Gina Nichol), Large-billed Antwren, Tooth-billed wren, Pink-throated Becard, White-browed Purpletuft, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Blue-cheeked Jacamar, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Snow-capped and Fiery-capped Manakin, Blue-necked and Dotted Tanager, Slaty-capped Shrike Vireo, the recently described Cryptic Forest-falcon, and the rare Cone-billed Tanager. We’ve added this extension for the Amazonian specialties here and it is sure to be an exciting and bird filled trip.

Extension Price: $1695 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement $195

Itinerary>     Trip Cost>     Extension info>     Registration Form>   
Contact to reserve your space!

Sunbittern photo by Gina Nichol. BRAZIL: Pantanal
Wildlife Safari

September 23 - October 1, 2017
Contact to reserve your space!    Registration Form>

TOUR PRICE: $3695.00 per person/double occupancy based on 6 passengers from Cuiaba, Brazil (Airport code: CGB).

Deposit: $500 per person. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise when you have made payment. 

Single Supplement: $395.00 per person (subject to availability)

Group Size: Minimum 6, Maximum 12

Included in cost: Group airport transfers, private transportation during the tour, all accommodations, meals beginning with breakfast on Day 2, professional guide services, local guides, local park and reserve entrance fees, and river trip to look for Jaguar.

Not included: Cost does not include roundtrip airfare to and from Cuiaba, Brazil, passport/visa fees, insurance, departure taxes, items of a personal nature such as: laundry, telephone, beverages, or gratuities for porterage or personal services.

Transportation/Travel Planning: You will be responsible for making your travel plans to Cuiaba. Information will be forthcoming about timings for arrivals and departures.

RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour, complete the Registration & Release Form and mail it with your deposit of $500.00 per person to Sunrise Birding, LLC.  Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.   >Download & print the Registration Form 

Final payment is due by May 19, 2017 and must be paid by check or bank transfer. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees).

**Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Cancellations and Refunds:  All cancellations must be made in writing.  In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.

There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. 

Insurance:  The purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover any eventuality is strongly recommended.  Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour. 



Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724

Giant Otters in the Pantanal (Photo: Steve Bird)
Giant Otters in the Pantanal (Photo: Steve Bird)