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BRAZIL -- RORAIMA ADVENTURE: Birding the Sky Islands of the Amazon
A 12-day search for montane rarities, white-sand forest endemics, and riverine specialists, all amidst some of Brazil's most breathtaking scenery.

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For an informative overview of all our current itineraries to this country--and how to choose among them--see Field Guides Brazil Tours.

This new adventure, which we scouted to great success in 2018 (triplist here) on an unadvertised trip, takes us to Roraima, the northernmost state in Brazil, nestled between Venezuela, Guyana, and the state of Amazonas. From pristine Amazonian lowlands to cloudforest-cloaked Tepuis, and from Mauritia Palm swamps, savannas, and gallery forests to vast marshlands and isolated campinas, the state boasts a fabulous diversity of habitats that ultimately translates into a staggering number of birds -- species such as the endangered Hoary-throated Spinetail, Yapacana Antbird, Tepui Swift, Crestless Curassow, outlandish cotingas, and noisy macaws.

Serra do Tepequem juts out of the cerrado (open woodland) north of the city of Boa Vista and supports an unusual mix of Tepui and Amazonian avifauna. It's the best place in Brazil to see Tepui Swift, Green-bellied Hummingbird, and Sooty-capped Hermit at their southern outpost, not to mention Guianan Cock-of-the-rock and the tough-to-see Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet. The views from Tepequem are tremendous: picture endless miles of forested mountains as far as the eye can see. From Tepequem we'll drive south to Virua National park, crossing expansive stretches of pristine grassland that are home to the bizarre Sharp-tailed Ibis, Bearded Tachuri (a diminutive tyrannid of ungrazed grassland), and Giant Anteater (last year we saw seven of these great animals!).

Virua contains a complex assortment of habitats from white-sand campinas to tall, majestic hardwood forests. We'll bird the Estrada Perdida (the "Lost Highway") an abandoned roadway that cuts through some gorgeous white-sand communities. It is perhaps the best place in Brazil to see rarities such as Crestless Curassow, Yapacana Antbird, Cayenne Jay, White-naped Seedeater, and Large-billed Seed Finch. The forest trails at Virua are productive, too. We may run into Gray-winged Trumpeters and numerous primates, such as Guianan Bearded Sakis and Red-faced Spider Monkeys, that are difficult to see outside the reserve.

Nightbirding in Virua is always exciting. At dusk, Least Nighthawks take flight over the campinas, accompanied by White-tailed Nightjars doing their explosive wing-popping display -- you just have to see it to believe it. The forest trails also come alive at night with owls, potoos, and elusive mammals.

To wrap up the tour we'll board a comfortable live-aboard river boat and explore (truly explore!) the mighty Rio Branco, the most important biogeographic barrier in this part of Brazil. The forest along the river is home to the aptly named (and critically endangered) Rio Branco Antbird (a striking member of the Thamnophilidae), White-bellied Piculet, and other varzea specialties such as the hulking Amazonian Umbrellabird. Amazon River Dolphins, otters, and manatees are also possibilities in the silt-laden waters. We'll be on remote creeks and side-channels where no other birders have ever been, so who knows what else we'll find. And with an assortment of freshly caught fish, farofa (a traditional manioc flour), and delightful tropical fruits as part of our fare, the food will just add to a great experience.

This is a lovely and little-visited corner of Brazil -- we look forward to sharing it with you!

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2020 Departures
Apr 22 - May 3 ($4475)

2021 Departures
Mar 31 - Apr 11



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Guides for our tours
Micah Riegner
Tom Johnson

What to Expect
Good accommodations, easy to moderate terrain, warm to hot climate.

Our staff travel agents can assist you with tour information, flight reservations and tour bookings. Contact us at (800) 728-4953
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