Mark Smith Nature Tours
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THE PANTANAL
BRAZIL'S WETLAND WILDERNESS
and the Atlantic Forests

led by Marc Egger

September 13 - 28, 2015

 

BRAZIL! The word evokes visions of the mighty Amazon meandering through the greatest rainforest on earth. And of wildlife, like monkeys, macaws, toucans and giant crocodiles (caimans). Brazil is the size of the lower 48; this tour includes what many regard as the natural and geographic highlights of this vast area. Some 300 birds and many large mammals will be seen. We will visit three entirely different regions and have three internal flights. The extension to the Amazon visits that fourth biome.

The Atlantic Forests. The remaining rainforests of the Serra do Mar (coastal mountains), long isolated from Amazonia, harbor plant and animal species found nowhere else. In the Serra do Mar we visit Itatiaia National Park. Hundreds of colorful birds inhabit these forests, many of them endemic. Prominent groups include toucans, tanagers, trogons, antbirds, hummers and ovenbirds. Excellent trails wind through lush vegetation, along creeks and past waterfalls. We'll discuss rainforest ecology using the infinite examples provided by colorful orchids, butterflies, lizards and other creatures. Rio de Janeiro is just a few hours away. We tour this spectacular city, the Atlantic coastline, and famed Corcovado Mountain overlooking the city.

The Planalto Central is a vast 3,000 foot plateau of south central Brazil. Much of it is covered by dry forest (Cerrado) while other areas appear similar to African savannas. In Chapada dos Guimaraes large animals can be seen, including giant anteater, pampas deer, and the rare maned wolf. In recent years Harpy Eagles have nested, and with luck we will see them at the nest.

The Pantanal, located in southwestern Brazil's Mato Grosso state, is often heralded as the world's most remarkable wetland ecosystem. In September the drying ponds of this low-lying basin pulsate with millions of waterbirds: Jabirus and other storks, herons and egrets of every kind, ibis, kingfishers and spoonbills. The world's largest parrot, the endangered Blue Hyacinth Macaw, is regularly seen as are other macaws species and many birds of prey. Large animals are common and include caiman, marsh deer, capybara, black howler monkeys, anaconda and even jaguar.

The Pantanal, Brazil's Wetland Wilderness, and the Atlantic Forests
September 13 - 28, 2015
GROUND COST: $4785

LEADER: Marc Egger

LIMIT: 14

Brazil Tour Description and Itinerary

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Red-lored Parrot, photo by Jack Ostlind
jabaru photo

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