A remote mountain range in Brazil with amazing birds.
This short tour offers a chance to visit one of the most remote parts of the Amazon in relative ease and comfort. The Serra dos Carajás is a low mountain range blanketed in some of the most beautiful primary forest you will ever see and home to some of the rarest birds on the continent. Don’t let that scare you off; unlike most Amazonian sites, almost all of the birding is done from wide roads and tracks, making it some of the easiest rainforest birding anywhere.
Day 1: Brasilia. After arrival in Brazil’s capital, you’ll be transferred to a hotel for the night.
Day 2: Brasilia to Carajás. Before taking a flight north to Carajás, we’ll likely have some time to bird in Brasilia NP. The cerrado (savanna) here is excellent for a variety of birds including the endemic White-striped Warbler and the rare Yellow-faced Parrot. Once in Carajás, we’ll check into our comfortable hotel, which will be our base for five nights.
Days 3-6: Carajás National Forest. We have four full days to bird a variety of tracks through virgin forest. The Salobo road has some of the finest birding anywhere, and it’s often so busy that a morning can pass in the blink of an eye. This is the best spot for the beautiful and ultra-rare Black-chested Tyrant, a bird nearly unknown in life until it was found here several years ago. Bamboo patches nearby are great for Black-and-white Tody-Tyrant, Peruvian Recurvebill, and Rose-breasted Chat, while farther along we could find the big and beautiful White-crested Scale-backed Antbird (Nick Athanas)Guan, the handsome White-tailed Cotinga, or the endemic Carajás Woodcreeper. We’ll listen for the distant ringing of White Bellbirds, and hopefully track one down. The Aguas Claras road climbs to a ridge where Hyacinth Macaws sometimes fly over, and there always seems to be a large mixed species flock here, often containing Pará Gnatcatcher and Blackish Pewee. A narrower forest track nearby gives us a good chance to see Black-bellied Gnateater, the biggest member of the family, as well as Opal-crowned Manakin, Pará Foliage-gleaner, and the recently described Cryptic Forest-Falcon. We can’t pass up the chance to do some nightbirding; along with several owl species, we could find Silky-tailed and Little Nightjars.
Day 7: Carajás to Brasilia. After another full morning’s birding in the forest, we’ll catch an afternoon flight back to Brasilia, where we spend our final night.
Day 8: Brasilia. The tour ends this morning as we catch flights out of Brasilia.
CLIMATE: Warm and humid, with some rain likely.
DIFFICULTY: Easy. Nearly all the birding is from the road. Early starts are required as it is necessary to drive through an active iron mine before reaching the best forest. Nearly all lunches will be taken in the field.
ACCOMMODATION: Very good. While at Carajás, we’ll stay in one of several nice hotels in a company-run mining town.