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7–27 March 2024

With over 200 endemics, Brazil is one of the world’s top birding destinations. A visit to the northeast combining the threatened Atlantic Forest and Caatinga offers some truly-spectacular, endemic-rich birding, with species including Caatinga Antwren, Araripe Manakin, Caatinga Antshrike, Great Xenops, White-browed Antpitta, Stripe-backed Antbird, Hooded Visorbearer, Indigo Macaw, Scarlet-throated Tanager, Horned Sungem and Gould’s Toucanet.

Day 1 Early morning flight from London to Fortaleza via Lisbon, overnight Fortaleza.

Day 2 Today we will make the drive inland to Guaramiranga via Serra da Aratanha in the Serra do Baturité. Species we hope to see here include Spot-winged Wood Quail, Gould’s Toucanet, Ochre-backed Woodpecker, Grey-breasted and Cactus Parakeets, Ceara Gnateater, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Moustached Woodcreeper, Grey-headed Spinetail, Buff-breasted Tody-tyrant, Pectoral Sparrow and Variable Oriole. We will spend the night at the Alto da Serra Lodge, which is located in a forested area, allowing us to watch some of the above-mentioned species within the lodge grounds.

Day 3 We will spend this morning exploring the forests at Guaramiranga. Afterwards we will transfer to the town of Quixadá (55 miles away) where we will check into our hotel for a one-night stay. There is good birding in this area and we hope to see species such as White-browed Guan, Least Nighthawk, Pygmy Nightjar, Biscutate Swift, Spot-backed Puffbird, Ochraceous Piculet, Caatinga and Black-bellied Antwrens, Great Xenops, Pinto’s and Ochre-cheeked Spinetails, Red-cowled Cardinal, Pale Baywing, White-throated and Copper Seedeaters and Bearded Bellbird. Overnight in Quixadá.

Day 4 Today we will drive some 210 miles to Crato, where we will spend some time birding Chapada do Araripe National Forest. Along the road we will make a few stops to check several ponds where we should find White-faced, Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Southern Pochard and, with luck, Comb Duck. If time allows, in the afternoon we will visit the Araripe Manakin site. Two nights in Crato.

Day 5 We will spend the day birding at the buffer zone of Araripe National Forest. The arboreal Caatinga habitat here is simply the best area for most of the Caatinga endemics. We should find Silvery-cheeked and Barred (Caatinga) Antshrikes, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Pale-bellied Tyrant-manakin, Cinnamon Tanager, Ultramarine Grosbeak, Red-winged Tinamou, Rufous Nightjar, Cinnamon-throated Hermit, Spotted Piculet and Dubois's Seedeater.

Day 6 There will be an early breakfast this morning followed by a 220-mile drive to our next stop of Canudos. Upon arrival we will have lunch and check into the biological station. This afternoon we will be looking for species such as White-bellied Nothura, Little Nightjar, Stripe-breasted Starthroat, Indigo (Lear’s) Macaw, Red-shouldered Spinetail, Southern Scrub Flycatcher, Bahia and Greater Wagtail-tyrants, White Monjita and Ash-throated Casiornis. Two nights at Canudos Biological Station.

Day 7 We will spend the whole of today birding around the Canudos Biological Station and Raso da Catarina Ecological Station. In addition to the species seen yesterday, we hope to encounter White-tailed Goldenthroat, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Caatinga Cacholote, White-naped Xenopsaris, Grey-eyed Greenlet, White-naped Jay, Scarlet-throated Tanager, Red Pileated Finch and Campo Troupial. We will also keep our eyes open for Pectoral Antwren en route.

Day 8 After breakfast we will check out and make the long drive (198 miles) to our next overnight destination of Estancia. In Crasto Forest our target species include Fringe-backed Fire-eye, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Jandaya Parakeet, Sooretama Slaty-antshrike, White-flanked, Southern White-fringed and Salvadori's Antwrens, the very-difficult Pernambuco Foliage-gleaner and Stripe-necked Tody-tyrant. Overnight in Estancia.

Day 9 We will take an early breakfast again this morning before driving the 340 miles to Lençóis, birding en route. Lunch will also be taken during the journey. Two nights in the Hotel de Lençóis.

Day 10 We will spend a full day birding the spectacular Chapada Diamantina. Target birds for this area include Yellow-legged Tinamou, East Brazilian Chachalaca, Broad-tipped and Planalto Hermits, Hooded Visorbearer, Russet-crowned Crake, Pearly-breasted Cuckoo, Black-capped and Sincora Antwrens, White-browed Antpitta, Diamantina Tapaculo, White-crested Tyrannulet, Rufous-sided Pygmy Tyrant, Stripe-tailed Yellow Finch, Blue Finch and Serra Finch.

Day 11 Today we will drive 80 miles to Mucugê, situated in the southern range of the Chapada Diamantina. Targets here include Sao Francisco Sparrow, Collared Crescentchest, Plumbeous Seedeater, Grey-backed Tachuri, Spotted Nothura, Stripe-backed Antbird, Narrow-billed Antwren and Scissor-tailed Nightjar. Overnight at a lodge in Mucugê Lodge.

Day 12 Our destination today will be Boa Nova, and we will break the 183-mile drive by taking lunch en route. There are many targets at this fantastic spot, some of which include Amethyst Woodstar, Red-stained and Yellow-eared Woodpeckers, Golden-capped Parakeet, White-cheeked Pintail, Rio de Janeiro, Slender and White-bibbed Antbirds, Spot-flanked Gallinule, Pink-legged Graveteiro, Bahia Spinetail, Large Elaenia, Bahia Tyrannulet, Smoky-fronted Tody-flycatcher, Sharp-tailed Tyrant, Black-headed Berryeater, Planalto Tapaculo, Sooty Grassquit and White-browed Meadowlark. Two nights in Boa Nova.

Day 13 Boa Nova is a birder's paradise, containing both forest and Caatinga birds. We will spend the whole of today exploring the area further, in search of all of the species mentioned above. One of our main targets here will be the very rare and endemic Slender Antbird.

Day 14 After an early breakfast we will take the 240-mile drive to Porto Seguro, where we will spend the remainder of the day birding the Veracel Reserve. Some of our targets here will include Variegated Tinamou, Rusty-margined Guan, Rufous-thighed Kite, White-necked Hawk, White-winged Potoo, Hook-billed Hermit, Ocellated Poorwill, Racket-tipped Thorntail, Plain-bellied Emerald, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-necked Aracari, White-barred Piculet, Ringed Woodpecker, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Lesser Nighthawk, Red-browed and Orange-winged Amazons, Ochre-marked Parakeet and White-winged and Banded Cotingas. Two nights in Porto Seguro.

Day 15 We will make the most of our time in the area by spending another whole day enjoying the birds of the Veracel Reserve.

Day 16 Today’s drive of around 155 miles will take us to Serra Bonita, one of the most stunning locations of the whole tour. Target birds here include Brown Tinamou, Mantled Hawk, Blue-chinned and Rufous-throated Sapphires, Golden-spangled Piculet, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Maroon-faced Parakeet, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Plumbeous Antvireo, Boa Nova Tapaculo, the newly-described Bahia Treehunter, White-lored Tyrannulet, Olivaceous Elaenia, Minute Hermit, Three-striped Flycatcher, Rufous-brown Solitaire, Temminck’s Seedeater and Yellow-green Grosbeak. Two nights at the Serra Bonita Reserve.

Day 17 We will spend another full day birding this spectacular area in search of any species that may have eluded us yesterday.

Day 18 After an early breakfast we will drive some 155 miles to Itacaré. Our target birds here include Least Pygmy Owl, Cinereous Antshrike, Kinglet Manakin, Band-tailed and Bahia Antwrens and the silvery-flanked subspecies of White-flanked Antwren, Striated Softtail, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Screaming Piha, Turquoise (White-bellied) Tanager and Olivaceous Flatbill. Two nights at the Vila dos Passaros Lodge.

Day 19 We will spend the whole of today further exploring the Itacaré area looking for any species that may be missing from our lists.

Day 20 This morning will be spent visiting the Agua Boa Reserve not far from Itacaré. Along the dirt access road we will stop at some marshes and ponds to look for the uncommon Masked Duck, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Bahia Tapaculo, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Blue-backed and White-bearded Manakins, Bright-rumped Attila, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher and Rufous-sided and Grey-breasted Crakes. In the afternoon we will make the 175-mile drive to Salvador to catch our evening flight back to the UK, arriving on day 21.

General Information Brazil can be hot and humid with rain likely at any time. The tour pace is moderate with generally easy walking. There are some health requirements which should be referred to your GP. Insects can be a problem at times and repellents are recommended. Visas are not required for EU citizens.

Group Size Minimum number for tour to go ahead: 6; maximum group size: 10 with 2 leaders.

Hooded Visorbearer

Hooded Visorbearer

Recommended books available from NHBS