Birds and Jaguars of the Pantanal and Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park

12th – 21st June 2023

The Pantanal offers any birder, photographer or wildlife enthusiast the perfect combination of great birding and mammal spotting opportunities! The habitat is “birder friendly” as it’s relatively open which makes birding slightly easier and a little more relaxing. It is one of the best places in the world to see the endangered and stunning Hyacinth Macaw, 100’s of Jabiru Storks, Wood Storks, Herons and Ibises, waterfowl and literally 1000’s of Caimans, this together with excellent chances of seeing Jaguar, fantastic photographic opportunities and spectacular scenery makes a birding trip to the Pantanal a must!

Our tour will start in Cuiaba as we depart towards the 80,000 acre Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park where we will spend our first 2 nights. This Cerrado habitat (seasonally dry woodland and scrub) will provide us with our first birds of the tour and some truly stunning scenery.

We will then move onto the Pantanal, the worlds largest freshwater wetland, covering approximately 195.000 km². During this time, we shall travel the entire length of the famous Transpantaneira road (145km of dirt road with many bridges along the way), well known for its amazing birds and wildlife. Once at the end of the Transpantaneira road we will spend 3 nights based at the Hotel Porto Jofre where we will take daily boat trips looking for various species of birds and our main mammal target, South Americas largest cat, the Jaguar!       


12th June

The tour will start at Cuiaba International Airport where we will meet our local guide before setting off for a drive of approximately 1.5 hours to our first destination, the Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park. Upon arrival we will have time to look for Blue-winged Macaw and Red and Green Macaw that both nest and roost in the impressive sandstone cliffs, Curl-crested Jay, Gray Monjita, Crested Black-Tyrant and Swallow Flycatcher amongst others. We will arrive at our hotel late afternoon, followed by dinner.

13th June

Today we will spend a full day birding within the National Park. After an early breakfast we will take a short drive before heading off into the Cerrado habitat looking for targets such as Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, Small-billed Tinamou, White-eared Puffbird, Collared Crescentchest, Horned Sungem, Yellow-billed Blue Finch, Rufous-winged Antshrike, Black-faced Tanager, Red-legged Seriema, White-rumped Tanager, White-banded Tanager, Coal-crested Finch, Plumbeous Seedeater and Black-throated Saltator.

We will have lunch at a local restaurant and take a small break before heading out again where we will be birding at the amazing Bridal’s Veil Waterfall area which is a roost site for both the Blue-winged and Red and Green Macaw, also chances of Yellow-ridged Toucan, Chestnut-eared Aracari and White-collared and Biscutate swifts. We will return to our hotel late afternoon, followed by dinner.

14th June

This morning we will drive back towards Cuiaba and onwards to Pocone, the gateway to the Transpantaneira road and the Pantanal. The Transpantaneira road covers a distance of 145km with various lodges dotted along the way. Birding along this road is amazing, there is non-stop activity with the roadside pools full of various species including Anhinga, Large-billed Tern, Yellow-billed Tern, Cocoi Heron, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Striated Heron, Jabiru, Wood Stork, Bare-faced Ibis, Green Ibis, Sunbittern, Limpkin, Roseate Spoonbill and Black-crowned Night-heron amongst others. Perched up along the roadside we can see both Black-collared Hawk, Great Black Hawk, Snail Kite and Savanna Hawk together with Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher and Green Kingfisher. After checking into our accommodation, we will spend the rest of the day birding the local area.

15th June

We will set off for a pre-dawn walk to try and find ourselves a Giant Anteater, this is the best time of day to look for this fascinating mammal. We will then return to the lodge for breakfast andspend a full day birding around the lodge and the surrounding fragmented forest. We hope to see species such as the stunning Hyacinth Macaw, Jabiru, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Undulated Tinamou, Glittering-throated Emerald, Black-fronted Nunbird, Bat Falcon, Black-bellied Antwren, Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Saffron-billed Sparrow and Blue-crowned Trogon. We will return to the comfort of the lodge for lunch and take a short break during the hottest part of the day before heading back out mid-afternoon. Returning to the lodge early evening we will meet up for dinner and if conditions are good, head out for a night drive.

16th June

After another dawn walk to try and find Giant Anteater, we will return to the lodge for breakfast and then set off to our next lodge. Today we will travel some 120km along the Transpantaneira road with many stops along the way. Target birds for today include White Woodpecker, Green-barred Woodpecker, Crested Oropendola, Blue-fronted Parrot, Buff-necked Ibis, Plumbeous Ibis, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Rusty-collared Seedeater, Black-capped Donacobius, Golden-collared Macaw, Lineated Woodpecker, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Maguari Stork, Laughing Falcon, Whistling Heron, White-faced Whistling Duck, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Muscovy Duck, Bare-faced Curassow, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Bay-winged Cowbird, Giant Cowbird, Cocoi Heron, Sungrebe and Sunbittern together will all five species of South American kingfishers, Ringed, Amazon, Green, Green and Rufous and the Pygmy. We will stop half way along the road for lunch and then continue our journey onwards to the end of the Transpantaneira road during the hottest part of the day. We will take a couple more stops late afternoon as we near our next lodge where we will be staying for the next 3 nights.

17th and 18th June

We will spend two full days exploring the Pantanal by boat. After our breakfasts we will take boat rides both up and down river searching for Jaguar and other mammals such as Giant River Otters, Capybaras and the rare Tapir. We will return to the comfort of the lodge for lunch on both days before setting off for full afternoons on the boats again. Some of the target birds for this area include Black Skimmer, Yellow-billed Tern, Large-billed Tern, Pied Plover, Collared Plover, Crested Oropendola, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Black-collared Hawk, White-wedged Piculet, Black-fronted Nunbird, Bare-faced Curassow and Rusty-backed Spinetail. At the end of the day we hope to see Band-tailed Nighthawks flying above the water.

19th June

After breakfast and some early morning birding we will drive some 70km back along the Transpantaneira road until we arrive at our final lodge in time for lunch. After lunch we will take a short break and then take a motor boat ride along the Pixaim River for a couple of hours. This can be good for seeing more Giant River Otters together with Sungrebe, Black-collared Hawk, Great Black Hawk and Boat-billed Heron. This boat trip also provides excellent opportunities to try for flight photographs of several species. We will return to the lodge late afternoon and meet up for dinner.

20th June

After breakfast we will spend a full day birding around the lodge and surrounding area, target birds for today include Band-tailed Antbird, Pale-legged Hornero, Rusty-backed Spinetail, Lesser Kiskadee, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Green-backed Becard, Golden-green Woodpecker, Plain Antvireo, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Helmeted Manakin, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-lored Spinetail, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Red-billed Scythebill, Flavescent Warbler, Moustached Wren, Buff-bellied Wren, Purplish Jay, Orange-backed Oriole (Troupial), Crested Oropendola, Solitary Black-Cacique, Blue-crowned Trogon, Black-fronted Nunbird, Silver-beaked Tanager, Rusty-collared Seedeater, White-bellied Seedeater and Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch. Both lunch and dinner will be served at the lodge today.

21st June

If time allows there will be some early morning birding around the lodge, this will be followed by breakfast and our departure back to Cuiaba for our flights home.

What to expect:

Both Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park and the Pantanal will be hot, we expect to experience temperatures between 20 – 35 degrees centigrade with cooler evenings.

No rain is expected but cannot be ruled out.

The tour pace is easy with short walks, usually close to our vehicle and boat rides. On our two full days with boats, we will return to the comfort of the lodge for lunch during the hottest part of the day.

The accommodation is of a good standard with good food, usually served buffet style.

There are excellent photographic opportunities on this tour.

LEADER: Andy Foster and local guide

GROUND PRICE: £3900.00 per person. Single supplement: £550.00

GROUP SIZE: Minimum of 6 required to run the tour, maximum group size of 8

DEPOSIT REQUIRED to secure your place on the tour: £585.00

TOUR STARTS at Cuiaba Airport (CGB) on 12th June 2023, time to be confirmed

TOUR ENDS at Cuiaba Airport (CGB) on the 21st June 2023, time to be confirmed

Included in our tour price:

All birding excursions as outlined in the itinerary with a Serra dos Tucanos Birding Tours leader

Local guide

All ground transportation from Cuiaba airport on the 12th June back to Cuiaba airport on the 21st June.

Full board accommodation on a twin/double share basis in en-suite rooms

All meals from lunch on the 12th June through to breakfast on 21st June

Mineral water

Two days boat ride on the 17th and 18th June

One afternoon boat ride on the 19th June

Not included in our tour price:

International or domestic flights

Airport taxes where applicable


All other meals other than what’s specified above

Personal travel and medical insurance

Tips of any kind

Items of a purely personal nature



Jaguar (Andy Foster)
Hyacinth Macaws (Andy Foster)
Nacunda Nighthawk (Andy Foster)
Black-collared Hawk (Andy Foster)
Great Black Hawk (©Andy Foster)
Toco Toucan (©Andy Foster)
Jabiru (Andy Foster)
Giant River Otter (Andy Foster)
Scarlet-headed Blackbird (Andy Foster)