Southeastern Brazil: Best of the Atlantic Forest: Oct 08—22, 2017

Register for WaitlistTour Details

Price: $5,795
Departs: Sao Paulo
Ends: Rio de Janeiro
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Itinerary: PDF (5.8 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker, a senior member of the VENT staff, has led VENT tours since 1993 throughou...

Local Leader

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Register for the Waiting List

This departure is sold out! Add your name to the waiting list, or inquire about this tour by calling our office (1-800-328-VENT or 512-328-5221), or emailing us (

Spot-billed Toucanet (near endemic)

Spot-billed Toucanet (near endemic)— Photo: Andrew Whittaker


A two-week “highlights” version of our flagship Brazil tour to the most endemic-rich corner of the South American continent. Over 140 possible endemics, including many hummingbirds, antbirds, and colorful tanagers set amidst beautiful scenery including the fabulous Intervales State Park and famous Itatiaia highlands, and the white-sand beaches, deep blue bays, and forest-cloaked mountains that define much of Rio’s famed Serra do Mar and coastline.

South America’s largest country is also one of its richest for birds. Nowhere is this more apparent than in southeastern Brazil, where habitats range from lush coastal rainforest and wet pampas to montane cloud forest and plateau grassland. The avifauna of southeast Brazil has radiated in a myriad of directions. Today there are more than 180 species of Atlantic Forest endemics found nowhere else in the world.

This tour centers on what we consider to be the heart of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, and more specifically, the heart of the famed Serra do Mar. Our itinerary will spend time in both coastal lowlands and montane forest, as we seek a wide range of Atlantic Forest endemics, among them some of the rarest and most localized of Brazilian specialties.

Swallow-tailed Cotinga, female

Swallow-tailed Cotinga, female— Photo: Andrew Whittaker


This tour also includes time at Ubatuba, an area where VENT pioneered birding tours in the early 1990s. Along the way, we should see an impressive number of regional endemics, among them such prizes as Solitary Tinamou; Mantled and White-necked hawks; Giant Snipe; Buff-fronted, Rusty-barred, and Tawny-browed owls; the stupendous Long-trained Nightjar; Saw-billed Hermit; Festive and Frilled coquettes (at feeders); both species of Plovercrest; Crescent-chested Puffbird; Black-billed Scythebill; Orange-eyed and Orange-breasted thornbirds; Itatiaia Thistletail; Giant, Tufted, Large-tailed, Spot-backed, and White-bearded antshrikes; Black-hooded and Unicolored antwrens; Variegated Antpitta; Black-cheeked Gnateater; Slaty Bristlefront; Spotted Bamboowren; Buff-throated Purpletuft; Black-and-gold Cotinga; Black-capped Piprites; Fork-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant; Half-collared Sparrow; and more hummingbirds, tyrannulets, antthrushes, and a horde of colorful endemic tanagers than you can shake a stick at! We will also have excellent chances of finding some of the least predictable and hardest-to-find specialties of the region, including Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Blue-bellied Parrot, Helmeted Woodpecker, Salvadori’s Antwren, Russet-winged Spadebill, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, and Black-legged Dacnis.

A variety of habitats encompassing some spectacular scenery; a pleasant, largely subtropical to temperate climate; good food and accommodations throughout; and one of the world’s most unique and endangered avifaunas combine to make southeastern Brazil an unforgettable birding experience.

Good to excellent accommodations throughout; great food and fresh fruit juices; mostly easy to moderate terrain; many early starts and full mornings, often with significant midafternoon breaks; optional night birding on several nights; three forest lodges with exceptional birding on the grounds; hummingbird feeders and fruit feeders offering excellent photographic opportunities; no internal flights; a few long drives of four hours or more (but all of these broken up with stops for birding or meals); warm to cool spring climate.