Manaus, Brazil: Amazon Rainforest & River Islands: Oct 04—17, 2019

Register NowTour Details

Price: To Be Announced.
($5,195 in 2018)
Departs: Manaus
Tour Limit: 8
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Previous Itinerary (2018): PDF (7.5 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Andrew Whittaker

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

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock— Photo: Andrew Whittaker

An in-depth exploration of the magical Amazon rainforest and its mighty rivers and bird-rich islands; excellent birding along flat forested trails and dirt roads, wonderful canopy towers, and relaxed covered boat exploration along the Amazon and Rio Negro; great exotic food (lots of fresh fish) and Amazonian fruit juices, and creature comforts—all with AC, with midday breaks during the heat of the day.

Manaus is nestled deep in the heart of the immense Amazon rainforest, home to the greatest avian-rich ecosystem on our planet. This famous bustling city is positioned at the junction of the world’s two mightiest rivers, the Amazon and the beautiful Rio Negro, where vast quantities of warm black water collide with immense volumes of cooler, silt-laden white water from the Andes, forming the famous “wedding of the waters,” flowing side by side for miles. These two rivers form a natural barrier to countless birds and other fauna, causing many replacement sibling species to be found on opposite banks, thus making Manaus a perfect base for exploration of its lush, lowland rainforest and the biogeographic barriers that are home to a mega-diversity of exciting and colorful birds and animals.

During the early twentieth century Manaus was the center of the Amazon’s rubber boom, which financed its famous Opera House (now restored to its full glory). A floating metal harbor constructed in 1902 is still intact and receives ocean-going vessels, an amazing 1,500 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

We have designed this tour to sample the special birds of both the Guianan and Imeri endemic centers while based at well-positioned forest lodges. Birding trails through microhabitats from lush, towering lowland rainforest to orchid-rich stunted campina (sandy-belt forest), we will search for spectacular cotingas, leks of colorful manakins, puffbirds, ant swarms, and huge mixed-species flocks; and while working for shy forest-falcons and skulky antbirds, we will also delight over amazing hummers such as the fabulous Crimson Topaz.

Wire-tailed Manakin, male

Wire-tailed Manakin, male— Photo: Andrew Whittaker


On relaxing boat trips to bird-rich Amazon riverine islands, we will float through seasonally flooded igapó (black-water) and varzea (white-water) forests where annual floods cause the rivers to rise and fall a staggering 15 meters or more. We will seek many unique specialists (known only from these dynamic riverine habitats) and admire the two species of fresh water river dolphins, including the legendary Pink River Dolphin, which has to be seen to be believed!

One of the many highlights of our trip to this majestic rainforest will be a visit to the famous INPA and Ducke canopy towers, home to colorful cotingas, macaws, parrots, toucans, puffbirds, jacamars, tanagers, trogons, and primates all at eye level. On previous trips here we have seen Harpy and Crested eagles and even the rare Crimson Fruitcrow.

This tour provides exceptional opportunities to see some of South America’s most wanted birds such as Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (at a large lek), Crimson Topaz, Pompadour and Purple-breasted cotingas, Guianan Red-Cotinga, the odd Capuchinbird, countless parrots, manakins, antbirds, and up to four species of potoos, including the much sought after Rufous and White-winged, as well as several species of interesting primates and much more.

Magnificent panoramic sunsets; starlit nights along secluded rivers while searching for mythical potoos; gazing upon the breathtakingly clear Milky Way—nothing can fully describe the magic of Amazonia. Its mega-biodiversity represents the most complex ecosystem anywhere on earth.

Good accommodations; two lodges in jungle clearings; electricity, air-conditioning, and private bathrooms; good food; birding excursions along forested trails; motorized covered canoes; two mornings at canopy towers; midday breaks; climate warm and humid, and very pleasant at night.