Summary : Explore five countries on this ever-popular South America tour. By Zodiac and on foot search tributaries and rain forest habitats for abundant wildlife, such as sloths, nearly 30 species of monkeys, and, with luck, pink Amazon river dolphins. Bird species number in the thousands here, including the colorful red-and-green macaw, Guianan cock-of-the-rock, and toco toucan—exceeded only by the nearly 2,000 species of dazzling butterflies. Landings at isolated villages built on stilts present you with a glimpse into the lives of Indians and other native peoples on an Amazon tour. Among the many thrills on this voyage is the chartered flight into the heart of wild Guyana to view Kaieteur Falls, nearly five times the height of Niagara.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Snorkeling
$999,999,999 to $0
Independent arrival in Miami. Gather this evening at your airport hotel for a welcome briefing, dinner, and overnight.
Board your flight from Miami to Belém, via Manaus. On arrival, transfer to the Sea Adventurer for dinner and overnight.
The gateway to Amazonia, Belém was founded in 1616 by Portuguese conquistadors. Enjoy a city tour this morning including a visit to the Goeldi Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to the Sea Adventurer and set sail.
Spend three full days exploring the Amazon and its tributaries. This area supports an unparalleled richness of biodiversity, with nearly one-fifth of the world’s species of birds, around 30 monkey species, 1,800 species of butterflies, and more species of fish than the entire Atlantic Ocean. By Zodiac cruise along the waterways in search of birds, butterflies, Amazon river dolphins, and a host of other resident wildlife. Ashore take nature walks through lush vegetation and visit with the Caboclos, half-Portuguese, half-Indian natives who live in stilted houses along the riverbanks. With an encyclopedic knowledge of the forests and fluvial environments, they share their wealth of experiences with us as we observe them in their daily activities.
Attend lectures on the region’s natural history and culture during a day at sea.
Visit the three small islands that were once the site of the infamous French penal colony known collectively as “Devil’s Island.” Soon after the French Revolution of 1789, France’s criminals were shipped here, among them Henri Charrière, who described the inhumane treatment and his escape in his autobiography Papillon. Wander the ruins of the colony, now nearly reclaimed by jungle, and visit the guards’ quarters, prisoners’ cells, hospital, and guillotine site. Burnished-buff tanagers and squirrel monkeys, among many other species, can be found in this verdant paradise of tangled fig trees.
This morning join a tour of Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo, located on the banks of the Suriname River. Visit the 17th-century Fort Zeelandia, the country’s oldest building, housing the Suriname Museum. Watch for capuchin monkeys in Palm Garden, the city’s leafy park. Adjacent is the ornate Presidential Palace, one of the many historic colonial buildings of 18th- and 19th-century style, including the enormous century-old Catholic cathedral. Rain forest habitat, which covers 85 percent of the country, begins 30 miles south of Paramaribo. An afternoon excursion takes you into the countryside to visit an Amerindian village for a cultural presentation and a Zodiac cruise along the Para River.
Guyana’s mighty Essequibo River is flanked by vast, undisturbed rain forest that blankets much of the country and supports 1,000 species of trees and about 1,200 species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. The Essequibo is lined with beaches, mangroves, shipwrecks, boatyards, and is dotted with traditional dwellings and villages. Jet boats take you on an exhilarating upriver exploration to the charming eco-resort island of Baganara, replete with white-sand beaches and nature trails. The small town of Bartika, a staging post for gold miners headed inland, has a marketplace where woodcarvings and gold jewelry are displayed.
A chartered flight far into the wild heartland of Guyana to view Kaieteur Falls is a highlight of this expedition. The falls are 300 feet wide and 741 feet high—almost five times the height of Niagara. Enjoy a dramatic view of the thundering cascade, which creates a deafening roar along with many colorful rainbows. Explore the virgin jungle of Kaieteur National Park to search for orchids and various bird species, including, with luck, the spectacular cock-of-the-rock.
Lecturers recap your time in Guyana and introduce you to the history and natural wonders of Trinidad & Tobago.
Tucked off the coast of Venezuela lie the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Joined into one country in the latter part of the 19th century, Tobago is quite Caribbean in nature, with exquisite beaches, exceptional snorkeling, and a relaxed atmosphere, while Trinidad seems more the progeny of ever-lively South America with its calypso music and cosmopolitan feel. As with any siblings, the islands do share some traits, particularly with regard to their flora and fauna. Over 400 species of birds can be found here, along with 600 varieties of butterflies, and a host of monkeys, armadillos, caiman, lizards, snakes, and marine species. The varieties of flowering plants—2,300 in all—are likewise astonishing.
This morning birders set out for uninhabited Little Tobago to visit a large colony of breeding red-tailed tropicbirds and search for white-tailed sabrewings, blue-backed manakins, chachalacas, motmots, and jacamars. Or, choose to visit lovely Argyle Waterfall for a refreshing swim and a chance to explore the lush surrounding forest.
After lunch on board, enjoy a snorkel excursion over some of the region’s best coral reefs. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to stroll through the charming town of Charlotteville, magnificently situated on a large, calm bay, or simply relax and soak in the sights and sounds on the white-sand beaches.
Encountered by Columbus in 1498, Trinidad’s native Indian population was later joined by Spanish, French, British, African, and Hindustani settlers, creating a cosmopolitan cultural mélange. After lunch on board, drive to Caroni Bird Sanctuary, a national park, and board local boats for a mangrove cruise. Keep an eye out for the 150 bird species found here including ospreys, herons, flamingos, plovers, and egrets. A particular highlight is the chance to photograph hundreds of flamboyant scarlet ibises as they come to roost at dusk. This evening we are joined on board by a local steel-drum band for a lively performance of traditional music.
Disembark this morning for your independent flight to the USA.
Accommodations in hotels and on board as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities; charter flight to Kaieteur Falls; emergency medical coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $25,000)*; evacuation coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000)*.
All air transportation (except as listed above); excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages except as listed above, email/Internet/fax/telephone charges.
*Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency medical coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $25,000 is included in the cost of this expedition, as well as evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000. Insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. All coverages may not be available in all states. Please note this coverage does not cover you against trip cancellation or for additional days of travel prior to and/or after the expedition trip dates. ExpeditionTrips strongly advises all clients to purchase travel insurance which includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage for the entire duration of your trip.