Manakin Nature Tours, the best birdwatching and wildlife photography tours in Colombia and Latin America.

Enjoy nature with us! Is not just Birding, are amazing nature holidays!


Enjoy nature with us!

Is not just Birding, are amazing nature holidays

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Mata Atlantica

Brazilian Atlantic Forest – From Rio de Janeiro to Santa Catarina

Brazilian Atlantic Forest – From Rio de Janeiro to Santa Catarina

per person

The Atlantic Forest is one of the largest tropical forests on the planet. It once spanned over nearly 1,400,000 km2 (540,540 sq. mi.) of Brazil’s eastern coast – an area first colonized by Portuguese explorers back in the 1500s. Some reports from that time depict this place as vast, humid broad-stripe of forest running along the coast, hosting an impressive diversity of wildlife. More than 75% of this habitat was originally pure forest, loosely-spattered with patches of scrubland, montane rocky grasslands and mangrove swamps, and fringed by moist, broadleaved Restinga forest along the coast.


The Atlantic Forest stands alone as a unit, and it is not connected to the Amazon and the Andean forests – the other two large South American forest stands. Thriving in isolation in a territory boasting a considerable environmental diversity, the Atlantic Forest’s unique animals and plants evolved accordingly, diversifying widely and yielding numerous endemic species. Birds are no exception to this rule here, and birding the Atlantic Forest is, by all means, a most rewarding experience for those who enjoy finding new, rare species.


One of these regions, Serra do Mar, stands out for its great biodiversity, especially in the state of Rio de Janeiro, where the concentration of endemic and threatened bird species is remarkable. It is here where Itatiaia, Brazil’s first national park, was established in 1937. This is a place that we will explore thoroughly, as it hosts three important habitats.


South of Itatiaia, we will bird the Lowland Atlantic Forest around Ubatuba, where a different habitat called Restinga thrives on coastal sandy soils. Formed by a combination of humid forests with tall trees and sandy coastal thickets growing next to the Atlantic coast, the Restinga is a unique, flat habitat constantly threatened by human settlement and urbanization, ever since the first European explorers arrived in Brazil.


With the compass pointing due south, our journey continues, reaching Serra do Mar once again. Our next birding hotspot is Intervales State Park, this reserve has been included in UNESCO’s list of Natural World Heritage Sites since 1999. Intervales spans over a territory of 1,417 km2 (103,000 acres), sitting on a 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) high escarpment at the highest part of Serra do Mar, This remote area is considered one of Brazil’s best birding locations. The Park sits within Serra do Mar, in the Continuum de Paranapiacaba, a mountain range that starts running south of Sao Paulo and connects with other protected areas, like Carlos Botelho State Park.


Our birding adventure continues south towards the State of Paraná, and up to highlands of Curitiba. Nestled between the remnants of Serra do Mar and the interior of the country, Curitiba fosters colder weather conditions, allowing for habitats like upland grasslands to thrive, providing shelter to birds like the impressive Sickle-winged Nightjar.


But there’s still one more hotspot left before our birding adventure ends – the southernmost one in our trip: Volta Velha Reserve. Sitting just across Serra do Mar, in the lowlands of the State of Santa Catarina and surrounded by palm plantations, this small 8.75 km2 (2,162-acre) private reserve hosts a well-preserved patch of Atlantic Forest, home to several range-restricted birds. No main birding hotspot in the area has been left out of the itinerary. Join us on a birding adventure of a lifetime exploring Brazil’s fantastic Atlantic Forest!

Key Species

Atlantic Royal Flycatcher
Azure Jay
Bare-throated Bellbird
Bay-chested Warbling Finch
Black-and-gold Cotinga
Black-backed Tanager
Black-capped Piprites
Black-capped Screech-Owl
Black-cheecked Gnateater
Black-fronted Piping Guan
Black-hooded Antwren
Black-legged Dacnis
Blue-bellied Parrot
Blue-winged Macaw
Brassy-breasted Tanager
Brazilian Ruby
Brazilian Tanager
Brown Tanager
Brown Tinamou
Brown-breasted Bamboo Tyrant
Buff-bellied Puffbird
Buff-fronted Owl
Buff-throated Purpletuft
Buff-throated Warbling Finch
Buffy-fronted Seedeater
Canebrake Groundcreeper
Chestnut-backed Tanager
Cinnamon-vented Piha
Crescent-chested Puffbird
Crested Black Tyrant
Cryptic Antthrush
Diademed Tanager
Dusky-legged Guan
Dusky-tailed Antbird
Dusky-throated Hermit
East Brazilian Pygmy Owl
Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant
Festive Coquette
Fork-tailed Tody-tyrant
Frilled Coquette
Golden-winged Cacique
Gray-capped Tyrannulet
Green-billed Toucan
Green-crowned Plovercrest
Green-headed Tanager
Half-collared Sparrow
Helmeted Woodpecker
Hooded Berryeater
Itatiaia Spinetail
Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant
Large-tailed Antshrike
Long-tufted Screech Owl
Magpie Tanager
Magrove Rail
Mantled Hawk
Marsh Antwren
Marsh Tapaculo
Mottled Piculet
Mouse-colored Tapaculo
Ochre-rumped Antbird
Olive-green Tanager
Orange-breasted Thornbird
Orange-eyed Thornbird
Ornate Hawk Eagle
Oustalet’s Tyrannulet
Pale-browed Treehunter
Pileated Parrot
Pileated Parrot
Pin-tailed Manakin
Purple-crowned Plovercrest
Restinga Tyrannulet
Rufous-backed Antvireo
Rufous-breasted Leaftosser
Rufous-capped Antthrush
Rufous-capped Motmot
Rufous-tailed Antbird
Rufous-thighed Hawk
Rufous-thighed Kite
Rufous-thighed Kite
Russet-winged Spadebill
Rusty-barred Owl
Rusty-breasted Nunlet
Saffron Toucanet
São Paulo Tyrannulet
Saw-billed Hermit
Scaled Antbird
Scaled Chachalaca
Serra do Mar Tyrannulet
Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin
Sharp-billed Treehunter
Short-tailed Antthrush
Sickle-winged Nightjar
Silky-tailed Nightjar
Slaty Bristlefront
Slaty-breasted Wood Rail
Solitary Tinamou
Solitary Tinamou
Speckle-breasted Antpitta
Spot-breasted Antvireo
Spotted Bamboowren
Spot-winged Wood Quail
Squamate Antbird
Star-throated Antwren
Such’s Antthrush
Swallow-tailed Cotinga
Temminck’s Seedeater
Unicolored Antwren
Uniform Finch
Variegated Antpitta
Versicolored Emerald
Violet-crowned Woodnymph
White-bearded Antshrike
White-breasted Tapaculo
White-browed Foliage-gleaner
White-chinned Sapphire
White-collared Foliage-Gleaner
White-necked Hawk
White-throated Hummingbird
Yellow-browed Woodpecker
Yellow-legged Tinamou


  • Mata Atlântica is one of the places with the greatest biodiversity and endemism in the world, a dream for naturalists and bird watchers, a little more than 560 endemic species among mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles

  • It is one of the places with the highest number of tree species per hectare, 453 species

  • This region is home to about 2% of all vertebrate species on the planet

  • 70% of the Brazilian population lives in the Atlantic Forest domain area, which maintains the springs and springs that supply the cities and communities of the interior, regulates the climate (temperature, humidity, rainfall) and houses traditional communities, including Indigenous villages

  • We will visit the Intervales Forest, one of the places with the largest number of endemic species of birds on the planet

  • Destination
  • Departure
    Departure / Return Location Aeropuerto Internacional São Paulo-Guarulhos - IATA: GRU, OACI: SBGR

Day 1. São Paulo to Itatiaia National Park

Day 1. Arrival in São Paulo (Guarulhos) and transfer to Itatiaia National Park

Day 2. Birding the lower part of Itatiaia National Park

Day 3. Birding the upper part of Itatiaia National Park

Day 4. Itatiaia National Park to Ubatuba (coast line)

Day 5. Birding the lowland Atlantic Forest in Ubatuba

Day 6. Birding the lowland Atlantic Forest in Ubatuba

Day 7. Ubatuba to Tapiraí

Day 8. Birding Tapiraí montane habitat

Day 9. Tapiraí to Cananéia

Day 10. Iporanga to Intervales State Park

Day 11. Birding at Intervales State Park

Day 12. Birding at Intervales State Park

Day 13. Birding at Intervales State Park

Day 14. Intervales to Curitiba

Day 15. Curitiba to Itapoá

Day 16. Birding at Volta Velha Reserve

Day 17. Itapoá to Curitiba

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