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Jungle Rivers of South America
Sorry. There are no scheduled departures for this expedition.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
An itinerary from a previous expedition is displayed below.
Day 1 Miami, USA
Independent arrival in Miami. Gather this evening at our airport hotel for a welcome briefing, dinner, and overnight.
Day 2 Miami / Belém, Brazil
Depart on your flight from Miami to Belém, via Manaus. On arrival, transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 Belém / Embark Clipper Adventurer
The gateway to Amazonia, Belém was founded in 1616 by Portuguese conquistadors. Enjoy a city tour including a visit to the Goeldi Museum before we embark the Clipper Adventurer to begin our journey.
Day 4-6 Breves Narrows / Amazon River Delta
For the next three days we cruise the Amazon and its tributaries. This area supports an unparalleled richness of biodiversity, with nearly one-fifth of the world’s species of birds, about 30 monkey species, 1,800 species of butterflies, and more species of fish than the entire Atlantic Ocean. Zodiacs are key to our explorations; they carry us along the waterways, as we search for birds, butterflies, Amazon river dolphins, and a host of other resident wildlife. On excursions ashore, we explore the vegetation on nature walks and visit Caboclos, half-Portuguese, half-Indian natives who live in stilted houses along the river-banks. 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.
Day 7 Cruising the Brazilian Coast
Our lecturers introduce the history and culture of French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana.
Day 8 Iles du Salut, French Guiana
The three small islands that make up this archipelago were 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. During our visits to Ile St. Joseph and Ile Royale, we wander the ruins of the colony, now nearly reclaimed by jungle, and visit the guards’ quarters, prisoners’ cells, hospital, and guillotine site. We also search for burnished-buff tanagers and squirrel monkeys, among many other species, in this verdant paradise of tangled fig trees. Return to the ship for lunch as we set sail for Suriname.
Day 9 Paramaribo, Suriname
This morning we take a tour of Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo, located on the banks of the Suriname River. We then 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 us into the countryside where we visit an Amerindian village for a cultural presentation and a Zodiac cruise along the Para River.
Day 10-12 Essequibo River, Guyana / Kaieteur Falls
Today we begin our travels up Guyana’s mighty Essequibo River. The vast undisturbed rain forest 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 us on exhilarating upriver explorations 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 highlight of our time in Guyana is our chartered flight far into its wild heart-land to view Kaieteur Falls. 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 rainbows. We also explore the virgin jungle of Kaieteur National Park to search for orchids and various bird species, including, with luck, the colorful cock-of-the-rock.
Day 13 At Sea
Our lecturers recap our time in Guyana and introduce us to the history and natural wonders of Trinidad & Tobago.
Day 14 Speyside, Tobago / Charlotteville
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 from the sleepy fishing village of Speyside 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 or glass-bottom boat 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.
Day 15 Port of Spain, Trinidad
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 we drive to Caroni Bird Sanctuary, a national park, and board local boats for a mangrove cruise. A highlight of our journey is the chance to photograph hundreds of flamboyant scarlet ibis as they come to roost at dusk. We also keep an eye out for the 150 bird species found here including ospreys, herons, flamingos, plovers, and egrets. This evening we are joined on board by a local steel-drum band for a lively performance of traditional music.
Day 16 Port of Spain, Trinidad / Disembark / USA
Disembark this morning for your independent flight to the USA.