South American Mosaic
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
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.
Miami, USAApril 2
Arrive in Miami and gather this evening at our airport hotel for a welcome briefing, dinner, and overnight.
Miami / Belém, Brazil / Embark Sea AdventurerApril 3
Board your flight from Miami to Belém, via Manaus. On arrival, transfer to the Sea Adventurer for dinner and overnight.
Rise early this morning to visit Parrot Island, the roost for thousands of parrots. As dawn arrives, witness their colorful, cacophonous mass-departure from the island. Later, board local boats for a cruise to a small village where you will learn about cassava production and the traditional uses of jungle plants. After lunch enjoy a tour of Belém, including the Goeldi Museum. Return to the Sea Adventurer and set sail.
Breves Narrows / Amazon River DeltaApril 5 — April 7
Spend three full days exploring the Amazon and its tributaries. Pass riverside homes and villages where you will witness the bustle of daily activity on the river. This area supports an amazing 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 resident wildlife and visit a small community to learn about acai production.
At SeaApril 8
Attend lectures on the region’s natural history and culture during a day at sea.
At Sea / Îles du Salut, French GuianaApril 9
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.
Paramaribo, SurinameApril 10
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. Then explore Peperpot Nature Park, a former coffee and cacao plantation now famous for its high diversity of flora and fauna. Or, travel inland to Moengo and take a short cruise on the Cottica River to visit the small Aucan community. Returning to Moengo, visit the Museum of Modern Art where you will see the influence of Maroon culture.
Essequibo River, Guyana / Kaieteur FallsApril 11 — April 13
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.
At SeaApril 14
Lecturers recap your time in Guyana and introduce you to the history and natural wonders of Trinidad & Tobago.
Charlotteville, Trinidad & TobagoApril 15
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.
Birders set out to search for red-tailed tropicbirds, white-tailed sabrewings, blue-backed manakins, chachalacas, motmots, and jacamars. Or, choose to explore the lush forests on a walking tour.
Port of SpainApril 16
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.
Port of Spain / Disembark / USAApril 17
Disembark this morning for your independent flight to the USA.