Two types of expeditions
1 Specialized & Birding Expeditions
Itinerary & Booking
Apart from our popular birding tours, we provide a range of specialized tours on specific rainforest and amazon wildlife, focusing on everything from butterflies to frogs to mammals.
We also offer our unique New Species Expeditions in the Brazilian Amazon, led by renowned primatologist Marc van Roosmalen, PhD. On these expeditions we search for recently discovered species of Amazon wildlife – all discovered by Marc himself. This is a real expedition! And with the bar set so high there is no guarantee that we will be completely successful. However, with Marc as expedition leader, the chances are very good that at least one of these rare new species will be encountered.
Regardless, your journey into the Amazon will be spectacular. You will be visiting areas seen by very few indeed, and you’ll undoubtedly see many iconic Amazon forest animals along the way – and a lot more besides.
Visit Marc’s website (marcvanroosmalen.com) for further information about his many Amazon discoveries and for details of his recent book publications.
Overview of the New Species Expeditions
The world’s second-smallest monkey
We will be searching for the second smallest monkey in the world, the Black-crowned Dwarf Marmoset (Callibella humilis), a new species of monkey discovered by Marc in 1998. This monkey, with a “threatened” conservation status, also has the smallest distribution of any monkey in the Amazon (and possibly in the world): your only hope of seeing it – is where we’re going! Marc will give you a full rundown about the ecology of this remarkable monkey as we travel by riverboat along the Amazon waterways to the Rio Aripuanã region, south of Manaus.
If we locate the dwarf marmoset on our Amazon tour, we’ll make note of the size and make-up of their sometimes large social groups (e.g., whether infants are being carried by mothers). And we may take notes on their odd tree-sap feeding behavior (sap is obtained by gouging the bark with their specialized teeth). Any observations are invaluable, since very little information on the ecology of this unusual monkey has been collected since its discovery. Expedition members would be acknowledged in any report resulting from the expedition.
Additionally, depending upon reports from local guides and villagers, we will search for two potentially new species of Amazon wildlife that Marc has been researching: a suspected new species of river dolphin and a suspected new species of manatee, the dwarf manatee. If you check Marc’s website (see above) you’ll realize that we will be visiting a biologically “lost world”; we may well find ourselves pursuing reports of other potentially new species.
These expeditions are a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in tracking down Amazon wildlife potentially new to science.
2 Natural History Expeditions
Itinerary & Booking
Our Natural History Expeditions are designed to provide a spectacular cross-section of tropical wildlife and an adventure beyond the typical ecotour. Experience the amazing birds of the area, like the resplendent quetzal in Panama or the species of macaws and toucans passing over our Amazon riverboat as we glide past flooded forests.
In Panama, it’s possible to travel in just a few hours from other-worldly mountain-top cloud forests to pristine coral-fringed islands in the Caribbean or Pacific. Or, in the Amazon, meet (literally at one of our sites) the famous pink river dolphins and see the world-famous Meeting of Waters near Manaus. There’s a good chance that our Amazon guide can coax a tarantula out of its den on the rainforest floor or, occasionally, point out the shredded bark seven feet up a tree trunk: a jaguar “scratch tree.”
We’ll introduce you to the wealth of butterflies and frogs (including poison dart frogs) and other tropical rainforest animals in both Panama and the Amazon, and we’ll show you the sloths and different species of monkeys of the area.
We go off the beaten path: we include novel features such as overnight camping in the rainforest. You might see kinkajous and olingos (relatives of raccoons) by flashlight foraging acrobatically in the forest canopy. Or you might see a spectacled owl staring back at you, or the eye-shine of a tree boa. In the Amazon, we’ll take nighttime canoe trips to look for the ruby eye-shine of spectacled caimans (like small alligators) or the large shining eyes of potoos (cryptically-colored nocturnal birds) perched on dead snags at the river’s edge.
And for those animals that we miss at night, we’ll set up motion-sensing trail cameras. Captured images of peccaries (like front-heavy, hairy, pigs) and agoutis and pacas (like giant, but not so hairy, guinea pigs) are not uncommon. Not to mention that jaguars, and other wild cats, are also resident at many of the sites we visit.
Supporting indigenous communities
On most expeditions to the Panamanian and Amazon rainforest, we include visits to indigenous communities. Your ecotourism dollars are thereby providing important support of indigenous cultures. Additionally, many of those on our expeditions express interest in donating school supplies to the children of the communities we visit.
Day & half-day tours
If you find yourself in Panama and would like to take a short birding tour or natural history excursion, we highly recommend the following expert guides:
Genover (Ito) Santamaria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kent Livezey (birdingpipelinepanama.com)
Young Black-crowned Dwarf Marmoset (Callibella
Marc van Roosmalen with the suspected
new species of dwarf manatee, Rio
Aripuanã Basin, Brazil.
The same manatee as above, posing for a photo,
with Marc’s hand for reassurance.
Male Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus
mocinno) with a wild avocado, on its way
to its nest hole. Males are often the sole
provider towards the end of nesting. Shortly
after this photograph was taken the young
quetzal took its maiden flight. Guadalupe,
See Galleries for a (distant) image of the
young quetzal just moments out of the
nest with the male in attendance.
Brown-throated Sloth (Bradypus variegatus),
Metropolitan Natural Park, Panama.
Dinner in the jungle, Amazonas State, Brazil.
Embera girl, Embera village, Chagres