Jungle Rivers of South America

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Tour Description

Explore three rivers on this South America adventure travel tour: the Amazon, Suriname, and Essequibo. On Zodiac expeditions and jungle walks ashore we search the waters and lush vegetation for macaws, monkeys, dolphins, and the rest of these rivers’ abundant wildlife. Our cultural interactions include landings at isolated villages, presenting us with a glimpse into the lives of Amazonian Indians and other native peoples. Our South America expedition concludes with beach time and snorkeling in Trinidad and Tobago.

Jungle Rivers of South America adventure travel highlights include:

  • Visit six countries and three major rivers as part of this South America tour.
  • Eco tours of tributaries and rain forest habitats, glimpsing a variety of wildlife including macaws, monkeys, and birds.
  • Be on the look-out for pink dolphins and admire the stilted houses along the river banks on our Amazon tour.
  • Wander the eerie ruins of French penal colony Devil’s Island, now nearly reclaimed by lush jungle and butterflies.
  • Chartered flight into the heart of wild Guyana to view Kaieteur Falls, nearly five times the height of Niagara.

With Zegrahm Expeditions, virtually everything is included in the cost of your trip. Here is what you can look forward to on this Jungle Rivers of South America expedition:

  • All gratuities, from porters and ship’s crew to tour guides
  • All accommodations, including pre-voyage hotel nights
  • Welcome dinner and orientation briefing to get to know one another and get a good sense of what’s to come
  • Daily activity options, from jungle walks to meeting local villagers
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All meals onboard and with the group ashore
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • All transfers on the group arrival and departure days
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials
  • Comprehensive pre-departure packet to prepare you for your South America and Amazon expedition, with everything from currency information and weather to shipboard amenities and a packing list
  • Medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Dedicated Zegrahm program manager and air coordinator to answer all your questions
  • Photographic journal documenting your Jungle Rivers of South America tour

Itinerary

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.

Departures

Pricing Information

Clipper Adventurer

A Clipper Adventurer expedition guarantees a superb ride, thanks to stabilizers and an ice-hardened hull that allow her to navigate easily in the most rugged natural environments. The vessel is outfitted with state-of-the-art satellite navigation and communication equipment as well as a fleet of Zodiac landing craft, allowing guests to land anywhere nature or curiosity dictates—one of the many advantages of a Clipper Adventurer cruise. To provide the utmost in comfort aboard all Clipper Adventurer voyages, each cabin boasts an ocean view, individually controlled heat/air conditioner, an in-room music system, and en suite bathroom. Guests will find a dining room, lounge, library, gift shop, infirmary staffed by a registered physician, laundry, and small gym onboard the vessel. The Clipper Adventurer is classified A-1 ice class for unrestricted passenger service by the Lloyd’s Register. Ship registry: Bahamas.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers.