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South America - tailormade wildlife journeys!

Giant River Otter

Giant River Otter

If you are considering a tailormade wildlife holiday to South America in 2015, here is a quick run-down of our top five South American destinations for your next tailormade wildlife journey.

Search for Jaguars and Giant River Otters in the Brazilian Pantanal and enjoy resplendent and abundant birdlife as well as a wealth of other wildlife in this stunning wetland location. Combine your Pantanal experience with a stay in an Amazon Rainforest Lodge, a few nights at the jaw-dropping Iguazu Falls or a visit to the carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro.

Peru’s Manu National Park is arguably the best place in the world to view colourful macaws in large numbers as they gather on exposed ‘clay-licks’ – a breathtaking and unique spectacle. The surrounding rainforest environment supports a vast array of other wildlife including cats such as Jaguar, Ocelot and Margay, and various primates such as Spider and Howler Monkeys as well as several species of endearing tamarins. Birdwatchers will not be disappointed. Manu National Park lays serious claim to being the world’s most bird-rich national park! Combine your rainforest wildlife adventure with the once lost citadel of the Inca empire, Machu Picchu, or, for the avid birder, enjoy a birding cruise off Peru’s Pacific coast in search of star pelagic species such as Ringed and Elliot’s Storm Petrels, Peruvian Diving Petrel, and Waved, Salvin’s and Buller’s Albatrosses!

This relatively small South American country offers landscapes that range from Amazonian and tropical Pacific lowlands to the cordillera of the High Andes, all of which host a kaleidoscopic array of wildlife. Birders will be entranced at every turn – in the cloudforest canopy, sought-after species include Toucan Barbet and Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, whilst mixed feeding flocks of gaudy tanagers are regularly encountered and hummingbirds whizz tirelessly through the forests. Elusive antpittas thrive in the tangled undergrowth while stunning Cock-of-the-rocks frequent the vicinity of gushing mountain streams and rivers. A visit to one of their leks is certainly not to be missed! The lowland rainforest hosts another suite of dazzling birds and also presents excellent chances for mammal encounters with various primates in evidence; star species such as Giant River Otter and Jaguar are also possible.

Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are a tempting 2-hour flight from mainland Ecuador and are as exciting as they are unique. Where else in the world is it possible to snorkel with penguins, sea lions and Marine Iguanas in the morning and visit a colony of nesting Blue-footed Boobies in the afternoon, before returning to your luxury yacht for some late afternoon cetacean watching whilst the captain repositions to the next island! Simply put, the Galapagos Islands are for many wildlife enthusiasts a once-in-a-lifetime ‘must visit’ destination.   

The Andes mountains in Argentina offer an enticing mix of breathtaking scenery, abundant birdlife and, for those who enjoy wine, a plentiful supply of superb Malbec! The diversity of birdlife is impressive and ranges from the mighty Andean Condor to diminutive hummingbirds. The unique Yungas forests of Huaico National Park, all the way up to the high-altitude cacti-covered peaks in Los Cardones National Park, also hold rare endemic birds including Rufous-throated Dipper, White-throated Cacholote, Sandy Gallito and Giant Hummingbird. Guanacos (relatives of the Llamas) can be seen charging across these rugged landscapes and other possible mammals include Brown Brocket Deer, Forest Fox and even Tayra. A visit here also combines well with Iguazu Falls or, for an extensive Argentina wildlife journey, you could consider venturing south to Patagonia!

Our team of experts can design an itinerary for any of these countries (and more) to suit your own wildlife needs, matching an appropriate naturalist guide and suitable lodges to create the perfect holiday just for you!

Find out more:
To make an enquiry please contact Naturetrek’s Tailormade Holidays Manager, Robin Smith, by email ( or call Robin on 01962 733051.