Excursions

Guapi Assu Bird Lodge is the perfect base for birdwatchers to use to explore Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our reserve contains forest ranging in altitude from c.30 m to 2,000 m above sea level as well as other habitats such as restored wetlands and farmland. We have several trails that provide excellent birding opportunities and we have given details of the main ones below. The Lodge also lies within easy travelling distance of a variety of other habitats such as restinga, coastal lagoons, montane Atlantic Forest and Atlantic dry forests, all of which may be visited on excursions organised at the Lodge.

Excursions at REGUA

Transport to and from the REGUA trails is free for guests staying at the Lodge. You may walk the trails either with or without a guide. Click here for guide rates.

4x4 Track to Casa Anibal and Small Wetland Trail

This trail starts at the Small Wetland and leads steadily upwards through well established secondary forest to a derelict house (Casa Anibal) at an altitude of 352 m. This is the most reliable site for Eastern Striped Manakin on the reserve and Frilled Coquette frequent the overgrown garden at Casa Anibal.

Eastern Striped Manakin (photo by Nick Athanas/Tropical Birding)Key species: White-necked and Mantled Hawks, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Maroon-bellied and Plain Parakeets, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Saw-billed, Rufous-breasted and Reddish Hermits, Black Jacobin, Frilled Coquette, Surucua and Black-throated Trogons, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Buff-bellied and Crescent-chested Puffbirds, Channel-billed Toucan, Spot-billed Toucanet, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-eared, Yellow-throated and Blond-crested Woodpeckers, Spot-backed Antshrike, Sooretama Slaty Antshrike, Spot-breasted and Plain Antvireos, Star-throated, White-flanked, Unicoloured, Rufous-winged and Streak-capped Antwrens, Scaled and White-bibbed Antbirds, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Plain-winged, Olivaceous, White-throated and Lesser Woodcreepers, Black-capped, Buff-fronted and White-eyed Foliage-gleaners, Plain and Streaked Xenops, Ochre-bellied, Grey-hooded and Sepia-capped Flycatchers, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Rough-legged and Planalto Tyrannulets, Eared Pygmy-Tyrant, Euler's Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tyrant, Bare-throated Bellbird, Eastern Striped Manakin, Black-tailed Tityra, Chestnut-crowned, Black-capped and Crested Becards, Long-billed Wren, Black-capped Donacobius (at the Small Wetland), Yellow-legged and White-necked Thrushes, Olive-green, Black-goggled, Flame-crested, Ruby-crowned, Brazilian, Azure-shouldered, Golden-chevroned, Green-headed, Red-necked, Brassy-breasted, Rufous-headed and Yellow-backed Tanagers, Yellow-green Grosbeak, Red-rumped Cacique, Violaceous, Orange-bellied and Chestnut-bellied Euphonias.

Elfin Forest Trail

This is a fantastic trail ranging from 400 m to 950 m above sea level and passing through beautiful primary forest, stunted elfin forest and stunning scenery. The trail is long and very steep in places, but the variety and abundance of birds and the outside chance of finding Southern Woolly Spider Monkey make the effort very worthwhile. A very early start and a full day are required to walk this trail. Transport to and from the trail and a packed lunch are provided and we strongly recommend hiring a guide. Make sure you take plenty of drinking water with you.

Brazilian Ruby (Photo by Thor Ostbye)Key species: Solitary and Brown Tinamous, Dusky-legged Guan, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Mantled Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Plumbeous Pigeon, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Plain Parakeet, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Pileated, Scaly-headed and Blue-bellied Parrots, Least Pygmy-Owl, Scale-throated Hermit, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Surucua and Black-throated Trogons, Rufous-capped Motmot, Channel-billed Toucan, Spot-billed and Saffron Toucanets, Yellow-fronted, Yellow-eared, Yellow-throated, Yellow-browed and Green-barred Woodpeckers, Spot-backed, Giant, White-bearded (rare) and Variable Antshrikes, Spot-breasted and Plain Antvireos, Salvadori's Antwren (scarce), Ferruginous, Ochre-rumped and White-bibbed Antbirds, Rufous and Black-cheeked Gnateaters, Variegated Antpitta, Spotted Bamboowren, Slaty Bristlefront, Rufous-capped, Short-tailed, Such's and Rufous-tailed Antthrushes, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Plain-winged, White-throated, Planalto, Lesser and Scaled Woodcreepers, Black-billed Scythebill, Rufous-capped and Pallid Spinetails, White-browed, Buff-browed, Black-capped and White-collared Foliage-gleaners, Pale-browed Treehunter, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Rough-legged, Planalto, Grey-capped and Oustalet's Tyrannulets, Russet-winged Spadebill (scarce), Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Sharpbill, Bare-throated Bellbird, Pin-tailed and Blue Manakins, Greenish Schiffornis, Shrike-like Cotinga, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Brown, Olive-green, Black-goggled, Azure-shouldered and Rufous-headed Tanagers, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Half-collared Sparrow (scarce), Black-throated Grosbeak, Green-winged Saltator, Green-chinned and Chestnut-bellied Euphonias and Blue-naped Chlorophonia.

REGUA Wetland

The REGUA wetland was restored in 2002 and comprises small lakes, marshland and replanted tabebuia trees and is bordered by lowland humid evergreen forest. The altitude here is only about 30 m above sea level. Over 180 species have been recorded at the REGUA wetlands since 2002 and it is not unusual to see over 100 species in a day here. The wetlands are a great place to become familiar with some of the more common species as well as catch up with some local specialities. It is advisible to return to the lodge for lunch and to pass the hottest part of the day, before venturing back out mid afternoon to early evening. The wetland also offers excellent night-birding opportunities.

Blackish Rail (photo by Leonardo Pimentel)Key species: White-faced Whistling-Duck, Masked Duck, Least Grebe, 13 species of heron including Whisting and Capped Herons and Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Grey-headed Kite, Crane Hawk, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Laughing and Aplomado Falcons, Limpkin, 10 species of rail (Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Rufous-sided and Ash-throated Crakes and Blackish Rail are frequently seen), South American Snipe, Giant Snipe (best at dawn or dusk), Blue-winged Parrotlet, Orange-winged Parrot, Guira and Striped cuckoos, Tropical Screech-Owl, Tawny-browed Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Striped Owl, Pauraque, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Rufous-breasted and Reddish Hermits, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, White-chinned Sapphire, Ringed, Amazon and Green Kingfishers, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Channel-billed Toucan, White-barred Piculet, White and Blond-crested Woodpeckers, Campo Flicker, Tufted, Chestnut-backed and Sooretama Slaty Antshrikes, White-flanked and Unicoloured Antwrens, Wing-banded Hornero, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Sooty and Yellow Tyrannulets, Bran-coloured Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Tyrant, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, White-bearded Manakin (lek on the Nursery Trail), White-winged Becard, Lemon-chested Greenlet, Moustached and Long-billed Wrens, Black-capped Donacobius, Yellowish Pipit, Hooded, Flame-crested, Ruby-crowned, Brazilian, Palm and Yellow-backed Tanagers, Swallow-Tanager, Chestnut-vented Conebill, various seedeaters, Pileated Finch, Buff-throated Saltator, Masked Yellowthroat, Red-rumped Cacique, Chestnut-capped Blackbird and Purple-throated, Violaceous and Orange-bellied Euphonias.

Waterfall Trail

This scenic and fairly easy trail passes through mainly primary humid evergreen forest to a beautiful waterfall. The trail starts at 170 m and climbs to 1,300 m. We recommend a whole day birding this trail with an early start and taking a packed lunch. At the trail head there are hummingbird feeders that attract a variety of hummers.

White-bibbed Antbird (Photo by Leonardo Pimentel)Key species: White-necked Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Maroon-bellied and Plain Parakeets, Saw-billed, Rufous-breasted and Reddish Hermits, Black Jacobin, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Glittering-throated Emerald, Surucua and Black-throated Trogons, Rufous-capped Motmot, Buff-bellied Puffbird, Channel-billed Toucan, Spot-billed Toucanet, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-eared, Yellow-throated and Blond-crested Woodpeckers, Spot-backed Antshrike, Spot-breasted and Plain Antvireos, Star-throated, White-flanked, Unicoloured and Streak-capped Antwrens, Scaled Antbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, White-bibbed Antbird, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Variegated Antpitta, Slaty Bristlefront, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Plain-winged, White-throated, Planalto and Lesser Woodcreepers, Ochre-breasted, Black-capped, Buff-fronted and White-eyed Foliage-gleaners, Pale-browed Treehunter, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Plain and Streaked Xenops, Ochre-bellied, Grey-hooded and Sepia-capped Flycatchers, Southern Antpipit, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, White-throated Spadebill, Whiskered (Sulphur-rumped) Flycatcher, Greyish Mourner, Grey-hooded Attila, Sharpbill, Bare-throated Bellbird, Pin-tailed and Blue Manakins, Shrike-like Cotinga, Chestnut-crowned, Black-capped and Crested Becards, White-necked Thrush, Olive-green, Black-goggled, Azure-shouldered, Golden-chevroned, Turquoise, Green-headed, Red-necked, Brassy-breasted and Rufous-headed Tanagers, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Yellow-green and Black-throated Grosbeaks, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia and Blue-naped Chlorophonia.

Excursions outside REGUA

Excursions to sites outside of REGUA are not included in the accommodation price. Please click here for rates.

Cabo Frio (Restinga Antwren)

A visit to the coastal restinga for the endemic Restinga Antwren. Restinga is a vegetation type that grows on sand dunes and consists of scrub, cactii, ferns, small palms and bromeliads as well as taller forest further inland. Restinga has a tiny distribution along the coast of south-east Brazil, and as with other Atlantic Forest habitats has been dramatically reduced, with only about 10% of the original area remaining. Urban development, particularly for holiday homes, is a serious threat to its survival. Restinga is the only habitat in which Restinga Antwren is found. The species restricted range and the continued loss of its habitat mean it is classified as Critically Endangered by BirdLife International. On this excursion we visit an area of restinga near the seaside town of Cabo Frio, as well as lagoons and salt pans nearby for a variety of shorebirds.

Restinga Antwren (Photo by Leonardo Pimentel)Key species: White-cheeked Pintail, Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Little Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Semipalmated and Collared Plovers, Hudsonian Godwit, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Least Sandpiper, South American and Sandwich (Cayenne) Terns, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Sooretama Slaty Antshrike, Restinga Antwren, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Tropical Mockingbird and White-browed Blackbird.

Depart at 05:30 with a 3 hour journey each way. This is a full day excursion.

Click here for excursion price.

Macaé de Cima

Macaé de Cima lies near the city of Nova Friburgo and comprises an area of montane forest reaching an altitude of c.1,400 m. On this excursion we visit several areas at different altitudes, with most of our time spent at a private reserve at the top of the mountain, owned by renowned orchid expert David Miller. The forest here offers some of the easiest access to high altitude Atlantic Forest specialities, with most of the birding done from the dirt road. David Miller's Reserve also has hummingbird feeders that provide excellent photographic opportunities.

Black-and-gold Cotinga (Photo by Sam Woods/Tropical Birding)Key species: White-necked Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Plumbeous Pigeon, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Scale-throated Hermit, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Amethyst Woodstar, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Giant Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Bertonis, Ochre-rumped and Dusky-tailed Antbirds, Rufous Gnateater, Rufous-tailed (Brazilian) Antthrush, Black-billed Scythebill, Rufous-capped and Pallid Spinetails, Red-eyed Thornbird, White-browed, Buff-browed, Buff-fronted and White-collared Foliage-gleaners, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Southern Bristle-Tyrant, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Shear-tailed Grey-Tyrant, Sharpbill, Hooded Berryeater, Bare-throated Bellbird, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin, Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin, Greenish Schiffornis, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Chestnut-headed and Azure-shouldered Tanagers, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Green-winged Saltator and White-browed Warbler.

Depart at 06:00 with a 2 hour journey each way, arriving back mid to late afternoon. The price includes a donation of US$10 per person to support David Miller's work.

Click here for excursion price.

Pico da Caledônia (Grey-winged Cotinga)

Pico da Caledônia is one of the highest peaks in the Serra dos Órgãos mountains reaching 2,219 m. On a clear day the views from the top are truely spectacular. The montane forest here is one of only two known sites (and by far the most accessible and reliable) where the extremely rare and elusive Grey-winged Cotinga may be found. This site is also known for it's isolated population of Itatiaia Thistletail as well as other high altitude species.

Bay-chested Warbling-Finch (Photo by Lee Dingain)Key species: Red-legged Seriema, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Large-tailed Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Rufous-tailed and Dusky-tailed Antbirds, Rufous Gnateater, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Itatiaia Thistletail, Pallid Spinetail, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Highland Elaenia, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Shear-tailed Grey Tyrant, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Grey-winged Cotinga, Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Diademed and Brassy-breasted Tanagers, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Green-winged Saltator and White-browed Warbler.

Depart at 05:30 with a 2 hour journey each way. This is a full day excursion and involves a steep walk to the summit of the mountain.

Click here for excursion price.

Rio de Janeiro Primatology Centre

The Rio de Janeiro Primatology Centre is dedicated to the conservation of primates. As well as containing a collection of primates, including many endangered species, the centre contains a large area of high quality lowland Atlantic Forest and is an excellent birdwatching site.

Key species: White-tailed Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Star-throated Antwren, Unicoloured Antwren, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Bare-throated Bellbird, Shrike-like Cotinga, Olive-green Tanager, Yellow-green Grosbeak and Red-rumped Cacique.

Depart at 08:00 with a one hour drive each way. This is a half day excursion and the cost includes a donation of US$10 per person to the Centre to support their work.

Click here for excursion price.

Serra dos Órgãos National Park

Established in 1939, Serra dos Órgãos is Brazil's third oldest national park and is located on the outskirts of Teresõpolis - a small city about an hour and a half drive from REGUA. Extending over almost 12,000 hectares of mountainous country, the park has an Atlantic pluvial tropical forest and some of the most spectacular scenery in all the Serra dos Órgãos mountain range. The park includes lowland and highland forest. We spend most of the day birding part of the Pedra do Sino Trail - a high altitude long distance trail that reaches 2,263 m above sea level.

Note that Grey-winged Cotinga is present here above 1,800 m, however it is at least a three hour continuous hike to get to the right area and this is a less reliable site than Pico da Caledônia (see above), therefore we focus on other high altitude specialities here.

Rufous-backed Antvireo (Photo by Leonardo Pimentel)Key species: Dusky-legged Guan, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Mantled Hawk, Plumbeous Pigeon, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Surucua and Black-throated Trogons, Yellow-eared and Yellow-browed Woodpeckers, Giant Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Bertoni's, Rufous-tailed and Ochre-rumped Antbirds, Rufous Gnateater, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Pallid Spinetail, White-browed and Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaners, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Shear-tailed Grey Tyrant, Sharpbill, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Hooded Berryeater, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Diademed and Brassy-breasted Tanagers, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Green-winged and Thick-billed Saltators and White-browed Warbler.

Depart at 06:00 with a 2 hour journey to arrive at the park for opening. This is a full day excursion. The Pedra do Sino Trail includes several steep hill climbs so a reasonable level of fitness is required. The park is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday between 08:00 and 17:00 and weekends can be very busy with hikers so we recommend a weekday visit. The excursion price includes the admission fee of R$12 per person.

Click here for excursion price.

Sumidouro (Three-toed Jacamar)

Three-toed Jacamar (Photo by Sam Woods/Tropical Birding)The degraded remnant patches of Atlantic dry forest on the other side of the Serra dos Órgãos mountains are the stronghold of the endangered Three-toed Jacamar, a species at one time considered common, but now only found in a few locations and listed as Vulnerable by BirdLife International. We have an excellent chance of seeing this and many other species on this full day trip. This trip takes in a variety of habitats including remnant patches of Atlantic dry forest, open grassy plains and wetlands. Most of the birding is done at roadside stops.

Key species: Dusky-legged Guan, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, White-tailed and Bicoloured Hawks, American Kestrel, Bat Falcon, Red-legged Seriema, Blue-winged Macaw, White-eyed Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrolet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Common Barn Owl, Planalto Hermit, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Three-toed Jacamar, White-eared Puffbird, Black-necked Aracari, Serra Antwren, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Red-eyed Thornbird, Firewood-gatherer, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, White-rumped Monjita, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Curl-crested Jay, Tawny-headed Swallow, Black-capped Donacobius, Magpie Tanager, Orange-headed, Hepatic and Gilt-edged Tanagers, Uniform Finch, Crested Oropendola and Hooded Siskin.

Depart at 05.30 with a 3 hour journey each way but with stops en route. This is a full day excursion.

Click here for excursion price.