Paraguay Birding and Wildlife Adventure: Amazing Birds and Wildlife of the Chaco


Dates and Costs:

 

26 October – 05 November 2022

Spaces Available: 4

Price: US$5,995/ £4,746 / €5,579 per person sharing – based on 3 – 4 participants, TBA – based on 5-6 participants

Single Supplement: US$530 / £420 / €494

 

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

 

26 October – 05 November 2023

Price: US$6,295/ £4,983 / €5,858 per person sharing – based on 3 – 4 participants, TBA – based on 5-6 participants

Single Supplement: US$557 / £441 / €519


Recommended Field Guide

(Please also read our blogs about recommended field guides for the seven continents here)


Tour Details

Duration: 11 days
Group Size: 3 – 6
Tour Start: Asunción, Paraguay
Tour End: Asunción, Paraguay


Price includes:

All meals (except where otherwise indicated)
All lodging is based in single rooms however some establishments have a limited number of single rooms and we may have to share double rooms.
All airport transfers
All ground transportation
Reserve entrance fees
All guiding services
Please bring your own water bottle which we will refill from our large containers this will ensure we don’t waste disposable plastic bottles.

Price excludes:

All flights
Visa fees
Medical and trip cancelation insurance
Personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, phone calls, minibar expenses, etc.
Any meal on Day 1 and lunch/dinner on Day 11
Any activity not described in the itinerary
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

Paraguay Birding and Wildlife Adventure: Amazing Birds and Wildlife of the Chaco
October 2022/2023

 

Although Paraguay is one of the less-frequently visited countries in South America, more adventurous wildlife travelers will certainly find that it has a very exciting array of birds, mammals and other wildlife on offer. Paraguay can in fact be seen as one of the last bastions for a number of rare and threatened bird species, many of which are difficult to find outside of this compact landlocked country. Partly because of its small size (it is slightly smaller than California), Paraguay has a relatively modest 724 bird species (IOC taxonomy, as of July 2021) and no country endemics. But this is compensated for by the sheer quality of the bird and mammal species; Paraguay is the easiest place to see a number of birds including many superb Chaco species as well as range-restricted Atlantic Forest denizens. Paraguay offers outstanding birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. and we are very excited to present this tour to you.

Paraguay birding toursCrested Gallito is one of the targets of this Paraguay birding and wildlife adventure (photo Oscar Rodriguez).

 

During this birding tour of Paraguay, we spend quite a lot of time exploring the vast Chaco habitat; Paraguay holds the largest intact tracts of this unique and threatened, uniquely South American, habitat. Not only is the Chaco habitat particularly large in Paraguay, but it is also really diverse here and contains Chaco ecotones such as the Dry and Humid Chaco, as well as the transition zone between the two. This diversity equates to a large number of Chaco-adapted bird species, making Paraguay the perfect destination to target all of the Chaco specials. These Chaco specials include some fascinating species such as Black-legged Seriema, Crested Gallito, Spot-winged Falconet, Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Black-bodied Woodpecker, Chaco Owl, and Chaco Eagle.

Paraguay birding toursStrange-tailed Tyrant, one of the five incredible-looking, long-tailed ‘New World’ flycatchers which are all possible on this tour (photo Oscar Rodriguez).

 

During our eleven days in Paraguay, we will focus on finding all of the Chaco specials, and will also spend time exploring remnant patches of Atlantic Forest, such as those found in the Mbaracayú Reserve. In this forest reserve we will look for the rare Helmeted Woodpecker (one of the rarest woodpeckers on the planet!) together with another woodpecker gem, the aptly named Robust Woodpecker. Paraguay is indeed an amazing country for woodpeckers (with many species possible on this tour), as well as a good assortment of tinamous and all five spectacular, long-tailed, ‘New World’ flycatchers: Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Strange-tailed Tyrant, and Cock-tailed Tyrant.

The extensive forest trails at Mbaracayú include such classic Atlantic Forest species as Eared Pygmy Tyrant, Bare-throated Bellbird, Rufous-capped Motmot, Sharpbill, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Surucua Trogon, Saffron Toucanet, Spot-billed Toucanet, Green-billed Toucan, Scaled Pigeon, Riverbank Warbler, Blue Manakin, Rufous Gnateater, and if we are lucky, the rare Black-fronted Piping Guan.

Paraguay birding toursAnother highlight of this Paraguay birding and wildlife tour will be searching for the rare and Vulnerable (IUCN) White-winged Nightjar, one of the world’s rarest members of the Caprimulgidae (nightjar) family.

 

Finally, the wetlands and other water bodies along the mighty Paraguay River will provide a great selection of aquatic species including Jabiru, Roseate Spoonbill, Southern Screamer, Coscoroba Swan, Ringed Teal, White-winged Coot, Rosy-billed Pochard, and South American Snipe. The adjoining grassy vegetation holding secretive species such as Rufous-sided Crake, Ash-throated Crake, Stripe-backed Bittern and the recently described (2016) Iberá Seedeater (although IOC does not yet recognize this taxon). Our Paraguay tour is timed to coincide with the passing of a great selection of migrant seedeaters and we hope to encounter several interesting ones on our trip.

Paraguay is not only about the birding though, and it is one of the best places to view a number of rarely seen and elusive South American mammals. In fact, as a wildlife viewing destination, it is probably only surpassed by the Brazilian Pantanal! While out in the field, we will be on the lookout for unusual animals and will also partake in a few nocturnal drives where we have better chances of finding certain elusive species. Some of the more exciting mammals we stand a chance of finding on this trip include Chacoan Peccary, Lowland Tapir, Crab-eating Fox, Pampas Fox, Capybara, Chacoan Mara, Coypu, the elusive Giant Anteater, and rare felines such as Puma, Jaguar, Jaguarundi and Geoffroy’s Cat.

Paraguay birding toursThe Paraguayan Chaco is probably the best place on Earth to see the elusive Geoffroy’s Cat (photo John Sterling).

 

Our 11-day Paraguay birding and wildlife tour will be a quick taste of the biodiversity of this interesting country. We would however like to iterate that this tour is not for everybody and is quite different from most of our Birding Ecotours birding holidays. As such, we would encourage you to read the ‘Important Information’ tab above, before deciding if this tour is for you.

This Paraguayan tour can be combined with our Bolivia Birding Tour which follows immediately after Paraguay. On our Bolivia tour we will target a number of loud and brightly colored parrots such as Blue-throated, Red-fronted and Blue-and-yellow Macaws as well as other specials like Titicaca Grebe, Red-tailed Comet, and Cochabamba Mountain Finch.

 

Itinerary (11 days/ 10 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival in Asunción

You will arrive in Asunción and will be met at the airport by your tour leader and other Birding Ecotours representatives. You will then be transferred to the hotel, and if time permits, we might visit the wetlands and shores of the Bahía Asunción where we can make an early start on our bird list. Here we can find Black-bellied and White-faced Whistling Ducks, Brazilian Teal, Collared Plover, Southern Lapwing, Large-billed Tern, Wattled Jacana, Snail Kite, Ringed Kingfisher, Crested Caracara, Wood Stork, and Cocoi Heron. At this time of the year, we could also encounter migrant shorebirds such as Upland Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs.

We may find our first mammals of the trip too, perhaps Black-and-gold Howler Monkeys or Capybaras.

Overnight: Bourbon Convention Hotel, Asunción

 

Day 2. Asunción, Humid Chaco, Laguna Capitán and Loma de Plata

We will have an early start for our first morning in Paraguay, as we leave Asunción and cross the Paraguay River to head into the Humid Chaco area. Our birding will mostly be focused around a livestock ranch (that has Important Bird Area – IBA – status) which offers us the incredible opportunity of racking up over 100 bird species in just a few short hours. The area also holds an assortment of wonderful mammals and reptiles which we may be lucky enough to bump into. Many of the birds we are likely to see here are Chaco endemics with some of them threatened, mostly due to habitat loss. We will target a long list of species including the likes of Greater Rhea, Red-legged Seriema, Chaco Chachalaca, Plumbeous and Buff-necked Ibises, Giant Wood Rail, Blue-crowned Trogon, Toco Toucan, White-barred Piculet, Campo Flicker, Green-barred, Golden-green, Little, Crimson-crested and Cream-backed Woodpeckers, Laughing Falcon, Nanday, Maroon-bellied and Blue-crowned Parakeet, Turquoise-fronted Amazon and Scaly-headed Parrot. In addition to the above specials, we may also find Great Rufous and Planalto Woodcreepers, Red-billed Scythebill, Tawny-crowned Pygmy Tyrant, Bearded Tachuri, White-bellied, Tawny-bellied and Rusty-collared Seedeaters, Black-capped Warbling Finch, Masked Gnatcatcher, Saffron-billed Sparrow, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Yellow-rumped Marshbird, Golden-winged Cacique and many others. The biodiversity of the Humid Chaco is truly amazing! After about three hours of bird watching, depending on the bird activity, we will continue on our way westwards.

We will then enjoy lunch in a restaurant well known for its tasty empanadas, while en route to the region of Loma Plata. In the afternoon we will visit the Laguna Capitan Reserve. This is a great birding site and will impress us by both the variety and quality of bird species on offer, which will likely include a couple of new Chaco target species. Some of the species we are likely to find here include Ringed Teal, White-winged Coot, Southern Screamer, Rosy-billed Pochard, Stripe-backed Antbird, Checkered Woodpecker, White-fronted Woodpecker, Crested Hornero, Lark-like Brushrunner, Greater Wagtail-Tyrant and if we are lucky, our first Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper. We will arrive at our hotel in the early evening to grab dinner and celebrate a great day in Paraguay.

Overnight: Loma de Plata Inn

Paraguay birding toursThe impressive and appropriately named Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper (photo Oscar Rodriguez).

 

Day 3. Loma de Plata, Chaco Lodge and Iparoma Ranch

Our Dry Chaco birding begins today! We will spend the day in the saline lakes in the transition zone between the Humid and Dry Chaco as well as in the Dry Chaco woodlands. To cap the day off we will make a nighttime excursion to target nocturnal birds such as Great Horned Owl, Tropical Screech Owl, Scissor-tailed and Little Nightjars, Pauraque and mammals such as Pampas Fox, Yellow Armadillo, Crab-eating Fox and the elusive Geoffroy’s Cat.

Today, we hope to find the ‘Big five’ Chaco specials which include the rare Black-bodied Woodpecker, the most-wanted Black-legged Seriema, the elusive Spot-winged Falconet, the secretive Crested Gallito, and the nocturnal Chaco Owl. In addition, we should find birds such as Brushland Tinamou, Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Cream-backed Woodpecker, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Chaco Earthcreeper, Crested Hornero, Dinelli’s DoraditoCinereous Tyrant, Many-colored Chaco Finch, Black-capped Warbling Finch and the recently split (2021) Chaco Sparrow. Additionally, there is an important variety of species which occur in high densities in the Paraguayan Chaco, which are difficult to observe in other parts of South America. Other important targets in the Chaco here include the likes of Great and Bolivian Slaty AntshrikesBlack-bellied Antwren, Black-crested Finch, and with luck the rare and majestic Chaco Eagle. We may also have encounters with Golden-collared Macaw, Black-backed Grosbeak, Swainson’s and Brown-crested Flycatchers, Yellow-billed Cardinal, and Vermilion Flycatcher.

Overnight: Iparoma Ranch

 

Day 4.  Iparoma Ranch and Teniente Enciso National Park

The morning will be spent around Iparamo Ranch chasing down any specials we may still be missing before we make our way towards Teniente Enciso National Park where we will explore the depths of the Chaco, maximizing our efforts to see as many birds and wildlife as possible. The Teniente Enciso National Park offers chances of seeing Jaguar, and although far from guaranteed, it is one of the few places on earth to potentially observe this formidable predator in Dry Chaco habitat, rather than in the lush tropical forest and floodplains of the Pantanal. Other wildlife possibilities include Yellow Armadillo, Puma, Lesser Grison (the South American equivalent of the African Honey Badger and one of the rarest creatures of the ‘New World’).

While in Teniente Enciso National Park, there will be many Chaco specials to try and clean up on, including scarce species such as the imposing Chaco Eagle and the secretive Spotted Nothura (the Chaco subspecies here). We will also hopefully find Olive-crowned Crescentchest (here a potential split, as Chaco Crescentchest), Brown Cacholote, Stripe-crowned, Chotoy, and Sooty-fronted Spinetails, Straneck’s Tyrannulet, Blue-tufted Starthroat, Chaco Puffbird, Short-billed Canastero, Grassland Sparrow, White-naped Xenopsaris, Southern Scrub Flycatcher, Rufous Casiornis, Ringed Warbling Finch, Small-billed, Undulated and Tataupa Tinamous and of course, Black-legged Seriema.

Overnight:  Hotel Aeropuerto, Mariscal Estigarribia

Paraguay birding toursYellow Armadillo photographed in the Chaco (photo John Sterling).

 

Day 5. Teniente Enciso National Park and Fortin Toledo Reserve to Neuland

After breakfast we will head to the Fortin Toledo Reserve where the large and incredibly rare Chacoan Peccary has been re-introduced into the wild.  Despite the large size of this Chaco-adapted pig, it was only discovered in the Paraguayan Chaco as recently as 1976! We will have the chance to make a brief visit to the peccary breeding center where researchers are trying to bolster numbers of this Endangered (IUCN) and little-known species. The day will also be spent birding the Chaco here in search of specials such as Quebracho Crested and Brushland Tinamous and Black-legged Seriema.

Overnight: Hotel Boquerón, Neuland

 

Days 6. Neuland and Selva Serena Private Reserve

This will be our final day birding the Chaco as we explore the nearby Selva Serena Private Reserve. While in the reserve we will target any missing Chaco specials such as Black-bodied Woodpecker, with this being one of the best places for this impressive woodpecker.

Overnight: Hotel Boquerón, Neuland

Paraguay birding toursThe most-wanted Black-legged Seriema can be seen on our Paraguay tours.

 

Day 7. Neuland to Santa Rosa Del Aguaray

Today will probably be the hardest day of the trip with a seven-hour drive to Santa Rosa del Aguaray. We will however make a few stops along the way, such as a lunch break in Concepción. If we are not too tired from the long drive, we can stop at Rio Verde Forest Reserve to have our first birding in the Cerrado habitat. Here we will look for Cerrado specials and can have our first attempt at the Vulnerable (IUCN) and nocturnal White-winged Nightjar as well as the crepuscular Giant Snipe. If we manage to find White-winged Nightjar on this particular day, it will give us much more flexibility later on in the trip, during our stay in the Mbaracayú Reserve.

Overnight: Hotel Cristal, Santa Rosa Del Aguaray

 

Day 8. Santa Rosa Del Aguaray to Mbaracayú Reserve

We will leave early for the Rio Verde Forest Reserve and will begin targeting a number of Cerrado specials such as Cock-tailed Tyrant, Shrike-like Tanager, and Sharp-tailed Grass Tyrant, among others. We will have lunch in Santa Rosa Aguaray and will then proceed to Mbaracayú Reserve.

We will make the drive in the heat of the early afternoon, so as to maximize our time in the Mbaracayú Reserve. Some of the interesting species of this trans-frontier reserve (shared with Brazil) include Spot-billed Toucanet, Bare-throated Bellbird, Surucua Trogon, the ultra-rare Helmeted Woodpecker, the attractive Blond-crested Woodpecker, Blue Manakin, Saffron Toucanet, Green-billed Toucan, Buff-bellied Hermit, Sharpbill, Plush-crested Jay, Spot-backed, Tufted, as well as Large-tailed, Great and Rufous-winged Antshrikes. Other possible species include Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher, Rufous Gnateater and with luck, Black-fronted Piping Guan.

Tonight we can make a nocturnal excursion (you can opt out if preferred) in search of Black-capped Screech Owl and Rusty-barred Owl.

Overnight: Mbaracayú Lodge

Paraguay birding toursHelmeted Woodpecker is a big target during our visit to the Atlantic Forest at the Mbaracayú Reserve (photo Oscar Rodriguez).

 

Day 9. Full day at Mbaracayú Reserve, including White-winged Nightjar

Today will be a long day out in the field and will include another early start as we head to the center of the reserve, to a place known as Lagunita and will walk the trail along the Moroti Stream. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the reserve and then move to the Cerrado area of Aguara Nu, where we will be birding for the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening. The afternoon’s birding here should hopefully produce Collared Crescentchest, Bearded Tachuri, Dinelli’s and Crested Doradito, Sharp-tailed Grass Tyrant, White-rumped Monjita, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Streamer-tailed, Long-tailed, and Cock-tailed Tyrants, Ochre-breasted Pipit, Black-masked Finch, Red Pileated Finch, Long-tailed Reed Finch, Wedge-tailed and Lesser Grass Finch, Buffy-fronted, Temminck’s, Plumbeous, Rusty-collared, White-bellied, Copper, Tawny-bellied, Rufousrumped, Dark-throatedMarsh, and Chestnut Seedeaters. Many of the seedeater species here are intertropical migrants and are only present during their passage through Paraguay, between September and March.

The area is one of the most reliable places on earth to look for the Vulnerable (IUCN) White-winged Nightjar, one of the star targets of the trip. Other nocturnal species may include Giant Snipe, Little, Scissor-tailed, Rufous and Silky-tailed Nightjars and Ocellated Poorwill.

Overnight: Mbaracayú Lodge

 

Day 10. Mbaracayú Reserve to Asunción

We will spend the morning in the Mbaracayú Reserve looking for any Atlantic Forest specials we may still be missing, such as the most-wanted Robust Woodpecker. We will then leave the reserve after lunch and head to Asunción. On our way to the city, we will make our last stop at the Arroyos y Esteros area IBA, hoping for an assortment of water bird species as well as some rare and unusual flycatchers. The biggest target bird here is the incredible-looking Strange-tailed Tyrant. Other species might include Maguari Stork, White-faced and Bare-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Tawny-headed and White-rumped Swallow, and Brown-chested Martin.

Between October and November many migrant seedeaters may be seen passing through the area including Chestnut, Dark-throated, Marsh, Rufous-rumped and Tawny-bellied and Double-collared Seedeaters. The always-handsome White-headed Marsh Tyrant, can often be seen here, as well as Sooty Flycatcher, White Monjita and Fork-tailed Flycatcher. There is the possibility of skulking rallids in the marshy vegetation including Ash-throated Crake and Rufous-sided Crake and if we are lucky, we may find the tough-to-see Stripe-backed Bittern, while South American Snipe is much easier to find here. Additionally, Yellow-rumped Marshbird, Long-winged Harrier, White-browed Blackbird, and Scarlet-headed Blackbird are relatively easy to find in the area. We will then reach Asunción and our hotel for the last night of the tour, where we will enjoy our final dinner and say goodbye to our Paraguayan staff.

Overnight: Bourbon Convention Hotel, Asunción

 

Day 11. Transfer to Asunción airport and flights home

In the morning we will be transferred to the airport to catch our flights home, or to catch our flights to nearby Bolivia to join our Bolivia Birding Tour where we can find endemics such as Blue-throated and Red-fronted MacawsCliff Parakeet, and Black-hooded Sunbeam as well as beauties like Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Red-tailed Comet, Cochabamba Mountain Finch and Titicaca Grebe.

 

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

Download Itinerary

PARAGUAY: AMAZING BIRDS AND WILDLIFE OF THE CHACO TOUR-SPECIFIC INFORMATION

 

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PERTAINING TO ALL OUR PARAGUAY TOURS

 

Although Paraguay has a relatively modest country list of 742 bird species, it is the quality of birds and other wildlife that makes this small (the size of the US state of California), landlocked country so appealing to adventurous wildlife travelers. Perhaps one of the least visited countries in South America, Paraguay has a great deal to offer intrepid birders who are willing to explore the remote wilderness of the Chaco and the Atlantic Forest. On this tour we will look for some of the continent’s rarest birds such as Robust Woodpecker, Helmeted Woodpecker, White-winged Nightjar, Vinaceous-breasted Amazon, and Saffron-cowled Blackbird. Additionally, we stand a good chance of tracking down all the Chaco bird endemics and could find high quality wildlife species such as Geoffroy’s Cat, Jaguarundi, and Chacoan Peccary.

 

ARRIVAL INFORMATION

This tour will begin and end in Paraguay’s capital city, Asunción, at the Internacional Silvio Pettirossi Airport (ASU) which can be reached by direct flights from the US, Spain, Panama, Brazil, and several other Latin American countries. You might wish to consult your travel agent to book your most convenient flight (and contact us if you need any guidance). Please e-mail us before you book any flights, as the information shown here is just an initial guide. Your tour leader will be waiting for you at Asunción Airport (with the Birding Ecotours logo clearly displayed) and will then transfer you to your hotel. Please remember to keep your luggage tags, as they are required to exit the terminal at the airport. If you arrive in Asunción around midday, we can spend the afternoon birding the nearby Asuncion Bay. In case you arrive on an early flight, you will be transferred to the hotel but may have to wait until check-in is available. For an early check-in you might be charged extra directly by the hotel; this cost is not included in the overall tour price.

When filling out the customs declaration form, please use the below address for the hotel:

Hotel Bourbon Convention Center, Avenida Sudamericana con Atilano Cáceres, 3104, Asunción

 

DEPARTURE INFORMATION

Our tour will end in Asunción after an exciting eleven days in Paraguay. On the last day, your tour leader, or one of our tour representatives will transfer you to Asunción Airport from where you can connect with your international departure or join our Bolivia birding tour which follows immediately after our Paraguay tour.

 

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND PACE

This trip ranks as one of our more difficult birding tours and will involve long days of birding and large distances between birding destinations. There will be some strenuous walking on this trip as well as a number of long drives. We will have early morning starts every day of the trip and a few late finishes (looking for nocturnal birds and animals).

The habitat in the Chaco and the Cerrado is open but we will do some forest trail birding in the Atlantic Forest which is more enclosed and not as easy to spot birds and wildlife.

 

ATM MACHINES

We ask you to exchange US dollars to Paraguayan Guaraní at Asunción Airport. After we leave Asunción, we will spend several days in the remote countryside without access to ATMs, with the only other place to draw money on this tour being at Ciudad Del Este on Day 11. Some of the lodges and family haciendas where we will be staying do not accept credit cards for extra expenses not included in the tour, such as bar bills, gratuities and souvenirs. We ask you to draw enough cash in local currency and/or US dollars to cover any personal expenses.

 

ALTITUDE

Altitude should not be an issue in Paraguay as it is a relatively low-lying country with the country’s highest point being just 2,672 feet (842 meters) above sea level.

 

WEATHER

The weather throughout the trip will be hot, reaching temperatures between 77°F (25°C) and 91°F (33°C), although early mornings may be on the chilly side. The Chaco ranges from humid to dry areas and the Atlantic Forest will be hot and humid. Even though Paraguay’s rainy season only begins in late November and December (after our scheduled trip), we are likely to experience some rain in the Chaco and the Atlantic Forest.

 

LAUNDRY

Laundry is available at Iparoma Ranch, Hotel Concepción, and Mbaracayú Lodge however please note that laundry fees are not included in the tour price.

 

ACCOMMODATION

The accommodation standard on this trip varies from very good, such as in Asunción, to fairly basic in some of the haciendas we will be using. In the most basic places, you will at least have a clean room with an en suite bathroom, however hot showers may not be available in one of the lodges in the Chaco. In some of the basic haciendas, there will be no other extra services, other than dinner and accommodation.

In some areas, we may have to use double rooms, as several establishments have a limited number of rooms and it will depend on how long in advance we can make reservations, to provide single supplements. The earlier you book, the more likely we can secure a single supplement and private bathroom for you. If you are a light sleeper, we suggest you bring earplugs along.

 

TRANSPORT

We will use a single 4×4 vehicle for groups of up to three people, and two 4×4 vehicles for groups of 4-6 people. Occasionally we may use a third vehicle, for a group of 7-8. When we do have to travel in two (or three) vehicles, your tour leader will be switching between the vehicles with the vehicles driven by local English-speaking guides. Please note that this is one of the few Neotropical Birding Ecotours trips where we don’t provide a large and spacious van, due to the poor quality of the roads in Paraguay.

 

LUGGAGE REMINDER

We ask you to travel with as little luggage as possible and to please limit yourself to one piece of large luggage per person, plus a small personal backpack/daypack, as space is limited in the vehicles.

Birding Ecotours

Paraguay General Information

Download Paraguay: Birding and Wildlife Adventure Tour Information

IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO CONSIDER BEFORE JOINING OUR PARAGUAY BIRDING TOURS

 

We always try to provide the highest quality birding and wildlife tours at Birding Ecotours, which has been of utmost importance to us for almost two decades now (as per the July 2021 publication date of this piece). We normally receive excellent feedback from our clients and friends on the overall quality of our trips. This positive feedback normally pertains to the destination and overall birding experience, as well as to our tour leaders and the great facilities such as vehicles, accommodation, and meals that we use. Clients frequently mention that the service offered on our tours is better than what they were expecting and better than they have received with other tour companies. It is our goal to maintain this high standard of birding with the help of our excellent continent managers and ground partners.

However, for our new Paraguay tours, we would like to inform our clients about certain tour details which you will want to consider before booking this tour, as we have to lower our tour standard slightly for this particular destination. Paraguay is a great birding and wildlife destination and our tour is a serious birding and wildlife orientated trip, rather than a more relaxed birding holiday. This will mean that we will have many early departures (on almost every morning of the tour) and long days out in the field. Paraguay’s infrastructure (outside the capital Asunción) is not well-developed and for large portions of the trip we will have to take roads which are poorly maintained and could be a little uncomfortable to travel on.

We will always ensure the best accommodation possible, however in the more remote areas it will be fairly basic but clients should still be able to have private and clean rooms with en suite bathrooms. At some of the more basic ranches and haciendas, the rooms might be small and lacking air conditioning, despite the hot temperatures. Single supplements are often available but due to the reduced capacity of many of the family haciendas, where we will be staying, we ask you to consider booking your trip well in advance, to help secure a single supplement. If single supplements are not available you may have to share rooms with another tour participant. When staying in larger towns and cities, the accommodation is of a good standard and single supplements are not normally an issue to organise.

For the transport on this tour, a minibus is not logistically possible, especially for the roads in the Chaco, and so we will use two 4×4 vehicles. Each vehicle will take three passengers only, which will ensure everybody has their own window. Thankfully, the roads in Paraguay are generally flat and so we will not have to drive up long, winding mountain roads. However, you will have to be prepared for long drives on almost every day of the tour, sometimes as much as eight hours of driving in a single day, as we move from one destination to the next. There is just so much to see and experience in Paraguay and unfortunately this is the only way we can squeeze it all in!

For our meals on tour, we will have breakfasts at some of the lodges, while on other days we will have to take breakfasts out into the field and enjoy it in between the birding. Downtime and socialising after breakfast at the lodges will unfortunately be very limited, as time is of the essence on this trip. Lunches will generally be at road restaurants while traveling between destinations, while some lunches will be picnic lunches in the field. Dinners will be in hotel restaurants or at our lodges. We will have late dinners on a couple of days on the trip, as we will only be arriving quite late at our accommodation on these days.

It is possible for us to arrange vegetarian meal options but the vegetarian menu will generally be limited to just one or two options. Paraguayan food is not very diverse and beef is included in almost every meal – good news for those who enjoy beef though! Most of the meals will be fixed menus. Please let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements and we will enquire if this is possible on this tour, although meal options are often very limited in Paraguay and special dietary requirements may not be possible at all our destinations.

Our Paraguay tour is recommended for serious birders who are building a world list and are looking for South American rarities, or for those with a love for adventure and exploration in remote wilderness areas. There are excellent chances for photography on this tour but, as always (unless you are on a private photographic tour), we cannot spend large amounts of time for photographing, as the focus of this tour is birding, rather than bird photography.

We do not recommend this tour for people who would prefer a relaxed birding holiday with high quality service. You should be willing to spend long days (and some nights) out birding and looking for wildlife. For those of who enjoy this type of holiday though, this trip will be perfect for you!

Please let us know if you have any specific questions about the tour, we would love to have you along on this birding adventure with us!

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