Red-and-green Macaws by Richard Jones.
Uakari, Grey and Pink River Dolphins, (Pale-throated) Three-toed Sloth, Golden-handed Tamarin, and Red Howler, Black Squirrel, Common Squirrel, Brown Capuchin and White-fronted Capuchin Monkeys. Also a chance of Brown Bearded Saki Monkey.
Scarlet, Blue-and-yellow and Red-and-green Macaws, Channel-billed and Red-billed (White-throated) Toucans, hummingbirds such as Black-eared Fairy and Crimson Topaz, Pavonine Quetzal, Great, Paradise and Yellow-billed Jacamars, White-plumed Antbird, Pompadour Cotinga, Capuchinbird, Wire-tailed Manakin and Musician Wren, as well as Horned Screamer, Muscovy Duck, guans, Anhinga, Capped and Boat-billed Herons, King Vulture, American Swallow-tailed Kite, White Hawk, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Wattled Jacana, Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, Black Skimmer, parrots, Hoatzin, Squirrel Cuckoo, Common, Great, Long-tailed and White-winged Potoos, hummingbirds, trogons, Amazon, Green and Ringed Kingfishers, Blue-crowned Motmot, puffbirds, nunbirds, Black-necked, Green and Lettered Aracaris, Guianan Toucanet, woodpeckers, spinetails including Red-and-white, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, foliage-gleaners, woodcreepers, antshrikes including Fasciated, antbirds including Chestnut-crested and Ferruginous-backed, antthrushes, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, tyrannulets, tody tyrants, tody flycatchers including Painted, flycatchers including Fork-tailed, Guianan Red Cotinga, Purple-breasted and Spangled Cotingas, Screaming Piha, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, manakins including Golden-headed and Yellow-crested, tityras, Slaty-capped Shrike Vireo, Black-capped Donacobius, Collared Gnatwren, tanagers including Fulvous Shrike Tanager, Black-faced and Yellow-bellied Dacnises, honeycreepers, oropendolas, Oriole Blackbird and Orange-backed Troupial. Also a chance of Harpy Eagle, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Crimson Fruitcrow, Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Black-faced Hawk, Pied Plover, Rufous Potoo, Racket-tailed Coquette, Blue-backed Tanager and Dusky Purpletuft.
Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
Numerous butterflies including several species of Morpho and a multitude of insects including nomadic columns of Army Ants which eat every animal in their path up to the size of small snakes and are often followed by birds such as antbirds, foliage-gleaners and woodcreepers which pick off fleeing insects.
Possibly the greatest diversity on Earth; a single hectare (2.5 acres) may support 480 tree species.
The River Amazon is the largest river in the world by far and the second longest river in the world at 6515 km (4050 miles), just 180 km (110 miles) short of the River Nile at 6695 km (4160 miles), although some scientists argue that the Amazon is the longest. It has over a thousand tributaries which together with the main river hold about 20% of the planet's fresh water, and the Amazon Basin is the largest drainage basin of any river in the world at over 5 million sq km (2 million sq miles).
Solimoes-Negro interfluvium ('The Meeting of the Waters') Near Manaus, 2250 km (1400 miles) inland from the River Amazon's mouth at the Atlantic Ocean, the two largest rivers in South America meet. Ten km (six miles) downstream from Manaus the warm, dark water of the Rio Negro, on which the city is situated, meets the cooler, muddy water of the Amazon (called Solimoes to the west) and they flow side by side and do not mix completely for several kilometres (miles).
The River Amazon usually floods between June and October after the wet season which usually lasts from November to April. Heat and humidity also peak between June and October but the high water levels make viewing wildlife easier hence September-October is the preferred time to visit, at least for birds.
Globetrotter Wildlife Guide: Brazil by J Malathronas. New Holland Publishers, 2008.
Birds of Brazil by K Zimmer and A Whittaker. PUP, due 2012.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil by B van Perlo. OUP, 2009.
Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006.
The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).
Birds of Northern South America by R Restall, C Rodner and M Lentino. Helm, 2006 (Two volumes).
Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
Birds of Brazil app. BirdGuides Limited, 2011.
Many trip reports, some for the Amazon, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to the Amazon. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to the Amazon' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to the Amazon include the following.