Alta Floresta is considered by many ornithologists as one of the most diverse destinations for bird watching in the entire Amazon. With a bird list of 570+ species and new species found every year, the region of Alta Floresta and Cristalino River Basin have been visited by leading ornithologists and birders from all over the world. First visited by Ted Parker and Mort and Phyllis Isler in 1989, the region has attracted the visits of Dr. Yürgen Haffer, Dr. Robert Ridgley, Guy Tudor, Dr. Kevin Zimmer, and Bret Whitney to mention a few.
Due to the barrier effect of rivers like the Madera, Xingu and Teles Pires which inhibit the dispersion of some species, the Cristalino Reserve has a high incidence of endemism. Differing soil types from the drainages of the " White water" Rio Teles Pires and the "Black water" Rio Cristalino enhance the overall diversity of flora and fauna. Clients can choose from a set of trails with different habitats, go by boat on the river in search of Red-throated Piping Guan, Razor-billed and Bare-faced Curassow or they can relax in the Lodge clearing where many species of toucan, macaw, parrots, cotinga, barbet, trogon, and other frugivores visit the Cecropia trees for their tasty fruit.
In addition to the Cristalino Lodge, the Hotel Floresta Amazonica, which is located in a 100 acre fragment of primary forest in the center of the city of Alta Floresta, has unique attractions not to be missed. Visitors often spend a night at the Hotel upon arrival and before departure home. Endemics such as Crimson-bellied Parakeet, Black-girdled Barbet and Cryptic Forest Falcon as well as rarities such as Rufous-necked and Collared Puffbird are all found within 5 minutes walk of the breakfast buffet.
Day 1: Alta Floresta - Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Arrival in Alta Floresta, pick up and transfer to Cristalino Jungle Lodge. Upon arrival, there will be an introduction to the lodge and to your accommodations. Library and maps are available. (D)
Day 2: Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Early morning hike the Taboca trail, looking for bamboo specialties such as Xingu Antwren, Striated (Emilia´s) Antbird, Dusky-tailed and Large-headed Flatbill and the endemic Cryptic Forest Falcon. In the afternoon, boat trip up river to Dr. Haffer's trail, which is great for mixed species. This trail connects to Kawali’s trail, where Gould's Toucanet and Kawall's parrot can be seen. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Hike before daylight towards the 50 meter Canopy Tower. Watch the sunrise from above the canopy. Usually, many species of birds can be seen, including the White Bellied, Red-Fan, White-Necked Puffbird, Pompadour Cotinga and different species of toucan. In the afternoon, boat trip up river and hike the Brazil Nut Trail, a place with enormous trees and interesting birds such as the Musician Wren. On the way back, boat trip to "Corredeira do Limao", a location where 100's of Painted Parakeets can often be seen. Return downriver for observation of the wildlife at sunset. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Boat trip in the early morning towards the Sierra Trail: a site with a low, drier and deciduous type forest. Birds often seen here include Natterer's Slaty Antshrike, Brown-Banded Puffbird, Xenopsaris and Rufous Casiornis. This trail has beautiful sights since it is located in a hilly landscape. In the afternoon, birding by the "Caja" Trail near the lodge grounds where possible Flame-Crested Manakin might be seen. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Early walk the Teles Pires Trail down to Teles Pires River, looking for possible views of Noble Antthrush, Snow-Capped Manakin and Dark-Winged Trumpeter. In the afternoon hike in the Teles Pires island, a place where parakeets, parrots, macaws and nesting wood storks are found. The sunset at Teles Pires River is great for photography. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Walk the "Cacao trail" across the river, where possible active Antswarms and attendant Antbirds are found. Return by boat trip or by canoe. In the afternoon, hike the "Butterfly trail" where several Hummers and White-Lipped Peccary Wallow may be found. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Early morning hike in the “Summit Trail”( Sierra Trail), a place with beautiful views in a hilly landscape. The forest understory is rich and it is possible to find mixed-species feeding flocks, led by Cinereous Antshrikes and White-winged Shrike-Tanagers. In the afternoon, walk towards the “Saleiro” House, a natural salt-lick where Lawrence's Thrush and Curve-Billed Scythebill may be seen. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Early morning hike in the “Ficus Trail” and transfer to Alta Floresta. Lunch and departure to Cuiaba. (B,L)