16 days/ 15 nights.

Wonderful Birds and Wildlife of the Chaco, Cerrado and Pantanal. The Great Tour of the Wild North of Paraguay.

PBNPY2_16 days/15 nights

This 16-day tour covers almost all of North of Oriental and Occidental regions of Paraguay and focuses on observing the fantastic birds and wildlife in the Heart of South America. The tour encompasses the vast majority of ecosystems ranging from the Humid Chaco, the Dry Chaco, the Cerrado and the wild Paraguay Pantanal. We will have the opportunity to search to put many specialties on our list like the "Targets 10" of Chaco: Chaco Owl, Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Brushland Tinamou, Chaco Chachalaca, Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Crested Gallito, Black-bodied Woodpecker, Black-legged Seriema, and Chaco Earthcreeper, besides other exceptional species, among them the world-threatened White-winged Nightjar, of which only 3 spots are known in the world, 2 of them in Paraguay! The Strange-tailed and Cock-tailed Tyrants, plus a number of interesting and rare doraditos and seedeaters, including the recently described new species, the Ibera Seedeater. This trip offers you to go to the heart of South America, the continent of birds and besides the great diversity of birds, Paraguay is probably the country where you have the possibility of seeing the largest amount of mammals of the neotropic, with the 2 spectacular species of anteaters (Giant and Tamandua), The fantastic Giant Otter, an endangered species worldwide, 5 feline species, including Puma and Jaguar, the three South American peccaries, the lowland tapir, the Maned Wolf and several species of deer, armadillos, monkeys and rodents. And of course an innumerable amount of fabulous reptiles, amphibians, insects, forests, orchids, bromeliads, ferns and the geography and fantastic ecosystems where they live and accompany us along this small piece of paradise!

Tour details

  • Length: 16 days
  • Ecoregions: Cerrado, Pantanal,  Humid Chaco and Dry Chaco
  • Species of birds on the trip: 520 Number of birds expected: 300 – 350
  • Tour Pace & Walking: Some long drives, mostly relaxed with some night drives and walks.
  • Focus: Bird and wildlife observation
  • Recommended season: From July to November*.
  • Suggested extensions: Depending on the number of additional days you have and the species of your interest, we suggest you observe our list of Paraguayan and Regional Tours that are easy to connect.

Ecoregions visited in this tour

Go to our Photo Gallery
Peach-fronted Parakeet_© Oscar Rodriguez
Peach-fronted Parakeet_© Oscar Rodriguez
Cock-tailed Tyrant_© Oscar Rodriguez
Cock-tailed Tyrant_© Oscar Rodriguez
Capped Heron_© Antotang
Capped Heron_© Antotang
Hyacinth Macaw_© Oscar Rodriguez
Hyacinth Macaw_© Oscar Rodriguez
Chaco Puffbird_© John Sterling
Chaco Puffbird_© John Sterling
Jaguar_© Oscar Rodriguez
Jaguar_© Oscar Rodriguez

Top species of Birds

Brushland & Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Lesser & Chaco (sub species that is endemic to Paraguay) Nothura,Chaco Chachalaca, Tropical Screech-Owl  Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Spectacled and Chaco Owl, Common and Great Potoo, Little,White-winged, Scissor-tailed & Rufous Nightjar, Great Dusky Swift, Planalto and Buff-bellied Hermit, Blue-crowned Trogon, Amazonian Motmot, Toco Toucan & Chestnut-eared Aracari, Spot-backed & White-eared Puffbird, White-fronted, Pale-crested, Black-bodied & Cream-backed Woodpecker, Hyacinth, Red and Green & Golden-collared Macaw, Turquoise-fronted and Scaly-headed Parrot, Black-hooded, Blaze-winged and Green-cheeked Parakeet,Chaco Earthcreeper, Crested Hornero, Short-billed Canastero, Lark-likeBrushrunner, Brown Cacholote, Henna-capped Foliage-Gleaner Scimitar-billed & Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Great Antshrike,Stripe-backed Antbird, Rusty-backed Antwren, Crested Gallito, Olive-crowned Crescentchest, Suiriri Flycatcher, Bearded Tachuri, Dinelli’s & Crested Doradito, Tawny-crowned Pygmy Tyrant, Plain Inezia, Cock-tailed &Strange-tailed, Sharp-tailed and Cinereous Tyrant, White-rumped Monjita,White-headed Marsh Tyrant, , Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Curl-crested, Purplish & Plush-crested Jay, Red-rumped Cacique, Orange-backed Troupial, Stripe-capped Sparrow, Yellow-billed Cardinal, Gray-headed, White-rumped, White-lined, & Burnished-buff Tanager, Many-colored Chaco, Black-masked and Red-crested Finch,Long-tailed Reed Finch, Black-capped Warbling Finch, Wedge-tailed & Lesser Grass Finch, Pampa Finch, Plumbeous, Rusty-collared, White-bellied, Copper,Tawny-bellied, Rufous-rumped, Dark-throated, Marsh, Ibera & Chestnut Seedeater, Black-backed Grosbeak, Black-throated Saltator.

Top species of Mammals

Jaguar, Puma, Ocellot, Geoffroy’s Cat and Jaguarundi, Giant Anteater, Southern Tamandua, Crab-eating and Pampas Fox, Maned Wolf, Lowland Tapir, Chaco Peccary,Marsh Deer,  Azara’s Night, Howler & Brown Capuchin Monkey, Plains Vizcacha, Capybara, Azara’s Agouti, Nine, Six and Three banded Armadillo.

Bird list of Top Hotspots

Tour Map

Program Summary

Day 1 –ARRIVAL IN ASUNCIÓN. Please book flights to arrive in Asunción during this day. If time allows, we will visit the wetlands and shores of the Bahía Asunción. Overnight in Asunción.

Day 2– ASUNCION, ARROYOS Y ESTEROS BIRDING ON TO SANTA ROSA DEL AGUARAY. Early in the morning we will go birding in the Arroyos y Esteros area, hoping for many water birds but also some rare and unusual flycatchers. The target bird is the Strange-tailed Tyrant. Some stops on the way that we can allow have very interesting species like our first Psittacines: Blue-crowned Parakeet , White-eyed Parakeet, the popular but always beautiful Nanday Parakeet, the smallest and most beautiful Blue-winged Parrotlet, and the noisy Yellow-chevroned Parakeet , Scaly-headed and Turquoise Parrot etc, besides other very interesting birds always to see there, like some woodpeckers: our first opportunity to find a Cream-backed, Golden-green and Little woodpeckers, White-barred Piculet and Campo Flicker  (subspecies of the north: black throat), we will be in places of sympathy with the species of white throat and with a little luck, you could also see Crested Doradito, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Black-capped Donacobius, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Spotted Rail, some raptors, falcons and a lot of interesting surprises that always offer us in these oases of nature. The Environments associated to our intermediate stops correspond preferably to the Humid Chaco Ecosystems, grasslands, karanday Palm savannahs (Copernicia alba), Quebracho forests, etc. We will continue to Santa Rosa del Aguaray. After lunch, If time permits, afternoon birding is pos­sible close to Santa Rosa del Aguaray. Overnight in Santa Rosa del Aguaray.

Day 3 – RESERVA NATURAL RIO VERDE. We have an entire day to devote to the Cerrado habitat. The type of Cerrado we have in this place are the so-called Dirty Natural Fields, with low shrub vegetation, sandstone soils, also some forest islets of the Cerradon type, will be the landscapes visited. We will be within a natural reserve of about 1,000 hectares that conserve this oasis of the birds of the Cerrado. Another target bird is the enigmatic Cook-tailed Tyrant, this is also one of the only two places where it is registered in Paraguay. I hope that luck is on our side and in the night we have an option to find a White-winged Nightjar. Overnight in Santa Rosa del Aguaray.

Day 4 – SANTA ROSA DEL AGUARAY, GARAY CUE RANCH. Early in the morning, departure towards the northwest to go to Estancia Garay Cue where we will try to find some specialties of this Gallery Forest like the very rare Reiser’s Tyrannulet, Russet-mantled Foliage-gleaner and Chestnut-capped Foliage-gleaner. Other fantastics are the great Hyacinth Macaw and Red-and-green Macaw  and others such as Peach-fronted Parakeet, Blaze-winged Parakeet, Black-throated  Saltator, White-rumped Monjita, Plumbeous Seedeater and other spectacular specialized birds of the Cerrado. We will arrive at the end of the afternoon. This cattle ranch of more than 10,000 hectares protects about 6,000 hectares of Cerrado Forest, Spectacular Gallery Forests of different stratification, calcareous streams, transitional area between Cerrado Forest and Atlantic Forest of Alto Parana, which allows species of both ecosystems in an incredible amalgam of biodiversity. Overnight in Concepcion or in the Ranch.

Day 5 -  GARAY CUE RANCH, SERRANÍAS DE SAN LUIS, TRES HERMANAS RANCH APA RIVER. Early in the morning, we will make observations in the very interesting gallery forest of the Tagatiya River. Some specialties of this place are the enigmatic Blue-capped Motmot, the elusive Chestnut-capped Foliage-gleaner, Gray-headed Tanager and many others. Have  lunch and then we will visit the Serranías de San Luis where we will have a chance to search for the Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloropterus) in its natural habitat and other surprises of this very interesting and unique place... we will cross and we will be touring a small part of Estancia San Luis de la Sierra which has more than 75,000 hectares, and within it a private nature reserve of about 34,000 hectares!!! It is located on the slopes of the Serrania that have the same name, a formation of calcareous and granite rocks that give some enigmatic contours and biodiversity; the scenery is simply spectacular!!! We will also know part of one of the most beautiful places in Paraguay; the beautiful Estancia Arrecife that, in its more than 25,000 hectares, contains a natural reserve of exceptional wealth in fauna and flora. We will spend most of the day in this place, leaving in the afternoon and heading for the River Apa to the sites of the Cerrado in search of the Macaws and other specialties of the place. Arrive at night, have dinner and rest. Overnight in Vallemi or in the Ranch.

Day 6 - TRES HERMANAS RANCH APA RIVER. Early in the morning, we will take an interesting walk through the gallery forest of the calcareous rivers that pass through the place which could allow us to observe the mythical and immobile Amazonian Motmot and Spot-backed Puffbird. We must be attentive to observe the elusive Green-and-rufous Kingfisher or the Bare-faced Curassow, walking on the floor of the closed forest and the mysterious Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Yellow-collared Macaw and others. Have lunch and then we will take a boat trip to observe the birds of the gallery forest that remain on the banks of the river Apa such as the beautiful Pied Lapwing, the Green Ibis, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, the very restricted and elusive White-lored Spinetail and many others. Have dinner and rest.

Day 7 - TRES HERMANAS RANCH APA RIVER – BAHÍA NEGRA – TRES GIGANTES BIOLOGICAL STATION. Early in the morning, we will go to a small port on the Paraguay River called Tres Cerros. There we will take a small ferryboat and cross the Paraguay River to Puerto Casado where we will start our trip to the enigmatic Pantanal and Paraguayan Chaco, we will enter the wild Chaco! With this river crossing, we will really end up crossing into a new biogeographical region! We will realize the impressive change in vegetation in so few kilometers and we will do several stops at some very interesting observation points. Along the route we will see the transition between the xerophytic vegetation and the Palmar savannahs that will welcome us in the very interesting transition area between to the Humid Chaco and Pantanal. We will travel all morning and we will make some stops in spots where the road allows us to observe very interesting fauna. In the afternoon, we will arrive to Bahia Negra, have lunch and then embark on boats that will allow us a  40-minute sail through the fabulous Rio Paraguay and Rio Negro, the border between Paraguay and Bolivia, approaching a huge number of aquatic species, arriving at the Tres Gigantes Biological Station (name given by the presence in the reserve area of the Giant Armadillo, the Giant Anteater and the Giant Otter), have dinner and rest.

Day 8 - TRES GIGANTES BIOLOGICAL STATION.  We will begin to know the trails of the Biological Reserve and the more than 300 species of bird that have already been observed in this wild destination. We also have high chances to see the Pantanal King, the Great Jaguar! Full day touring the main trail.

Day 9 - TRES GIGANTES BIOLOGICAL STATION. In ​​the morning, we will cross other areas of these more than 15,000 hectares that protect this incredible natural reserve. In the afternoon, we will use the boat to go up the Rio Negro to try find the fauna of aquatic and sub-aquatic habitats; the biodiversity will surprise us at every moment!

Day 10 - TRES GIGANTES BIOLOGICAL STATION, BAHÍA NEGRA, LOMA PLATA. In ​​the early morning, we will leave by boat to Bahia Negra, and from there we will go in our vehicle to Loma Plata. We will make observation stops in certain interesting areas. Overnight in Loma Plata.

Day 11 -   LOMA PLATA, CAMPO MARIA PRIVATE RESERVE, LAGUNA CAPITÁN. Our birding of the Dry Chaco begins today. We will visit some salt lakes as well as Chaco woodlands today and will make sure to try some mammal watching at night. At the end of the afternoon / evening, we will arrive to our small lodging in a transition zone between the dry chaco and the humid chaco, characterized by the presence of salt lagoons. We will have dinner and then look for some nocturnal bird like the impressive Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Chaco Owl and others, besides fantastic mammals that could appear with a little of luck!. Overnight in Laguna Capitán.

Day 12 - LAGUNA CAPITÁN, IPAROMA RANCH. Early in the morning, we will take several trails of this particular natural reserve that hold many surprises among its bushes. At the end of the trek, we will set off for Filadelfia and have lunch on the way. In the afternoon, we will visit another very particular natural reserve. You can see the difference, in this case probably due to the great supply of fresh water, which makes its vegetation more dense and lush. At the end of the afternoon, we will move to a typical Estancia Chaqueña where we will taste the delicious roasted Chaqueña Meat and usually holds surprises with its nocturnal fauna. In the evening after dinner, we can go to another nearby natural reserve and with reflectors, look for the very interesting nocturnal fauna that inhabits the Chaco. Have dinner and rest.

Day 13 - IPAROMA RANCH In the morning after breakfast, we will set out for a natural reserve that has a real treasure highly valued in the Chaco; "The Fresh Water". We will take some trails that always hold great surprises. At noon, we will have lunch. In the afternoon, we will take some of the trails of the estancia that have species of birds and very interesting mammals in its natural reserves. Have dinner and rest.

Day 14 – IPAROMA RANCH – FORTIN TOLEDO – We will have a full day to observe birds and visit a breeding center for the Pecarí of the Chaco. If we have not found most of our bird specialties of the Chaco, this is a very good place to continue looking for them; this is a key site for the rarest birds of the Chaco. Have dinner and rest. Overnight in Fortin Toledo.

Day 15 – RETURN TO ASUNCIÓN.  We have a day to make our way back towards the southeast and we will make sure to stop and enjoy some birding and scenery as we head to Asunción for our final dinner together. Overnight in Asunción.

Day 16 – END OF YOUR TOUR EXPERIENCE. Final departure, or take the optional  extension. 

*The section of the Pantanal and some of the Chaco depends on 100% of suitable climatic conditions (This section of the tour could be suspended for security of the group, taking into account that the roads to the Pantanal become impassable in case of rains). The rainy season has completely changed in recent years due to the global phenomenon known as "Climate Change", but do not worry, this tour has a very interesting plan B in case it is necessary to suspend the Pantanal or Chaco section.

More information of the tour, contact us!

If you are interested in the tour and want more details, write to our e-mail and we will gladly help you build your ideal tour. Do not forget that all our tours are ready to be adapted to your needs (Examples: more or less tour days, special species that you want to observe, emphasis on the group of animals or plants of your preference, add cultural and / or anthropological content, type of lodgings, level of meals, etc.).

Important Notes

This Tour includes*:

  • All meals from lunch on second day to breakfast on the penultimate day of the program (depending on the tour that you choose);
  • Bottled drinking water;
  • All lodgings, from the second night of second day  until the penultimate  night of the tour mentioned in the program;
  • Ground transportation;
  • Reserve entrance fees; and
  • All guiding services (not including tips for local guides and services).

The tour fee does not include:

  • Visa fees;
  • ANY flights (see above);
  • Passenger insurance (we recommend taking passenger insurance for trips to Paraguay and the region);
  • Any alcoholic drinks;
  • Special gratuities; and
  • Telephone calls, laundry and other items of a personal nature and other items not mentioned as expressly included.
*: Likewise all services included and not included will be clearly stipulated in our travel agreement according to the characteristics of the tour and your needs.
To see more details of terms and conditions of our tours click here.