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Material contained herewith may not be used without the prior written permission of FAUNA Paraguay.
Photographs on this page were taken by Paul Smith, Alberto Madroño, Jonathan Newman, Sylvia Qu, David Gill, Arne Lesterhuis,
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FAUNA Paraguay Eco-tours
FAUNA Paraguay tours are recommended by:
FAUNA Paraguay eco-tours are promoted by:
Paraguay, "South America´s Forgotten Corner" is an off the beaten track destination for eco-travellers with a sense of adventure. Its compact size and pristine habitats means that visitors can build a large and varied animal list with a minimum of travelling. Visit the magical Atlantic Forest with its myriad of wonderfully-coloured birds (including the Guyra Pong our national bird!); the fascinating but under-studied Cerrado, home to some of the most threatened animals on earth; the lush, remote and rarely-visited Paraguayan Pantanal, a wetland paradise; the unique Mesopotamian Flooded Grasslands an unspoilt wet savannah and forest mosaic; or head up to the mysterious, isolated Chaco, without doubt the best place in South America to see large mammals. Few travellers ever make it to Paraguay, but those that do are blessed with a natural experience to rival that of the most famous eco-tourist destinations on the planet.
Recommended in the major guide books, FAUNA Paraguay provide professional birding and eco-tours - the only ones in the country with REGIONAL EXPERT PROFESSIONAL FIELD BIOLOGISTS AS GUIDES! We travel in comfortable, modern, air-conditioned vehicles, and visit the remotest corners of this under-explored country. Whether you are a serious ticker with a "wish-list" or an interested amateur keen to see as much of Paraguay´s natural wonders as possible, we can design a tour that will meet your needs. Alternatively check through our list of standard tours by clicking on the links below, and of course don´t forget to check out our cultural tours as well!
Our tours are flexible, they can be as long or short as you want. In addition to the animals we provide information on cultural and historical aspects of interest to provide the client with “the bigger picture”. If you are interested in birds, mammals, herps, butterflies, nature photography or just want to see as much of this fascinating country as you can, we can come up with a tour that will provide you with unforgettable memories - email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So to help you decide here are a few suggestions with recommended durations.
Click on the links for more information:
NEW!! Southeast South American Mega Rarities Tour (16 days)
3-18 December 2016, Guides: Paul Smith and Mark Pearman
A trip for SERIOUS listers focusing on the MEGA rarities of southernmost Brazil, eastern Paraguay and northeast Argentina. This is a tour packed with the regional specialities and globally endangered birds that most tours miss. Try and find another tour that can get you Tropeiro Seedeater, Russet-winged Spadebill and Yellow Cardinal in just two weeks! Whether you are cleaning up on the last few tough birds of this region, or want to avoid multiple trips to get them, the SE SAm mega tour will guarantee you a trip list to die for. Click on the Rufous-faced Crake to see just how mega this trip is!
Chaco Explorer Tour (5 to 7+ days)
The perfect way to get to know the Paraguayan Chaco without roughing it, the Chaco Explorer tour is designed to pick up a wide variety of wildlife from the Chaco endemic birds to myriad reptiles and amphibians. The tour begins with a drive through the lush palm savannas of the Humid Chaco, a paradise for waterbirds, with visits to the IBA Central Chaco lagoons area and two nights at remote PN Teniente Enciso in the deepest Dry Chaco. Click on the image of the Black-legged Seriema to learn more.
Chaco Safari Tour (7 to 9+ days)
The Chaco Safari Tour is for those who lust after real adventure. It gets you out in the wilderness in one of the most fascinating yet hostile environments on earth were large mammals abound. Visiting remote national parks Defensores del Chaco, Médanos del Chaco and Teniente Enciso we´ll be looking for Jaguar, Puma, Tapir, Chaco Peccary and many other mammals which are frequently encountered on night drives. We won´t neglect the other wildlife of course and you can expect a good selection of Chaco endemic birds, reptiles and amphibians. Click on the image of the Jaguar to learn more.
Pantanal Cruiser Tour (7 to 9+ days)
Few people even realise that the Pantanal reaches Paraguay, but unlike the well-touristed Brazilian side, the Paraguayan Pantanal is rarely-visited by foreigners and makes for a fascinating voyage to an unspoilt paradise. A vast wetland teeming with birds and mammals, this is an unforgettable journey into one of the most unspoilt areas on the planet. Taking a boat through weed-choked waterways overflowing with birds and caiman we will be hunting (metaphorically of course!) incredible mammals such as Giant Otter and ticking off the birds we see along the way. Click on the image of the Rufous-tailed Jacamars to learn more.
Cerrado and Atlantic Forest Tour (7 to 8+ days)
One for the birders, this tour visits two of the most threatened habitats on earth, the cerrado savanna and the humid Atlantic Forest. With high endemism of species this is a fantastic opportunity to tick off a series of localised and globally-threatened species including the endangered White-winged Nightjar, bizarre Cock-tailed Tyrant, elusive Black-masked Finch, diminutive Sharp-tailed Tyrant, raucous Curl-crested Jay and the gaudy Vinaceous Amazon. In just a week you will notch up a list of hard to find species that will be the envy of birders the world over. Click on the image of the Black-masked Finch to learn more.
Pastizales del Sur Tour (5 to 9+ days)
Part of a localised and threatened habitat-type known as the "Mesopotamian Flooded Grasslands", the Pastizales del Sur offer a unique opportunity for birders to concentrate on the secretive denizens that inhabit this marshy region. With possible species including the globally threatened "cappuccino " seedeaters, the stunning Saffron-cowled Blackbird and the rare Ochre-breasted Pipit, this is a tour for serious birders looking for a list of seriously localised species. A couple of days in the Atlantic Forest at San Rafael at the end will help bump up the trip list before heading back to civilsation. Click on the image of the Sickle-winged Nightjar to learn more.
Atlantic Forest Odyssey Tour (8 to 11+ days)
Officially the most threatened habitat type on earth, the Alto Paraná lowland Atlantic Forest of Paraguay is a must see for anybody with a serious interest in wildlife. As anybody who has ever visited tropical forests before will know, the more time you spend there, the more you will see. Fortunately the five Atlantic Forest sites on this tour offer the traveller the opportunity to revel in the sheer diversity of the wildlife that inhabits it, from gaudy toucans and parrots, to electric butterflies, skulking mammals and a cacophany of frogs. This tour promises lifelong memories. Click on the image of the Spot-billed Toucanet to learn more.
Weird wings and Strange Tails (9 to 11+ days)
Paraguay is fortunate enough to be blessed with a suite of bizarre and extremely rare birds that birdwatchers the world over are just aching to add to their life list. Visiting the cerrado and Mesopotamian grasslands this 10 day circuit of eastern Paraguay aims to clean up on these oddly-ornamented birds including Strange-tailed, Streamer-tailed, Sharp-tailed and Cock-tailed Tyrants and two of the continents rarest nightbirds, the ghostly White-winged Nightjar and the frankly odd Sickle-winged Nightjar; plus of course a host of others. Click on the image of the White-winged Nightjar to learn more.
The Figure of Eight Tour (21+ days)
Plenty of time on your hands and you just can´t decide which of the tours above to take? Then why not combine them all into this three week epic that visits all of Paraguay´s major habitat types and has been specifically designed to show you as much of the wildlife as is possible in as short a space of time as possible. From the marshy Pantanal to the bushy cerrado, the dry Chaco to the humid Atlantic Forest, the Figure of Eight tour shows the best of what Paraguay has to offer promising a varied list of birds, mammals and other animals. Click on the image of the Earless Leaf Frog to learn more.
Laguna Blanca Short Break (3+ days)
Set on the shores of a crystal clear lake with a glorious sandy beach, Laguna Blanca is an idyllic place. Add to that the fact that it is home to a banquet of globally-threatened cerrado birds and you have all the ingredients for a memorable short break just a few hours drive from Asunción. As one of only three sites in the world where the critically endangered White-winged Nightjar is known to occur, this is a vital stop on the itinerary of any global twitcher, while a smorgasbord of other birds, beasts and butterflies will delight anybody who just likes to revel in the unspoilt beauty of the area. Click on the image of the endemic Laguna Blanca Spiny Lizard to learn more.
Mbaracayú Short Break (4+ days)
A model reserve and perfectly-preserved Atlantic Forest make for some exciting birding. With over 400 bird species occurring in the reserve, as well as a healthy population of Jaguar, tapir and other large mammals, the possibilities for what you might encounter during your short break here are endless. Birders will be keen to track down the earsplitting Bare-throated Bellbird, the prehistoric-looking Black-fronted Piping-Guan and the charismatic Helmeted Woodpecker. Non-birders will just be gobsmacked at the awesome diversity of plant and animal life on display. Click on the image of the Bare-throated Bellbird to learn more.
San Rafael Short Break (3 to 4+ days)
Officially the most biodiverse reserve in Paraguay a short break in San Rafael is the best way to assure a wildlife bonanza. The four day trip includes time in the Atlantic Forest and a visit to the Kanguery grasslands, home to a completely different suite of animals. There is also time to enjoy a swim in the magnificent lake during the heat of the day, to cool off ready for a night walk once the sun goes down. An area of extraordinary natural beauty San Rafael is one of the jewels in the crown of the Paraguayan wilderness. Click on the image of the Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher to learn more.
Central Chaco Short Break (4+ days)
A shortened version of the Chaco Explorer tour this trip combines wildlife watching with some areas of cultural and historic interest with visits to the peccary breeding project at Fortín Toledo, the Chaco War museum at Fortín Boqueron, the Mennonite colonies and one of the most eyecatching sights in Paraguay, the flocks of wintering flamingoes and waterfowl at Campo Maria. Optional night drives to look for mammals. This is a trip for the traveller keen to experience all aspects of the magificent Paraguayan Chaco and the remarkable people and animals that inhabit it. Click on the image of the Chaco Peccary to learn more.
Tirol Day Tour
Departing from Encarnación this tour to the famous Hotel Tirol and its lush forest provides an excellent introduction to the Atlantic Forest. The morning will be spent appreciating the diversity of birds and other animals on show, the afternoon will put the experience into context, with an explanation of the ecology and threats faced by the Atlantic Forest, man´s role in events (both positive and negative) and the challenges for the future. This day tour is for conservation-minded travellers who want a deeper understanding of the Atlantic forest and the issues it faces. Both options are also available as half-day tours. Click on the image of the Red-ruffed Fruitcrow to learn more.
Bahia de Asuncion Half Day Tour
Across the bay from the capital city is this remarkable birding site, an inernationally important stopping point for waterbirds. With almost 300 species recorded here and a constantly changing cast of performers, visiting the bay is never dull, and all takes place against a backdrop of the stunning skyline of downtown Asunción. If you are in the capital and looking to chalk up a healthy bird list without straying too far from the centre, then there is no better way to do it than this. Combine it with half-day at the Botánico or Arroyos y Esteros below for a full day of top notch birding. Click on the image of the Black Skimmers to learn more.
Jardin Botanico Half Day Tour
The former estate of the ruling López dynasty, Asunción´s Jardín Botánico counts on a small natural reserve of dry forest that makes for some excellent birding. Look out for species like Pale-crested Woodpecker, Flavescent Warbler and Blue-winged Parrotlet and don´t be surprised if your path is crossed by the resident troop of Brown Capuchin monkeys that make their home in this city centre park. Combine it with half-day at the Bahía de Asunción or Arroyos y Esteros (see below) for a full day of top notch birding. Click on the image of the Hooded Capuchin to learn more.
Arroyos y Esteros Half Day Tour
Arroyos y Esteros literally means "streams and marshes" and is an accurate description of the habitat that you will find here. A short drive from Asunción this is a great site for a much sought after and globally-threatened bird, the spectacular Strange-tailed Tyrant. Its not the only exciting bird you will see of course and an array of marshbirds like Long-tailed Reedfinch, Lesser Grassfinch, Crested Doradito, seedeaters and others will also be on your list. Click on the image of the male Strange-tailed Tyrant to learn more.
We realise that some clients have very specific interests, so we also offer these specialised tours with routes determined via consultation:
In case you haven´t heard, butterflies are the new birds! Butterfly-watching is a growing hobby and the remarkable diversity of species and habitats in Paraguay make it the ideal place to give it a try. Our butterfly tours will not only concentrate on the diurnal families, but also involve searching for moths after dark. Despite very little in the way of studies on the Lepidopteran fauna of the country over 800 species of diurnal butterfly, 105 hawkmoths and 99 emperor moths have been recorded here. Send us an email and we can start planning your route. Click on the image of Catharisa cerina to learn more.
Just Mammal Tours
The South American mammal fauna is uniquely fascinating, but unlike in the savannas of Africa a certain patience is needed to see them. This tour will focus squarely on mammals visiting sites with the best chances of observing spectacular species such as Jaguar and Tapir, but not neglecting the smaller, easily-overlooked armadillos, bats and rodents. Under the expert leadership of mammalogist Dr Robert Owen you will visit bat roosts and do some small scale capture and release of rodents building as diverse a mammal list as possible in the time available. Click on the image of the Lesser Bulldog Bats to learn more.