14 April 2023

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Price: On Request

Date: On Request

Your Local Guide: Rafael Guadeluppe

Herping in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

Chance to see around 100 Amphibian Species

Visit an Ornate Hawk-Eagle Nest with Great Photography Opportunities

Look for the famous Bothrops jararaca

In Search of 3 Pumpkin Toadlet Species (Brachycephalus)

Discover some Cave Fauna, with a Possible Opportunity to Visit Stalactite Caves

Great Birding Opportunities

Great Nature, Landscape and Macro Photography Opportunities

Day 1: Arrive at Sao Paulo

Arrive at Sao Paulo’s International Airport today. Individual arrival to your hotel nearby. Free time for leisure. A welcome meeting will take place in the early evening.

Overnight near Sao Paulo International Airport.

Meals included: None

Viper in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

Day 2: Travel to PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park

Rise early as we will embark on a long drive to our first destination, Iporanga, near PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park. We spend the next three days nearby and look for some iconic frogs.

After arrival we will celebrate the official start of the trip with a delicious lunch. We will then spend the afternoon and the early evening to look for anuran amphibians with a local researcher, Henrique Domingos.

Main targets are: Vitreorana uranoscope, Ceratophrys aurita (very difficult), Cycloramphus eleutherodactylus, Cycloramphus lutzorum, Macrogenioglotus alipioi, Proceratophrys boiei, Aplastodiscus callipygius, Aplastodiscus cf. ehrhardti, Aplastodiscus perviridis, Hypsiboas prasinus, Hylodes cardosoi, Hylodes cf. asper. Hylodes heyeri, Phyllomedusa distincta

Overnight near PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Frog in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil

Day 3: Discover the Devil’s Cave State Park

We will leave early in the morning to visit another State Park. We will be accompanied by a local birding guide, Duco, who will show us an Ornate Hawk-Eagle nest with great photography opportunities.

In the afternoon we will be searching for amphibians on the trails 0f the Caverna do Diablo State Park with a local specialised guide.

Overnight near PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ornate-Hawk-Eagle by Duco

Day 4: Herping in PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park

We start the day with looking for diurnal frogs in the leaf litter and around some beautiful streams inside the forest. We will also have the chance to visit some stalactite caves and discover their flora and fauna.

In the afternoon and evening, we will be joined again by Henrique Domingos, we will continue our search for the endemic amphibians of the region. We will also observe some bioluminescent fungi in the Betary Reserve

Overnight near PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycloramphus_by Duco

Day 5: Herping in PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park

Today we will continue our explorations in the PETAR area. We will discover the trails of Cachoeira do Meu Deus in the morning and the trails at PETAR in the afternoon and evening.

Overnight near PETAR – Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycloramphus_by Duco

Day 6 – 7: Travel to São Luiz do Paraitinga 

We say goodbye to PETAR and hit the road for a log drive to São Luiz do Paraitinga where we will spend the next two nights.

The forests (Serra do Mar State Park – Santa Virgínia Nucleus) near Sao Luiz do Praitinga are home to the red pumpkin toadlet (Brachycephalus pitanga). We will also have a good chance to see a local pit viper species, the Bothrops jararaca.

During our time in the area, we will be looking for endemic frogs, lizards and snakes with a local, specialised guide.

Overnight in São Luiz do Paraitinga.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Brachycephalus pitanga in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Day 8 – 9: Travel to Cunha

We give a last chance to see the Red Pumpkin Toadlet at Santa Virginia. The we leave to the city of Cunha. After the 2-hour-drive we will have lunch and will start exploring the trails in the afternoon and at night.

On Day 9 we will be looking for our main target, the Brachycephalus crispus toadlet. In the afternoon we will enjoy the sunset at Pedra da Macela, located at an altitude of 1,840m, it has an incredible view of the entire North coast of the State of São Paulo and the coast of the State of Rio de Janeiro. We will finish the day with herping on the local trails.

Overnight in Cunha.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Brachycephalus crispus near Cunha, Brazil.

Day 10 – 12: Discover the frogs of Itatiaia National Park

In the next three days we will explore the extensive Itatiaia National Park. We will start with the higher part, looking for the iconic Maldonada redbelly toad (Melanophryniscus moreirae).

On Day 11, we move to the lower part of the park where our main target will be an other toadlet, Brachycephalus ephipium. Itatiaia National Park is also an excellent birding location with around 400 species of birds.

Overnight near Itatiaia National Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Melanophryniscus moreirae in the Atlantic Forest

Day 13: Last day in Itatiaia and Departure

We spend most of the day at the lower part of Itatiaia National Park. We will be looing for Brachycephalus rotenbergae, a toadlet that was described in 2021. In the afternoon we will maximise our time to look for other amphibians before returning to Sao Paulo.

In the evening we will return to Sao Paulo where the trip will end at the airport.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Hylodes asper in the Atlantic Forest

Sao Paulo

Hampton by Hilton Guarulhos (Classic)

This 3-star hotel is right next to Sao Paulo’s International Airport. It is located at a convenient place for our itineraries. It is clean and offers comfortable rooms, complimentary breakfast and a business centre.


Pousada das Cavernas (Standard)

A simple, cosy lodge near the PETAR area of the Atlantic Rain Forest. The lodge is surrounded by beautiful mountains covered by forest with stunning views.

Santa Virgínia Nucleus

Pousada Oikos (Standard)

A simple lodging surrounded by the beautiful Atlantic Forest. A great place to stay ad discover the Santa Virginia area.


Pousada Sao Miguel (Standard)

A cosy pousada in a nice setting with a small outdoor pool.

Itatiaia Upper Part

Pousada dos Lobos (Standard)

A traditional pousada near the higher part of Itatiaia National Park.

Itatiaia Lower Part

Hotel do Ype (Classic)

The Ype Hotel offers some unique looking villas in a beautiful setting on the hillside of Itatiaia National Park. Enjoy the outdoor pool and the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Forest. The rooms are a bit standard, but it is a great place to explore the National Park.

Prices & Inclusions

Date: on Request (Between November and March)

Holiday Price:

On Request

min. 2, max. 8 participants

On Request
Single Supplement On Request


  • Accommodation in simple hotels for 12 nights on a twin share basis
  • All meals from the breakfast on Day 2, till Dinner on Day 13
  • Transportation as per the itinerary
  • Two Local Herpetologist experts throughout the holiday
  • Guided daily walks as per the itinerary
  • Full financial protection by Protected Trust Services



  • International flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the program
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance

The Gallery

Next Holiday

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the World, it occupies approximately half of the land of South America. Discover the colourful city of Rio de Janeiro with its famous beaches, the magical Iguassu Falls, the lush Amazon rainforest, the Pantanal with its incredible wildlife or the explore the Atlantic Forest with its abundant birdlife.    

The country is divided into five different topographic locations:

Guiana Highlands

The highlands are shared by the Neighbouring countries like Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana. The region is characterised by forested mountain ranges, waterfalls and clear white-water rivers. Brazil’s highest point, the Neblina can be found here.

Amazon Lowlands

The region is determined by the Amazon River, which is the most extensive river system in the World. The area features a vast rainforest, undulating hills, wetlands and oxbow lakes.


The Pantanal is an extension to the Grand Chaco plain. The land of marshes and swamps which were created and kept alive by the overflow of the upper Paraguay River during the rainy season. It is probably the best place to see jaguars in the wild and it is also an excellent birding destination.

Brazilian Highlands

The Brazilian Highlands cover around half of the country’s territories. The region includes steep cliffs, rolling hills, rock outcrops and flat-topped plateaus. The maximum elevations of the region are below 3,000 metres.

Coastal Lowlands

The Atlantic lowlands are covering only a tiny part of Brazil. The area is covered by floodplains, sand dunes, swamps, and lagoons and beautiful white sandy beaches.

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