Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Navigate the wild waterways of the Amazon River Delta, then venture deeper into its tributaries by Zodiac in search of pink dolphins, monkeys, toucans, and other wildlife.
  • Spend three days exploring the UNESCO World Heritage–designated archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, home to one of the largest concentrations of tropical seabirds in the western Atlantic.
  • Venture into the rainforests of rarely visited Guyana, and go on a flight-seeing excursion to view Kaieteur Falls, the world’s largest single-drop waterfall by volume.
  • Experience the enchanting traditions of Salvador, Brazil, from the origins of samba music to the city’s vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Extraordinary wonders await on this exploration of five countries, two legendary rivers, and a host of places few travelers ever see. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Explorer, be dazzled by astonishing natural spectacles—from thousands of scarlet ibises in Trinidad to the acrobatics of spinner dolphins on the remote volcanic isles of Brazil’s secret paradise, Fernando de Noronha. Navigate the wild tributaries of the Amazon River Delta with local pilots onboard, spotting an array of wildlife and encountering isolated jungle communities. Admire colonial architecture from Suriname to Salvador, and experience the infectious spirit of this multicultural region at every port.

This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.

 

Day 1: U.S./PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Arrive in Port of Spain, where the groove of steel drums and calypso music welcome you to the lively island of Trinidad. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at our hotel.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:Hyatt Regency Hotel
Days 2-3: ARMINA VALLEY/CARONI SWAMP

Traverse the lush Arima Valley en route to the Asa Wright Nature Center, a birding hotspot. Follow well-maintained trails, keeping your gaze skyward to spot toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers, motmots, and butterflies. Or simply relax on the veranda and wait for the local avifauna to come to you. Then drive to the Caroni Swamp, where scarlet ibis return by the hundreds at dusk to roost in a spectacular nature show. The next day, enjoy a leisurely breakfast before embarking our ship in Port of Spain and setting sail southward.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:

Hyatt Regency Hotel; National Geographic Explorer for the entire voyage

Day 4: At Sea

Settle into shipboard life as we sail to Guyana. Watch for marine life from the deck, join naturalist-led talks, and learn about local musical traditions with our onboard ethnomusicologist.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 5-7: ESSEQUIBO RIVER, GUYANA/GEORGETOWN

Venture to little-visited Guyana, home to some of the planet’s most pristine rainforest. Sail down a scenic section of the Essequibo River and watch for colorful parrots, cotingas, and jacamars—among the 800 bird species that have been counted in the country. Weather permitting, fly by charter aircraft to 741-foot-high Kaieteur Falls—Guyana’s crown jewel—and witness its thunderous cascade. Venture into the rainforest with our naturalists to seek out parrots and toucans. Later, discover the colonial architecture and lively markets of Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, and enjoy spirited local music.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Day 8: PARAMARIBO, SURINAME

Continue to multicultural Paramaribo, a cache of Dutch colonial architecture in tiny Suriname. Stroll along the waterfront of its historic city center, designated a World Heritage site, and admire the side-by-side synagogue and mosque. Visit the 17th-century Fort Zeelandia to examine the colonial-era artifacts in the museum here.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 9-10: DEVILS ISLAND, FRENCH GUIANA/AT SEA

Drop anchor at Devils Island, a former penal colony whose inmates included French military officer Alfred Dreyfus and criminal Henri Charrière, who chronicled his incarceration and escape in the novel Papillon. Explore the prison’s remains and spot tropical birds and monkeys in the surrounding jungle. Then relax onboard as we set sail for Brazil.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 11-13: AMAZON RIVER DELTA, BRAZIL

Slip through the narrows of the Amazon River Delta on our expedition ship, and get immersed in the wonders of this legendary river and its tributaries. Benefit from the navigational skills and expertise of local pilots, who board the ship to assist our captain and crew. Venture deeper into the rainforest by Zodiac, seeking out macaws, toucans, monkeys, and two rare species of river dolphins—the gray tucuxi and the pink boto. We’ll also encounter the local people, or caboclos, who call this wilderness home.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Day 14: BELÉM

Arrive in Belém, the eastern gateway to the Amazon. Discover Belém’s Portuguese colonial history on a walking tour of the Cidade Velha, or old city, and visit the Ver-o-Peso market to learn about medicinal remedies of the rainforest. Or explore the nearby town of Icoaraci, renowned for its ceramics.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 15-17: AT SEA

Enjoy time at sea as we sail toward the northeastern corner of South America. Take advantage of the ship’s amenities, and relax on the deck to scan the horizon for marine life. Delve deeper into the culture, biodiversity, and history of South America during talks with our experts.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 18-20: FERNANDO DE NORONHA ARCHIPELAGO

By special permission, explore the UNESCO-recognized wonders of Fernando de Noronha, a 21-island archipelago teeming with tropical seabirds, colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life. Spend time hiking, swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying the archipelago’s pristine beaches. Learn about a local turtle research project, see the remains of an 18th-century Portuguese fortress, or venture by boat to the sheltered waters of Dolphins Bay to view the remarkable acrobatics of spinner dolphins.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 21-22: AT SEA/SALVADOR

Enjoy a final day at sea as we sail south to Salvador, the vibrant capital of the culture-rich state of Bahia. Learn about the history of samba music—rooted in Bahia’s slave trade—and enjoy a private performance by local musicians.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 23-24: SALVADOR/U.S.

Set out on a guided tour of Salvador’s World Heritage–listed city center. Stroll narrow streets lined with colorful houses, ornate churches, and baroque palaces; and learn about the city’s history at the site of one of the New World’s first slave markets. Later, transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Meals Included:Day 23 (Breakfast, Lunch)