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This is the home to one of the longest primate study projects in the world; that of the Northern Muriqui Monkey. This park holds half the population left in Brazil, as well as 3 other rare primate species, which with the right guide you have a good chance of seeing. They are the Brown Howler, Black Capped Capuchin and the elusive Buffy Headed Marmoset (I have placed them in order of how easy to see!!).

Since our ground agents support some of the projects within the park they have a good rapport with the local researchers and this is always helpful when it comes to locating the large groups of Muriqui roaming the parks; some groups are close to a hundred in number! On the day we visited one of the groups came within a few metres of the research station itself, giving us some great photographic opportunities before we set off on our walk through the forest.

Muriqui Monkey

There is only accommodation for the researchers at Caratinga biological station, so having driven about an hour from Caratinga you will start you walk through the forest early in the morning. This is Atlantic Rainforest and it is not unusual to see tree specimens over a 100 foot (30M) in height. This is a very diverse forest and thus attracts one of the largest inventories of birds outside of the Andean regions of the Amazon-approximately 217 species.

Although there is an uphill section of the walk (3-4km) to reach the impressive watchtower, most of the walking is fairly easy and there will be numerous stops to observe both birds and primates. There is a nice break for lunch at a small local town before returning mid-afternoon for some more exciting wildlife viewing (we were the only human visitors that day!)

HIGHLIGHTS

A good chance to see four different primate species in the same day

An incredible diversity of birds, with species such as Yellow Legged Thrush, Variable Antshrike, Dusky Tailed Antbird, Crescent Chested Puffbird, Reddish Hermit and Red Rumped Cacique.

A great opportunity to walk in pristine Atlantic Forest and enjoy the unhurried, tranquil wildlife viewing on offer.

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