Day 1: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Arrive in Rio, where you are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel situated directly across from Copacabana Beach, one of the most famous beaches the world.
Day 2: Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Project
On this full-day excursion, we travel eastward from Rio on a two-hour drive into the Atlantic rain forest to learn about one of the world's most exciting conservation success stories—the recovery of the nearly extinct golden lion tamarin. These tiny primates, about the size of a squirrel, take their name from their impressive manes—thick ruffs of golden-orange hair around their charming, wizened faces. These animals are critically endangered, as are Brazil's Atlantic coastal forests in which they live, under growing pressure from logging, agriculture and industry in Brazil's most densely populated region.
We'll spend several hours at the Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Project, established as a collaborative program in the early 1970s to save the species against enormous odds. The project's efforts have helped the species recover from a low point of a mere hundred or so individuals, to more than a thousand today. We tour the educational center where we'll see the species up close and meet biologists and conservationists who have been integral to their recovery. We'll also track the animals in their native habitat on a guided walk in the rain forest. We listen for their high-pitched call and look for flashes of bright orange in the trees, where they spend most of their time. Living in social family groups, they forage for insects, fruit, lizards and birds by day while traveling from branch to branch, and sleep in hollows at night. Males help raise the offspring, and we may see them carrying infants on their backs, which are often twins.
Lunch is included during our visit, and we return to Rio in plenty of time to join our group at a welcome dinner with our Expedition Leader this evening.
Physical Rating: Easy