overview

Expeditions Overview

Focused on the goal: the top of the Pico da Neblina
Focused on the goal: the top of the Pico da Neblina

Amazon Neblina Tours is a subdivision and the regional organization of Amazon Travel Brazil which in turn is a division of Southern Cross Tours & Expeditions, Among a variety of tours focusing on nature, cultural and social aspects in Brazil's wild and unknown back country, it is the journey to Brazil's highest mountain, the 2,994 m Pico da Neblina, located amidst the Amazonian rainforest, that is the most demanding – and the most rewarding – for the experienced traveler and hiker. As the only outfitter with an own operational basis in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, we offer to the demanding traveller the best option for expeditions and tours into the deep forest by putting safety and content as top priorities.

The Pico da Neblina at sundown
The Pico da Neblina at sundown

Situated in the Imeri Massif, in the federal state of Amazonas, the Pico da Neblina borders with Venezuela on its northern slope, and is part of the 22,000 km² Parque Nacional do Pico da Neblina. The National Park is located between 01º 10' and 03º 02' northern latitude and 65º 03' and 66º 52' western longitude and is of difficult access. The participants of our expedition will make the experience of their life, when they encounter the untouched and untamed tropical rainforest, its enormous spectrum of species and its complex form of life and interactions in flora and fauna. The natural attractions include the igapós, flooded rainforests of the lowlands, the várzea forest with its fertile grounds, the terra firme with its enormous biodiversity (215 species of hard-wood trees alone) and also the nebular forest at the Pico da Neblina, where the richness of epiphytes, orchids and bromeliads, is just breathtaking, thus compensating the nature lover for the strenuous trail up to the "Pico".

Yanomami Indios with war paint
Yanomami Indios with war paint

The target region is a totally isolated area with difficult access. The largely non-existence of human activities in the region, such as agriculture, stock farming, timber, mining, etc., except some subsistence activities including of small farmers and those of the Yanomami tribes, guarantees untouched nature and an undamaged ecosystem. The region hosts also the biggest Yanomami Indian reservation in Brazil.

As the only tour operator so far and to add still more value to our Neblina expedition, we have included a guaranteed stay at one of the Yanomami villages. We have also created the NOTIWA – Future Yanomami Fund, into which 200 US$ per traveler has to be paid to ensure health and education of the Yanomami children.

Yanomami
Yanomami

The Yanomamis cover an area of 96,650 km² in Brazil alone and number a population of 15,682 in the Federal States of Amazonas and Roraima, with approximately the same in size and population on the Venezuelan sides of both states. Hunters and farmers of the tropical rain forest, as they have always been, they faced, as many other tribes in Brazil and elsewhere, invasion of their territory by the timber industry, gold diggers, farming, plagues.

Very self-confident and autonomous in their decisions, they are very articulated and well organized in their dealings with the Federal Government agencies, namely FUNAI. The Yanomami call their environment "urihi", the forest-land, which to them is not an inert space, what we call nature, serving to sheer economic exploration. But instead they consider it a living entity integrated in a complex cosmologic – dynamic of interchange of humans and no humans. As such it finds itself today threatened by blind predation of the white man. As the visionary leader Davi Copenawa Yanomami alerts:

"The forest-land only can die if destroyed by the White man. Than, rapids will disappear and the earth and trees will dry and stones and mountains will split from the heat. The xapiripë spirits that live in the highlands and play in the forest will finally escape and their fathers, the shamans, can not call upon them anymore to protect us. The forest-land becomes dry and empty. The shamans will not be able to repel and to detain the smoke epidemics and the bad beings which bring us illness. This way, everybody will die."

The floating port of Manaus
The floating port of Manaus

To better comprehend this unique environment called Amazonia, we have included a stay at Belém, the Atlantic port city and capital of the federal state of Pará, from where the region was explored by the Portuguese colonialists in the early 17th century. We also consider a day in Manaus the capital of the federal state of Amazonia, important to understand past and presence of the development of the region. Starting point of the expedition however is the town of São Gabriel da Cachoeira (SGC), a military settlement and Salesian mission, right at the banks of the upper Rio Negro River. SGC is within reach by boat or plane (turboprop) from Manaus. Some 85 km of slick and tricky dirt road leads to the pier of the Ia-mirim river and requires four-wheel-drive and a top driver. To drive on this road during rainy days even a 4 wheel driven jeep needs extra manpower to make it through the mud. Two days on the Ia and Cauaburi rivers are needed to get to the mouth of the Tucano River, from where the expedition continues on foot (36 km). The Pico da Neblina peak will be reached after another five days.

 

Scientific Importance

Endemic flora at the top of Pico da Neblina
Endemic flora at the top of Pico da Neblina

Beyond the scenic beauty of Brazils highest peak, it is the scientific importance of the Pico da Neblina National Park, that has been pointed out by many famous scientists like De Spruce, McGuire, Froes, Vanzoline, Prance, Pires and others, as being absolutely spectacular.

The high camps of the Pico da Neblina hosts the highest known endemic density of all Brazilian highland formations and about 50% of the undiscovered species are completely unknown territory for the science. Without a doubt, here, the future will reveal a new world, especially in botany.

Some of the animals and plants, which can be observed in the region:

  • Birds
    Blue and yellow chested macaw, scarlet macaw, green winged macaw
  • Spiders
    Such as the non poisonous Theraposa leblondi, the biggest spider of the world, with a lifespan of up to 20 years, the very poisonous Loxoceles, Phoneutria and Lycosas, Latraodectus mactans (black widow)
  • Mammals
    Tapir, capybara, giant otter, paca, brown and black howler monkey, black uacari, spider monkey, dusky titi monkey, brown capuchin monkey, spider monkey, sloth, river dolphin
  • Fish
    Piracurú, piranha, ornamental fish
  • Reptiles
    Caiman, several kinds of poisonous snakes, iguanas, turtles
  • Amphibians
    Dart-poison frogs (Dendrobatidae)
  • Butterflies
    Papillion, Heliconius, morphs
  • Orchids, bromeliads, trees
    Paechmea aquilega, Scuticarias, Coriantes, Cataseto, carnivorous such as Hellianphora tatei, Brachinnia, Drosera and Utricularias, caoutchouc trees (Hevea brasiliensis), Brazil-nut trees (Bertholletia excelsia), assaí and buriti palms

and many, many, more...

 

 

continue to the itinerary day 1-8