Since my wife, JoAnn, had been to Peru with
Steve, and considered it to be the ”trip of a lifetime”, I had some
expectations when we went to Cost Rica with Steve in February, 2012. We had been to Costa Rica before and knew a
little about the country and had seen Macaws and other birds before. Our trip exceeded our expectations. Steve had two exceptional local people as our
drive and guide, Max and Hector, and we were thrilled with the variety of
birds, from Scarlet Macaws to the Great Green Macaw to the Red Lored Amazon,
we were thrilled with the number and variety of parrots. But, we saw many more species of birds, from
tiny Kingfishers to Toucans to Aracaris.
Steve put in a lot of effort getting us nice
lodges, entry to the ARA Project, and many hikes through several different
types of forest and mountain. If you
like your bird watching with your feet up, sitting in a comfortable chair on a
deck watching the Brown-hooded Parrot, then Steve can direct you to Laguna del
All in all, we got more than expected and
greatly enjoyed our time with Steve in Costa Rica.
David White - Port
Orchard, Wa. USA
Brazil 2011 – Cerrado, Pantanal, Amazon and Atlantic
We would not have made this trip without the experience and
organisation of Steve Brookes. His enthusiasm, efficiency, and network of
contacts, plus knowledge gained from previous trips ensured that everything ran
very smoothly, and that we saw some wonderful sights. Hopefully we shall go
again soon on another of his trips: time, money and health permitting.
K Jones BVetMed MRCVS - Surrey, UK
Brazil 2011 - Cerrado, Pantanal and Amazon & Brazil 2008 - Atlantic Rainforest and Pantanal
I have taken part in two of Steve's trips to Brazil, and plan to be on a
third in September 2013. They have two great advantages over tours to the
tropics organised by birding companies. One is, of course, that finding parrots
has priority and the guides Steve employs either already know of the best
parrot sites or research these well in advance. This means you save much time
and see more species than if you travelled in any other way.
The other aspect that makes his tours so enjoyable is the company of people
who are primarily interested in seeing parrots and are so excited and
appreciative of good sightings. This is in contrast to the twitchers who make
up most members of a bird tour company group who are "listers" rather
than people who enjoy observing birds.
Steve has enabled many parrot lovers who could not otherwise do so to
have good sightings of parrots in the wild. Keep up this good work, Steve!
Rosemary Low – Past curator of parrots at Loro Parque and Palmitos Parque as well as Author of many books and articles about parrots - Mansfield, UK
PERU 2010 - AMAZON & COSTA RICA 2012
We’ve been on two trips with Steve; the Amazon Rain Forest
in Peru (2010) and Costa Rica (2012). They are ideal for anyone who likes
eco-holidays away from the hustle and bustle from popular tourist destinations.
It might well be “wild parrots up close” - the clay licks in Peru were
fantastic - but there are plenty of other bird and animals to see, not to
mention the plant life. It might seem like you are on “safari”, particularly in
the Amazon Rain Forest, but the lodges, miles and miles from the rest of civilisation
are comfortable and the food very good. At the Laguna del Lagarto in Costa Rica we were delighted by the
numerous birds that could be observed at the feeders very close to the lodge.
What made these trips so good was the excellent organisation by Steve. All you
have to do is to book your outward and return flights; everything else is laid
on for you and included in the price of the trip. Having our own guides meant
that the holiday could be flexible and not necessarily be to a strict timetable.
We had a great time in very good company. With Steve you are in very good
Roger and Jane
Mackintosh - Newark on Trent - England
PERU 2010 - AMAZON AND MACHU PICCHU
trip of a lifetime’¯ is how I would describe my trip to Peru in 2010. My main
goal was to see parrots, which exceeded my expectations. Sharing breakfast with
the Scarlet Macaws at Tambopata, seeing the nest boxes & visiting the clay
licks was absolutely thrilling. At Heath River Lodge, the clay licks with the
floating blind a very short distance away gave us the opportunity to see
macaws, amazons, pionus & parakeets up close. The other lodges included
Refugio Amazonas and Lake Sandoval. All of the lodges were very nice with great
food and wonderful staff. Staying in the heart of the jungle to enjoy the
scenery, vegetation, wildlife and just marveling at the serenity was so
relaxing. After 2 weeks we moved on to Machu Picchu for a couple of days to enjoy
all the wonders there.
fabulous adventure could not have happened without all the research &
planning that Steve put into this trip. He made it fun, exciting and relaxing.
White - Port Orchard, Wa. USA
PERU - AMAZON AND MACHU PICCHU 2010
I hope you know it goes without saying that none of this would have happened if you had not organised it so well - every detail !!
Thanks so much
Patsy (Idaho, USA)
BRAZIL NOVEMBER 2008 - ATLANTIC RAINFOREST AND PANTANAL
I had a great time with your tour in Brazil, and that I appreciate the thought and effort you made to provide for and allow each person to have a wonderful and truthful experience of Brazil and its wildlife (as much as is possible within 3 weeks).
Organizing the tour so that we spent time first in REGUA, and then finished in the Pantanal was insightful and important to understanding conservation on a broad scale and over time. I began the trip, with a rather narrow primary focus on parrots. So, it came as a wonderful and unexpected surprise to fall in love with so many of the other incredible birds: the great and snowy egrets, the hummingbirds (frilled coquette, hermits, and Jacobin), the blue manakin, the white-headed marsh tyrant, the violaceous euphonia, the green-headed tanager, guira cuckoo, and others I will recognize again when my guide to Brazilian birds arrives.
I suppose some people may have wished to see more parrots during the trip. However, the reality is that parrots are endangered; present in small numbers, hopefully wary of people in the interest of survival, and desperately dependant on conservation efforts like those in REGUA and the Pantanal. It was a privilege to see and hear my dear white-eyed conures on several occasions and in more than one location during the 18 days; as well as 2 subspecies of Maxmillian’s Pionus parrots. Accompanying the Hyacinth Macaw Project in the Pantanal, and observing the baby hyacinths and greenwings, was inspirational and humbling. And by the end of the tour we had seen almost all of the listed parrot species.
Even so, it is the magnitude of REGUA's comprehensive conservation/reforestation agenda that has truly impressed me. It provides a framework which promises to generate enthusiastic support from many individuals and organizations of diverse scientific and conservation interests, as well as providing a sort of prototype for future conservation efforts. The abundance of wildlife in the Pantanal offered an opportunity for me (I hope for all on the tour) to imagine how REGUA might come to provide home to greater numbers of birds and animals as REGUA expands and attains the years in conservation that the Pantanal now has.
The gracious and casual hospitality at REGUA and at Caiman Lodge made the trip an intimate and personal experience. This trip has changed the way I view the world, even the world in my own backyard. I hope to return to Brazil more than once in my future travels, and am already considering my next trip with Wild Parrots Up Close.
Lanette Raymond, PhD - President, Long Island Parrot Society, USA
BRAZIL NOVEMBER 2008 - ATLANTIC RAINFOREST AND PANTANAL
"Thanks for a fantastic holiday, Brazil was everything I dreamt it would be. The natural beauty and eco-diversity of the Atlantic rainforest was amazing equalled only by the wealth of different species of birds and animals in the Pantanal. I was especially thrilled to see the toco toucans, hyacinth macaws and the flock of yellow collared macaws we saw feeding in the trees. The travel arrangements were well organised and the accommodation at both lodges of an excellent standard in terms of comfort, amenities, meals and friendly staff. My husband and I look forward to joining you again in another location at some point in the future".
Linda Morley (UK)
BRAZIL 2006 - ATLANTIC RAINFOREST AND PANTANAL
'I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip - thankyou for organising everything .....'