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Pico da Neblina Trekking Expedition

Pico da Neblina Trekking Expedition is an epic 17-day itinerary combining unique cultural encounters with the natives of the Amazon rainforest, the Yanomami people. The extraordinary national park of Pico da Neblina offers a kaleidoscope of natural beauty, being one of the most preserved regions in the Brazilian Amazon. It is located in the northwest of the Amazonas state, all along the upper part of Rio Negro, in the midst of vast indigenous territories. This is truly a once in a lifetime experiences in one of the most remote places in the world, where you will cross the Equator line, navigating wild rivers by boat and trekking through pristine rainforest, while challenging yourself to ascent up to the 3000 m summit of Brazil’s highest peak, Yaripo. Reaching this peak is a dream for every mountaineer. Without exaggeration, it is the most difficult trails in Brazil. The expedition not only delivers a sensational mountain experience, it’s also an experience of finding oneself, of achieving personal goals and testing one’s limits.

Operated in full partnership with the Yanomami and other local communities, the expedition is guided by highly experienced, English-speaking expedition leaders, who are authorized by the Brazilian authorities to perform this trip. They will ensure everyone feels safe, confident and welcome. Expect a high quality of the logistics & service, however, be prepared for improvisation, as nature is unpredictable.

The expedition is designed for hikers with a good physical condition and an unimpaired mobility. Ideally, you should have experience in trekking and hiking at higher altitudes. The routine involves early morning rises and hikes on moderate to steep slopes between 6-10 hours a day during at least 10 days of the experience. You should be prepared for swimming in moderate currents. Yanomami porters will assist at all times, including transportation of some of the gear. Staff will be on standby to assist anyone down the mountain in case of inability to reach the summit. Accommodation comfort is high-end in Manaus, but simple and comfortable in Sao Gabriel. The rest of the itinerary is performed in regions with no available infrastructure, therefore makeshift overnight camps with hammocks will be prepared by the staff.

17 Days – From £4,900 per person (min. 6 pax)

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

Itinerary: Manaus, São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Maturacá, Bebedouro Novo, Laje, Areal, Pico da Neblina and return the same way

  • Price is per person, based on min. six people sharing
  • Accommodation with breakfast in Manaus and Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira 
  • Full board during the expedition, from Sao Gabriel do Cachoeira and back
  • All the equipment and camping gear needed for the expeditions
  • Hammocks with mosquito nets in camps set up and dismantled by the Yanomami, which consists of tarpaulins spread over a wooden frame
  • Yanomami guide, professional tour leader and porters during the expedition
  • Indigenous staff for logistics
  • All the activities and excursions mentioned in the itinerary 
  • All transfers by car and boat on a shared basis with other expedition participants. Land transport will be carried out in Toyota Bandeirante vehicles. River transport will be carried out in canoes (voadeiras), with an outboard motor. Each boat will be driven by an authorized and experienced Yanomami pilot and a sailor, who know the channels very well
  • Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Service (MEES – SEGURO SPOT): This insurance only covers emergency medical evacuation, and emergency evacuation due to a security issue, if someone is suffering from a life threatening injury, or natural disaster as determined by the expedition leader, during the expedition. In this case a helicopter will provide transport to Boa Vista, the nearest medical facility. Coverage is valid for the duration of your expedition and during travel to and from your expedition. All medical costs and other costs related to further evacuation such as transport, accommodation and other assistance are not included in the MEES, and are the responsibility of the affected expedition member, for which he/she needs to obtain a travel insurance and medical insurance for extreme sports.
  • All mandatory indigenous taxes
  • First aid kit
  • Visa, where applicable
  • International and Domestic Flights (See Flights to Brazil)
  • Travel insurance and medical insurance for extreme sports. It is mandatory to present the policies before confirming participation in the expedition. We recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance, covering trip interruption, cancellation, luggage loss, medical assistance, coverage for accidents/life, evacuation and other expenses that may arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or any other inconvenience. Participants agree to assume all costs of medical care and transportation. In case a participant does not feel well or feels like not continuing, they are escorted by guide to Muturacá where they await the return of the group.
  • Vaccination: Participants must present proof of yellow fever vaccination. Bring your certificate with you.
  • Covid Vaccination Certificate or Negative RT-PCR test (BRL 300) obtained 72 hours before entering the Indigenous Land
  • Personal porter, if required and equipment for personal use
  • Tips & Gratuities (we recommend ~ £50 per person)
  • Personal Expenses: handicrafts, souvenirs, food and extra expenses (consider ~£250 per person).
  • Possess official identity document with photo and individual entry authorization
  • Respect Yanomami customs, beliefs and traditions
  • Follow the safety instructions of the guides and porters during the trail
  • Do not stay or travel in the Yanomami Indigenous Land on different paths other than the pre-established ones
  • Do not take any material from the Yanomami Indigenous Land, including the collection of fruits, plants, seeds and stones
  • Bring all the garbage produced during the expedition
  • Do not practice hunting, fishing and extractivism
  • Do not carry or consume alcoholic beverages or illegal substances
  • Do not carry firearms
  • Not to engage in research, religious proselytizing, commerce, journalism, or any activity which is not pre-defined by the itinerary
  • Do not purchase handicrafts that contain animal parts (feather, tooth, skin, etc.)
  • Use only biodegradable soap (preferably from coconut) and shampoo

International and domestic flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to book the flights yourself, use miles and choose your preferred airline, and if you are stuck we can help you find the right connections. Return flights to Brazil start from £800 per person, depending on the connections and time of the year.

Once in Brazil, fly to Manaus (MAO) and then to São Gabriel da Cachoeira Airport (SJL).

Flights from Manaus to São Gabriel are only departing three times a week – every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – in the morning at 08:35 – 10:15. The return flight back to Manaus departs in the morning as well, at 11:15-12:40. The flight is operated by the Brazilian carrier Azul Airlines and takes 1h 40min going and 1h 25 min coming back.

Send us a message on WhatsApp or email us at brazil@boutiquetravelexperts.com to check availability, discuss your preferences and get a quote.

This is a sample itinerary and prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor it to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added. Other hotels can be chosen, according to your liking. You can also combine this trip with other sights in Brazil, like the cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro, the exciting Amazon rainforest, the fascinating Pantanal, the culture of Bahia or the deep canyons of the south. For more travel inspiration check these itineraries.

Seasonality: One can visit Pico da Neblina throughout the year. In winter, the full rivers facilitate navigation, while the land trail becomes more difficult for walking. In summer, river navigation becomes lengthier, as it is necessary to navigate at low speed, or, in extreme cases, it may even be necessary to drag the boat. The dry season is better for walking in the forest. Staying overnight on the summit is prohibited for safety reasons. The group will stay on the top for 4 hours max, before descending.

Seasons: January to March is the dry season, but this is also the time when there are more mosquitoes. April to August is the rainy season and less mosquitoes. September to December is a shoulder season with changing weather. 

Temperature varies between extremely hot in the forest, and cold  to very cold at the top. There’s a lot of humidity, but A LOT of humidity during the whole trip.

  • For international travelers a day in Manaus before and after the expedition is required to balance off the fatigue from long flights
  • The final day of the expedition, arriving in Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira should not coincide with the day of departure.
  • Group size is limited to 6-10 participants. Send us a request well in advance, to guarantee the availability of the expedition. 
  • Minimum participant age: 16 years old. Minor participants must be accompanied by parents or guardians with proper authorization.
  • Carried weight per person: 12kg. If you have more than 12 kg of luggage, a personal porter has to be pre-paid (£300 per person) due to the degree of difficulty of this trekking. Baggage will be weighed before the start of the expedition, in Maturacá. Participants have to carry personal belongings, including a hammock, a mosquito net, and water. The Staff will transport collective food and equipment needed for camping and meal preparation in straw baskets (jamachim).
  • Before signing up for the expedition (30 days before departure), one must present a medical evaluation to prove good physical and mental conditions. We reserve the right to refuse participation if we identify vulnerability in the state of health. If you have problems with joints (especially knees), spine, or any type of illness that compromises the performance, you should seek medical advice before signing up. For overweight travellers an early evaluation interview is essential. The reality is that the trail is exhausting and requires energy. This is not a trip for everyone! 
  • This is an expedition that crosses indigenous dense forests. The group is subject to unusual situations that are out of planning. The trail route is susceptible to being altered by several factors, such as weather conditions, and other reasons unrelated to the logistics. It is extremely important to be aware that the local infrastructure does not offer all the services one could usually be used to, and there will be improvisations on the way from Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira.
  • The expedition takes place in areas which are difficult to access for emergency services. Helicopter rescue in case of urgency is not certain, because the region has only 2 points of landing: in Maturacá and in the base camp, where the weather conditions are constantly unstable, generating difficulties to land.
  • There will be three meals offered: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Participants must bring and carry themselves additional snacks, if they require.
  • Everyone’s participation is important in setting up and dismantling the camps.
  • Cloths: Good hiking shoes, waterproof cloths, light jumper or jacket are recommended. 
  • Guides speak English, Spanish and Portuguese. We can also arrange guides who speak French and German.
  • A positive attitude is highly important, especially because the trip takes 2 weeks and one will share the activities with the entire group.

Day 1 - Manaus

Today you will arrive in Manaus. You will be met on arrival and transferred to hotel. After a refreshing time at the hotel enjoy a city tour with a private guide, passing by downtown for a visit to the Opera House and the Market. The Amazonas Theatre was built in the 19th century, during Manaus’ golden rush era, and locals have preserve its beautiful French architecture. Take the guided tour through the Opera House to learn a little bit more about the Amazonian capital lifestyle in the 1800s. This city is also a great place to try some of the typical Amazonian food, like tacacá or jaraqui. Overnight at Juma Opera Hotel.

Villa Amazonia, luxury small hotel in the historic centre of Manaus, Brazil

Day 2 - São Gabriel da Cachoeira

Altitude: 93m. After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport to take a flight with Azul Airlines to São Gabriel da Cachoeira, deep into the upper Rio Negro area. From above, contemplate the vastness of the rainforest and the giant river. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the pousada. After check-in, meet the indigenous Baniwa people of Itacoatiara-mirim community. Sao Gabriel is truly indigenous, an authentic Amazonian town. Spend the afternoon inside an authentic indigenous maloca with stories and spiritual teachings. After lunch, discover Sanga’s highlights, meeting indigenous residents and visiting the arts and crafts market. Later on, take a refreshing dip in the river. Overnight at Pousada Bawary

Traditional indigenous wooden boats on Rio Negro River in São Gabriel da Cachoeira in the Brazilian state of Amazonas

Day 3 - São Gabriel da Cachoeira

Altitude: 93m. After breakfast, spend the day at leisure in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, meeting your guides and the locals. The local indigenous ethnic groups keep essential and unique medicinal plants, music, painting, and traditions of the Amazon alive. Learn about their way of life — their culture, challenges, and reality. After lunch at the community, organize your luggage and finalize arrangements. You may separate (up to 12kg) of equipment in a separate dry backpack. If Covid test is still compulsory, then this will also be done during this last day of preparation. There is also time for some last-minute purchases such as mosquito repellent. Overnight at Pousada Bawary

Traditional indigenous houses on Rio Negro River in São Gabriel da Cachoeira in the Brazilian state of Amazonas

Day 4 - São Gabriel da Cachoeira

Altitude: 93m. After breakfast, you will visits São João Community and immerse in the daily lives of several ethnic groups, including the Baniwa, Tukano, Wanano, Cubeu, Siriano, and Desana, learning about their culture. Their handicrafts are very beautiful and you will also try your hands at it. After lunch at the community, finalize the last minute purchases and organization of the expedition equipment. In the afternoon you will meet your expedition leaders and guides for a briefing about the next day logistics. Overnight in São Gabriel da Cachoeira at Pousada Bawary.

Day 5 - Equator Line to Maturacá

Altitude: 90m. After breakfast, depart by paved road (~2h, 85 km) to Frente Sul. Pass through the Equator Line at km 28. After ~4h, board the Yanomami flying canoes passing through Ya-mirim, Ya-Grande, Cauaburis and Maturacá streems (7 hours). Images of the immense lush jungle, dark water river, white sand beaches, paradisaical birds and majestic mountains in the backdrop will enchant every visitor. You will be met by the Yanomami elders with a welcome ritual and a traditional local meal. At night the temperature drops reasonably, providing a pleasant chill. Chances of rain always exist, regardless of the time of year. Overnight at AYRCA headquarters, in hammocks.

Day 6 - Maturacá to Irokae Camp

Altitude: 101 m. After breakfast, take a boat trip up the Cauaburis river to the mouth of the Irokae stream (~2 h) to start the real hiking to Irokae camp (6 km, 5 hrs). From here, until arriving at the base of Pico da Neblina, the hike is extremely difficult, with many ups and downs, swamps and intense heat. This area is covered by a dense equatorial forest with various vegetation. The scenery is always changing, unfolding surprises as you advance on the trail. Upon arrival a medical check-up will take place and the staff will prepare camps for sleeping with a basic structure, nets and hammocks. Overnight in hammocks.

Day 7 - Irokae to Bebedouro Novo

Altitude: 866 m. After having breakfast and tidying the camp, you will continue ascending along a very steep path, called Pirambeira (meaning ‘rugged slope’) which passes through very interesting locations such as Barraco da Cutia, Macaco, Romualdo and Bebedouro Velho, heading to the third camp – Bebedouro Novo (~9km, 8 hrs). On the way you will make stops for swimming in the beautiful Cuiabixi river which also has a waterfall. Upon arrival, perform the medical check and set up the camp together. Overnight in hammocks, surrounded by the sounds of nature.

The mountains of Pico da Neblina in the Amazonas state of Brazil

Day 8 - Ascent to Laje

Altitude: 1,619 m. After breakfast take a demanding ascending walk to the fourth camp – Laje (7 km, 5 hours). Along the walk you will observe breathtaking views above the dense rainforest canopy hanging at lower slopes below you. At the same time, as you start advancing to higher altitudes, temperatures will drop to ~15ºC. It is important to have comfortable cloths and walking shoes. Drink plenty of water. Upon arrival, set up the camp and spend time for acclimatization. After a rewarding dinner, rest and sleep. Overnight in hammocks with the sounds of nature – right here, you are very far from the entire world.

Luch equatorial vegetation in the rainforest of the Brazilian Amazon

Day 9 - Ascent to Areal

Altitude: 2022 m, temperature: ~15º-18ºC. After breakfast, tidy the camp and continue the further ascent through the pristine rainforest, to the base of Cume, to the next camp, called Areal, located high up in the mountains (8 km – 6 hrs). Today you will walk on a very remote forest trail, which is often quite flooded, with steep ascents. But once up, you will have spectacular view on the dark rocks of the Serra do Imeri, a plateau with deep canyons shared between Brazil and Venezuela. Upon arrival set up the camp and spend the time for acclimatization. Overnight in hammocks.

Trekking expedition deep in the Brazilian Amazon

Day 10 - Pico da Neblina (Yaripo)

Altitude: 2,994 m, temperature: ~ 5ºC. Today is the day to reach the summit. Yaripo (‘where winds cross’)  – a sacred mountain of the Yanomami and the highest peak of Brazil – is often covered by fog. This is the most demanding day of the expedition. Expect strong winds even on calm days. You will start early, at 6:00 am and will walk to the top base (4-5 hours). You will have plenty of time to enjoy the 360° panoramic views, weather permitting. Near the summit, you will find rare plants and wild flowers which are only found there. After spending some time at the top, return to the camp (4-5h). Overnight in hammocks.

Pico da Neblina mountains in the Brazilian Amazon

Day 11 - Descent to Bebedouro Novo

Altitude: 866 m. After resting and a good breakfast prepared by the Yanomami staff, start the descent from the base of the summit to the Bebedouro Novo Camp (15 km – 8 hrs). This is the largest part of the descent and you might feel fatigued, especially in the knees. As you descend, the temperatures start to be warmer now. Observe the rich biodiversity on your way, as the park contains endemic and rare plants and trees, probably some of the most diverse on the planet. Your guides are the natives of the forest and can provide a lot of information about medicinal use of different plants of the forest. Overnight in hammocks.

Day 12 - Descent to Irokae

Altitude: 101 m. After breakfast and tidying the camp, continue the descent from Bebedouro Novo to Irokae (9km – 7 to 8 hrs) along the very steep Pirambeira path. After the challenging last few days on higher altitudes, you will feel relieved to finally reach the lowlands and be back to the river. Today you will have the chance to swim in the Cuiabixi river and relax near its beautiful waterfall. Upon arrival to the camp, perform the medical check and set up the camp together. Overnight in hammocks, contemplating the nature.

Orchid Flower in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest

Day 13 - Return to Maturacá

Altitude: 90m. Today you will continue the return back (6 km – 4 hrs) to Cauaburis river and take a boat to Maturacá. On arrival, visit the women of Kumiryoma Association who make amazing handicrafts. Basketry is the Yanomami’s most outstanding craft. They are made with materials extracted from the forest: lianas, tree bark, roots and natural pigments from seeds and fruits. There is a rich diversity of braids, graphics, patterns and shades, making each piece produced unique. Baskets can be circular and shallow format generally used to store food and small objects. In the evening a special dinner prepared by the Yanomami cooks will be offered. Overnight at AYRCA headquarters, in hammocks.

Boat on the Amazon river in Brazil

Day 14 - São Gabriel da Cachoeira

Altitude: 93 m. After breakfast, leave the community and board the flying canoes, passing through Ya-mirim, Ya-Grande, Cauaburis and Maturacá streems, to the port of Frente-Sul (7 hours). After saying good-bye to the Yanomami guides, continue by road to Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira. The estimated arrival date is in the late afternoon. Spend the evening at leisure, relaxing your body. This incredible and at the same time challenging expedition will be concluded with a special reception and celebration dinner. What a trip! Overnight at Pousada Bawary.

Amazon river with coca-cola colour deep in the Brazilian rainforest

Day 15 - São Gabriel da Cachoeira

Today spend the day at leisure. This is a back-up day for any itinerary changes or unforeseen circumstances during the expedition. Relax on the beach or visit some of the communities in the area. The river has an intense coca-cola colour and the sand is white and soft. Think back on the past two weeks – what a privilege to be here, in the heart of the Earth’s lungs,  to walk the remote trails, spend time with indigenous people and breath the air of the virgin rainforest. We are sure this will become of the best experiences for anybody who tried. Overnight at Pousada Bawary.

Brazilian Amazon Tribesmen

Day 16 - Manaus

Today is the day of your departure. After breakfast the transfer back to Manaus will be organised according to your flight departure. Admire the vastest of the Amazon from above, following with your eyesight the serpent rivers till you cannot see their end. After the short flight (~1,5h), upon arrival in the capital of Amazonas, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Manaus has a good selection of excellent restaurants with local specialties. A special Amazonian dinner is worthwhile, without doubt. Overnight at Vila Amazonia.

the sumptuous interior of the Amazon Theatre - the opera house from Manaus in Brazil

Day 17 - Departure

Today is the day of your departure. After breakfast the transfer back to Manaus Airport will be organised according to your flight departure. Say good buy to the Amazon after two long weeks of adventure. If you would like to continue your journey to the other parts of Brazil, we recommend spending some time in the south-east, in the marvelous bay of Rio de Janeiro, taking in some sun on its numerous beaches. Alternatively, Bahia is another marvelous beach destination in Brazil, if you are looking for a more of the beaten path experience. Check out our other itineraries for more ideas and trips.

Juma Opera Hotel, a small boutique pousada located in the historic centre of Manaus in Brazil

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