Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I get to the lodge?
- What is the best time of year to visit for birdwatching?
- What is the climate like?
- What are the entry requirements for Brazil?
- What inoculations do I need?
- Has the Zika virus been recorded around REGUA?
- Do I need travel insurance?
- What should I bring?
- What literature do you recommend?
- Is there a laundry service available at the lodge?
- Are vegetarian meals available at the lodge?
- Are there internet and telephone facilities at the lodge?
- Are there power sockets to charge my camera and devices?
- Do the lodge staff speak English?
- Are there any shops nearby?
- How do I make a booking?
The nearest international airport to us is Rio de Janeiro Galeão – Antônio Carlos Jobim (IATA airport code: GIG), about 80 km away. Note that many airlines do not fly direct to Rio de Janeiro, but via São Paulo.
From Rio de Janeiro there are three ways to get to us: by hire car, public bus or our private transfer service. The journey time is approximately 1.5 hours. See our location page for further details and a map. Top ⇧
Any time of year is good, with different times of the year providing different birding opportunities. In south-east Brazil, September to November is spring, when many birds are breeding and much more vocal, making them much easier to find. Between April and August birds are calling less but this is the peak time for large mixed species flocks. These flocks are often so large and contain so many species that you can easily spend an hour or more sorting through them. The temperature at this time is cooler and so the birds are also often highly active throughout the day. The peak time or visiting birders is between late July and November. Top ⇧
Most of the trails at REGUA are at a relatively low altitude and therefore the climate is warmer than higher up in the mountains. Between October and March the temperature is hot and rain is frequent. The winter months of April to September bring cooler and drier weather, often with prolonged periods with no rain. Top ⇧
To visit Brazil on holiday British nationals do not require a visa and may stay in Brazil for up to 90 days. If your passport has less than 90 days until expiry on the date you arrive in Brazil, you may be refused entry. Similarly, you may be refused entry if you plan to travel to other countries from Brazil and your passport has less than six months until expiry. Furthermore, some airlines will not allow you to fly with less than six months remaining on your passport. Check with your travel agent if you have any doubts. Note that it is Brazilian law that you carry your passport (or a photocopy) with you at all times, including on all lodge excursions. Top ⇧
We recommended that you contact your doctor or a travel clinic for advice on which inoculations you will need. A good source of information for UK visitors is the NHS National Services Scotland Fit for Travel website. Note that if you are entering Brazil from a country that is known to have yellow fever and you cannot prove you have been vaccinated, you may be denied entry. Top ⇧
The Zika virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes and for most people it is a very mild infection and isn’t harmful. However it is more serious for pregnant women as there’s evidence it causes birth defects – in particular, abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika is found across almost all of South and Central America, some of the southern US States, India, parts of Africa and south-east Asia including Indonesia and Malaysia. The standard advice to people travelling to these areas is to use insect repellent and wear loose clothing that covers arms and legs. To date (January 2017) we are not aware of any cases of Zika in the Cachoeiras municipality in which REGUA is located.
We strongly advise guests to take out a suitable travel insurance policy to protect against medical emergency, personal accident, cancellation, curtailment, money and passport, and baggage. Note we are unable to advise on travel insurance. Top ⇧
Other essential items to bring include:
- Good quality and sturdy walking boots/shoes
- Light-weight waterproof jacket
- Light-weight and quick-drying trousers
- Long and short-sleeved quick-drying T-shirts or shirts
- A rimmed hat or a cap
- Insect repellent
- Sun-tan lotion
- A small rucsac (for walks)
- Swimwear (for the pool)
- Two pin plug adapter
- A small torch (for any night excursions)
- A lens cloth
- A water bottle
It can also be very humid so it is worth bringing some packs of silica gel (available from camera shops) to keep binoculars, cameras and electrical equipment moisture free. Top ⇧
In 2015, REGUA published the first field guide to the birds of the Serra dos Órgãos region in south-east Brazil (ISBN-13: 9788591915705). This photographic guide features 875 images of more than 500 species of birds that can be found at REGUA and in the wider Serra dos Órgãos mountain range. Copies are available in the UK from the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust or worldwide from NHBS.
The best field guide currently available covering all the birds of the Brazil is A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil, Ber van Perlo, 2009 (ISBN-13: 9780195301557). NHBS in the UK offer worldwide delivery and also pay REGUA a small commission for each copy sold.
For those hiring a car, the best map to use is the Brazilian Mapa Rodoviario 2006 Rio de Janeiro (1:500,000), published by Guia Quatro Rodas. This map covers the whole of Rio de Janeio state, shows the national parks and also includes good city maps and a distances chart as well. The map is available in the UK at Stanfords, or locally in Brazil. Top ⇧
Yes, with the exception of underwear and socks. There is an additional small charge. Note that all laundry is line-dried, so drying times vary depending on the weather. Top ⇧
Yes, please state your dietary requirements at the point of booking. Top ⇧
The lodge has free Wi-Fi available to guests. Unfortunately the telephone may only be used by guests for emergency calls. However, there are public telephones in Guapiaçu village (about a 50 minute walk away) and also in the nearby town of Cachoeiras de Macacu (about a 30 minute drive away). Also some mobile phone networks work at higher elevations on the reserve. Top ⇧
110 volt electricity sockets are located all over the lodge for you to use. We also have 220 volt electricity in the dining area and at the REGUA office if required. Top ⇧
Nicholas and Raquel Locke speak English as well as Portuguese (and Raquel speaks Spanish), and our bird guide Adilei speaks some basic English. Most other REGUA staff speak Portuguese only. Our volunteer lodge host and bird guides also speak English. Top ⇧
There are a couple of shops and bars in the nearby villages of Guapiaçu and Matumbo, where you can buy drinks, snacks, batteries and other supplies. Top ⇧