Contrary to common belief (guilty as charged), observation towers aren’t only meant for avid bird watchers, and they must be experienced during your Brazil wildlife safari. Many lodges have their own tower, and while varying in height, all offer fantastic views and magical landscapes. The best time to climb the 50 metre steel tower of the Cristalino Lodge – an actual architectural feat in itself – is before 6am, for a breathtaking display of natural world magic as the Amazon jungle slowly comes to life. Towering above the canopy, you’ll see an abundance of birds that would have been impossible to spot from down below: scarlet macaws, spangled cotinga, white-bellied parrot and toucan to name only a few, and, if you’re lucky, the coveted harpy eagle.
These outings also provide great opportunities for mammal lovers, as your vantage point means you’re able to see playful groups of monkeys searching for fruit or water in the branches. White-nose saki and red-handed howler monkeys are commonly seen from Cristalino’s main tower. From up there, the sounds of the rain forest will also leave you with an everlasting memory and give a great sense of the abundance of wildlife and activity that lies beneath your feet.My favourite observation tower in Brazil: at the end of an easy 1km trail, passing by coati, caiman and sleeping capybaras, Araras Eco Lodge features a 25 metre observation tower. While not as high as the 50 meters at Cristalino, the view at sunset was spectacular. With our backs to Bolivia – about 300km west from here – the Pantanal looked stunning in that golden light, and below us we had a deafening concert, courtesy of a hundred white egrets. The moment was perfectly enchanting!