Here we have our ongoing regular tour schedule. We will be sticking with tested places and times, so the only real variable will be the weather. For the Fall and Winter tour schedules we expect mostly excellent weather, and for the late spring and early Summer ones we can always expect some rain... but the plants will be there. Each tour will be linked to its own page. For custom tours you can contact me by email.

As for exploratory trips, they are continuing to happen every year which is basically what have been going on every year. As always, I try to visit several areas that I know for many years to check their present status and see some new and promising areas.

Basically, those tours are still limited to 8-9 participants but sometimes down to 3-4 depending mostly on the vehicle capacity. As our tours include most or all travel by land, choices of vehicles are very important in terms of mobility and comfort. In areas where we go through long stretches of unpaved roads and/or more remote locations, passenger vans are usually not very practical or even not possible at all and in this case smaller vehicles limit passenger capacity. We are still not planning larger groups, as it is difficult to give everybody the due attention all the time and those will need larger vehicles anyway that are not practical for many of the areas we visit. And still, it will be difficult or even impossible to find accommodations for larger groups in some smaller towns.



April / May:    Minas Gerais mountains

Laelia_caulescens_habitat

This is a tour to Minas Gerais, in a time of the years where most people don't think there is much in flower. Not the case though, at this time we have Hoffmannseggella caulescens in full flower, and also H. flavasulina and Sophronitis brevipedunculata among others. It is also a very good time of the year to travel in terms of weather, usually with sunny days and comfortable temperatures.
     We start in Belo Horizonte, where we visit one of the best shows where Cattleya walkeriana is the featured species. That will give people an idea of what is being produced and/or grown in Brazil in terms of the species. From there, we are going to see Hoffmannseggella caulescens in the habitat and afterwards head to the Caraça. From there, we will spend a few days in Diamantina and return through São Tomé das Letras to see Hoffmannseggella flavasulina in the wild. Midway, we will check other possible remaining habitats for Hoffmannseggella endsfeldzii as the main habitat is destroyed.
     This is a 12-day tour, all by land so we have total flexibility for stopping and tweaking the schedule. All stops should be easy with orchids essentially close by or even at the roadside... Except of course if we put together an adventurous and well prepared group willing to hike up the Itambé Peak...

Road Tour limited to 3-4 people plus myself.



July / August :   Minas Gerais mountains

Laelia_kettieana_habitat

This is an exclusive road trip, and again this allows for maximum flexibility. Which is good as we will have a chance to explore the roadside a lot, especially around Diamantina. Besides out typical rupicolour laelias, we are going to look for Constantia cristinae and other small species that hide on the sides of the boulders. We are also going to drive quite a bit north of Diamantina, looking for Hoffmannseggella mirandae and its natural hybrid with H. rupestris. Extending the trip north to Grão-Mogol is very interesting as we will go from the typical dry vegetation around Diamantina to progressively even drier conditions and will be able to see how the rupicolous orchids cope with this.
     But before aiming north, we are going to stay a couple of days in the Caraça, always a high point on these tours as we can enjoy the good vibes and see a lot of stuff. And of course, the Maned Wolves are always an attraction.
     We are going to use a small vehicle to be fast and nimble, as distances to cover are extensive and there is a lot to see.


Road Tour limited to 3-4 people plus myself.



August / September :    Minas Gerais mountains & Goiás

Cattleya_nobilior_habitat

This tour is different in a sense as we will have a chance to visit the dry interior region of the country.I have been wanting to go check again the habitat of Cattleya nobilior amaliae since my last visit in 2009, and combining it with a visit to Minas Gerais makes for a varied schedule. Even though I would prefer to go to Goiás first and then back to Minas Gerais, going first to Minas Gerais allows us to get a bit more into the flowering season off Cattleya nobilior.
     But even for Minas Gerais standards, this one will be a bit different. There is a lot to see and the Caraça is always a nice place to stay.
     Again, small group and small vehicles as accomodations are limited in the small interior towns.


Tour limited to 3-4 people plus myself.



October:    Chapada Diamantina & Minas Gerais mountains

Laelia_sincorana_habitat

This is the first of two tours to the Chapada Diamantina and and the Serra do Espinhaço. The Serra do Espinhaço is the southernmost half of the central mountain range, and in the state of Minas Gerais. The northern half, in the state of Bahia, is called the Chapada Diamantina. This is a varied and very rich tour in terms of what we are going to see. Not just the orchids, but also bromeliads, cacti and vellozias are extremely abundant (as are representatives of many other flowering plant families) In some areas, vellozias grow very large and many orchids grow on them as this Hadrolaelia sincorana shown above. We will be flying from Rio to Salvador and then do a round trip returning to Salvador.
     After flying to Belo Horizonte, we will start our roundrip around the mountains in Minas Gerais, finishing in Rio. We will stay a couple of days in the Caraça, where besides the orchids we will see the Maned Wolves that are fed every night. Afterwards, we will spend a few days in Diamantina, where orchids and many other plants are plentiful with a lot of them being in flower this time of the year. There will be a lot of plants of Hoffmannseggella briegeri, H. kleberi and H. tereticaulis in flower, besides of course other things so it is a very good time of the year to visit.
     If any of the participants is interested in staying in Rio after the tour, we have an option for that and also can give any advice needed for a safe and enjoyable stay in the city for the cases people decide to stay by themselves.


Tour limited to 8-9 people plus myself.



November:    Chapada Diamantina & Minas Gerais mountains

Laelia_briegeri_habitat

This tour is pretty much the same as the previous one, and the reason that I am planning two very similar trips is that flowerings are a bit different with a few week's difference. For example, in October you have the peak of Hoffmannseggella pfisteri and in November is the turn off H. bahiensis. Of course you can find them in flower at both times but percentages shift. The same with the sincoranas, in some areas they flower earlier than on others. The same is true in Minas Gerais, and for me doing two trips doubles the chance of good photos and also allows visiting different places.
     In Minas Gerais, most of the same species will be in flower as in October, and again less kleberis but more briegeris (shown here) for example.
     And again, the option for a stay in Rio after the trip is available.

Tour limited to 8-9 people plus myself.



November / December:    South Brazil

Laelia_purpurata_habitat

In this last tour of the year, we fly to South Brazil to visit two orchid shows, which are some of the best for late season purpuratas (mostly the dark-flowered ones), We are also going to see purpuratas growing in the habitat, like the one seen in the above picture. It is amazing how we can still see plants like this growing naturally. Cattleya leopoldii is also starting, and the shows usually have quite a few of them on display. Participants will have the chance to see high-quality plants and also meet some of the best orchid growers in South Brazil. Depending on specific orchid shows to visit, tour can start in late November or early December.
     After that we will fly back to Rio where we end our trip.

Tour limited to 8-9 people plus myself.