Untamed Angling has done it again! The “Jungle Experts” are developing another exciting partnership with the indigenous communities in Brazil, Amazonia and are unveiling a brand new, exploratory destination in the fall of 2019 – Xingu!
The Xingu River, much like the Iriri River at Kendjam, flows over granite bedrock, running clear and allowing for sight-fishing opportunities for a broad variety of species. Anglers will see fish sipping and rolling on the surface like trout – including insect-eating pacu and matrinxas – while aggressive predators like peacock bass, bicuda, and wolf fish also lurk along the deeper edges, ready to attack poppers or streamers.
But what really sets Xingu apart from anywhere else in the Amazon are the impressive numbers of large Payara. These “vampire fish” are famous for their impressive orthodonture, and while they make for impressive photos they are also one of the hardest-hitting, strongest fighting fish in the Amazon Basin.
This is an adventurous trip in the middle of an extremely remote tropical jungle area, and all anglers must be physically and mentally prepared. You will see and experience many new things! You will want to come into this adventure with an open, exploratory mind. And, most importantly, respect for the land of the Kayapo warriors. It is their territory and their river, protected by their “warrior spirit” for centuries.
2020 Reservations & Rates
The cost of the week-long Xingu package is:
• $6,490 per angler double occupancy - room/guide/boat
• $530 Native Fee Payable in Manaus
• $10,850 per angler in single occupancy - private room/boat/guide
• Extra Night in Manaus $95 per room
Native Community Fee / All charter flights and boat transfers / All necessary ground transfers in Brazil / 6 days fishing, fully guided / 7 night, all inclusive: camp lodging, meals, and beverage / One overnight at the Quality Suites Hotel in Manaus on arrival / Guided- fishing with one pro fly fishing guide and two Indian guides per two anglers / Fishing licenses.
International air fare / Brazilian visa (if applicable) / Tips and gratuities for camp staff and guides / Food and beverages in Manaus and private city tours / Airport departure tax / satellite phone calls
The Kayapo Natives (where Xingu is located) have formed a board to protect their interests moving forward. This board includes representatives from all communities inside the Kayapo Indian. The leaders of the association have made the decision to implement a significant user tax on all visiting anglers. The funds from the tax will be used primarily for social projects, infra structure development, transportation, medical and education projects. The tax will be $530 per person for a full lodge trip.
The tax will be payable in cash in Brazil. This fee represents an important step in the continuing effort to protect our ability to continue to share this amazing and unique part of the world.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Insurance Information
Seasons at Xingu
The fishing season runs during the dry part of the year, from late May through late November in the Xingu and Iriri region. The dry season is characterized by lack of rain, low water levels and clear water that allows for great fishing throughout the entire river system, including its numerous tributaries. The Xingu project will operate during the lowest water months, when Payara fishing is best. This species prefers the deepest parts of the river bed during the dry season, while at times of high water the fish spread into flooded forest and became difficult to find. The best fishing season for Payara in the Xingu runs from September to November.
This dry season is characterized by hot and breezy days, cool nights and very few bugs. This is a pleasant time of year that the Kayapó refer to simply as “nice”.
Getting to Xingu
Manaus is the launch point for this expedition and is a rather large city, situated on the banks of the Rio Negro. It is the supply center and hub for outlying communities in the Amazon Jungle. Most of the eco-tourism and sportfishing operations, as well as scientific expeditions, are based out of Manaus. The city has a wonderful complement of places to visit, including the Amazonas Theater, The Palace "Río Negro", the Floating Port, the Municipal Market Adolpho Lisboa, the Forest of Science, the Museum of Natural Science, as well as the Aboriginal Fair, where you can buy items made by the Indians. You are also strongly encouraged to visit the massive Fish Market, an experience no one regrets.
There are many options to arrive to Manaus, whose international airport receives daily flights from Miami, Panama, Lima, San Paulo and Buenos Aires. Most US guests will reserve flights to Manaus out of either Miami (American Airlines) or Panama City (Copa Airlines). While many of the “convenient” routes from the US go through Miami, we’ve found travel through Panama City to be a great alternative option with good connections and tends to be the preferred route for our travel staff whenever possible.
We recommend working with Alicia Regueiro at Holdy Tours (1-800-446-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for the schedule that will best suit your trip and to book your flights. Alicia is familiar with the flight logistics and can secure some very competitive fares.
Sunday, The day before scheduled arrival at camp:
Arrive at Manaus International Airport. Guests will greeted by our English speaking representative/transfer driver. They will arrange for transfers to the Quality Hotel Manaus. You and another angler will be put up in a Double Occupancy room at the Quality Hotel Manaus for the night (included in the trip package). The transfer staff will let you know when they will pick you up at the hotel the next morning, to take you to the charter airport. They will also collect the Native Community Fee ($400) from you at this time.
We often recommend arriving in Manaus a day earlier rather than late on Sunday night – this helps buffer you against possible airline delays or lost luggage into Manaus, and will give you a day to enjoy what Manaus has to offer. This is important as there is only one charter flight a week to Xingu. Booking your arrival to Manaus too close to this charter flight time could prove highly problematic – if you arrive too late for it, getting your own private charter flight would be enormously expensive, if not impossible. Quite a few people opt to come in a day early as this virtually eliminates this potential problem. It costs an additional hotel night, but for many it is worth it, for the peace of mind.
Monday – Early Monday morning, the Untamed Angling host/driver will pick the group up at the Quality Suites Hotel Manaus and take you to the domestic airport for the private charter flight to the Kayapo village of Pukararãnkre on the right bank of the Xingu River. The flight from Manaus to Xingu is operated by a 5-passenger Beechcraft Baron plane, and normally departs around 6:30 am. The flight duration is between 3 to 4 hours, and may stop to refuel depending on weight, wind velocity, etc. Pukararãnkre village is located 590 miles southeast from Manaus and the plane will land on a dirt airstrip right in the Indian Community.
Upon arrival at the Indian Community, you will be met by the guides and staff. There will be a “Meet and Greet” providing anglers time to discover the Kayapo culture, social organization and more. We will present the group to the Indian chiefs and a brief orientation of the fishing week will be made. Afterwards, the group will head upstream to the camp (15-20 minutes) by boat. It’s a great opportunity to see the spectacular river scenery, including the jungle landscape, birds, animals, even some fish in the clear waters of the Xingu. Upon arrival to the camp, the fishing team and staff will serve lunch and anglers will have a brief explanation of the daily fishing plans and the exploratory trip plans.
6 Full Fishing Days:
Each day teams of two anglers will head out for the day, fishing downstream the Xingu river and its countless channels, rapids, lakes, and tributaries. Each two anglers will share a professional, English speaking fly fishing guide, along with a local native guide in an aluminum boat.
Monday Departure from Xingu:
In the morning, guests will be transferred by boat to the Pukararãnkre Community landing strip to fly back to Manaus. On the return flight we will stop in Itaituba Airstrip to refuel and then continue on to Manaus. You will arrive in Manaus around mid/late afternoon (assuming no flight delays), then transferred to the international airport or to the hotel if you have requested a day room. Please be sure to arrange departing flights for later than 6:00 pm.
Most anglers will be departing on the late night American Airlines flight, departing Manaus for Miami at around midnight that night or Copa Airlines to Panama City at 3:30 am (technically the next day).
If you do not feel like taking the red eye out of Manaus that night, another night’s stay at the Quality Suites Hotel Manaus (or another hotel) can be arranged; this would not be included in the package, and we will need to know as far in advance as possible if you will need this extra hotel night. Should this be the case, the transfer driver will pick you up the following day, according to your flight departure time, and deliver you to the International Airport.
Lodging at Xingu
The Xingu Camp is located on the banks of the Xingu River, looking out over a gorgeous rapid and pool. Accommodations are comfortable, comprised of two double occupancy Serengeti- style safari tents with box spring beds, a bathroom, hot water and electric light. Generators will provide full electric power every night.
An added bonus of this unique Xingu pre-season trip will be the presence of biologists at camp. The Kayapo Xingu wilderness is rich in wildlife, including many mammal and bird species listed as threatened or
endangered but that are abundant in Kayapo territory. For example, from camp you can expect to see troops of the endangered and entertaining white-whiskered spider monkeys, as well as many of the world’s largest parrot/macaw species - the famous brilliant blue hyacinth macaw. The biologists will be scouting wildlife viewing locations and putting out camera traps. Camera trap photos will be reviewed in camp at the end of each week. We can expect to see many shots of exciting Amazonian animals.
The 2019 Xingu exploratory season will further investigate fishing this huge clear water river, especially for big Payara but also for other species. Only four anglers per week will fish this magnificent wilderness, over a brief, three-week season. As this is a trip in a remote tropical jungle area, all anglers should be physically and mentally prepared.
Anglers should be of adventurous spirit, but most of all they must respect the Kayapó people and the land they inhabit. This is their territory and river, which they have protected against invasion and destruction by settlers, ranchers, loggers and miners for centuries with warrior tradition.
For a great resource on the people and history of the Kayapo nation, take a moment to read the article in National Geographic Magazine, issue January 2014.
Here is the link to the Nat Geo article on Kendjam/Kayapo:
Brief Video Interview with the author:
Fishing at Xingu
Anglers will enjoy an all-inclusive package (excluding International flights), with six days of fishing, plus seven nights lodging at camp, and the first night’s hotel accommodations in Manaus. The concept is to move up or downstream every day in aluminum boats, exploring new waters and following the best fishing, so that everyone will be casting at fresh fish in new waters. Although there will be some wade-fishing opportunities, much of the fishing will be fishing from the boats, Amazon-style.
The Xingu basin offers one of the most prolific multi-species fishery in the Amazon and probably of all freshwater rivers on earth. This high fish species diversity can be attributed to the nutrients and food entering the river from the forest combined with minerals in the river that support prolific plankton growth. The clear water transmits sunlight to support plant development and further contributes to lower levels of the food chain. Several fish species eat these plants and are then consumed by other fish species higher up the food chain. The Xingu offers many different habitats for fish: oxbows, pools, channels, lakes, lagoons, riffles, rapids and waterfalls. The consequence of all this, is unparalleled fish species diversity.
The waters of the Xingu and Iriri are clear because they drain the ancient Brazilian granite shield, in contrast to most large Amazon rivers which are laden with sediment; e.g., the Madeira, Purus, Solimões and Amazon Rivers. The geological structure of the Xingu river basin forms a high diversity of subhabitat that are used by more than 700 species of fish. Anglers can target various species using different techniques all in the same stretch of river.
When Untamed Angling scouted the waters of Xingu River and its tributaries, they found a magnificent clear water system with many fish species, especially for big Payaras on the fly.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• INCREDIBLY DIVERSE JUNGLE FLY FISHING EXPERIENCE
Xingu is an incredibly diverse fishery, featuring opportunities to target multiple different species on the fly on any given day, many of which most anglers have never even heard of! Imagine sight-casting with dry flies for Matrinxas and Pacu, which eat insect imitations typically jump when hooked like a wild trout. Or casting large streamers for powerful peacock bass, or lightning-fast bicudas - a barracuda-like freshwater predator that will crush your fly and burn your fingers when they run. What really sets Xingu apart from anywhere else in the Amazon are the impressive numbers of large Payara. These “vampire fish” are famous for their impressive orthodonture, and while they make for impressive photos they are also one of the hardest-hitting, strongest fighting fish in the Amazon Basin. Every cast can bring a different fish to hand, all of them prone to take well-presented flies and put up a fight you’ll never forget.
• A CULTURAL ODYSSEY
The Xingu experience is far more than a mere fishing trip; it is a cultural odyssey beyond compare. The Kayapo Tribe is famous for defeating a dam, protecting its lands, and preserving the culture of their tribe for generations. Anglers at Xingu will have the opportunity to meet the tribe, including traditional body paint and tribal ceremonies. You’ll return home with a cultural experience that few others have been privileged to witness. Anglers at Xingu have exclusive access to a huge, protected area. The Xingu River and its tributaries are located inside the Mekragnoti Indian Territory and the ESEC Terra do Meio Ecological Reserve, an environment of more than 800 kilometers of rivers and streams, completely un-impacted from the modern world. Most of this area has never been seen, let alone fished, by outsiders! You’ll be among the first to witness this area, casting to myriad exotic fish species that have never before seen a fly.
• THE MOST RESPECTED JUNGLE OUTFITTER IN THE WORLD
The Xingu Fly Fishing Adventure is outfitted by the “Jungle Guys” Untamed Angling, the most experienced and recognized jungle outfitters in the world; the same fanatic anglers that discovered Tsimane, the Dorado fishing destination in Bolivia and the giant peacock bass fishery on the Rio Marie’. These folks are pros with years of operating experience in the Jungle; you are in very capable hands. The management and staff will take care of all the logistics, support and mechanics of the trip, all you have to do is fish as hard as you can and enjoy the experience.
• GIVING BACK TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Xingu is part of an award winning collaborative program between local Indigenous Indians the Brazilian Government and Untamed Angling in an effort to promote conservation, sustainability and culture. Your dollars help the local native people by providing funding for health care and access to education. Additionally, you help support one of the most comprehensive and aggressive scientific studies of peacock bass, and jungle environs they habitat by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). A portion of your dollars are making a difference in native’s life and the understanding and conservation of the Amazon Jungle and its native species.