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“Hummingbird Central” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Serra Dos Tucanos

Serra Dos Tucanos
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Serra Dos Tucanos
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Cachoeiras do Macacu, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   |  
Hotel amenities
Toronto
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Hummingbird Central”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

Our group of eight stayed for 3 nights on a 31/2 week birding trip in Brazil. Our room faced the courtyard so we could get our surfeit of the dozens of hummingbirds constantly buzzing around the feeders. The room was large and comfortable with an adequate bathroom. Since we did not expect gourmet food we were not disappointed in the meals. There was lots of it and tasty. The salads were the same every evening. One of our group was a vegetarian and she was well fed with excellent meals. The free happy hour liquors were interesting with some different flavors. The snacks, beer, wine and pop was were on the honour system and reasonably priced.
If you are a birder this place is nirvana. With the feeders and fruit as well as the forest edge there was a constant supply of many different species including many Atlantic Rain Forest endemics. Cirilo our guide was excellent. He has a great ear. He took us on many walks both around the lodge and higher up in the Park. The blind is a great place to get close up photos of birds. Keep your eyes open since there were new birds in the yard everyday. The whole Tres Picos park is well worth a visit. If we go back we will stay there again.
The staff does not speak English but does understand Spanish. They were helpful and friendly.

Room Tip: Ask for one that exits on the courtyard
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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17 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Kentucky
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2010

My wife and I, both leisurely birders, spent four and one-half days at Serra dos Tucanos at the end of May 2010. Serra's grounds are located in a lush valley within the mountainous and protected Tres Picos National Park. A former banana plantation which has been allowed to regrow into forest, the grounds are lovely and many tanagers, honeycreepers, euphonias, hummers and a couple of toucanet species can easily be found at the feeders. A bird blind offers the chance for good photos.

Serra offers eleven excursions, so if it rains--and it did for two days--you can go over the mountain to the dry areas and bird there. We did just that--taking the Three-toed Jacamar excursion which got us 44 species (the record for that trip is 124) including the rare jacamar, Red-legged seriema (eating a snake), Black-capped donacopius, Streamer-tailed tyrant, and Firewood-gatherer with its enormous nest. The new guide, Cirilo, is quite good. Surucua trogons and blue manakins are among the species easily found in the forest.

The lodge is reasonably priced, the food is quite good and plentiful (with free cachacas (rum) samples before dinner) and Serra is easily accessible (the lodge will transport you to and from the Rio airport--about a two-hour drive).

Only six percent of the Atlantic Rainforest remains (its mountainous terrain responsible for what's left). It is beautiful countryside with some spectacular birds, and this is a very nice place to observe them.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, England
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2009

There is no doubt the location and the birds to be seen there make the trip worthwhile. The gardens are beautiful and well maintained with plenty of space and different habitats to see a variety of birds. The birding was excellent and the hummingbird feeders, fruit tables and the hide all catered to this main objective of a stay. The resident guide, Pete, was also excellent and had great knowledge of the birds and environment in general and tried to make sure everyone saw the birds they were looking for. I was a newbie on the trip with others who'd been there 10 days, but he still made sure I saw the common species that they'd already seen.
However, I do have two areas of criticism about the place. The first is the quality of the food with respect to the price paid. I paid R$240 for a single room (about £73) full board. Based on my Rio experience I would say that that is quite pricey and I really was expecting better food, and on their site they make a thing about good food. However, breakfast was the same every morning and the fruit juice was re-constituted or from a tetrabrik - really a cardinal sin in a country where all fruit juice is freshly pressed. Yes, the lodge is in a rural setting, but not far from the nearest town. Also the packed lunch includes a tasteless apple (every day) - again how boring compared with the vast wealth of fruit that the country has. Even the birds were better fed with bananas! For me coming from apple country (UK) they were a real let down. Also there was a lack of imagination in the packed lunch and it was barely enough to sustain me on an energetic day. The evening meal was similarly lacking in variety (same salads etc). If you are there for 10-14 days, they do really need to make an effort with the food. And for the price paid I think they could have done better.
Secondly, things were rather proscriptive and there seemed to be a few rules. e.g. don't sit on the sofa in wet clothes, don't stain the bed linen with insect spray etc. All fairly obvious, but they felt the need to spell it out and threaten a fine for the latter. Also they were very explicit on what tips you should give the staff. Again, was that necessary ? One wonders how much they pay the six staff. Was the lodge run for them or for the paying customers ? It did not seem as laid back as it ought to be.
Maybe their target market, the birder, doesn't care for the quality of the food and needs to be given these rules, but I somehow doubt it. I also found it very petty that you needed to print off the lodge tick list yourself and bring it with you. Why couldn't they splash out on a few pages of A4 for guests ? Also, there was no internet, which might have been quite useful for identifying birds etc and posting photos etc.
So, in summary, OK for birding, but really they must try harder with the hospitality. I also feel the place is getting a little run down and needs some money investing on it.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The quality of the food and the rules.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2007

Serra Dos Tucanos:

My wife and I spent just two nights at Serra Dos Tucanos during our honeymoon in August 2007. We added the short stay to our itinerary after I decided, as a birder, that it would be a travesty not to spend at least a little time in the Atlantic rainforest.

Accommodations and food: The room was excellent – clean, roomy, and with a lovely balcony overlooking the courtyard, where all the hummingbird feeders and fruit tables are. We could see dozens of species right from our room! The food was good, but not exceptional, and all three meals were provided. Beverages (sodas, beer, and caipirhinhas) were added to the room tab at a very reasonable rate. The lodge provides treated local spring water free of charge for guests to drink at the lodge and fill their water bottles for the field.

Surroundings: The lodge has a beautiful courtyard loaded with birds (thanks to numerous nectar and fruit feeders). Surrounding the immediate grounds are a few trails leading into the rainforest. Several more trails at higher elevations can be found a short drive from the lodge. Occasionally a noisy truck can be heard passing on the nearby highway, but the surroundings are otherwise quite peaceful. We stayed close to the lodge for our short stay, taking one half-day hike on the Bamboo Trail, some 15km distant.

Birds: the birding here was excellent, with many of the more common Atlantic forest species coming right to the feeders. We picked up a few dozen more species on our unguided hike on the Bamboo Trail (undoubtedly a guided hike would have yielded many more!). Photography of the birds visiting the feeders was also very productive, but be prepared to use high ISOs much of the time. When it’s clear, however, you’ll get good light on the feeders in the late afternoon.

Overall, a great stop for birders, with lots of species, including plenty of Atlantic forest endemics.

  • Liked — They cater to birders, be aware of that. It's a bird lodge!
  • Disliked — They cater to birders, be aware of that. It's a bird lodge!
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serra Dos Tucanos

Address: Cachoeiras do Macacu, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro
Hotel Style:
Ranked #66 of 470 Specialty Lodging in Rio de Janeiro
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Serra Dos Tucanos Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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