Xingu River Lodge - Brazil
Flies or Lures for Giant Payara and More
The Xingu is a trophy Payara and Peacock Bass Destination on the Xingu River (pronounced Shin-Goo). The Xingu River Sportfishing Project is in the southeastern Amazon of Brazil in the spectacular rainforest wilderness territory of the Kayapo indigenous people. Our outfitter has exclusive access to these protected waters and has received official authorization from the Brazilian government. The new Xingu River Lodge is limited to eight anglers per week. You should be physically fit and mentally prepared for this jungle fishing adventure.
Xingu River - Exploratory Recap
Quick Recap: During the 2019 Exploratory trip, 30 payara were landed. The fish averaged 12 pounds, and the largest was 20 pounds!
"The water levels of the Xingu River rose and dropped during the entire week, but only by small amounts (approximately 10cm). The water remained clear and hot (28-30°C), and the fish were very active. Rock structures were exposed, which meant the fish, including the payara, were very concentrated and active! The best spots for trying to catch payara are the larger and deeper pools, and there were plenty of these within the vicinity of our camp. The majority of the fishing was by boat."
Click here for 2:31 YouTube Video - Xingu Payara.
The Xingu River
The Xingu River in the Kayapo language is known as the “Butire,” the River King. The Xingu is 1,019 miles long and is one of the largest clearwater rivers in the Brazilian Amazon. After leaving the headwaters in the protected Xingu Indigenous Park, the mighty Xingu River flows northward through 22 million acres of virgin primary Amazon forest. The river is on indigenous land and protected by the Kayapo people.
Xingu Fishing Seasons:
Fishing Season: The season runs from August to December during the dry season when water levels are at their lowest. Anglers are allowed to fish throughout the entire river system, including numerous tributaries and lagoons.
Payara prefer the deepest parts of the river; during times of high water, the fish spread into the flooded forest and become difficult to find.
The dry season is characterized by hot and breezy days, cool nights, and very few mosquitoes and black flies. In contrast, the rainy season is characterized by torrential rain, the inundation of rivers and creeks, and annoying clouds of biting insects.
The Rainy season here begins in late November or early December, and the rivers reach their highest levels in March. After the rainy season ends, water clarity improves, and the river levels start to drop. Millions of fish begin their migration upstream to find food. Predatory fish follow this migration, and the pulse of life returns to the headwater system.
Xingu River and Species
The waters of the Xingu and Iriri are impressively clear because they drain ancient Brazilian shield granite, in contrast to most large Amazon rivers, which are laden with sediment. While the granite bedrock makes for good sightfishing opportunities, most fishing is from aluminum boats. There is also some wet wading in clear waters.
Species: The Xingu offers a variety of fish species - matrinxa, wolffish, peacock bass, payara, pacu, bicuda, piranha, red-tailed catfish, vampire fish, and more. All fishing is catch-and-release. Barbless hooks are mandatory. Please avoid unnecessary handling of the fish (to protect them and you).
The river offers many habitats, such as pools, channels, lakes, lagoons, riffles, rapids, and waterfalls.
The New Xingu Lodge
The new Xingu Lodge has four comfortable wooden cabins with boxspring beds, a bathroom, hot water, and electric lights. Two anglers per cabin. Free laundry service is provided. The Lodge sits on the banks of the Xingu River, overlooking a gorgeous home pool. Near the Lodge, the traditional Kayapó family raises crops of cassava, cocoa beans, and other plants that constitute the traditional Kayapo diet.
Meals: Delicious chef-prepared meals are served in the dining room. Filtered water, soft drinks, and juices. With advanced notice, the chef can accommodate special dietary needs.
Electricity: Generated electricity with 110-voltage, the same as the U.S., but the plugs are different, so you'll need to bring an adapter/converter.
Communications: Complimentary Starlink high-speed Wi-Fi internet. There is no cell phone service. A satellite phone is available for guests to use at $5.00 per minute.
Lodge Setting: The Lodge setting is very close to trophy payara and catfish, which inhabit the famous pool in this section of the Xingu River. Abundant wildlife and birds in the area. You can expect to see the white-whiskered spider monkey, large parrot macaws, and the brilliant blue hyacinth macaw. About 6,000 Kayapo Indians live in this enormous area that may also be home to small groups who choose to live in isolation. Six Kayapo villages with a total of 750 inhabitants are located along the bank of the Xingu River in the northern part of Kayapo territory.
Xingu Fishing Facts:
Group Size: The maximum group size is eight anglers, and no groups will ever fish the same water on the same day.
Each day, you'll move up or downstream in aluminum boats, exploring new waters and following the best fishing.
Boats: Aluminum boats with 40 to 50 HP motors. The boats have satellite phones for emergency use and all the necessary safety equipment.
Guides: Two anglers per boat with one professional English-speaking fishing guide and one Kayapo native guide.
Fishing Equipment: Flies or Lures. Single hooks only, no treble hooks. Fly-fishing outfits are provided to guests upon request (Thomas & Thomas rods, Nautilus Reels, and Scientific Anglers Lines). Most of the payara fishing is in surface to deep water levels. They are aggressive predators, and you'll need to be prepared for all situations. Plan on bringing at least two rods; 6 to 10-weight single-handed rods are the norm. Weight Forward lines designed specifically for the tropics and saltwater are what you want. Scientific Anglers Jungle Custom Sink tips are great lines for Payara. You will need a fast sinking sink tip for some specific spots. We recommend a 24-foot 300 to 450-grain sink-tip fly line. You'll also need to bring at least three spools of 40-50 lbs knotable wire leader for the toothy Payara. A comprehensive gear and tackle list is provided in our confirmation packet.
Flies: Flies are available for sale at the camp for $10.00 to $15.00 each, but be sure to bring a good selection as well.
Fishing License is included in the package.
Xingu River Lodge
View from the Deck
Eight-passenger Grand Caravan plane
Getting to Xingu Lodge:
If you are flying from USA, there are two non-stop daily flights from Miami to Manaus, Brazil. American Airlines is the best option. Once you arrive at the Manaus International Airport, you'll be greeted by a Lodge representative who will transfer you to the Tropical Executive Hotel. (The first-night hotel is included in the package.) Early Saturday morning, the host/driver will pick your group up at the hotel and drive you to the domestic airport. At 6:30 a.m., you'll take a private charter flight on an eight-passenger Grand Caravan plane to the Kayapo village of Pukararãnkre on the right bank of the Xingu River. The flight duration is 3.5 hours, depending on whether a fuel stop is needed. The Pukararãnkre village is located 590 miles southeast of Manaus. The plane will land on the Indian Community airstrip. There is a strictly-enforced 40-pound baggage weight limit per person. Please do not bring hard-body luggage.
2023 USD RATES
Rates include one hotel night in Manaus
7-nights at the Lodge and 6-days guided fishing
Two anglers per room and boat:
$6,490.00 per person
Plus a $530.00 Native Comm. Fee
= $7,020.00 per person
One angler per room and boat:
$10,850.00 per person
Plus a $530.00 Native Comm. Fee
$4,200.00 + Native Comm. Fee $420.00
= $4,620.00 per person
2024 USD RATES:7-nights at the Lodge and 6-days guided fishing
Two anglers per room and boat:
$6,944.00 per person
Plus a $567.00 Native Comm. Fee
= $7,511.00 per person
The Packages Include:
• All internal charter flights in Brazil
• Necessary ground transfers in Brazil
• Boat transfers
• One hotel night in Manaus upon arrival
• 7-nights at the Lodge
• All meals at the Lodge
• Wine and spirits with dinner
• Daily laundry service
• 6-days guided fishing
• Use of fly fishing outfits upon request
• Fishing licenses
• Our eBook Fly Fishing for Peacock Bass by Larry and Guy Schoenborn.
The Packages Do Not Include:
• International Airfare
• Native Community Fee - $530.00
• Gratuities to guides and staff
• Fishing equipment
• Flies ($10.00 each)
• Food and beverages in Manaus
• City tours in Manaus
• Satellite phone calls ($5.00 per minute)
• Extra hotel nights
• A Brazilian eVisa is required as of 01/10/2024.
• Global Rescue
• Travel Insurance
• Anything not mentioned under inclusions
• Fishing with Larry now adds a 2.5% convenience fee to all credit card transactions as of 12/2020.
Xingu Lodge Information:
Saturday - Day 1: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. The host will pick up the group at approximately 5:30 a.m. and head to the local airport to board the private charter 8-person Cessna Grand Caravan plane to Pukararãnkre. After 3.5 hours of flight, you'll arrive at the Pukararãnkre Indian Community landing strip, where the guides and staff will be waiting for your group. There will be a “Meet and Greet,” providing anglers time to discover the Kayapo culture, social organization, and more. The group will be introduced to the Indian chiefs, followed by a brief orientation of the fishing week. After that, the group will head upstream to the camp, about 15-20 minutes. It’s a great opportunity for the anglers to see river scenery, birds, animals, and some fish in the Xingu clear waters. After you arrive at camp, you'll settle into your cabin and then enjoy lunch in the dining area. Anglers will use this first afternoon to get situated and prepare their tackle for the following day. In the evening, the guide team will give a brief orientation.
Sunday to Friday - Day 2 to Day 7: Each day, individual teams (2 anglers per guide team) will head out for the day, fishing the Xingu River, its channels, rapids, lakes, and tributaries. Two anglers share a fluent English-speaking fishing guide along with a local native guide in an aluminum boat. Both anglers can fish all day. The schedule will aim for less navigation and more fishing hours.
Typical Fishing Day:
6:00 a.m. - Coffee is hot.
7:00 a.m. - Breakfast.
8:00 a.m. - Head to the fishing grounds.
Noon to 2:00 p.m. - You'll return to camp for lunch.
2:00 p.m. - After lunch, you'll head out for another round of fishing.
6:00 p.m. You'll return to Camp.
7:00 p.m. - Cocktails and appetizers will be served
8:00 p.m. - Dinners will be served.
Saturday - Day 8: In the morning, guests will be transferred downstream by boat to the Pukararankre community landing strip to fly back to Manaus. On the return flight, you'll stop at the Itaituba Airstrip to refuel and then head back to Manaus. You'll arrive in Manaus mid to late afternoon, assuming there are no flight delays. You'll be driven to the international airport or the hotel for day use. If you are departing that day, please book flights after 6:00 p.m.
Extra Night or Day Use Rooms: If you would like an extra night accommodations in Manaus at the Hotel on arrival or departure or would like a day room on your departure day, please let us know. All extra nights and day-use bookings will be paid directly to the hotel.
Xingu River Lodge POLICIES:
A Signed Indemnity Release is Required: The Lodge requires that all guests sign a KNOWLEDGE LETTER, All guests, without exception, must sign the knowledge letter and the terms of responsibility prior to their trip.
Covid Requirements: For vaccinated travelers with Proof of a Covid vaccination, a PCR test is not required before entering an Indigenous Territory. For those who DO NOT have proof of vaccination, you are required to have a negative PCR test in Manaus before arriving at the Lodge. The outfitter can provide a PCR test for $30.00 per person.
In addition, if a client tests POSITIVE, we are going to roll over the trip into the same season -based on the availability- without any additional cost (except the international flight and/or commercial flight, that should be up to the clients). In case that we have availability for the following week to roll over the trip, the client can wait one week in the hotel in Manaus (all the cost should be covered by them). If we don't have any availability, unfortunately, the client will lose his trip.
Deposit Policy: Booking trips less than a year out requires a deposit of 50% of the total price and must be received within five days from the reservation date to confirm a package. The remaining balance is due 90 days prior to the trip. If your trip is more than one year out, a deposit of 25% of the total price must be received within five days from the reservation date to confirm a package. 25% is due one year prior to the trip, and the remaining balance is due 90 days prior to the trip.
Cancellation Policy: The Deposit required to confirm your reservation is NON-REFUNDABLE unless the customer is replaced. If there is no other replacement, the individual is responsible for the full costs, and no refund will be made to the customer. Additionally, there are no refunds for any unused part of the travel package. The Company and its subsidiaries are not responsible for cancellations resulting from weather conditions, river levels, or a Force Majeure event, and shall provide no refunds for such an event. The Company may opt to provide alternate dates, as set forth further below, in its sole and absolute discretion. In addition, the indigenous tax costs must be reviewed in the pre-trip itinerary and must be paid in cash upon your arrival in Brazil on the agreed-upon arrival date. After making a reservation, you will be deemed to have given your consent to their terms and conditions, as well as their cancellation policy detailed here.
“Force Majeure” shall be defined herein as circumstances beyond Company's reasonable control, including, without limitation, acts of God; earthquakes; fires; floods; weather conditions; wars; civil or military disturbances; acts of terrorism; sabotage; strikes; epidemics; pandemics; viral or bacterial outbreaks; riots; power failures; computer failure and any such circumstances beyond our reasonable control as may cause interruption, loss or malfunction of utility, transportation, computer (hardware or software) or telephone communication service; accidents; labor disputes; acts of civil or military authority; governmental actions; or inability to obtain labor, material, equipment or transportation. To be clear, any amounts paid to the Company for your travel package are non-refundable under any conditions. You hereby acknowledge and agree to the refund and cancellation policy.
Fishing with Larry strongly recommends purchasing trip insurance. Click here for our Travel Insurance page.