Xingu River Lodge - Brazil
Fly Fishing for Giant Payara and More
After a successful 2019 exploratory season, Untamed Angling is pleased to announce a trophy Payara Fly Fishing Destination on the Xingu River (pronounced Shin-Goo). The Xingu River Sportfishing Project is located in the southeastern Amazon of Brazil in the spectacular rainforest wilderness territory of the Kayapo indigenous people. Untamed Angling has exclusive access to these protected waters and has received official authorization from the Brazilian government. The new Xingu River Lodge is limited to only four 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 that 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 done by boat."
Click here for 2:31 YouTube Video - Xingu Payara.
The Xingu River
The Xingu River is 1,019 miles long, and one of the largest clearwater rivers in the Brazilian Amazon. After leaving the headwaters in the protected Xingu Indigenous Park, the mighty Xingu River, or “Butire” as it is known in the Kayapo language, flows northward over 155 miles through 22 million acres of virgin primary Amazon forest. The river is on indigenous land and is protected by the Kayapo people.
Xingu Dry and Rainy Seasons:
Xingu Seasons: The fishing season runs during the dry season from late May through late November, with peak fishing from September to November. 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 season will target the lowest water months when Payara fishing is best. Payara prefer the deepest parts of the river bed; at other times of high water, the fish spread into the flooded forest and became difficult to find.
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.
The dry season is characterized by hot and breezy days, cool nights, and very few mosquitoes and black flies. This is a pleasant time of year that the Kayapó refer to as “nice.” In contrast, the rainy season is characterized by torrential rain, the inundation of rivers and creeks, and annoying clouds of biting insects.
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 of the fishing is from aluminum boats. There is also some wet wading in clear waters.
The Xingu offers a variety of fish species - wolffish, peacock bass, payara, pacu, bicuda, piranha, red-tailed catfish, vampire fish, and more. The river also offers many different habitats such as pools, channels, lakes, lagoons, riffles, rapids, and waterfalls. All fishing is catch-and-release. Barbless hooks are mandatory.
New Xingu Lodge
The new Xingu Lodge has two comfortable wooden cabins with boxspring beds, a bathroom, hot water, and electric lights. Two anglers per cabin. Free laundry service is provided. The camp is located on the bank of the Xingu River, overlooking a gorgeous rapid and pool. In this camp, the traditional Kayapó family raises crops of cassava, cocoa beans, and other plants that constitute the traditional Kayapó diet.
Meals: The chef makes simple, but delicious meals served in the dining area. 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: Free Wi-Fi with limited bandwidth is also available. Satellite phone calls are available for $5.00 per minute.
Lodge Setting: The Kayapo consider Encounter Hill to be the best place for the camp and future lodge. The setting is very close to trophy payara and catfish, which inhabit the famous pool located in this section of the Xingu River. 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 only four 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: Professional, English-speaking fly-fishing guides. Two anglers per boat with one fly fishing guide and two native guides.
Fishing Equipment: No gear is provided. Most of the payara fishing is done 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.
2021 USD RATES and Packages
Includes 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 Fee payable in Manaus
= $7,020.00 per person
One angler per room and boat
$10,850.00 per person
Plus a $530.00 Native Fee
= $11,0380.00 for single angler
Meet and greet at the airport in Manaus, all internal charter flights in Brazil, boat transfers, and necessary ground transfers in Brazil; one hotel night in Manaus upon arrival, 7-nights at camp, all meals at camp, wine and spirits with dinner, guided fishing, fishing licenses, and upon request, our eBook Fly Fishing for Peacock Bass by Larry and Guy Schoenborn.
Packages Do Not Include:
International airfare; Native Community Fee - $530.00, paid in cash upon arrival to Brazil; gratuities, fishing equipment, flies ($10.00 each), food and beverages in Manaus, any private city tours, satellite phone calls ($5.00 per minute), extra hotel overnight ($95.00 per night), Global Rescue, IMG Signature Travel Insurance, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.
Gratuities: The Lodge suggests 10-percent of the package price. Please bring USD cash for the gratuities. Tips will be split evenly amongst the guides and staff.
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 an Untamed Angling representative who will transfer to the Quality Suites Hotel, which is in a very nice part of town. (The first-night hotel is included in the package.) Early Saturday morning, the host/driver will pick the group up at the Hotel and take your group to the domestic airport. At 6:30 a.m., you'll take a private charter flight aboard 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 refueling stop is needed. The Pukararãnkre village is located 590 miles southeast from Manaus. The plane will land on the Indian Community airstrip. For the charter flights, there is a strictly-enforced 40-pound baggage weight limit per person. Please do not bring hard-body luggage.
Variety of Species
Exploring runs and flats areas for peacock bass (3-15 pounds) is also fun using big streamers and poppers, but watch out for the Bicudas, a fast, powerful barracuda-like freshwater predator, that once hooked will burn your fingers in a second.
Xingu Peacock Bass
Xingu Catfish Species
Xingu Redtailed Catfish
Abundant Large Payara
The defining feature of the Xingu sport fishery is the abundant large schools of Payara during the end of the dry season. They stay deep in large pools, mixed with larger catfish and other species like freshwater drums and pacus.
Fish-on! 2019 Exploratory Trip
2019 Exploratory Season
New lodge photos are not yet available. This photo is from the exploratory season.
Simple, but delicious meals are served in the dining area.
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 to the anglers will see great river scenery, birds, animals, and some fish in the Xingu clear waters. After the arrival and settling into your cabin,
You'll 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 brief anglers on the daily fishing plans.
Sunday to Friday - Day 2 to Day 7: Each day, individual teams (2 anglers) will head out for a day of guided fishing.
Each day individual teams (2 anglers) will head out for the day, fishing the Xingu river, its channels, rapids, lakes, and tributaries. Each two anglers will share a fluent English speaking fly fishing guide along with a local native guide in an aluminum boat. Both anglers are able to constantly fish all day long. Will be planed to allow anglers to access an amazing new area never fished before by guests and also optimize fishing days with 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 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 Pukararãnkre 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 transferred to the international airport or for day-use at the hotel. 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.
Deposit and Cancellation Policy: A deposit of fifty percent (50%) of the total price is required to confirm a package. This deposit must be made within 15 days of the reservation date. The deposit required to confirm fishing reservations is NON-REFUNDABLE unless the client is replaced. The balance due shall be paid 90 days before the arrival date. At this point, the individual is responsible for the total land costs, and no refunds will be made. There is no refund for any unused portion of the land package. The Lodge is not responsible for cancellations made due to weather conditions or an event of force majeure. Once you have made a reservation, it will be deemed that you have consented to the operator’s terms and conditions, as well as to the cancellation policy detailed herein.
Terms and Conditions:
1. All baggage and personal belongings are always the sole responsibility of the owners. We highly recommend obtaining a comprehensible travel insurance covering loss and robbery of baggage and personal belongings. In no event will the Lodge or the operator be held responsible for any losses.
2. Neither the operator or the Lodge will be responsible for any loss, damage, or injury arising while sportfishing or any other activity.
3. The operator will not be held responsible for any loss, damage, or injury suffered aboard an airplane or a charter plane. The contract or ticket issued will constitute the sole contract between the airline or charter company with the passenger.
4. CHANGES IN ITINERARY - force majeure: The operator reserves the right to make changes in the trip itinerary whenever judged necessary by circumstances beyond their control. In this case, no refund will be made, and the trip itinerary and/or destination can be changed to other operator-run destinations with the same price level as the original trip contracted.
5. INDEMNITY LETTER: All guests, with no exception, must agree and sign an indemnity letter.
6. INSURANCE: We strongly recommend travel insurance.
Click here for our Travel Insurance page.
We suggest a tip of approximately 10% of the package cost. On the last evening, the head guide will collect the tips to be split evenly among the guides and support staff. Please bring cash for the gratuities.
A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required to enter any Indian Territory in Brazil. It’s a Government Regulation to protect Indians. All anglers must bring within their travel documents their vaccine certificates. The host will take copies to send to the National Indian Institution (FUNAI).
Fishing in the Amazon jungle represents one of the last frontiers in the fly fishing world. As with any such hyper-remote destinations, there can be challenges associated with offering a first-class experience in the ‘back of beyond’.
In the Amazon, water level conditions will, on occasion, present such challenges.
The Amazon River annual water level cycles are not a simple equation, even for the most experienced local experts. Normally, high and low water levels here follow a fairly predictable monthly cycle, but climate changes and the effects of stronger or weaker El Niño and La Niña cycles can directly and immediately affect those levels. Specifically, these El Niño and La Niña events tend to impact the amount of rain in the headwaters of Amazon Rivers, which in turn affects the entire Amazon basin. The Xingu system has more than 400 kilometers of rivers and tributaries. This unique and extensive water system allows for incomparable flexibility. Though Xingu season has been chosen to coincide with the best water conditions annually, specially for Payara fishing; it’s difficult to predict water levels, and this is one of the risks associated with fishing the Amazon. If you are not comfortable with the risk of the river levels being too high or low during your trip, then it is probably not the trip for you. You will not be refunded for water conditions that may not meet your expectations.