Visiting the Golden Lion Tamarins

Hi all.  I am making a trip to the Pantanal next September. In the process of planning that trip I thought about staying in Rio and going make a trip to see the GLT.  However, I had a hard time getting reliable information on how to do this.  I contacted the ‘Save the Golden Lion Tamarin’ organization here in the US.  I just heard back from them with some visitor information.  Sounds like they have now set up formal way to make this visit.  Too bad this information came long after my plans were finalized and I can’t change them now.  But, I thought I would pass along the attached in case anyone else was interested.  Hopefully, this pdf attachment comes through OK in this post.





  • Jon Hall

    Thanks Alan – this is helpful. I will link to this on my Brazil page too. Sorry you won’t get a chance to visit. Jon

  • Livetowander

    I’ve also been exploring the option of visiting the Tamarins from Rio and have been in communication with Eugenio Souza ( ) . Otherwise I also found information to be quite scarce.

  • Paul

    I wish I had known about this. I saw the Tamarins during summer of 2015 and have trip report that Jon help post. I have contact information for local guide that can arrange.

  • Aniket

    Has anyone made this trip recently? Something Im quite interested to do as some point, although would probably want a few days there to get decent images. The review on Trip Advisor says a day trip costs $625 per person! Would be interested to hear if anyone spent a few days there.

  • Alan D

    Hi Aniket. We are going to Brazil soon and will be in Rio where we have planned a trip to see the GLTs. This was much harder than I anticipated. First off, even though their website talks about how to plan a half day visit ( they really were no help to independent travelers. Here are some things I found out:

    – They will not furnish English speaking guides. You need to book your own guide if you want to go
    – You must have Yellow Fever vaccination and must send proof of that to them in advance and bring it with you
    – Their tour is supposed to include lunch at the Fazenda dos Cordeiros. Since they have over night accommodations we thought about staying there for a few days but there are no guides that will take you from there. They all leave and return to Rio and the Fazenda was not good at email communication so we dropped that idea.

    We have ended up hiring a guide for Rio area wildlife watching, sightseeing, and he arranged the trip to the GLTs for us. Hopefully, everything goes smoothly. I will provide a summary of our trip and any other tips when we get back.


  • Alan D

    Hi all, we just got back from a fantastic visit to Brazil that included a half day visit to the GLT Project. We hired Ricardo Barbos (ricbrazil at hotmail dot com) as our guide in Rio. While he is primarily an outstanding birding guide, he also knew mammals and a ton about Rio. We actually did some sightseeing…gasp! He is very much recommended and takes clients to the GLT project a few times a year so he handled everything for us including translations onsite when needed. The 1/2 day trip went like this:

    – Meet GLT team at gas station 1.5 hours from Rio around 8:30AM
    – From there it is about 10 minutes to the forest entrance
    – You walk maybe 15 to 20 minutes to a patch of forest where the GLTs and Common Marmosets are
    – I think we watched and photographed them for about an hour and a half. They came down close…some at eye level.
    – From there it’s a half hour drive to the GLT Project’s HQ that is inside some fragmented but protected Atlantic Forest.
    – A presentation is given there and you can view a film as well which they didn’t offer to us because their was a meeting going on in the film room. They also have a small gift shop with tee shirts and other items.
    – Ricardo then took us on a walk on a short trail in the forest but it was Noon and nothing was about. The rest of this forest is not open to the public other than this short trail.

    While we are happy that we went, the whole experience is very controlled. The GLT Project Team even said that they “sacrificed” 3 GLT families in this area for eco tourism. The sacrifice is that not only are some individuals radio collared but they do feed a few bananas to them a couple times a week. Because of this, the GLTs come down close and are easy to photograph. However, all the other groups in the region are completely wild we were told.

    The GLT project team has done an amazing job since there were only about 200 GLTs in the wild in the early 70’s and they now have around 3200. They are working with private land owners to replant areas to connect fragmented forest and have had some success in that area. However, the future of the project seems threatened by politics. Junior, an 18 year member of the team, and the lead for our visit was basically fired and offered to come back part time to save money. Our tour was the last one he was doing before leaving the team.

    On a side note, I am not 100% sure the Marmosets were Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). The guides all called them Buffy tufted or Ear Tufted Marmosets which could mean they were Buffy-tufted Marmosets (Callithrix aurita). The same goes for the Marmosets we saw in Rio. If anyone knows which species (or both) we could have seen, please let me know.

    I am happy to answer any questions.


  • Vladimir Dinets

    Many, if not all, so-called “species” of marmosets in coastal Brazil hybridize freely, so the ones you see in and around big cities are mostly “hybrid swarms” if you accept the current classification (I don’t).

    • Alan D

      OK, thanks Vladimir. We were told they were removing the marmosets from the areas where the GLTs were except for the 3 “eco tourism” families since tourists like to see the marmosets too. Our guide in Rio said there was no chance of removing the invasive marmosets there because the people fight the idea whenever it is brought up. That is too bad since they don’t belong and our hurting native wildlife.

      Out of curiosity, how would you classify all these marmosets. Do you lump them together?


  • Vladimir Dinets

    I think there’s just one species of lion tamarins and six species of marmosets: Callithrix pygmaea, C. humilis, C. jacchus (incl. penicillata, geoffroyi, faviceps, aurita and kuhli), C. argentata (incl. leucippe, emiliae, melanura, intermedia, rondoni, nigriceps, marcai, manicorensis and acariensis), C. saterei, and C. humeralifer (incl. chrysoleuca and mausei).

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