How To Encounter Jaguars and Pantanal Wildlife in Brazil

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

The Brazilian Pantanal is one of the world’s largest freshwater flood plains. Its river and lagoons are the home of countless animal species. Among these species, we find Caymans, jaguars, capybaras, marsh deer, giant anteaters, tapirs, hyacinth macaws and many others thrive in this rich ecosystem of high lands, fields and flood plain. UNESCO appointed the Pantanal as a member of the World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve list.

This itinerary is the perfect combination for nature lovers who are seeking for the Brazilian wildlife with a memorable experience to search for the Jaguar.

Day 1 | Arrive Cuiaba

Welcome to Brazil. Arrive into Cuiaba, the capital of the Mato Grosso State, founded on the discovery of gold in the region by the “bandeirantes”, the Portuguese settlers in Brazil and fortune hunters, on the beginning of the 18th century. You will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2 |  Cuiaba / Northern Pantanal

Araras Eco Lodge will pick you up for the private transfer to the Pantanal lowlands, The Pantanal, a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, is one of the world’s remaining great wilderness and the largest continuous floodplain of the planet. It is South America’s primary wildlife sanctuary covering a total of 240,000 km² / 149,129 mi² at the center of the continent. The Pantanal is a biogeography mixing bowl, containing elements of the Amazonian and Atlantic rainforests, the Brazilian Savanna and the Paraguayan Chaco. This fantastic biodiversity is the home of 698 bird species, 100 mammals, 177 reptiles, 40 amphibians and over 250 fish species.

The journey will take approximately 3 to 4 hours. The transfer is divided into two stages: the first, on a paved road for 100 km / 62.13 mi to Poconé, along farms and through the Brazilian savanna. After a short stop in Poconé, we start the second stage of the transfer entering at Km 0 of the Transpantaneira Park Road (dirt road) built on a level higher than the floodplain. The road has more than 127 wooden bridges, fording fields, bays and grazing lands. The Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge is at km 32 / 19.88 mi. and the transfer is meant to be a photo-safari for the many species of animals and birds found along its length. The vehicle will make several stops for photos.

Arrival at the Araras Eco Lodge. Greeting, welcome drink, and accommodation. Araras Eco Lodge offers a homely atmosphere, where visitors from diverse generations and cultures, find the creative space to fulfill their personal experiences. The lodge, built in regional rustic style, offers 19 comfortable rooms with air conditioning with screened windows, ceiling fans, private bathrooms (cold and hot shower); a swimming pool with an adjoining covered area for meals, large verandas with hammocks, reading room and conference hall, gift shop, bar, and restaurant. The excellent regional food consists of dishes made from the tasty meat and fishes of the Pantanal, as well as featuring organic salads, vegetables, and seasonal fruits.

Late afternoon hike within the surroundings of the Lodge, reaching the Mirante da Garça – a 12m / 39.5 ft. high observation tower – for a unique view of the sunset. After dinner, a star gazing trek, to hear the sounds of the Pantanal.

Day 3 | Northern Pantanal

Full day dedicated to observing the Pantanal’s flora & fauna at the Araras Eco Lodge private reserve. After breakfast, the guide will lead you on a 2 to 3-hour horse ride through the grazing fields, woods, and flood lands. Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, join a hike to a different area of the reservation, allowing you to watch and learn about this ecosystem.

Day 4 | Northern Pantanal

After breakfast, departure to Clarinho River. Here take a canoe and explore the river banks, mangroves, and forest. With some luck, you can spot a family of ariranhas (giant otters) fishing, playing and teaching the babies to swim and fish. A chance to fish the elusive Piranha, known for nibbling the bait off the hook without the fisherman noticing. Lambaris, another species of fresh water fish are an easy catch and are delicious when barbecued. A picnic barbecue lunch will be prepared at the camp site. Return to the lodge at the end of the afternoon.

Day 5 | Northern Pantanal (Araras Eco Lodge / Porto Jofre)

The day begins with a very early start to see the sunrise from the top of Mirante da Garça (Heron’s Tower). Listen to the sounds of the birds leaving the nests for the day and the rising sun touching the vegetation.

After breakfast, depart on a private transfer along dirt roads to Porto Jofre. Journey time is about 2 1.2 hours. Enjoy lunch. After Lunch, take a 3-4 hour river safari to search for the Jaguar.
You will spend 3 nights at Transpantanal “Deluxe” Flotel, located in the heart of Porto Jofre, the region where the Jaguars are concentrated. The flotels offer comfortable facilities with a convenience of being a few minutes to the action.

Days 6 and 7 | Northern Pantanal (Porto Jofre)

Set out each day in the morning and afternoon, in a boat with your guide, heading along the Cuiaba, Three Brothers and Piquiri Rivers as well as their tributaries. This is the best opportunity to spot Jaguar and also giant otters and a variety of bird species and reptiles.

Day 8 | Northern Pantanal (Porto Jofre) / Cuiaba

After breakfast, depart on a private transfer back to Cuiaba. The trip will take about 5 hours over dirt and paved road.

Day 9 | Depart Cuiaba

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to your onward destination.

Are you ready to encounter Jaguars and Pantanal wildlife? Contact our Alluring Americas Destination Specialists at 800-701-4278 or email us!

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