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Brazil's Pantanal

Nature & Wildlife
Custom Expeditions
Land-Based Expeditions
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Brazil's Pantanal

International Expeditions invites you to savor Brazil’s Pantanal, an intoxicating blend of nature and excitement. In a land known equally for its raucous Carnival and swaths of rainforest, the landscapes and wildlife of Brazil’s Pantanal personify the rich culture of this vast country — eclectic, vivacious, colorful and inviting. Create a private Pantanal tour, taking in a land where the bounty of birdlife is capable of turning even the most casual wildlife observer into a birding enthusiast and to a region of Brazil where high jaguar density and increasing rates of habituation combine to give you a good chance at viewing these majestic cats in their natural wild habitat. While the spectacular wildlife is your Pantanal tour’s greatest focus, soaking up the culture of a working ranch in Brazil’s “wild west” round-out a compelling itinerary. Also, optional extensions give you the opportunity to strolling the rainforest paths surrounding dazzling Iguazú Falls and to encounter enchanting and highly endangered golden lion tamarins.

Explore with Brazil’s Best Guides

Hand-selected for their wildlife knowledge, sharp eyes and enthusiasm, your Pantanal tour naturalists are sure to be a highlight of your journey. Their decades of travel expertise ensure that you enjoy a worry-free adventure. Plus, these sharp-eyed locals are sure to help you spot more wildlife than you ever thought possible!

Experience Food & Fun

Your itinerary includes opportunities for sampling traditional Brazilian dishes, horseback riding, hiking, canoeing, night game drives and more — so everyone enjoys their ideal adventure! A special treat, IE guests cruise the three rivers — Three Brothers, Cuiabá, and Piquirí — that form Meeting-of-the-Waters State Park, one of the Pantanal’s largest protected areas, on guided jaguar safaris.

Innovative Ecotourism Efforts

Let the wild rivers and rarefied air of Brazil’s Pantanal cleanse your spirit while at Araras Ecolodge. Araras Ecolodge is a pioneer of Brazilian ecotourism, and you’ll get an opportunity to learn about the lodge’s extensive conservation projects while sampling fresh, organically grown fruits and relaxing by the pool.

Optional Pre-Trip Extensions

Iguazu Falls Extension

Daily Itinerary

Pantanal Itinerary

  • Day
    1-2

    Depart / Sao Paulo / Cuiaba

    Depart aboard independent flights to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Once in Sao Paulo, meet your flight to Cuiaba. Spend tonight at Golden Tulip Pantanal, where you enjoy dinner. (D) 

  • Day
    3

    Transpantaneira Highway / Porto Jofre

    Accompanied by an expert naturalist guide, head along the Transpantaneira Highway, spotting wildlife as we travel to Porto Jofre on the border between the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. The Pantanal, the largest continuous wetland on the planet, declared a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, is South America's primary wildlife sanctuary. With a total area of approximately 150,000 km² and located in the center of the continent, the Pantanal is a biogeographic mixing bowl containing elements of the Amazon rainforest, Caatinga, Brazilian savannah, Atlantic rainforest and Paraguayan Chaco. This fantastic biodiversity includes 698 species of birds, 80 species of mammals, 260 species of fish and 50 species of reptiles. The Transpantaneira Highway traverses the full length of the Pantanal between Poconé and Porto Jofre and is the only road through the area. Stop for wildlife viewing as well as lunch along the way. Spend three nights at Hotel Porto Jofre. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    4-5

    Porto Jofre: Meeting of the Waters State Park

    Board small motorboats to search for elusive jaguar along the three rivers — Three Brothers, Cuiabá, and Piquirí — that form Meeting-of-the-Waters State Park, one of the Pantanal’s largest protected areas. Our naturalist-guided water safaris are timed to allow photography during the first and last hour of light and give us the best chance of viewing jaguars in the wild as they are often observed along the river banks. Most of those cats have become quite used to boat traffic and people and with a population of over 60 individuals this area has become a hotbed for spotting the elusive cats in their natural habitat. During our excursions we also encounter other interesting wildlife. Watch for giant river otter, caiman, tapir, anaconda, howler monkey, capybara and many bird species. Venture out on a night safari, watching for anteater, fox, raccoon, owl, species of spider and snake, nocturnal birds and other nocturnal animals common to this region. (B,L,D Daily)

  • Day
    6

    Porto Jofre / Araras EcoLodge

    Head north to Araras EcoLodge, our home for three nights. Get our first taste of the Pantanal’s bounty during an orientation hike, where we watch the sunset and see the landscape come alive with wildlife. This rich habitat is perfect for observing great rhea, jabiru stork, giant anteater and pampas deer. After a dinner of regional fare made from the tasty meat and fish of the Pantanal, as well as featuring organic salads, vegetables and seasonal fruits, take a night walk looking for night birds including black-crowned night-heron, great horned owl and common potoo. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    7

    Araras EcoLodge

    Soak-up the Pantanal’s “wild west” culture on a horseback ride or walk through the pastures, woods and wetlands surrounding this private reserve. The morning air is sure to be filled with the lively calls of yellow-collared and hyacinth macaws, parrots and the other birdlife that crowds the skies. An afternoon hike is ideal for observing this environment up-close. Learn about Araras’ many important conservation projects, including the protection and reintroduction of hyacinth macaws. In an effort to protect the species Araras has distributed many artificial nests and continues to plant manduvis, the indigenous tree where more than 90% of macaws nest. In 1993 there were 27 hyacinth macaws living in the area. Today there are more than 70 of them. This mark was reached through nest monitoring, inhibiting the capture of chicks for commercial purposes, and educating the locals regarding a more protective attitude towards the fauna. Enjoy a guided night game drive with our expert naturalist guides. With luck, the night may reveal tapir, crab-eating fox, ocelot and other wild cats. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    8

    Araras EcoLodge

    Awake to the morning calls of macaws and set off for the Clarinho River. As we paddle canoes and walk along river trails, search for night monkey, dusky titi monkey, capybara, giant river otters and plentiful birdlife. The Araras EcoLodge is helping to prevent deforestation along the Clarinho River and protecting the endangered giant river otters by stopping the use of motorboats and purchasing land along the river to create a private reserve. Our entire small group meets at Ronco do Bugio for a traditional barbecue and chance to meet the pantaniero cowboys. Get back in the saddle to return to the Araras EcoLodge, where we spend tonight around the fire singing local favorites. (B,L,D)
  • Day
    9

    Pantanal / São Paulo / En Route

    Time permitting, spend the last morning of your Pantanal tour itinerary relaxing or on a walk, with one last opportunity to spot white-eyed parakeet, monk parakeet and red-crested cardinal around the lodge. Leave the lodge and transfer to Cuiaba for your flight to Sao Paulo. Board your independent international flight home. (B,L)

  • Day
    10

    Arrive Home

    Arrive and meet connecting flights home. (Meals Aloft)

Optional Post-Trip Extensions

Golden Lion Tamarin Extension

Things to Know

Are visas required for travel to Brazil?

A visa is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter Brazil. You must obtain this visa in advance. It can take some time to obtain a Brazil visa as the process is very inefficient. You are urged to obtain your visa immediately upon booking your Pantanal travel package and to check the visa immediately upon receiving it back. Ensure the correct name and dates are on the visa.

What vaccinations are required for Brazil travel?

Proof of yellow fever vaccination is not required to enter Brazil. However, Brazil is a yellow fever affected area so the CDC strongly recommends yellow fever vaccinations for people traveling to Brazil. No other vaccinations are required. The CDC recommends that all travelers to Brazil be up-to-date on vaccinations for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT), poliovirus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and yellow fever; however, you should consult with your personal physician.

How much luggage can you bring on your Pantanal expedition?

We suggest you travel as light as possible. TAM Airlines has a strict baggage allowance of one checked bag per person (maximum 50 pounds) and one carry-on per person (maximum 11 pounds), in addition to a personal item. Laundry services are available throughout your expedition at an additional cost.

How active is IE’s Pantanal travel package?

A trip to Pantanal is an active holiday that calls for good health. The excursions involve a great deal of walking and standing, most of which will be in hot weather. You will have to negotiate places where the footing is uncertain. Pantanal is not a destination for anyone with serious difficulty walking. 

Accommodations

brazil pantanal accommodations porto jofre hotel

Porto Jofre Hotel

Known as both Porto Jofre Hotel and Hotel Pantanal Norte, guests here enjoy a privileged location at the end of the Transpantaneira Highway and on the banks of the Cuiaba River.  The 28 air-conditioned rooms include TV, minifridge, porch with hammock, and telephone. The hotel features a pool, business center, a small convenience store.

brazil pantanal photos araras ecolodge breakfast

Araras EcoLodge

Araras Ecolodge is built in regional rustic style, offering comfortable, air-conditioned rooms, screened windows, ceiling fans, private bathrooms (cold and hot shower) and outdoor sitting area with hammock. The lodge features a swimming pool with an adjacent covered area for meals, and the restaurant serves regional fare made from the tasty meat and fish of the Pantanal, as well as featuring organic salads, vegetables and seasonal fruits. Araras Ecolodge is a true pioneer of ecotourism, where guests can see conservation practices in action. The lodge’s environmental protection projects include monitoring, educating locals and planting manduvis (the tree where hyacinth macaws nest) trees to encourage increased populations of hyacinth macaws; protecting the endangered giant river otters of the Rio Clarinho by preventing deforestation, stopping the use of motorboats, and purchasing land along the river to create a private reserve; and extensive recycling programs.

Golden Tulip Pantanal

Golden Tulip Pantanal

The hotel Golden Tulip Pantanal is strategically located in the heart of Cuiaba. Rooms feature free Wi-Fi access, AC, minibar, TV with cable channels, bathroom with shower, hairdryer and safe deposit box. Hotel amenities include a fitness center, 24-hour room service, and business center.

brazil pantanal accommocations hotel das cataratas

Belmond Hotel das Cataratas

Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located within Iguacu National Park, with world famous Iguacu Falls just a stroll away. As the only hotel within the national park, guests are able to enjoy exclusive access to the falls each morning before the park opens. The hotel features a large swimming pool and is surrounded by tropical gardens where delicate orchids grow. Due to the spray from the cascading waters of the falls, the area is very lush and there is abundant tropical vegetation. The Itaipu Restaurant offers a selection of both traditional Brazilian delicacies and international cuisine. 24-hour room service is also offered. The Bar Tarobá is ideal for an early evening drink, which can be taken inside or on the outdoor veranda. The hotel has 102 superior rooms located throughout the property, all featuring free Wi-Fi access, polished wooden floors, air-conditioning, LCD TV, DDD and DDI direct dial telephone, mini-bar, individual safe, radio alarm clock, hairdryer, and 110 volt sockets for shavers.

Miramar Hotel

Miramar Hotel

Located opposite Copacabana Beach and steps from Ipanema, at Miramar Hotel you enjoy a panoramic view of Rio’s beachfront. The hotel features 24-hour room service and the rooftop is the perfect place to enjoy the most beautiful views of the beach and the Atlantic. There is an infinity pool, panoramic rooftop bar, solarium, and fitness center. The beach is just across the street. All the rooms at Miramar are equipped with air conditioning with individual temperature remote control, Wi-Fi, two telephone lines, iPod and IPhone dock, digital safe, NET - cable TV with international channels, bathrooms in marble, equipped with make-up mirror, hair dryer, sandals, robes and L'Occitane amenities.

From: $4,500 per person
Duration
10 Days, 9 Nights
Trip Type
Land
Expedition Destinations

Trip Highlights

  • Watch for jaguars in the wild & other river life during boating excursions.
  • Saddle up for a horseback ride (or take a 4x4, hike or boat) through Araras Reserve.
  • Build your birding checklist from abundant avian life.
  • Learn from local naturalists with years of experience in the Pantanal.