Brazil's Pantanal & Amazon

Nature & Wildlife
Land-Based Expeditions

You are here

Brazil's Pantanal & Amazon

Iconic wildlife, epic rainforests and sweeping wetland reserves are what await you on International Expeditions’ Brazil adventure combining two iconic areas of Brazil – the Pantanal and Amazon – into one exceptional journey of a lifetime, replete with daily adventure and rewarding experiences. 

Listen for the raucous and boisterous hyacinth macaw. Observe bands of curious and timid capybara up to 100 strong. Watch for anteater and deer in the fields as well as over 600 species of birds and five species of monkeys in the trees. Most of all, with high density and increasing rates of habituation the Pantanal is one of best places anywhere in the world to spot wild jaguars.

Journey into the heart of biodiversity itself when you visit the world-renowned Brazilian Amazon. Stay at an award-winning ecolodge and enjoy a variety of wildlife viewing activities including a canopy tower, countless streams and numerous forest trails offering you the extraordinary chance to observe Amazonian wildlife at its finest…these treasures include endemics such as white-cheeked spider monkey, red nosed saki and crimson-bellied conure.  

Daily Itinerary

Brazil Itinerary

  • Day

    Depart Home City / Cuiaba

    Upon arrival, you are met and escorted to Hotel Deville Prime Cuiaba, your home for the night. (D)

  • Day

    Transpantaneira Highway / Pantanal

    Accompanied by your expert naturalist Expedition Leader, you are driven along the Transpantaneira Highway to Porto Jofre, spotting wildlife along the way. The Pantanal is the largest continuous wetland on the planet and was declared a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.  This 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 to Hotel Pantanal Norte, your home for the next two nights. (B,L,D)

    brazil pantanal photos jaguar
  • Day


    Board small motorboats to explore along the Three Brothers, Cuiabá and Piquirí Rivers, which form Meeting-of-the-Waters State Park, one of the Pantanal’s largest protected areas. Naturalist-guided water safaris give you the best photographic opportunities as well as the highest chances of observing the wild jaguar, often seen along the river banks. Many of the 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 excursions, you will also encounter other interesting wildlife. Watch for giant river otter, caiman, tapir, anaconda, howler monkey, capybara and many bird species.  (B,L,D)

  • Day

    Porto Jofre / Araras (Northern Pantanal)

    After breakfast, depart overland heading north, making stops along the way for more wildlife viewing and photography. Arrive at Araras Eco Lodge in the afternoon, your comfortable base for two days of exploration. Activities here include climbing the lodge’s canopy tower, watching the crowded bird feeders, and embarking on nature walks and drives to look for a wealth of birds and wildlife, including the world’s largest member of the parrot family, the rare and beautiful hyacinth macaw. Spotlighting excursions may reveal great potoos, crab-eating foxes, and with luck, a tapir or an ocelot. (B,L,D daily)

  • Day

    Cuiaba / Alta Floresta / Amazon

    Return to Cuiaba early this morning for your group flight to Alta Floresta, perched on the edge of immense old-growth rainforests that make up Brazil's southern Amazon. Incredible numbers of birds, mammals, butterflies and more make this one of the most biodiverse and rewarding places in the world to visit. Journey by road and water to your home for three nights, Cristalino Lodge. Set on a private reserve of 44 square miles, Cristalino was voted one of the World's Best Ecolodges by readers of National Geographic Traveler and is renowned for its conservation work as well as quality of experience. (B,L,D)

  • Day


    During your three-night stay you'll venture out into the forest and experience all this unique ecosystem has to offer. Because this region lies between 300 and 450 meters above sea level, the rivers do not generally flood the forests. For this reason, the predominant vegetation is evergreen forest (terra firma) with tall and well-formed trees. In addition to evergreen forest, five other distinct vegetation types are found on the lodge's private reserve. Combine that with the proximity of the Pantanal and the Cerrado and you wind up with high levels of species diversity and population density...offering visitors to this special place a unique opportunity to view species that inhabit three different regions. A large number of endemic species, such as the white-cheeked spider monkey, red-nosed saki, cryptic forest falcon, crimson-bellied conure, and black-girdled barbet can be found only in this area. Explore the many trails and waterways Cristalino has to offer, climbing to canopy towers for bird's eye views and visiting a site naturally rich in minerals. This area is favored by large forest mammals such as the South American tapir, collared peccary, white-lipped peccary, giant anteater and the southern tamandua. (B,L,D Daily)

  • Day

    Amazon / Brasilia

    After a morning hiking in the forest, fly to Brasilia. Check in to the Windsor Hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • Day

    Brasilia / Depart

    Board your independent homeward flight. 

Things to Know

What is included in IE's Brazil?

  • Accommodations on group dates
  • Excursions, activities, and meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Services of experienced English-speaking guides
  • Arrival and departure transfers between the group hotel and airport regardless of day or time
  • Selected beverages included with lunch and dinner
  • Potable water
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What is the activity level for IE's Brazil tour?

A trip to Brazil requires good health and mobility. You’ll enjoy excursions on foot and by boat.

You’ll explore the Porto Jofre area by boat, with seat back and sun shade. The boats hold only a few people so there is no WC available onboard. Your excursions are half day here. Little walking is required here but you do need the stamina to get into and out of the boats. The road between Cuiaba and Porto Jofre is mainly a dirt road (the Transpantaneira Highway) and is the only way in and out of the region. It is very bumpy in places and you’ll cross several small wooden bridges.  

In the Cristalino area of the Amazon you’ll explore on foot and by boat. There is a canopy walkway that requires you climb several flights of stairs. Otherwise, walking is mainly flat but over uneven ground. 

Walks/hikes are typically early in the morning and late in the afternoon, though some mid-day activity may be included. You will need to be able to walk and stand for up to three hours at a time. While we have time scheduled for rest and recuperation, your itinerary has a steady and robust pace, involving activities and transportation in such a way to ensure you have maximized opportunity to interact with the wildlife and local culture while allowing for time to recuperate. We urge you to listen to your body. If you are feeling too tired to partake in a particular activity, sit it out and let your body recuperate so that you can fully enjoy the rest of your trip.

What is the expected weather during IE's Pantanal tour?

Because you are visiting two separate and distinct ecosystems in one trip, you can expect a variety of weather. Your trip is schedule for the start of the dry season in the Pantanal, when it becomes easier to see wildlife and to travel through the countryside. The same is true in the Amazon where intermittent showers occur nearly every day but where you’ll have better boat access to wetlands and temporarily flooded forests before the waters recede in later months. It will be hot and humid here.

Is IE's Brazil a "birding" trip?

This is not a birding-only trip. Our expedition is designed to provide opportunities to view as many types of wildlife as possible, from amphibians and reptiles to mammals and insects.  However, birds are ubiquitous and prolific, as well as beautiful and interesting, in the places you will be visiting.  As such, birds are a highlight and you can expect to enjoy seeing as many species as possible while still enjoying the other wildlife the region has to offer.

Do you offer optional extensions to IE's Brazil?

We do offer optional extensions to other wonderful places in the region to enhance and complete your experience, should you choose to do so. Information on these extensions is listed on the webpage for this program and feel free to contact our office for more info. 

Are you able to customize a trip to Brazil to feature destinations and activities of my choice?

Yes! If our Brazil itinerary does not suit your desires please contact our Custom Department where a specialist can craft the kind of experience that will make your adventure the trip of a lifetime.


Hotel Deville Prime Cuiaba

Hotel Deville Prime Cuiaba

15 minutes from the airport, Deville Cuiabá is at the center of the capital of the state of Mato Grosso. The hotel features 174 rooms, outdoor swimming pool, bar, full spa, fitness center, convenience store and business center.  Deluxe rooms feature free Wi-Fi, AC, LCD TV with cable, mini bar and hair dryer.

Hotel Pantanal Norte

Hotel Pantanal Norte

Literally located at the end of the Transpantaneira at the banks for the Cuiaba river Hotel Pantanal Norte is a suberb location to explore the Cuiaba River and the 3 Brothers State Park, one of the best locations in South America to see the jaguars. The hotel features air-conditioned rooms with TV, WiFi, telephone, and minfridge; on-site restaurant with home-made, regional dishes; pool; convenience store; and laundry service.

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.

Cristalino Lodge

Cristalino Lodge

Cristalino Lodge is considered one of the best ecolodges in Brazil and was voted one of the 25 best ecolodges in the world by National Geographic Traveler. The lodge sits on the banks of the Cristalino River in a private reserve, strategically located next to a state park and a government reserve comprising over 5 million acres of pristine wilderness. The lodge has been carefully designed to integrate harmoniously with the surrounding jungle, so that guests can enjoy the accommodations and public areas in an exotic yet comfortable environment that caters to their needs, with a cozy bed, refreshing baths, a soothing hammock, and every convenience close at hand. The facilities include an extensive trail system, a 50m tower that rises above the forest canopy, and a clean black-water river where one can canoe and swim. The bar, with an inviting log fire burning in the middle of its riverside deck, provides a view of the night sky full of stars, while the restaurant complements the experience by serving delicious candlelight dinners. Well-trained resident guides assist visitors in finding interesting wildlife and to interpret what they see. The tastefully decorated rooms and bungalows provide all the necessary comforts and amenities. In addition to practicing responsible tourism, the hotel supports the Cristalino Foundation, an organization devoted to environmental education, human development, minimizing human impact on the environment and carrying out research in the region. Everything is geared towards sustainability through tourism, helping you to integrate with nature.

Field Leaders

brazil pantanal guides helder brandao

Helder Brandão

Expedition Leader

Helder (pronounced "Elder") was born in São Paulo, where he earned his degree in Biology. In 2006, Helder traveled to the Pantanal as a naturalist tour guide, fell in love with the region and became head guide for a local ecolodge. He developed great skills in birdwatching and for years guided International Expedition groups before becoming Environmental Manager at the same lodge, where he developed environmental projects and worked on environmental certifications. Helder is again leading groups throughout Brazil and we are proud to feature him on our program.  He has a deep passion for his native country, flora and fauna and enjoys sharing info and time with IE guests.

Regina Ribeiro

Regina Ribeiro

Expedition Leader

Regina’s great interest in nature and travel led her to get a degree in Tourism Business, concentrating her studies on environmental sciences, eco-tourism and biology. Since 1996 she has been leading wildlife and nature photography trips into the various eco-systems of Brazil, her native country, as well as other places in South America. She is well-known for her ability to spot wildlife and interpret natural history. Her naturalist skills, along with her warm and friendly personality, have made her an IE favorite, very popular among our guests. She has published articles about birds and is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge with others.

Brazil guide Fred Tavares

Fred Tavares

Expedition Leader

Fred has completed extensive study in biology, the primates of southeastern Brazil and the ecology of the Pantanal region, and holds a degree from Izabela Hendrix University in Belo Horizonte. He has been a naturalist guide since 1999, with particular emphasis on southeastern Brazil, along with Pantanal and Amazon areas. Fred is known as a leading instructor on natural history guiding and interpretation techniques, and has taught many courses on those subjects. He possesses an enormous enthusiasm for his work to go with his vast knowledge of Brazilian wildlife. He is enthusiastic and tireless! He has represented Brazil in two international bird races held in Peru and is an avid soccer fan.


Squirrel Monkey


The Green Anaconda


Black Caiman

Amazon Kingfisher

From: $7,998 per person
10 Days, 9 Nights
Guest Capacity
14 Guests
Trip Type

Trip Highlights

  • Exciting & comprehensive combination of Brazil's best wildlife areas, including two different areas of the rich Pantanal
  • Excursions in Porto Jofre where jaguars are frequently found on the riverbanks
  • Explore the jungle floor, serene waterways & canopy towers of the Brazilian Amazon from an award-winning lodge
  • Expert leadership of a private IE Expedition Leader & local guides throughout