- Duration 11 days
- Difficulty 2/5
- Group Size 12
2-12 September, 2020
Join us in South America’s greatest wildlife spectacle, Brazil’s tropical wetland region the Pantanal. Escape the urban life and enter the home of one of the continent’s most elusive predators: the mighty jaguar. In a region that boasts perhaps the world’s highest density of jaguars we offer you the opportunity to look into the eyes of this majestic cat. When not in pursuit of jaguars you may find yourself in the company of endangered giant river otters and tapirs, the once-endangered hyacinth macaw, or a plethora of capybara, spectacled caiman and birds of all descriptions.
A maximum of 12 participants will be housed in riverboats and land accommodations. Travelers will spend upwards of 3 hours, both mornings and afternoons in a speedboat, the best way to spot jaguars. Finding and photographing wildlife takes extended time and dedication, but can be astoundingly rewarding. You will be situated in the best locations for seeing the region’s birds, mammals, reptiles and of course jaguars. Your leaders were among the first people to photograph wild jaguars in the region (the photos adorned National Geographic, including the cover). Though jaguars are the expedition’s focus, the region also boasts some 350 species of birds plus much more to appease your naturalist and photographic desires. We will also enjoy seeing a host of other animals – some of them endangered, like the giant river otter. If you desperately long to see rare elusive animals and observe unique behaviors this expedition is perfect for you! Why not end the trip with an extension to one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls – Iguaçu Falls.
USD $7,789.00 per person sharing
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT USD $1,050.00
Price on request for Iguaçu Falls
Arrival: Cuiaba Airport, Brazil
Departure: Cuiaba Airport, Brazil
Arrival Time: Afternoon of 2nd September for Pantanal.
- Two Expedition trip leaders.
- Lodging at all hotels during the expedition.
- All ground transportation.
- Internal ticket from Cuiaba to Foz do Iguacu for those on the extension.
- Iguacu extension on a bed and breakfast basis only.
- Meals and bottled water.
- Local guide services in English.
- Tips to guides and drivers.
- Round trip International airfare to Cuiaba.
- International airfare to Cuiaba and departing Foz do Iguacu for those on the extension.
- Entry visa for Brazil if required. Check with the Brazilian consulate.
- Compulsory yellow fever inoculation.
- Early or late check-in at Cuiaba hotel.
- Activities at the falls for those on the extension.
- Personal expenses.
A Day 1, September 2nd: Arrive to Cuiabá
The expedition begins at the gateway to Brazil’s Pantanal: the city of Cuiabá. After arrival we will transfer to the Slaviero Varzea Grande Hotel. Dinner will be in a local restaurant followed by a briefing about the trip.
B Day 2, September 3rd: Fazenda Pouso Alegre
Today begins with breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards we will commence our journey into the Pantanal on the Transpantaneira road, enjoying the benefits of the raised earthen road to view many native Pantanal animals before arriving to Pouso Alegre. Apart from a wealth of birds including excellent hyacinth macaws we will see during our explorations on foot, this will also be our best chance for giant anteaters. This is a working cattle ranch run by true Pantaneiros (local cowboys)
C Day 3, September 4th: Pantanal Jaguar Expedition
After breakfast at Pouso Alegre we will continue to Porto Joffre where speedboats will be waiting to transport us to SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites: our live-aboard river hotel that will serve as our ‘home base’ for the next days while we search the rivers for jaguars. This afternoon we have our first river excursion in search of jaguars.
D Days 4-8, September 5th – 9th: Pantanal Jaguar Expedition
For the next five days we will invest our time heavily in pursuit of Panthera onca the jaguar. Expect to find this elusive feline patrolling the banks of the many rivers and to be able to photograph it from our private speedboats. The days will be filled with the exciting expectation of seeing jaguars, followed by the adrenaline of coming face to face with one. Between jaguar sightings you will be able to enjoy watching or photographing many animals which live in or around the river. These could include giant river otters, tapirs, toco toucans, caiman, capybara, monkeys a plethora of birds and many more species.
E Day 9, September 10th: South Wild Pantanal Lodge
Today we retrace our steps part way back up the Transpantaneira for 2 nights stay at a naturalist’s paradise South Wild Pantanal Lodge. We will arrive at this paradise in time for lunch followed by a relaxed boat ride on the river for the afternoon activity. In the evening we will look for another elusive cat, the ocelot.
E Day 10, September 11th: South Wild Pantanal Lodge
Our activities today will depend on group interest but might include a vehicle safari, a nature walk, more time on the river or horse riding if it can be arranged.
A Day 11, September 12th: Return to Cuiabá
After our final breakfast together we will say our goodbyes and head for the Cuiabá airport for flights back home. However, the expedition does not need to end here – there is an optional extension to Iguaçu Falls for those that are interested (minimum of 4 required).
F OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO IGUAÇU FALLS 12th-15th September, 2020
Iguaçu means “big water” in the Guarani Indian language, which is a fitting description for this magnificent landscape. Iguaçu is simply spectacular! The falls range from 60-80 meters (200-269 feet) in height and stretch for 2.7 kilometers (1.7 miles), making them twice as wide as Niagara Falls. They are located within two UNESCO World Heritage sites, which means the lush microclimate created by the large clouds of spray and the falls themselves are protected. A visit here will undoubtedly leave you in awe.
The fauna around the Iguaçu Falls is extremely rich with over 60 species of mammals, 422 birds, over 40 reptiles, 18 amphibians, and 250 butterfly species. This area tends to be our best chance of seeing large numbers of toco toucans, the most spectacular of all toucans.
F Day 11, September 12th: Fly from Cuiaba to Iguaçu Falls
For those who choose to visit this spectacular waterfall we will head from Cuiabá to Foz do Iguaçu where we will stay the night at the only hotel within the park borders, the famous and luxurious Das Cataratas Hotel. We will use the afternoon to have a first peek at our surroundings. With continuous access to the falls from our hotel we will be free to come and go as we please. Not only is Iguaçu Falls on our doorstep, so is the exciting wildlife of the region including coatis, jays and toucans.
F Days 12-13, September 13th – 14th: Iguaçu Falls
The following two days are made up of difficult decisions! You can either spend the time in personal exploration of the region or partake of one of the many optional extras, including the opportunity to explore the power of the falls from a large, fast inflatable boat at water level or to visit the neighboring bird park which hosts many exotic captive bird species in large walk-through natural settings. Overnight at Das Cataratas Hotel.
F Day 14, September 15th: Depart Iguaçu Falls
Today is the last chance to get that photo you have been itching to take and a final look at the spectacular falls before our transfer takes us back to Foz do Iguaçu airport for our return flights home. The trips ends here.
Discover the world with experienced travelers
Photographer | Owner | Trip Leader
Pete Oxford has lived in Ecuador since 1985. He works as part of a professional photographic and tour leading team, usually with his wife Reneé Bish as part of Pete Oxford Expeditions. They specialize in wildlife and indigenous cultures. Pete began in tourism in 1987 while living as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. He has been all over the Pantanal exploring the different regions of the wetland, including while working as a consultant for WWF. His excellent knowledge of the wildlife and environment is impressive. Pete was one of the first professional photographers to photograph wild jaguars in the Pantanal, and those photographs subsequently appeared within and on the cover of National Geographic Magazine. He brings a depth of knowledge, experience and humour to each destination.
Owner | Trip Leader
Renee has been visiting the Pantanal long before jaguar viewing was a ‘thing’. She has been to the north, south and central regions on many occasions often camping out with the local cowboys on the ranches. Having lived so long in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest one of the things that most delights Renee is the incredible ease with which you get to see the same (or very similar) birds and animals that are so elusive in a dense forest. It’s almost like being home in Africa she says – the ‘Okavango of South America’.