Natural Highlights of Brazil: Pantanal, Amazon and Coast
Visiting both the northern and southern regions of the Pantanal, this 10-day exploration of Brazil’s incredible wildlife travels from the city of Sao Paulo to the northern wetlands, taking you along the thrilling Transpantaneira Highway to the south of the region. Along the way you’ll have the chance to spot some of Brazil’s most revered animal species, including the elusive jaguar, caiman, capybara and many hundreds of species of birdlife. Taking in the wetlands around Cuiaba and Campo Grande, you’ll get to see the contrasting ecosystems, from lily pad-filled lagoons to savannah. Though spotting a jaguar is not guaranteed, the area around Campo Grande is one of the best-known areas for observing the spotted cats.
- Cruise on boat safaris through the Pantanal wetlands to track the elusive jaguar
- Observe the incredible wildlife on immersive tours, including caiman, capybara and many birds
- Explore by canoe, on foot, by jeep or via boat tour
- Take to the saddle for horse riding through the wetlands
- Stay in environmentally-conscious eco-lodges throughout your trip
Day 1 – Arrive in Brazil
Fly overnight to Brazil and land in the coastal city, Sao Paulo.
Day 2 – Fly to Cuiaba and the Pantanal
On arrival in Sao Paulo you will board a short domestic flight to Cuiaba. On arrival you will be driven to Araras Lodge in the Pantanal. The Pantanal is the largest wetland on the planet: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and preserved Biosphere Reserve, home to some of South America’s most fantastic and diverse wildlife. Covering around 150,000sqm, there’s plenty to explore during your two-night stay.
Day 3 – Explore the Pantanal
Spend your time in the Pantanal taking in the sunsets from the lodge’s observation tower, observing the flora and fauna from the private reserve, horse riding through the wetlands and hiking through the diverse ecosystem. There will be opportunities to canoe along the Clarinho River for the chance to spot families of giant otters, or try piranha fishing. A jeep safari offers a comprehensive view of the wetlands.
Day 4 – Drive the Transpantaneira Highway to Porto Jofre
You’ll be driven to your next destination, Porto Jofre, along the Transpantaneira Highway, crossing some of the 122 wooden bridges that allow access through the wetlands. The dirt road offers the chance to observe wildlife along the route; big cats and capybara are often spotted along the road and you will have the chance to stop and enjoy the views. Porto Jofre is at the end of the Transpantaneira Highway, and you will be staying in a hotel Porto Jofre for three nights.
Days 5-6 – Go in search of jaguar
Porto Jofre is renowned as one of the best places in the Pantanal for spotting jaguars, and if you’re lucky you may spot the elusive spotted beast during your stay. Travelling by boat offers an unobtrusive way to spot the big cats, as you drift leisurely through the wetlands, returning to your lodge each evening.
Day 7 – Fly to Campo Grande
You’ll be driven to the airport in Cuiaba for your flight to Campo Grande. On arrival you’ll be driven to Aquidauana, gateway to the southern Pantanal, for a short charter flight to Fazenda Barranco Alto. This remote, family-run eco-lodge is set on the banks of the Rio Negro, surrounded by wildlife and farmland. All around you’ll find waterways, floodplains, waterlily lagoons, ponds, forest glades and savannah: it really is a very beautiful place to stay. You’ll spend three nights in this tropical wilderness.
Days 8-9 – Enjoy spotting wildlife in the Pantanal
Make the most of your stay by participating in the included activities offered by the lodge. This includes horse riding through the vast southern stretches of the Pantanal; bird watching among the dense tree cover; taking safari tours in open-sided vehicles with the assistance of an expert guide; hiking the network of forest trails; canoeing, boating and fishing. Try traditional Brazilian dishes at the restaurant, with communal dining offering a convivial atmosphere and much of the produce sourced from the ranch itself.