Birds are the most frequently seen wildlife. Other wildlife encounters could be giant river otters, anacondas, iguanas, jaguars, cougars, crocodiles, deer and anteaters. There are few people and no large towns outside the main city of Cuiaba. Unlike the Amazon, where the dense green foliage makes wildlife viewing more difficult, the Pantanal’s open wetlands, savannahs, and sparse forests provide excellent viewing opportunities. This vast alluvial plain is flooded each year between November and March. During the dry season viewing is most often by road. Birds and wildlife are often seen around water holes. As the dry season comes to an end in September / October travel may also be by boat as the wetlands create abundant feeding opportunities. Included in our Pantanal visit is a trip to the Chapada dos Guimareaes a stunning national park. Here we find a grassy plateau scattered with low trees, many waterfalls, fantastic rock formations, precipitous canyons and some archaeological sites. Bird viewing is a highlight.
Why book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies. Need to adjust the length of your itinerary?
- We choose to work with local partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population. We carefully choose partners that value local conservation efforts.
2023 Departure dates & cost
8 day Pantanal daily departures based on 2 persons
July - December $ 3,190 USD per person from Cuiaba
4 day general wildlife experience
Daily $ 1,870 USD / 2,199 CAD per person from Cuiaba. Program without Chapada dos Guimarães.
6 day Jaguar Safari daily departures based on 2 persons
July - October $ 3,735 USD per person from Cuiaba
8 Day Pantanal Itinerary
Day 1 CUIABA
Arrive at Cuiabá. On arrival you will be met in the arrivals area. Transfer to the Hotel Cerrados. Overnight.
Day 2 CUIABÁ / CHAPADA DOS GUIMARÃES (BLD)
Meeting at the Hotel in Cuiabá and transfer to Chapada dos Guimarães located 65 Km from Cuiabá by paved road. The trip goes through the continuous escarpment of reddish sandstone with drops of up to 400 meters. Arrival at the Hotel Turismo and accommodation. Lunch. At the end of afternoon appreciate the sunset at Belvedere of Geodesic Center, the equidistant point between Pacific and Atlantic Ocean and visit the historic center of Chapada dos Guimarães with time to get souvenirs at the stores around the principal square. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Posada do Park.
Day 3 CHAPADA DOS GUIMARÃES (BLD)
After breakfast, an outing to visit the National Park where the Water Way begins. This is a track with a series of seven refreshing waterfalls. Time for a refreshing dip. During the trek it is possible to see the typical flora of Cerrado and its mountains, canyons and rivers. The trek ends at the Veu de Noiva a 90 meters fall. Lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the Cidade de Pedra with its uncountable megaliths sculptured by the wind and the rain. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 CHAPADA DOS GUIMARÃES / PANTANAL (BLD)
After breakfast an immediate transfer to Poconé, then to the Araras Lodge, arriving there 3 hours later. Lunch. Hike in the afternoon in the savannah. Dinner and a night safari – a drive using a vehicle equipped with a flashlight for highlighting to observe nocturnal fauna. We will look out for crab-eating foxes, ocelots, and many caiman. Four nights will allow guests to hike the various trails, horseback ride, take boat rides and fish. You can observe monkeys, caimans, hyacinth macaws, jabiru storks, toucans, rheas, ibis, coatis, capybaras, anteaters, tapirs, and other animals. All outings are accompanied by a naturalist guide.
Day 5 PANTANAL (BLD)
After breakfast, horse riding through the flooding fields. The horse is the most versatile means of transportation, allowing both the crossing of the flood-plain and access to the distant forests. The Pantaneiro horse is extremely docile. Other animals are so used to it that they do not perceive the rider on the horse. After that, transfer through the fields and forests for a boat excursion, where flocks of birds are found. Enjoy a magical Pantanal sunset. Overnight.
Day 6 PANTANAL (BLD)
Breakfast. Horse riding through the flooded fields. The horse is the most versatile means of transportation, allowing both the crossing of the flood-plain and access to the distant forests. The Pantaneiro horse is extremely docile. Other animals are so used to it that they do not perceive the rider on the horse. Lunch. Afternoon explore the Pantanal by boat. This excursion will take us along the Lake Baía do Piuval, with its flocks of birds coloring the beautiful sunset. Dinner and Overnight.
Day 7 PANTANAL (BLD)
A terrestrial safari along the Transpantaneira park-road, to visit another region of the high Pantanal, where there is a river where we will take a boat trip appreciating diverse habitats (flooded fields, rivers, lakes, corixos, etc.) and seeing aquatic birds, monkeys and capybaras. Lunch on the way, return at the end of the afternoon for dinner and overnight at the Piuval Lodge.
Day 8 PANTANAL / CUIABÁ (BL)
Breakfast. Hiking on one of the mound-hills (an "island of vegetation") that concentrates many mammals and nests of Hyacinth Macaws and Jabiru storks. Room check-out is at noon. We will store our luggage at the hotel and continue with another activity in the afternoon. After sunset, departure to Cuiabá with drop-off at the airport for the evening onwards.
6 Day Jaguar Safari
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 Forest, the Caatinga, the Brazilian Savannah, the Atlantic Rainforest and the Paraguayan Chaco. This fantastic biodiversity includes: 698 birds species, 80 mammals, 260 fish species and 50 reptiles.
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.
DAY 1 – IN / CUIABÁ – PORTO JOFRE (LD)
Arrival in Cuiaba and pick-up by regular transfer to Porto Jofre (Lunch OR lunch box is included, it will depend on the flight time). It’s 110km by paved road until Poconé (gate of South Pantanal) and from there you will explore Pantanal’s most popular destination: Transpantaneira Highway - “The heart of South Pantanal”. It is a 145km long dirt road with around 125 wooden bridges (3h30m). Enjoy one of the best wildlife viewing areas in the world! Here you can admire the flora and fauna of the Brazilian Pantanal, search for jaguars, caimans, capybaras, giant anteaters, anaconda, jabiru storks, macaws, and much, much more. Arrival in Porto Jofre. Accommodation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation at either Hotel Pantnal Norte or onboard the Jacare Houseboat.
DAY 2 / 3 – PORTO JOFRE – Cruises (BLD)
Two full days of boat trips on the Cuiaba River and its channels to search for jaguars and other wildlife. The region has the highest density of jaguar population in the entire Pantanal, during the trip we have 95% of chance to see Jaguars, especially from mid June to mid November. The lunch can be made at the hotel or during the way; it will depend on weather conditions. Dinner at lodge and overnight.
DAY 4 – PORTO JOFRE / ARARAS LODGE (BLD)
Breakfast and early regular transfer to Pousada Araras Eco Lodge enjoying the ‘waking’ Transpantaneira. Arrival and lunch. Free time to relax during the warm time at the lodge. Around 3pm presentation of the surroundings, environment cares and projects. Dinner and night walk. Overnight.
DAY 5 – ARARAS LODGE (BLD)
After breakfast, depart to a full day to contemplate the marvelous flora and fauna of this spot. By truck/jeep, canoe or walking (depending the season) you will be able to interact and get to know this complex ecosystem. Dinner and one night drive on one of the days at Araras. Lunch: Dry season at river side; wet season at the Lodge.
DAY 6 – ARARAS LODGE / CUIABA / NEXT DESTINATION (B)
Wake-up and depart to sunrise walk. Breakfast. Check out. Regular transfer to Cuiaba to board the flight to your next destination.
Daily regular transfers from Cuiabá Airport at 13h20 and 17h00 and 7h30 and 12h30 out from the Lodge. The lodge is reachable all year-round by car via the Transpantaneira Park Road, on an exciting safari-transfer, in air-conditioned vehicle.
OPTIONAL EXTRA NIGHT IN CUIABA $ 175: Depending on flight times if a night is needed in Cuiaba, it will be at Hotel Deville www.deville.com.br in STD room with a private transfer to the Cuiaba airport [in or out])
What our clients are saying...
“One of the best wildlife tours I have ever had. The jaguars (7 of them), and river otters made it. I highly recommend Fernando as a guide.” Dr. R. Alvarez