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Pantanal, Brazil: Jaguars and Giant Otters

Join us in the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland and home to one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the planet. This program is designed to offer one of the best chances to see jaguars in the wild.

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Overview

  • The Pantanal holds the world's highest density of wild jaguars. Unlike in other areas, jaguars here are active during the day, offering excellent chances to see these elusive cats in the wild.
  • Along the way we also expect to see giant river otters, anteaters, tapir, capybaras, hyacinth macaw, and the world’s largest stork, the jabiru, among other wildlife.
  • Our final day is spent at the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge where more than 300 bird species have been recorded.
  • Our expedition is guided by award-winning nature photographer Pete Oxford, who has been guiding expeditions to the Pantanal for years.

Join us as we explore the incredible Pantanal in Brazil, the world's largest tropical wetland, with renowned wildlife photographer and Pantanal expert, Pete Oxford. Our Brazilian adventure starts and ends in Cuiabá, the northern access point to the Pantanal.

The northern Pantanal offers the best opportunities for jaguar sightings in the world. The most reliable way to find and photograph this enigmatic and elusive cat is to patrol the sand banks of the Cuiabá River and its tributaries by boat. We will devote four full days to look for these majestic animals while staying at the SouthWild Jaguar Flotel in the heart of jaguar country. During our boat rides we will also have ample opportunities to encounter many other Pantanal species including capybaras, caimans, giant river otters, and the world’s largest stork, the jabiru.

Our program will conclude with a final day spent at SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, where more than 300 bird species have been recorded including hyacinth macaws and jabiru storks, as well as giant river otters, giant anteaters, and more.

At the end of our regular program, you can choose to continue on our (highly recommended) optional extension to visit one of the great wonders of nature: Iguazu Falls. We will stay just a short walk from the breathtaking falls at the only hotel located within Iguassu National Park, allowing you to visit the falls at dawn and dusk when other visitors have vacated the park.

Trip Dates & Cost

2017: July 16-26 SOLD OUT. From $9,500 per person in double occupancy accommodations.* Group limit 10.

2018: To be announced. Contact us to inquire.

There is an optional pre-trip extension to the Cerrado to see maned wolves. Contact us for information.

* Special terms and conditions apply. Trip, without extension, starts and ends in Cuiabá, Brazil. International airfare not included. Limited single supplements available.

Photos
Naturalist

Pete Oxford works in some of the world’s most pristine and remote wildlife and cultural destinations as a full-time professional photographer. His images have appeared in major magazines including National Geographic, Time, Outdoor Photographer, and Smithsonian, and have been featured ten times in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. Pete and his wife Reneé also lead expeditions to some of the world’s richest cultures and most biodiverse areas of our planet.

Itinerary

There is an optional pre-trip extension to the Cerrado to see maned wolves and other wildlife. The extension begins on July 12 and ends on July 16 at the start of our expedition. Contact us to request a detailed itinerary.

Day 1 (July 16): Arrive to Cuiabá
Arrive to Cuiabá, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, and overnight at Hotel Deville. Dinner is on your own.

Day 2 (July 17): Cuiaba - Pantanal (Fazenda Pouso Alegre)
Travel overland from Cuiabá to Fazenda Pouso Alegre in the Pantanal. During this terrestrial portion of the program we will have the opportunity to look for giant anteaters, a wide variety of unique and endemic birds including the Hyacinth Macaw, mammals including peccaries, several monkey species, and much more.

Day 3 (July 18): Pantanal (Fazenda Pouso Alegre)
Enjoy a day at Fazenda Pouso Alegre to explore the Pantanal by foot and photograph the many unique species found here.

Days 4-9 (July 19-23): Pantanal (SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites)
We will spend four full days at the SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites, a floating hotel situated in the area of the Pantanal that has the highest concentration of wild jaguars. Using our private speedboats, we will make river excursions each morning and afternoon in search of jaguars and other wildlife. Normally notoriously elusive, we will be in the best place possible to see jaguars in the wild, and encounters are highly likely. Our local boat drivers know the river intimately and will prove to be excellent spotters.

Days 10-11 (July 24-25): Pantanal (SouthWild Pantanal Lodge)
We will transfer to land-based SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, where we will have the chance to see toucans and many other birds that abound around the lodge. Being land-based we can now walk around to observe and photograph birds and other wildlife such as capybaras and Jacaré caiman that live around the lodge.

Day 12 (July 26): Pantanal - Cuiaba - Fly home, or continue on Iguazu Extension
Transfer by land to Cuiaba airport and catch your flight home, or continue on our optional Iguazu Falls Extension

Accommodations

During our expedition we will stay at comfortable hotels that have been selected due to their convenience, access to wildlife, and immersion within the natural areas we aim to explore. Hotels include:

Hotel Deville Prime Cuiabá (1 night): This modern high-rise hotel is located just 15 minutes from the Cuiabá airport, and offers a comfortable landing place from which we will embark on our expedition.

Fazenda Pouso Alegre (2 nights): A simple, comfortable, and highly-rated lodge that is situated to offer some of the terrestrial wildlife viewing in the Pantanal.

SouthWild Jaguar FlotelSouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites (4 nights): This comfortable floating hotel and suites is located in the area of highest jaguar density and offers unmatched access to prime jaguar viewing areas of the Pantanal. Rooms are air conditioned and WiFi is available. A full-time jaguar researcher is on-site and science lectures are provided during our stay.

SouthWild Pantanal Lodge (2 night)s: This intimate, land-based lodge allows provides access to a variety of wildlife for which the Pantanal is famous, including jabiru storks, toucans, tapirs, and giant river otters.

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