Although not as well-known as the Amazon Rainforest to its north, this gigantic seasonal floodplain is also home to a staggering variety of plants and wildlife.
The Pantanal is one of the world’s great reservoirs of plant and animal life. This floodplain wetland system is highly productive, supporting both a large number of species and an abundantly high concentration of these species. It has been said that the Pantanal has the highest concentration of fauna in the New World, comparable to the densest animal populations in Africa. Not infrequently, producers of films or videos on Amazonian fauna send their camera crews to the Pantanal to film animals too rare or hard to spot in the rainforest.
ird species are particularly diverse. The Pantanal is certainly one area of the world where there are a lot of birds. From small and delicate hummingbirds to large ones such as the jabiru. Several types of macaws, parrots, parakeets and other are easily spotted.
The region is an important migratory bird stopover point and wintering ground, used by birds from three major migratory flyways — bringing ospreys from the Nearctic latitudes to the north, woodstorks from the Argentine pampas to the south and flycatchers from the Andes to the west The result is one of the planet’s most diverse avian communities.
The Pantanal continues to be one of the best places to see jaguars (Panthera onca), giant river otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), giant armadillos (Priodontes giganteus), the endangered maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) — each of which is considered to be the largest of its kind in South.
Other species commonly encountered in the Pantanal include the anaconda (Eunectes murinus), howler monkey (Allouatta caraya), Capuchin monkey (Cebus apella), coati (Nasua nasua), ocelot (Felis pardalis), cougar (Felis concolor), tapir (Tapirus terrestris), anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), great egret (Casmerodius albus), snowy egret (Egretta thula), roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) and what is often referred to as the symbol of the Pantanal, the jaburu stork (Jabiru mycteria).
RATES INCLUDE – Transfers in Cuiaba, one night deluxe hotel prior to cruise in Cuiaba, 7-day/6-night cruise, with English speaking guides, excursions, all meals, bottled water, and premium set of travel documents.
- Visa (if required)
Arrive Cuiaba, Brazil
Meet and transfer to your Cuiaba hotel. Remainder of day free.
TRANSFER TO CACERES - board M/V MINAS
Depart towards the town of Caceres for approximately 205 km on the paved BR 364 federal highway. Lunch enroute. Before reaching Caceres, we access an unpaved road and drive for approximately 75 km trough a beautiful valley, formed at the same period as the Andean elevation occurred, some 400 million years ago. We’ll board MINAS motor vessel by the end of the day, for dinner and rest. (LD)
TAIAMAN ECOLOGICAL RESERVE - Search for Jaguars
During the cruise there will be several outings or river safaris, done in a very comfortable and safe speed boat, exploring side lakes, river channels and lagoons searching for jaguars and other wildlife roaming along the river banks and sand dunes. After an early breakfast, board your river safari boat to explore this region.
Return on board for lunch, while the Motor Vessel start its cruise forward downriver to the Taiaman Ecological Reserve. Board the speed boat and explore its waterways and flooded grass land. Dinner and overnight. (BLD)
PARAGUAY RIVER - Search for Jaguars
Taiaman Ecological Reserve is a 70km long island, in speed boat we will explore the right side known as ’Braçinho’ while the motor vessel cruise on the Paraguay river channel, meeting the group for lunch around the ’Formoso’ Bay. Afternoon further river safari, while the vessel keeps cruising down river up to a region known as Concepcion Port. (Up to the 70’s the cattle, bred on the fields between Pocone and the Paraguay river, used to be embarked in this Port and taken downriver up to Corumba in order to be transported by train to Sao Paulo city). (BLD)
AMOLAR MOUNTAIN CHAIN - Search for Jaguars
Morning river safari in the surrounding bay and river channels in search of jaguars and other wildlife. Back to the Motor Vessel we will cross two of the largest bays on the Paraguay River, the ’Uberaba’ and ’Gaiva’, each more than 30 km wide, almost like crossing a sea. We will keep cruising up to the ’Amolar’ mountain chain, an exceptionally beautiful landscape. Here the giant Victoria Regia water lilies are only one of the marvelous gifts of nature to be observed. (BLD)
PANTANAL NATIONAL PARK - Search for Jaguars
Early morning the Vessel will keep cruising up to the ’Gaiva’ Hill, where the group will visit an archeological site, then further explore the ’Acorizal’ Bay, following our river safari up to the ’Caracara’ land mark. Lunch on board, while cruising towards the Pantanal National Park. In our safari boat explore the ’Burro’ Bay, the park’s main bay, while the Vessel already begins to cruise up the Cuiaba River. Overnight in the proximity of the ’Negrao’ River. (BLD)
MEETING OF THE WATERS' STATE PARK - Search for Jaguars
Morning river safari exploring the ’Negrao’ and ’Negrinho’ Rivers, while the Vessel keeps cruising up river towards the ’Jofre’ Port. Lunch on board. Further river safari exploring the ’Meeting of Waters’ State Park and its labyrinth formed by the waters of the Piquiri, Three Brothers and Cuiaba Rivers. Meet the Vessel for dinner and rest. (BLD)
TRANSPANTANEIRA PARK ROAD SAFARI + Transfer PORTO JOFRE to CUIABA
After early breakfast, disembark for our last safari, this time back to air-conditioned vehicles along the 147 km unpaved Transpantaneira Park Road up to the gold mine town of Pocone, then further for 111 km on the paved state road towards Cuiaba airport. Lunch enroute. Check in for your late afternoon flight, for your next destination. (BL)
This 8-day/7-night program, including arrival hotel night in Cuiaba and airport transfers, may be booked alone, or combined with one of two Amazon programs out of Manaus aboard the M/Y Tucano (4 night or 6-night cruise), including requisite air, hotel and transfers.
The Minas is a small, comfortable river boat with five cabins, each with private bathrooms, and a capacity of just 10 guests. Fresh food is served aboard, and there is a bar. Carrying two large and comfortable launches, guests will journey out from the Minas in search of jaguars and other wonderful wildlife. During the week, the vessel will reposition along the rivers, providing upclose access to remote areas, providing prime viewing without other boats getting in the way.
Four cabins have two lower twin beds. One has a bunk bed arrangement.