The trip starts in Cuiabá, the capital of the Mato Grosso state, and we transfer to Araras Lodge. Surrounded by pristine forest, the lodge offers a range of activities designed to showcase the flora and fauna of the Pantanal, including jeep safaris, trail walks, nocturnal safaris, canoeing and horse riding. The bilingual expert naturalist at the lodge accompanies us on our excursions to truly enhance our wildlife viewing. Stay: Araras Lodge (or similar) (D).
With a very early start, we drive along the Transpantaneira road to Porto Jofre, deep in the heart of the Pantanal along the Cuiabá River. En route, we cross numerous watercourses and it can be quite bumpy. Common sightings include caiman, capybaras, deer and a large variety of birds including rheas, huge jabiru storks, macaws, egrets and spoonbills.
After a very early breakfast, we get straight onto the river having packed extra snacks from the buffet (there's no knowing when we will return!). Jaguar sightings are relatively common in this area (a high percentage of visitors staying longer than three days see at least one during their stay), but there are no guarantees when it comes to wildlife. Even if we don't spot them, we will encounter a huge array of animals and birds. Stay: Hotel Pantanal Norte (or similar) (B/L/D).
The next six days are spent in boats looking for jaguars and learning more about the delicate ecosystem of the Pantanal. The seating plan on the vessels means no‐one will be stuck in a middle seat – expect uninterrupted views and the best possibilities for wildlife observation and photography. Although we have a boat safari each morning and afternoon, the exact length of each boat trip is determined by which animals we see.
If we spot a jaguar, our timetable may go out the window as we track them and observe their behaviour. Prepare to be flexible and to spend longer than planned on the water. October is thankfully not as busy as the previous two months on the water. Stay: Hotel Pantanal Norte (or similar) (B/L/D).
This morning, we have a boat safari before returning for lunch and to pack. We then return along the Transpantaneira to Araras Lodge. Stay: Araras Lodge (or similar) (B/L/D).
After an early morning of wildlife spotting and breakfast, we return to Cuiabá Airport. We bid a fond farewell and begin our return journeys home – most likely flicking through our photos and planning which one will look best on the wall (B).
There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general release dates for all destinations.