Jaguar Retreat

A major leap forward in Jaguar conservation tourism.

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Ideal Jaguar-viewing conditions.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Lindsay Kennon. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Announcing Jaguar Retreat

 

Another major leap in Jaguar conservation tourism

Every few years, our scienific advisor, Dr. Charles A. Munn, takes a major leap forward in Jaguar conservation tourism. In 2004, he discovered the miraculously-habituated* Jaguars on the riverbanks of Jaguarland, a name he coined for the half of one percent of the Pantanal that is the most Jaguar-rich watershed on Earth (so far 142 Jaguars have been identified by his team of biologists). In 2007, he tested our first tented camp as well as the first of a series of floating lodges or “flotels”. In 2010, after confirming that the Jaguars spend much of their lives hunting along the riverbanks, he moved our guests onto the flotels. By 2013, he felt that our discriminating, well-traveled guests, who included many of the  world’s leading wildlife photographers, needed much more space to lay out their equipment.  He also felt that our guests needed ergonomically-designed work spaces that allowed for efficient editing of the thousands of Jaguar photos they brought back each night. Consequently, he opened our unique “Jaguar Suites” flotel.

* “Habituated” means that the Jaguars are accustomed to and ignore the presence of humans.

 

 

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Jaguarland: the most Jaguar-rich watershed on Earth.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Map: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

A model for Jaguar-friendly ranch management

Now, our scientific advisor is expanding Jaguarland to the north, avoiding the crowd of Jaguar-sighting boats in the south. Based on his most recent conservation research, we are offering comfortable, land-based lodging at a new, perfectly-located, air-conditioned, nine-room hotel right on the banks of the famously-Jaguar-rich Three Brothers River, precisely on the border of the 270,000-acre Meeting-of-the-Waters State Park. Jaguar Retreat is a superb, remarkably-affordable base from which to launch Jaguar outings and to build your bird life list. It gives tremendous value in Jaguar tourism with very high probabilities of repeatedly watching private Jaguars. The lodge is just one of Dr. Munn’s initiatives to expand Jaguarland as fast as possible. His goal is to convert half of the Pantanal to “Jaguar-friendly” ranch management by convincing the owners of hundreds of large ranches that they will make more money through Jaguar tourism than they will lose because of Jags eating their cattle.

 

 

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Be in the first boat or one of the first few boats to find a Jaguar.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Lindsay Kennon. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Ideal Jaguar-viewing conditions

The lodge’s private location, 45 kilometers (28 miles) upriver from Porto Jofre, assures ideal viewing conditions. The next closest Jaguar tourists are sleeping 35 kilometers (20 miles) downriver. When you find a Jaguar on any of the 20 to 30 curves downriver from Jaguar Retreat, you are guaranteed to be in the first boat or one of the first few boats to find a Jaguar. You will have it alone for tens or scores of minutes, or even hours.

 

 

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Build your bird life list.

Orange-backed Troupial, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Birding trail

Our 2-kilometer-long birding trail (1-1/4 miles) starts right behind the lodge. On it, you are likely to see the Orange-backed Troupial, Capped Heron, Barred Antshrike, Blue-crowned Trogon, Sungrebe, Sunbittern, Yellow-billed Cardinal, Jabiru Stork, Toco Toucan and Chestnut-eared Araçari, among other photogenic species, such as the Bare-faced Curassow, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher and Southern Screamer.

 

 

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Perfectly located on the banks of the famously-Jaguar-rich Three Brothers River.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Small and private is the new luxury

It is such an intimate lodge that your group will likely fill most or all of the lodge.  Small and private is the new luxury, and that is Jaguar Retreat. Even though the lodge is small, its rooms and common areas are not. If you were thinking of using the attractive but cramped house boats, such as those found at the mouth of the Piquiri River, you can enjoy much more space in your room and in the common areas at Jaguar Retreat. Also, you can walk on the birding trail and stretch your legs. So Jaguar Retreat offers 20 times, 100 times more space to roam.  No more feeling of claustrophobia that house boats can create! Jaguar Retreat bedrooms vary in size from 14 to 19 square meters (150 to 205 square feet). Each has silent air conditionering and a private bath with hot water.  Furthermore, the lodge has two dining rooms — one screened and airy with a view of the Three Brothers River and the other fully enclosed and air-conditioned.  You can escape from civilization or stay in touch if you like — the satellite Internet is superb. Photos of the lodge.

 

 

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A good guide makes all of the difference.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Lindsay Kennon. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Your expert guide has been personally selected by our scientific advisor

Your expert guide, personally selected by our scientific advisor, will enhance your wildlife experience with his or her knowledge of the local fauna. On the day before and after your visit to Jaguar Retreat, you will stay in the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, where your guide will show you our Jabiru Stork nest, signature Ocelots and other wildlife during a boating excursion on the Pixaim River and on a night safari.

 

 

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The best in Jaguars, Giant Otters and pure, protected wilderness.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Lindsay Kennon. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Transfers feature the best in Jaguars, Giant Otters and pure, protected wilderness

After 14 years of ground-breaking Jaguar research and conservation, our scientific advisor now can state with certainty that the ideal speed for searching for Jags is 25 to 28 kilometers per hour, and at those speeds, it takes 90 minutes to reach the lodge from Porto Jofre. The boat trip features the best in habituated Jaguars, habituated  Giant Otters, and pure, protected wilderness.

 

 

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Very high probabilities of repeatedly watching private Jaguars.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Lindsay Kennon. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Jaguar Extreme Fixed Departure (7 days/6 nights)

(Up to 10 guests)

US$ 4,990 per person (2 guests sharing a room)

US$ 5,830 (1 guest)

Fixed Departures start on the following days, with departure from the Cuiabá airport (CGB) by 2 pm:

2019: 14 June; 2 & 27 July; 8, 23 and 30 August; 14 & 20 September; 4 & 21 October; 4 November

 

Jaguar Extreme Private Departure (7 days/6 nights)

(1 to 4 guests)

US$ 6,990 per person

All prices are per person based on two people sharing a guest room. An intial payment of 50% of the land price is requested to guarantee a reservation, with the balance payable two months before tour commencement. The standard form of payment is by wire transfer. If you prefer to use a credit card, there is a 3% surcharge, which is our cost of processing such transactions. Travel insurance is not included, and there are no refunds. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance by Travel Guard to protect yourself and your investment in the tour. No air tickets are included, nor do we sell any. The flights are best arranged through your international carrier or Expedia. If you need an overnight in Cuiabá before the tour, we suggest booking the Slaviero Slim Cuiabá Aeroporto hotel through Priceline or similar hotel-reservation websites. Children under 12 are welcome in private, family groups.

Our fixed-departure tour is the guaranteed, affordable way to enjoy Jaguars and Giant Otters in the wildest heart of the fabulous Pantanal. There are several departure dates each month from mid-June through mid-November, which is the peak season for Jaguar sightings. Please contact us for details.

Save money on our fixed-departure tour, on which up to 10 (historically 6 to 8) guests share:

• A guide with our unique iPad with our in-house Pantanal bird photo guide and many other apps

• Air-conditioned transfer vehicle and open, roofed photo-safari truck between Cuiabá and SouthWild Pantanal Lodge and between the lodge and Puerto Jofre, respectively.

• Mobile-phone-equipped wildlife boats

• Scientific lectures by a resident Jaguar researcher

 

Our Jaguar Guarantee

If you spend at least three nights at Jaguar Retreat and do not see a Jaguar,

we offer a refund of US$ 2,000 per guest or five free days within two years.

 

 

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Jaguars, guaranteed.

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Lindsay Kennon. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Jaguar Extreme Itinerary

Recommended: Intra-tour flight São Paulo (GRU) – Cuiabá (CGB), Day 1, 9:20 am – 10:30 am, GOL G3 1872 (Provided by guest)

Your flight should arrive no later than 12:30 pm.

Day 1: São Paulo – Cuiabá – SouthWild Pantanal Lodge.

Meet your guide at the Cuiabá airport, lunch and depart from Cuiabá by 2 pm for a 3-hour-long drive in a closed, air-conditioned van to the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge (SWP) . Trip Advisor lists the SWP as the #1 wildlife lodge on the entire Transpantaneira Road. Stops to observe wildlife along the Transpantaneira. Arrive at the SWP between 5 and 7 pm. Dinner. Overnight in the SWP or similar. L, D.

Day 2: SouthWild Pantanal Lodge – Jaguar Retreat. Breakfast. Observe abundant fauna around the lodge, breakfast and 7 am departure in an open-sided, roofed safari truck or a closed, air-conditioned van to the end of the road at Porto Jofre. Stops along the Transpantaneira to see wildlife, with arrival at the end of the road by 10 am. Then take a search boat for the 90-minute, 44.7-kilometer trip upstream on the Cuiaba River to Jaguar Retreat. Lunch. This afternoon, a 4-hour boat outing. Dinner and a scientific lecture. Overnight in Jaguar Retreat. B, L, D.

Days 3, 4 & 5: Jaguar Retreat. Breakfast. This morning, a 4-hour boat outing in search of Jaguars and Giant Otters on theThree Brothers River and its channels. Lunch. This afternoon, a 4-hour boat outing. Dinner and a scientific lecture. Overnight in Jaguar Retreat. B, L, D.

Day 6: Jaguar Retreat – SouthWild Pantanal Lodge. Breakfast. Check out of Jaguar Retreat, take a morning boat outing until 7 or 7:30 am and then take a search boat for the trip downstream to Porto Jofre. Upon arrival, begin a road transfer to the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge in an open safari truck or a closed, air-conditioned van. Lunch. Afternoon 2-hour motorboat outing on the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. After dinner, one hour of spotlighting in our safari truck. Overnight in the SWP or similar. B, L, D.

Recommended: Intra-tour flight Cuiabá (CGB) – São Paulo (GRU), Day 7, 11:33 am – 2:50 pm, GOL G3 1423 (Provided by guest)

Your flight should depart no earlier than 11 am.

Day 7: SouthWild Pantanal Lodge – Cuiabá – Your Next Destination. Observe fauna right around lodge, breakfast and depart at 6:30 am in a closed, air-conditioned van, with arrival at the Cuiabá airport in time for flights leaving Cuiabá at or after 11 am. B.

 

 

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“We got to see Jaguars every day!”

Jaguar Retreat, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Lindsay Kennon. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Extend your Jaguar Extreme

Harpy Eagles

Southern Pantanal

 

 

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One of the birdiest locations on the planet.

SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

SouthWild Pantanal Lodge

 

On the way to and from Jaguar Retreat, guests will stay in the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge. With over 80 species of the 400 birds of the Pantanal weighing more than a pound (454 grams), the Pantanal boasts the longest list of large birds in the world and is one of the birdiest locations on the planet. SouthWild Pantanal is the ecolodge that is favored by serious PhD ornithologists as the top birding lodge in the entire Pantanal. Sitting on 1,538 hectares (3,800 acres) of seasonally-flooded savannas and bird-rich gallery forest on the banks of the intimate Pixaim River, SouthWild Pantanal lies 66 kilometers down the Transpantaneira Road, which is the only long transect that penetrates the very heart of this great, UK-sized wetland. From our transfer vehicles, boats on the river and in walks in our gallery forest surrounding the lodge, you can enjoy excellent views of iconic, spectacular South American birds such as Toco Toucan, Hyacinth Macaw, Jabiru Stork, five different species of kingfishers, Orange-backed Troupial, Great Potoo, large numbers of egrets, seven species of herons, four species of ibises, hawks that gracefully snatch fish from the water’s surface, snail kites, and many other species. Fully 180 of the 400 bird species in the Pantanal floodplain, sensu strictu, are easily visible from vehicles and boats without having to dig them out of closed brush or forest.

 

See the Amazing Creatures of the Pantanal

 

 

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Gaze into the huge nest of a pair of Jabiru Stork.

Observation tower at the Jabiru Stork nest, SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Mario Friedlander. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

One of our two special wildlife observation towers is strategically located at 16 meters from an 11-meter-high Jabiru Stork nest, allowing eye-level shots of these, the tallest flying birds in the Americas. Turning to other classes of large vertebrates, the lodge also features scores of habituated Capybaras (55-kilogram guinea pigs) as well as Marsh Deer, Brazilian Tapirs, three species of monkeys, Giant River Otters, Crab-eating Foxes, Coatimundis, Ocelots, hundreds of Paraguayan Caimans, and quite often even Jaguars.

 

 

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The birds are completely relaxed with human observers.

Young Jabiru Storks almost ready to fledge.
Photography: Lucy Richards
.

 

Secluded at the end of a private, two-mile-long driveway, SouthWild Pantanal features 15 air-conditioned rooms with private, hot-shower bathrooms. As the lodge is a modified, old-style ranch house, its wide, wrap-around porch and airy, all-screen dining room (unique in the entire Pantanal) preserve a traditional flavor of charm and quaintness that is in keeping with the private, natural setting on the very banks of the 60-meter-wide Pixaim River. In addition to the charm of the location, the lodge also boasts the Pantanal’s finest, most scientifically-laid-out gallery forest trail system, and without the mess or risk of sharing this rarest of all Pantanal habitats with cattle, which are kept hundreds of meters away.

 

 

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Ocelots have never been photographed this well before.

Ocelot, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Tom Ambrose. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

“The best attraction of any lodge on the entire Transpantaneira Road …”

Dr. Charles A. Munn

 

National Geographic Earth Live: Ocelot episode

Ocelot photos

 

Ever wonder why you never see any photos of Ocelots? They are incredibly hard to see and close to impossible to photograph. Until now! At our elevated hide in the Brazilian Pantanal, we guarantee Ocelot sightings. How? Ocelots are unusually abundant in our forest. By studying their behavior and the routes they take through the forest, we have built an elevated hide right at the hub of Ocelot activity. As our Ocelots are photographed, they become more habituated and being curious cats they tend to stick around. This provides our guests with unprecedented opportunities to photograph these stunning cats. So if you are tired of photographing the same animals as everyone else, look no further!

The Pantanal is the largest tropical wetland in the world, home to a staggering abundance and diversity of species. Our Ocelots roam a beautifully lush patch of gallery forest next to the Pixiam river. Our elevated hide is key to the Ocelots coming so close and behaving naturally in front of our guests. Ocelots almost always climb trees in front of our hide, allowing for some stunning photography. During the period from 5:40 pm to 7:15 pm, one to three different Ocelots often appear. The average duration of sightings is about 10 minutes, with some nights running to 25 minutes and others to just a minute or two. Ocelots are nocturnal, so we use a rigged lighting system to illuminate them enough for auto-focus to work reliably. On camera flashes and multiple flash systems are recommended for professional results. Our Ocelots come very close to the hide, so you don’t need a gigantic lens to get great results. A 400 mm lens on full frame, or 200 – 300 mm lenses on crop sensors are all the magnification you need.

 

 

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Our wildlife boating searches are a biologist’s tour de force.

Pixaim River, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Mario Friedlander. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

 

“Dreaming of that next epic wildlife adventure? Here are your go-to guys.”

–Condé Nast Traveller

 

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Arcana Mundi Expeditions

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