Pantanal Explorer

One of the birdiest locations on the planet.

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Enjoy the traditional charm and quaintness of the old-style ranch house.

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

 

4-1/2 stars on Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Winner in 2013, 2014 and 2015

See the Amazing Creatures of the Pantanal

All photos taken by our guests

 

Pantanal Explorer Private Tour (4 days/3 nights)

(Minimum of 2 guests)

US$ 1,340 per person. Single supplement: US$ 300

US$ 2,275 (1 guest)

With Jaguar Zone Day Trip: US$ 2,165 per person. Single supplement: US$ 300

US$ 3,930 (1 guest)

Children under 6 years old are free. Children from 6 to 11 years old enjoy a 50% discount, as long as they share a room with two adults. The price includes travel insurance for U.S. and Canadian residents through the age of 59 years (over that age, there is a supplementary fee). If you are a resident of either country, please provide your date of birth so that we can quote the supplementary fee, if applicable. Residents of other countries receive a 6% reduction in the tour price to purchase coverage in their home country. All prices are per person based on two people sharing a guest room. An intial payment of 50% is requested to guarantee your reservation, with the balance payable two months before tour commencement.

No air tickets are included, nor do we sell any. We recommend booking the intra-tour flights through your international carrier, Expedia or OneTravel. If you need an overnight in Cuiabá before the tour, we suggest booking your accommodations through priceline or similar hotel-reservation websites. See all inclusions and exclusions.

 

Favored by ornithologists as the top birding lodge in the entire Pantanal

Common Pantanal bird speciesMammals of the Pantanal

 

 

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Boat the Pixaim River, one of the world’s best sites to view Giant Otters.

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

 

Itinerary

 

Day 1: Cuiaba – SouthWild Pantanal Lodge. Reception at the Cuiaba airport (CGB). Lunch at a Brazilian buffet near the airport or in the town of Pocone (depending on arrival time). Depart for the lodge, driving 90 minutes on asphalt to the entrance of the famous Transpantaneira Road, and then another 2 hours on this raised dirt and gravel route — one of the best wildlife viewing platforms in the world. You can admire the huge variety of fauna and flora along the Transpantaneira and make several stops on the way to photograph.

 

 

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Watch playful Giant Otters, the most endangered of the otter species.

Giant Otter, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, once was called Fazenda Santa Tereza, a traditional cattle ranch. Today, it is an ecoIodge on a 3,800-acre private nature reserve composed of a mosaic of savannas and forests on the banks of the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. Now deep in the Pantanal, from our boats on the river and on foot in the riverine forest, you can see three species of monkeys, up to 400 bird species (including Hyacinth Macaws), Capybaras, Caimans and Giant Otters. Additionally, we often see Ocelots at night and even occasionally a relaxed Jaguar on the riverbank during the day. You can also explore our scientifically-designed grid of forest trails, which crisscross the Pantanal’s rarest and most species-rich habitat. Two wildlife observation towers are strategically located at ideal spots: a nearby Jabiru Stork nest and in the bird-rich riverine forest. Despite its remote location, SWP offers high-speed Internet in guest rooms and common areas alike. In addition, the lodge features split air conditioning in each guest room. Overnight in the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge. L, D.

 

 

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Encounter capybaras and caimans.

Yacare Caiman, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Days 2 & 3: SouthWild Pantanal Lodge. Our guides organize and adjust the schedule of wildlife outings according to recent sightings, weather and guest preferences. Each day includes one forest walk and one outing by boat, car or horseback. Overnight in the SWP. B, L, D.

Forest walk. A morning or afternoon walk for 1 or 2 hours in the forest and savannas not far from the lodge. SouthWild Pantanal is an excellent location for birding — an essential stop for all serious birders. Optional visit to the forest tower. Habituated Brown Capuchin Monkeys and Black-tailed Marmosets often are seen in the forest.

Boat ride. A 2-hour-long morning or afternoon boating excursion on the 70-meter-wide Pixaim River, which is one of the best sites in the world for predictable viewing of wild Giant Otters from a distance of only 3 to 16 feet away. Often they will come close to the boat, craning their necks and snorting loudly.

Horseback riding. A 2-hour-long horseback ride through the ranch. This outing offers a great opportunity to see the Pantanal from a more intimate perspective.

Additionally, SouthWild Pantanal Lodge offers use of the Jabiru Stork nest viewing tower, which is only a 2-minute walk from the lodge, affording peeks into the nest of the tallest flying bird in Latin America.

Great photo opportunities are made possible by our bird feeders and bird-filled trees right around the lodge. The floor-to-ceiling screening in the dining room allows uniquely-spectacular bird observation in the trees that shade the lodge, making it the most beautiful dining-room view of any terrestrial lodge in the entire Pantanal. During the hottest time of the day, you can enjoy the pool or our library of nature books or retreat to your air-conditioned bedroom.

During one night of your stay, you wll enjoy an hour-long spotlighting outing in one of our photo safari trucks. B, L, D.

 

View iconic birds, such as the Toco Toucan, Hyacinth Macaw and Jabiru Stork.

 

 

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Search for wildlife in the gallery forest, the rarest of all Pantanal habitats.

Female Howler Monkey, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Day 4: SouthWild Pantanal Lodge – Cuiaba. At the right time, transfer to the Cuiaba Airport in a private, air-conditioned vehicle. Arrival at the airport, check-in and departure for your next destination. B.

Note: Pantanal wildlife behavior is a constantly changing puzzle. To optimize your wildlife experience, highly-experienced naturalist guides analyze wildlife sightings, tree-fruiting schedules, and river-water levels before deciding on the exact order of activities.

 

 

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

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

 

The Jabiru Stork Nest Viewing Tower

No other observation spot in the world matches the Jabiru tower at SouthWild Pantanal Lodge. A user-friendly,spiral staircase ascends 12 meters from the ground to a platform with railings. From the top, guests gaze at eye-level into the huge nest of a pair of Jabiru Storks.The distance from guest to nest is only16 meters. These, the tallest flying birds in the Americas, renest in the same place every year, thus guaranteeing a unique wildlife attraction.

 

 

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The birds are completely relaxed with human observers.

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

 

Jabiru nests are typically located in forks of large branches near the tops of tall trees, but our stork nest is much lower than normal, and thanks to years of careful habituation by our staff, the birds are completely relaxed with human observers.

 

 

jaguars, pantanal, tours, brazil, photography, wildlife

Observe Jabiru Storks, the tallest flying birds in the Americas.

Jabiru Stork next to a Snowy Egret, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

In 2015, SWP guests marveled at four young Jabiru Storks maturing over the months of July to October, as their proud parents flew in often to feed them regurgitated eels. Our Jabiru tower is a must-visit while in the Pantanal.

Our second observation tower is 16 meters tall and is located on the forested edge of our grid of scientifically-designed, marked trails alongside the Pixaim River. Upon climbing to the top, which is just above the forest canopy, guests enjoy a panoramic view of the Pantanal, as far as the eye can see. This tower offers an excellent opportunity not only to spot birds of the forest canopy, but also to appreciate the vast, flat expanses of the largest wetland in the world.

 

 

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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

 

Video from the Ocelot Tower

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.

 

 

Jaguars Pantanal wildlife photography tours Brazil

Sight Jaguars on an optional day trip.

Observing a Jaguar from a search boat, SouthWild Jaguar Flotel, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of the Pantanal: Wildlife Photography Tours in Brazil.

 

Jaguar Zone Day Trip Extension

We strongly suggest that months in advance, guests book a multi-night stay in the Jaguar Flotel. This extension can guarantee your chances of seeing a Jaguar and allow us to optimize the use of cars and boats, thus keeping the trip more affordable. Nevertheless, those who arrive at SWP without having booked time at the Flotel often can schedule a day trip at an extra cost that includes transfers, lunch, a search boat and driver.

This day trip works as follows: Early breakfast at SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, land transfer to Porto Jofre, at the end of the Transpantaneira Road, in open-sided, roofed, bucket-seat-equipped safari truck or closed car or van. Stops along the way timed to allow the group to reach the end of Transpantaneira by 10 a.m. to board a radio-equipped search boat for the trip upstream into the heart of the Jaguar-rich zone of our 7,000-acre Jaguar Research Center Reserve that surrounds the Jaguar Flotel. Upon arrival, a 2-hour search before lunch to observe Jaguars and Giant Otters on some of the following rivers and their connecting channels: Three Brothers, Cuiabá and Piquiri. Those rivers connect right in the center of the world’s most Jaguar-rich zone. Return for a full buffet lunch at the Jaguar Flotel. At 1 pm or 2 pm, enjoy a 4-hour boat outing, searching for and observing Jaguars, Giant Otters, Capybaras and a lot more. Return by boat and then safari truck, car or van to the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge.

 

 

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During the hottest time of the day, retreat to your air-conditioned bedroom.

Guest room, SouthWild Jaguar Flotel, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of the Pantanal: Wildlife Photography Tours in Brazil.

 

“We all loved the time in the Pantanal.”

We all loved the time in the Pantanal. The accommodations at South Wild Pantanal Lodge were excellent. The food and rooms were very nice… We enjoyed many sightings on the road and the Capybara families and Jabiru Stork nest with babies at the Lodge.

–Linda Huetinck, John Huetinck, Bev Griffith & Harold Griffith, September 2015

 

“Great wildlife in close proximity.”

Excellent accommodation. Wonderful staff who greeted us like old friends and, upon departing, ensured they gave us farewell hugs. The two Peruvian staff spoke English very well which made life much easier. Food — hot, varied and very tasty. Great wildlife in close proximity. Varied viewing options; e.g., boat, vehicle or horseback.

–Geoff & Hilary Cuff, June 2015

 

“Excellent spot, great birds and magical late afternoon boat trip…”

Southwild Lodge – excellent spot, great birds and magical late afternoon boat trip…

–Desmond & Rosemary Harrison, September 2014

 

Accommodations

Secluded at the end of a private, two-mile-long driveway, SouthWild Pantanal Lodge features 15 air-conditioned rooms with private, hot-shower bathrooms. We offer free WiFi Internet in all guest rooms and in the common areas of the lodge. 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.

 

 

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See three species of monkeys.

Female Howler Monkey with baby, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

Inclusions

Meeting you and picking you up in your hotel or at the Cuiabá Airport (CGB) and transfer to SouthWild Pantanal Lodge at the scheduled time, English-speaking naturalist guide, lodging, activities that involve a combination of motorboat outings, canoe excursions, forest walks, tower experiences, night spotlighting outings, and horseback rides.

Exclusions

Extras such as beverages other than water, laundry, tips or other personal expenses. Unlimited drinking water is available at SouthWild Pantanal Lodge from large water coolers. Fruit juice is included at breakfast, and coffee and tea are available at all meals. All other beverages, including small, sealed bottles of drinking water, are extra. Please bring your own Nalgene or similar water bottle to refill for free, thus eliminating plastic refuse.

Weather

Approximately 6 to 9% of the days within the June 1 to September 1 period of the “dry season” actually have drizzle or rain, wind and temperatures of 9 to 12 degrees C (48 to 54 degrees F). For boat rides on those rare cold days, bring excellent rainwear, warm winter coats and warm hats. In May and September, 2 to 4% of the days also have cold fronts with drizzle or rain, though they tend not to be as cold. Most other days in the period of May 1 to December 31 tend to be warm or hot and sunny.

 

 

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Spot up to 400 bird species (including Hyacinth Macaws).

Chestnut-eared Aracari, Pantanal, Brazil.
Photography: Arcana Mundi Expeditions. Jaguars of Brazil’s Pantanal.

 

 

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

–Condé Nast Traveller

 

Contact

 

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Arcana Mundi Expeditions

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