Day 1 CUIABÁ - JAGUAR ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
On arrival in Cuiabá embark immediately for the Pantanal, the worlds largest wetland and the easiest place in the Americas to see a large diversity of animals. The first 100km of good paved road cross a disturbed cerrado transition ecosystem, featuring examples of cerrado vegetation, gallery forests and a unique tall cerrado forest. The pavement stops in Poconé and we continue on dirt road another 17km to the beginning of the Transpantaneira raised dirt highway. The occurrence of wildlife increases suddenly as the roadside fills with herons, storks, Roseate Spoonbills, kingfishers, ibises, Limpkins, cormorants and caiman. We may see our first Capybara, the worlds largest rodent (more like a guinea pig than a rat), and possibly a rare Marsh Deer. Continue south another 110km into the richest and lowest area of the Transpantaneira, all the way to the Jaguar Ecological Reserve. The plant and animal diversity increases, and herds of Capybara are likely to be seen. Keep your eyes open for endangered Marsh Deer, South American Coati, Bare-eared Marmoset, and Yellow Anaconda, Crab-eating Fox, Greater and Collared Anteaters and a host of other animals. It is also possible to see Hyacinth, Blue-and-yellow, Yellow-collared and Red-and-green Macaws. Arrive at the end of the day at our lodge for a two-night stay. Our accommodations will be in a simple hotel in the richest area of the Pantanal. This ranch hotel is the only one wholly owned and operated by Pantaneiros, the local Pantanal cowboys, living the traditional lifestyle. Most of our clients prefer the cultural experience, home cooked food and atmosphere of this very simple hotel to the larger and nicer hotels. We will also enjoy that the hotel is on the land of the rancher who hosts the largest concentration of Hyacinth Macaws in the state. We will probably arrive after dark, perhaps having spotted a jaguar en route! On arrival check into our simple lodging and enjoy a tasty meal. (D)
Day 2 & 3 JAGUAR ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
Wake up early to the sounds of birds and Black & Gold Howler Monkeys roaring in the distance. Today is dedicated to exploring this incredibly rich area on foot and by vehicle. Several areas of different types of forest are found alongside lakes, seasonally flooded fields and rivers. Look for the Purplish Jay, Chestnut-eared Araçari, the fascinating Red-billed Scythebill, Sunbittern, the clown-like Toco Toucan with its huge orange bill, Bare-faced Currasow, Yellow-billed Cardinal, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Rufescent Tiger-heron, Blue-crowned Trogon, Black-tailed Tityra, Mato Grosso Antbird and a number of other bird species. Black-and-Gold Howlers and a black-capped race of the Brown Capuchin also live in the forests we explore today, and we often see them both. The early afternoon can be spent discussing and updating our animal checklists and enjoying a cold drink at the bar. In the mid-afternoon start out into the field again Tonight we will go out again to look for owls, nightjars, anteaters, Jaguar, Margay, Ocelot, Brazilian Tapir, Little Brocket Deer and a number of other crepuscular and nocturnal animals with a spotlight. Each of these species was seen well here on our tours in 2004, and we over 50 Jaguar sightings on nearly all of our tours here in 2004. (B,L,D)
Day 4 JAGUAR ECOLOGICAL RESERVE - CUIABÁ After a final morning searching for the incredible wildlife in this region, you will enjoy an early lunch at the Jaguar Ecological Reserve and then start the trip back to the airport, stopping, as time permits to observe wildlife en route. (B,L)
Package mentioned above include:
Accommodation with full board in Pantanal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), Activities as mentioned in the program with bilingual guide and all transfers in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver.
NOTE: During the rainy season, November through April, we may change the itinerary as the high water often washes out the road or bridges. In such case, high water also causes many of the mammals and other animals to the higher edges of the Pantanal. We would expect to be able to see much of the same species noted in the itinerary above.