Hundreds of bird species and almost 5,000 types of plants and animals—this is the incredible biodiversity you'll experience in Brazil's Pantanal region. On this eight-day adventure, you'll visit the largest tropical wetland ecosystem on earth for nature hikes, boat rides, and nocturnal wildlife tours to spot jaguars and ocelots. As a bonus, you'll travel to Bonito, a popular ecotourism destination known for its crystal clear rivers, cavern lagoons, and red-and-green macaws.


  • See exotic animals like capybaras, monkeys, and jaguars in the Pantanal
  • Go boating and kayaking down some of Brazil's most beautiful rivers
  • Tour the highlights of Bonito, from waterfalls to cave lagoons 
  • Spot red-and-green-macaws in Buraco das Araras

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Campo Grande Campo Grande
Day 2 Campo Grande to the Pantanal, Hiking & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour South Pantanal
Day 3 Pantanal Photo Safari, Kayaking on the Aquidauana River South Pantanal
Day 4 Boat Tour on the Aquidauana River, Piranha Fishing South Pantanal
Day 5 Estância Mimosa Tour, Transfer to Bonito Bonito
Day 6 Visit Lago Azul, Sucuri River Snorkel Tour Bonito
Day 7 Silver River Float, Visit Buraco das Araras Bonito
Day 8 Bonito to Campo Grande, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Campo Grande

Welcome to southern Brazil
Welcome to Campo Grande, capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Upon arrival at the airport, a personal driver will transfer you to your hotel in the city. After check-in, you can stretch your legs on a city walk. There are many parks that are great for a stroll, like Parque das Nações Indígenas and Soter Ecological Park. There's also rich indigenous history and culture here, as reflected in the can't-miss museum Museu das Culturas Dom Bosco.

Day 2: Campo Grande to the Pantanal, Hiking & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour

Welcome to the Pantanal
Off to the Pantanal
This morning, you'll take a private transfer three hours south from Campo Grande to a guesthouse in the Pantanal region. This expansive wetland is the largest in the world, covering a total area of 57,915 sqare miles (150,000 sq km), and stretches from southern Brazil into neighboring Paraguay and Bolivia. The ecosystem here is also home to the highest concentration of wildlife in the Americas. 

Upon arrival, head out and discover the majesty of the Pantanal for yourself on a nature hike. From your guesthouse, there are different trails that vary in length, from two to four hours. They'll take you to floodplains and wooded savannas to see exotic animals like monkeys, capybaras, and armadillos, plus various birds such as toucans, parrots, and herons. These hikes reveal the delicate balance of this ecosystem and how various landscapes work together to support a vast array of endemic wildlife.
Then, when the sun goes down and the stars come out, you'll embark on a two-hour guided nature tour. This is a great opportunity to spot the region's nocturnal animals when they're awake and active. Travel by vehicle to the best wildlife-viewing areas and keep an eye out for capybaras, anteaters, foxes, and caimans. Get lucky and you might even spot an ocelot—a big cat and one of the most incredible nocturnal animals in the region. 
Plan your trip to Brazil
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 3: Pantanal Photo Safari, Kayaking on the Aquidauana River

You might just glimpse a jaguar
You might spot a jaguar
Enjoy a more in-depth exploration of the Pantanal on today's 2.5-hour photo safari. Hop in an open-topped 4WD vehicle and drive to some of the most remote spots of the region, passing grassland, floodplains, and swamps. This is another great wildlife experience, so keep your camera ready to snap Instagrammable shots of howler monkeys, giant anteaters, tapirs, and maybe even a jaguar.

In the afternoon, you'll enjoy a peaceful and scenic ride along the banks of the Aquidauana River, a tributary of the Miranda River. Listen to the sounds of monkeys and tropical birds in the trees as you paddle along the forest-lined banks. You'll certainly spot some elegant and colorful waterbirds as well, like herons, kingfishers, and storks. 

Day 4: Boat Tour on the Aquidauana River, Piranha Fishing

Take a motorboat tour on the river
Take a motorboat tour on the Aquidauana River
Head out on the Aquidauana River this morning for a guided tour by motorboat. During this 2.5-hour adventure, you'll witness all the beauty and flourishing wildlife of the riparian forest flanking the river. Its centennial trees are home to exotic birds, while on the shore mammals like tapirs and capybaras frolic around. You'll probably spot other river denizens like otters and perhaps an anaconda. 

Later, you'll take a one-of-a-kind fishing trip on the river. Rather than catching bass or catfish, you'll be angling for the carnivorous piranha. This is a great opportunity to get out on the water and not just fish but also view some of the caimans in the area. While it's true that these fish do like to bite, there's no risk, as your guide will be handling any piranha you reel in. This isn't just sport fishing, either—piranhas are tasty and the star ingredient in a delicious local soup: caldo de piranha.

Day 5: Estância Mimosa Tour, Transfer to Bonito

Enjoy the falls at Estância Mimosa
Enjoy the falls at Estância Mimosa
This morning, take a private transfer 3.5-hours south to your accommodation in the town of Bonito. This popular ecotourism destination is known for its unspoiled natural beauty, crystalline rivers, and stalactite-covered caverns. It's also a base for fun activities and adventure sports like abseiling, diving off waterfalls, and river snorkeling.
Today you'll visit one popular locale, Estância Mimosa, which is home to stunning natural scenery and romantic waterfalls. The excursion begins with a 2-mile (3 km) walk through wetland forests along the Rio Mimoso. As you stroll through century-old trees, there will be opportunities to spot wild animals and stops at lookout points offering panoramic views. Once you reach your destination, you can bathe in the natural pools of the cascading waterfalls.

Day 6: Visit Lago Azul, Sucuri River Snorkel Tour

The otherworldly Lago Azul
The otherworldly Lago Azul
Deep in the forests of Bonito sits Lago Azul, a cavern and grotto regarded as one of the most beautiful landmarks in the region. Today, you'll transfer to the forest and embark on a guided hike to the mouth of the cavern. Once there, you'll descend about 650 feet (200 m) underground to the shimmering blue lagoon. As you go, your guide will point out fossils in the cave, which include those of a saber-toothed tiger. Once at the grotto, marvel at its sapphire-blue waters and the unique limestone rock formations and hanging stalactites. 

After Lago Azul, go snorkeling in the crystalline waters of the Sucuri River, which is reputed to have some of the clearest waters in the world. Upon arrival, grab a snorkeling mask, strap on a life vest, and hop in the water. Then, float for about a mile down the gently running waters as you view schools of colorful fish and underwater plants. 

Day 7: Silver River Float, Visit Buraco das Araras

See macaws at Buraco das Araras
Start the day with a brisk nature hike followed by a scenic float down Bonito's Rio da Prata (Silver River). The adventure begins with a short walk along a path through a pristine native forest in which you can spot marmoset monkeys and exotic birds. Eventually, you'll reach the Silver River and dive in. Float peacefully in the clear waters of this natural aquarium for a little over a mile as schools of fish swim by. After the visit, enjoy a traditional Brazilian lunch.

This afternoon, you'll visit another incredible geological formation: Buraco das Araras (Macaws' Hole). This massive limestone sinkhole is the largest in South America, at around 1,640 feet (500 m) in circumference and about 328 feet (100 m) deep. Even more remarkable is that in the 300 million or so years since its formation, it has become a haven for red-and-green macaws—hence the name. During this 2.5-hour tour, you'll marvel at this extraordinary landmark and snap photos of its colorful avian residents. 

Day 8: Bonito to Campo Grande, Depart

Goodbye, Brazil
At the scheduled time, you'll transfer by private vehicle back to Campo Grande and the international airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Adeus!

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Map of Biodiverse Brazil: South Pantanal & Bonito - 8 Days
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