Experience Brazil's beautiful flora and fauna in the Pantanal—the world's largest tropical wetland region—during this exciting 12-day tour. First, fly into the city of Cuiabá and transfer to your lodge, where you'll spot wildlife as you enjoy nature walks and boat rides. Then transfer to Porto Jofre to spend some time looking for jaguars on a speedboat safari. Next, enjoy horseback riding and more nature excursions before returning to Cuiabá for some free time before departure.


  • Explore the Bay of Piuval by boat while looking for animal nests
  • Go horseback riding through spectacular nature on two excursions
  • Enjoy a guided speedboat safari and wildlife tour in Porto Jofre
  • Keep an eye out for jaguars, giant river otters, piranhas, and storks 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cuiabá, Transfer to the North Pantanal North Pantanal
Day 2 Pousada Piuval Tour (Day 1) North Pantanal
Day 3 Pousada Piuval Tour (Day 2) North Pantanal
Day 4 Sunrise Boat Tour, Transfer to Porto Jofre Porto Jofre
Days 5-6 Pantanal Boat Safari Porto Jofre
Day 7 Transfer from Porto Jofre to the Far North North Pantanal
Day 8 Pousada Araras Lodge Tour (Day 1) North Pantanal
Day 9 Pousada Araras Lodge Tour (Day 2)  North Pantanal
Day 10 Pousada Araras Lodge Tour (Day 3) North Pantanal
Day 11 Transfer to Cuiabá, Free Time Cuiabá
Day 12 Explore Cuiabá, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cuiabá, Transfer to the North Pantanal

A cocoi heron catches fish in the water in Pantanal
Look for herons catching fish in the Pantanal

Welcome to Brazil! Upon arrival in Cuiabá, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to the Pantanal region via the Transpantaneira Park Road. The trip from Cuiabá to your lodge in the North Pantanal is almost 75 miles (120 km) long and takes about 2-3 hours, depending on the conditions of the road. Once you arrive, check into your room and head out for a short walk for your first taste of the Pantanal wetlands.

After dinner, go on a nighttime photographic safari, where you'll use a powerful lantern to spot animals. The light will reflect off the eyes of the animals, thus allowing you to spot nocturnal fauna such as alligators, owls, foxes, and spiders, with a strong possibility of seeing several species of mammals and birds. The safari excursion lasts 1.5 hours. 

Day 2: Pousada Piuval Tour (Day 1)

Go boating as you explore Pantanal
Take a boat tour in the Pantanal that culminates at sunset

After a good night's rest and breakfast, head out for a relaxing nature walk, lasting from 1.5-3 hours. This activity is usually carried out on trails that run through various environments in Pantanal, such as riverside forests, forests in higher areas, creeks, and open fields. You'll get to know the flora and fauna of the region as you gain an understanding of the Pantanal ecosystem. Afterward, take a few hours midday to relax around the lodge's pool.

After lunch, enjoy a boat ride on the Bay of Piuval, which is approximately 3 miles (5 km) long and 0.5 miles (1 km) wide. You can find the nests of several animals here, such as alligators, jabiru storks, capybaras, deer, howler monkeys, and birds. The sunset in this place is beautiful and unforgettable. At the end of the bay, you'll find an island with a 1,476-foot (450 m) long footbridge, as well as a 50-foot (15 m) high observation tower, where you can get a great view of the Pantanal from above. If you're visiting between June and October, keep an eye out for biguás, herons, and spoonbills.

Day 3: Pousada Piuval Tour (Day 2)

Go riding on horses that are suitable for beginners

Today you'll go for an early-morning walk to see the sunrise and listen to the birds. Then, prepare to go horseback riding for 1-3 hours, where you'll get to see the area like a true local cowboy. The horses are calm and trained to ride with people who don't have experience, so even those who have never ridden on horseback before can enjoy this tour. Accompanied by an experienced local guide, keep an eye out for typical Brazilian savanna animals, like armadillos, anteaters, deer, rhea, and a wide variety of birds. 

After lunch, it's time for another nature walk. This time you'll explore the Pousada Piuval, which has four different trails: Acori Trail, Bridge Trail, Monkey Trail, and Birici Trail (with an observation tower). Each has a different length and degree of difficulty, and you can enjoy a hike here with an experienced guide. Observe acori capon forests and other native trees as you look out for nail monkeys, howler monkeys, blue macaws, capybaras, anteaters, quatis, cotias, jabiru storks, armadillos, and alligators.

Day 4: Sunrise Boat Tour, Transfer to Porto Jofre

Sunrise over the Pantanal
Rise early for a stunning sunrise over the Pantanal

This morning, you'll head out before dawn on a guided boat tour down the river to watch the sunrise. It's quite the spectacle to see the sun rise over the forested wetlands, gilding both the morning sky and the river waters. This trip also doubles as a wildlife safari, as you're sure to spot exotic waterbirds that are just starting their day. These include herons, kingfishers, and jabiru storks.

After the tour, return to your fazenda (farm) and take the rest of the morning free. Then, after lunch and check-out, transfer to Porto Jofre, a small settlement located on the Cuiabá River adjacent to Pantanal Matogrossense National Park. Here, you'll check into another comfy fazenda and relax until it's time for dinner.

Days 5-6: Pantanal Boat Safari

You might spot a jaguar on the riverbank
Keep an eye out for jaguars on the riverbank

It's another early start today, as before dawn, you'll head to the Paraguay River for a guided wildlife tour by speedboat. These river expeditions are great opportunities to spot the mammals, reptiles, and hundreds of bird species that call this area home. The north Pantanal also happens to have the highest density of jaguars in the Americas. They're particularly fond of the vegetation along riverbanks, so with any luck, you'll spot a couple.

Meet your guide at the riverbank, then hop on a small speedboat and begin the excursion. As you go, you'll witness the beauty and flourishing wildlife of the riparian forest flanking the river. Its centennial trees are home to monkeys and exotic birds like blue hyacinth macaws, while on the shore, mammals like tapirs and capybaras frolic around. In the water are even more exotic specimens, like river otters, caimans, and anacondas. Jaguars, however, can be seen anywhere—on land, wading in the water, and sitting in trees and scanning for prey. After the tour, you'll return to the fazenda.

Day 7: Transfer from Porto Jofre to the Far North

Take the Transpantaneira road to the far north of the region
Enjoy some free time this morning before having lunch at the farm. Then, it will be time to hit the road again as you travel farther north up the Transpantaneira Park Road, Brazil's famous dusty highway that cuts through the Pantanal. You'll pass marshes and dry grasslands as you make your way to the far north of the region. This will be your base for the next leg of exciting wildlife tours, including excursions to spot jaguars. Upon arrival at your fazenda, check into your accommodation and have dinner.
Plan your trip to Brazil
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 8: Pousada Araras Lodge Tour (Day 1)

You might be able to spot giant river otters on today's adventure

Today, you'll take a scenic safari through private dirt roads toward the Clarinho River. Reaching its banks, board a canoe and paddle down the river, exploring the forest that grows by the riverbanks and the mangroves. A colony of ariranhas (giant river otters) lives here. With some luck, you may spot a family playing with their babies and teaching them how to swim and fish. You can also try fishing for the elusive piranha—a challenging but fun task. Then, enjoy a barbecue lunch in the shade of the trees, with hammocks available if you'd like to have a siesta.

Return to the lodge in time for afternoon tea. Later you'll trek the Howler Monkey Trail to Howler Monkey Tower, the highest observation point at 82 feet (25 m) high, for a magnificent view of the sunset. After dinner, join a nighttime drive in search of nocturnal animals.

Day 9: Pousada Araras Lodge Tour (Day 2)

Look for jabiru storks on the Rondon Trail
Today, you'll enjoy another exciting horseback ride that will allow you to explore the diversity of the Pantanal landscape, including some flooded areas of the Pantanal plain. The Pantaneiro horse is docile and has adapted through the centuries to eat with its nose underwater. In this region, the horse is the Pantaneiros' best friend, a daily companion for work and leisure alike. When the horseback ride is finished, return to the lodge for lunch. Then, in the afternoon, trek the Rondon Trail toward the 43-foot (13 m) high Jabiru Stork Tower, where you can observe a jabiru stork nest. 

Day 10: Pousada Araras Lodge Tour (Day 3)

Spot wildlife, like tapirs, on today's trek through the Pantanal
Get to know a different area of Araras Private Natural Reserve today as you trek the Ronco Trail. After lunch, join a 2 to 3-hour photo safari toward the south of the lodge area, on an open safari truck, in search of the fauna along the Transpantaneira. Later, relax and have dinner, making a list of the wild animals you've encountered with your guide.

Day 11: Transfer to Cuiabá, Free Time

Head back to Cuiabá today and relax before dinner

It's time to depart the wilderness! You'll be given a choice to either depart at 7:30 am or 12:30 pm today for Cuiabá. Along the way, make some stops along the Transpantaneira for photo opportunities. Enjoy one last glimpse of this unique ecosystem before you head home tomorrow.

When you arrive in Cuiabá, settle into your accommodation and relax. In the evening, be sure to sample the city's regional gastronomy. Due to its strategic location on the Cuiabá River, you can expect lots of delicious fresh fish, including some dishes featuring piranha.

Day 12: Explore Cuiabá, Depart

 The temple of Senhor Bom Jesus de Cuiabá
Consider visiting the Senhor Bom Jesus de Cuiabá, known for its Art Deco architecture

You'll have free time today to enjoy the fascinating city of Cuiabá at your own pace. The city is steeped in colonial history, having been founded by the Portuguese in the early 18th century. You can learn all about Cuiabá's legacy on a visit to the Palácio da Instrução, a dual museum that focuses both on natural history, as well as historic events like the 19th-century war between Brazil and Paraguay. Another noteworthy sight is the Senhor Bom Jesus de Cuiabá Cathedral, a massive Art Deco Catholic temple that has been redesigned and rebuilt at various times since 1722.

If shopping is your thing, there are crafts markets on weekends and plenty of stores in which to buy traditional Cuiaba cowboy attire. For a leisurely activity, visit Parque Tia Nair and go paddle-boating on the lake, or relax on the grass and watch the capybaras milling around the water. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Boa viagem!

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Map of Wildlife Tour in Brazil's Pantanal Region - 12 Days
Map of Wildlife Tour in Brazil's Pantanal Region - 12 Days