Pre-trip: Arrival in Cuiabá by the night before the trip and overnight at the Diplomata Hotel adjacent to the airport or similar accommodations or plan to take one of our Chapada dos Guimarães trip supplements before your Jaguar Tour and depart directly from the tablelands of Chapada or contemplate one of the Amazon Rainforest Tours at the Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Alta Floresta, or arrive at the Marechal Rondon International Airport the Morning of the Trip.
Day 1: Cuiabá – Poconé – Transpantaneira – Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel
On Private Tours, for those who have arrived the evening before, plan to depart from your hotel near the airport as early as 7h00. For those arriving in Cuiabá on the first day of the trip, plan to depart by 14h00 with the intention to arrive at the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel in time before dinner which starts at 19h00. From the airport in Varzéa Grande we pass through the city for a short time and travel along a well-paved highway for 105 km to the small city of Poconé, the gateway to the Transpantaneira. The trip takes about an hour and a half. In Poconé there will be an opportunity to have lunch for those departing directly from the airport later in the morning. Next we will begin our journey along the Transpantaneira. Wildlife is best viewed in the early morning hours and then again late in the afternoon depending more specifically on the season and the current weather conditions. The Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel lies midway along the 150 km Transpantaneira Road. It takes about three hours of transit, depending on the road conditions. We will, of course, stop along the way to observe & identify wildlife, and take photos. For those arriving at the Hotel Mato Grosso in time for lunch, or in the afternoon, there will be options for a woodland hike of along the riverside forests, a reference point for bird watching, and possible a boat trip on the Pixiam River or horseback riding depending on arrival time and availability, or you can just relax at the poolside and watch the birds. We will have dinner and spend the night at the lodge. Wi Fi, telephone service and landline electricity will be available for the last time until we return.
Day 2 Pixaim River – Campo Jofre- Porto Jofre – Piquiri River
Breakfast begins at 6h00 with an anticipated departure time for Porto Jofre of 7h00. We will continue along the Transpantaneira, which will now appear somewhat different as the land is lower and farms are replaced by the Parque Estadual Encontro das Aguas (Meeting of the Waters State Park) on our left side. The Northern Pantanal is characterized by “Island Forests” and Campo Limpo “Clean Fields” as opposed to the scrub-filled fields (Campo Suja) of the Southern Pantanal. We will pass by the wildlife-rich Campo Jofre, the largest Campo Limpo in the Pantanal. In addition to large groups of fat and docile Capybara and Spectacled-Caiman, we will likely encounter the unique Southern Screamer, and possibly an Anaconda. Our goal will be to arrive at the river by 10h30 and then continue upstream by motorboat for about 40 minutes to the remote Piquiri River Lodge. As we head upstream, we will pass by the confluence with the Cuiaba Piquiri and São Lourenço Rivers and continue along the Piquiri River through the Jaguar search area until we reach our lodge. We will have lunch, check into our rooms, and, after a short rest, head back out to the Jaguar search area in search of the endangered Giant River Otters and the Big Cats. We will return at sunset, in time for a buffet-style dinner and spend the evening at the lodge.
Day 3 Piquiri River – São Lourenço – Três Irmãos & Rivers and Corixo Negro
After being woken up by boisterous Hyacinth Macaws, and a full breakfast we will spend the full morning plying up and down the rivers in search of our target species, the Jaguar, and it’s reason for being here, the Spectacled-caiman and the Capybara. Perhaps we will see Howler and Brown Capuchin Monkeys, Anacondas, and of course Giant River Otters and whatever other surprises the lower Pantanal has to offer. We will return to the lodge for a delicious lunch that may include prize fish such as Pacu, Dourado, and Pintado Catfish caught by our skilled boatmen right in front of the lodge as well as barbecued beef from the region. Vegetarian Food is available on request. From the lunch area we will have a view of the open clearing around the lodge where there, in addition of a menagerie of birds including the Jabirus Stork, the symbol of the Pantanal, Bare-faced Curassows, Buff-necked Ibises & vultures, you are likely so spot smaller creatures such as the hamster-like Agouti. In the afternoon we will return to the labyrinth of rivers searching once again for our target species and again return to the lodge before dark.
Days 4 and 5 will be similar to day 3 giving us an excellent opportunity to see if not one then several of the Apex Predators.
Day 6 – Piquiri River – Porto Jofre
After a breakfast at our lodge on the Piquiri River, we will spend the morning, once again in the Jaguar search area for one last chance to see & photograph the legendary Jaguar. We will return to the lodge for lunch, pack up our belongings, say our farewells, and depart for Porto Jofre immediately after lunch. We will return along the Transpantaneira by private vehicle until we reach our final lodge. We will stop to observe wildlife species that inhabit habitats, such as Greater Rheas that we didn’t encounter in the lower Pantanal finishing the safari off with a splendid sunset. After a chance to shower, we will have dinner at the final lodge. We can take a nighttime spotlighting hike along the Transpantaneira Highway or on one of the Trails if the group is not already exhausted before retiring for the night.
We will have breakfast early in order to head out on the trails to see more wildlife, or for the more adventurous, make the rounds on horseback and experience what is an indelible part of the Pantaneiro cowboy culture. After lunch at the lodge, the afternoon is free to enjoy the pool, enjoy another excursion, or depending on your schedule head back to the cities of Poconé and Cuiabá to your hotel or the airport.