Tour Dates: Tbc October 2025 (Cuiaba to Cuiaba)
Tour Price: Estimated £5,999pp plus flight
Estimated Flight Price: London to Cuiaba (via Sao Paulo) approx. £900 return
Deposit: £800 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £250 – £300
Minimum Number: 6 people
Maximum Group Size: 8 people
Birds: Hyacinth Macaw, Jabiru, Agami Heron, Capped Heron, Green Ibis, Buff-necked Ibis, Toco Toucan, Sunbittern, Nacunda Nighthawk, Great Potoo, Pied Lapwing, Black Skimmer, Helmeted Manakin, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher, Band-tailed Antbird, Mato Grosso Antbird and many more!!
Mammals: Jaguar, Ocelot, South American Tapir, Crab-eating Fox, Crab-eating Racoon, Giant River Otter, Giant Anteater, Southern Tamandua and a possibility of Puma. Plus numerous deer and monkey species
The Pantanal is one of the world’s largest wetlands and during October it is teeming with wildlife. During this tour to the Northern Pantanal, our focus will be all wildlife, but with a particular effort to try and see Jaguar and with multiple chances to really enjoy this amazing cat as well as the abundance of other wildlife found here. These jaw dropping cats can often be found resting on the edges of the sandy river systems in the shade where the photographic opportunities are excellent. We have three full days dedicated to exploring the river Cuiaba and its tributaries by boat where we have our best chance of finding the Jaguars. Our accommodation during the tour is based at a number of the best lodges and hotels along the entire length of the famous Transpantaneira dirt road. It is the only road to cross the northern Pantanal and is over 150 kilometres in length. Much of the wildlife in the Pantanal is viewed from the Transpantaneira, making it very easy to view wildlife. This tour allows for some great views of wildlife and wonderful photography opportunities too.
This new relaxed itinerary is designed to savour the wildlife found at a great selection of different lodges.
It also includes three full days on the Cuiaba river system searching for Jaguars and birds with 5 boat trips included.
Plus another two boat trips on the river Pixaim searching for other mammals and birds.
ACCOMMODATION: 11 nights in Brazil (10 in the Pantanal)
Good quality lodges and hotels throughout the tour
1 night Pousada Piuval, 2 nights Pouso Alegre, 4 nights Porto Jofre, 2 nights Santa Tereza, 1 night Hotel Matto Grosso and 1 night Cuiaba.
Inclusive Meals: Full board
DAY 1: Arrival at Cuiaba – Pousada Piuval
On arrival at Cuiaba airport we travel South West to the town of Pocone, the gateway town to the great wetlands of the Northern Pantanal. After passing through Pocone, our adventure really starts as we join the famous dusty track that is the Transpantaneira! Birds en route will be many, but we will keep a particular eye out for Red-legged Seriema, Greater Rhea and the beautiful Buff-necked Ibis. We should arrive at our Pousada in good time to explore the garden and surrounding wetland where the birding is fabulous. Photography will be too tempting as we pass close to many waterbirds that may include numerous Jabirus, herons and kingfishers. There are many great birding opportunities just in the gardens with Blue-crowned and Nanday Parakeets. The forests and associated grasslands can be very good for birding with key species like Red-billed Scythebill, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Dull-capped Attila, Red-legged Seriema, Little Woodpecker, Black-bellied Antwren and Flavescent Warbler all being possibilities. Overnight Pousada Piuval
DAY 2: Piuval to Pouso Alegre
A full morning at Piuval allows us plenty of time for look for key birds and mammals. We will have many opportunities to see the congregations of waterbirds as well as specialities such as Cream-coloured Woodpecker and Great Rufous Woodcreeper. The lodge grounds and nearby woodland can be excellent for birding with many species visible just a short stroll from our rooms. Piuval is also an excellent area for Giant Anteater and its smaller cousin, the Southern Tamandua.
After lunch we will head to our next accommodation and relax around the lodge as there is often plenty to see around the grounds here. Later in evening we will head back out for some spotlighting where we hope to find Ocelot and other nocturnal species during a night drive.During the late afternoon, we will look for Tapir which often visit the area and we will also do some spotlighting for Southern Tamandua and Great Potoo. We might even get lucky with an Ocelot or Black-banded Owl. Overnight Pouso Alegre
DAY 3: Full day Pouso Alegre
This morning we will be up early making the most of the cooler temperatures when bird and mammal activity is at its greatest. A Giant Anteater often wanders around the lodge grounds here, so we will certainly look in all the likely spots for this fantastic animal. We will then spend the day birding the grounds at this very relaxing lodge where we are sure to see our first Hyacinth Macaws, Toco Toucons and the stunning Sunbittern!
In the evening we will look for mammals and in particular for Tapir. This lodge has very good numbers in the surrounding woodland and wetland areas and it is not unusual to see a number of different animals. We will of course be looking for birds as well and Great Potoo will be a key target species. There is even an outside chance of Puma! We were very lucky to see one during a night drive during our 2015 tour and the lodge still gets irregular sightings! Overnight Pouso Alegre
DAY 4: Pouso Alegre – Porto Jofre
After some final birding around the lodge we will continue our journey south to the end of the Transpantaneira and the small fishing village at Porto Jofre. We will be staying at the Porto Jofre Hotel which is perfectly situated with wildlife greeting you as soon as you step out of your room. The hotel gardens are home to many good birds with resident Hyacinth Macaws, Toco Toucans and other parrots. A small wetland area within the hotel grounds sometimes holds species such as Collared Plover, Pied Lapwings and White-backed Stilts as well as roosting Nacunda Nighthawks sometimes sat out on the grass. Mammals are common in the garden too, with the rare Brazilian Porcupine sometimes sleeping in the garden trees and Jaguars have even been seen across the river from the hotel garden! Overnight Hotel Pantanal Norte
DAY 8: Porto Jofre – South Wild Pantanal Lodge (Santa Tereza Lodge)
After a final boat trip in the morning we will then head back north up the Transpantaneira.
We will arrive in time for lunch at our next great lodge, SouthWild Pantanal. Once called Fazenda Santa Tereza and a traditional cattle ranch, but today, it is an eco-lodge on 3,500 hectares of flooded lands situated at the end of the Pixaim River. Once checked in to our rooms we will spend the afternoon exploring our new surroundings and simply enjoying the abundant wildlife within walking distance of our rooms. We can explore the grassland area close to our hotel for species such as Rusty-backed Antwren, Lesser Seedfinch and numerous Seedeater possibilities. Birding the various trails through gallery forest can produce specialities such as Band-tailed Antbird, Mato Gross Antbird, Helmeted Manakin, Rusty-fronted Tody Flycatcher and much more! Overnight SouthWild Pantanal Lodge
DAY 9: South Wild Pantanal Lodge
Today we will have a full day exploring the lodge by open truck as well as a four hour boat trip to explore the river Pixaim where we should have some great opportunities to photograph Giant River Otters as well as numerous kingfishers, herons and other wildlife. During the evening we will once again switch to mammals where we have an excellent chance of seeing Ocelot within the grounds of our accommodation! Overnight SouthWild Pantanal Lodge
DAY 10: South Wild Pantanal Lodge – Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso
After some pre-breakfast birding around the lodge gardens, we continue our journey north along the Transpantaneira for a very short distance.
We should arrive in time for lunch at our next lodge located beside a different part of the river Pixaim. Here we will spend some time enjoying the bird feeders which are always busy with Red-headed and Yellow-billed Cardinals as well as Purplish Jay and maybe the stunning Orange-backed Troupial. During the late afternoon we will take another boat trip, this time on the river Pixaim (right beside our hotel) where, if we stay out until dusk we may see the very rare Zig Zag Heron. There will of course be plenty of other distractions on the river with excellent chances of finding Giant River Otters as well as many special birds like Agami Heron, Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher, Sunbittern and Sungrebe. Overnight Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso
DAY 11: Hotel Pantanal Matto Grosso – Cuiaba
We will end our time in the Pantanal with a final morning birding around the lodge before lunch, targeting species that we may have missed, or simply enjoying more views of the commoner species. We will then re-trace our route, but taking various stops for the wildlife. We should still have time for some birding around the nearby wetlands visible from the dirt road. There are usually plenty of herons and storks present as well as Sunbittern and Red-legged Seriemas before we make the final journey to Cuiaba where we spend the night in a hotel very close to Cuiaba airport. Overnight Cuiaba
DAY 12: Transfer to Cuiaba airport
Our hotel is just a couple of minutes away from the airport, so we can enjoy breakfast in the hotel before heading to the airport where the tour concludes.
Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides
Leaders: Wise Birding Leader & local guide
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin en-suite rooms, all meals, bottled water, all entrance fees, services of the leaders and all boat trips ( 3 Full day and 2 half days Porto Jofre. Plus 2 half day boat trips on the Pixaim River)
Not included in cost: International airfare, travel insurance, drinks other than water and any airport/visa fees
Single Supplement: 915USD Equivalent
Transport: A/C Minibus through the tour
The vast majority of birding is done in close proximity to the vehicle or from boats. Some short walks on flat trails in gallery forest / grassland.
Climate: Hot and humid
Tour Start Point: Cuiaba airport, Brazil
Tour End Point: Cuiaba airport, Brazil
Suggested Airlines: BA and KLM