Pantanal – A paradise for animal lovers
It is the largest lacustrine and swamp surface on earth and covers an area of 230,000 km²; Four times bigger than Switzerland. The Transpantaneira route takes us to the adventure through 145 km and crossing 125 bridges in the very heart of this natural paradise. From several cozy shelters it is possible to observe in organized excursions jabiru storks, macaws, spectacled alligators, capybaras and even jaguars. The offer is wide from boat trips, hikes or trips in trailers pulled by tractors. Those who are more individualistic rent a vehicle, as there is much to discover along the roadside. All transfers can be organized through the lodges individually. The easiest thing is to be advised and provided by the tourist representatives. The best time of the year is in the dry months between May and the end of September. In this place there have been no cases of Malaria. It is however, recommended to be vaccinated against yellow fever. We started our trip from Cuiaba in the small town of Bom Jardim.
Bom jardim – Aquario Encantado – Piuval
After breakfast we depart from Bom Jardim by vehicle to the Enchanted Aquarium. There we made connection with a trailer pulled by tractor for about 10 minutes to start a small walking tour. Most of the time we walked on boards through a fantastic jungle towards the Aquarium. On the way, we could observe capuchin monkeys. With water suits and snorkel we could admire the fish in the crystal clear lagoon. Then we continue again a couple of hundred kilometers to Rio Salobre. We practiced snorkeling about 700 m downstream and went back to the Tractor to quickly return to the hotel at Bom Jardim for a quick shower. Then, we traveled two hours back to Cuiaba. Here we had a delicious espresso in the restaurant “Grill Aeroporto” and we continued traveling another two hours to our Piuval Lodge. On the way we passed through Pocone, the largest town in Pantanal. After dinner we did a night safari for 1 to 2 hours and saw our first anteater.
Posada Piuval www.pousadapiuval.com.br
Each room has a hammock; there is a souvenir shop with a couple of books, pool, Ping-Pong table, restaurant with buffet, and internet which does not always work. The accommodation provides a daily excursion, whether horseback riding, boat ride or tractor for two hours approx. Extra excursions have to be paid.
The next day we continue with an excursion from 08:00 to10: 30 am in a trailer pulled by tractor around the site. We saw an impressive amount of Jacarés, Jabiru Storks, some Capybaras, Cranes, Southern Grunts, Southern Screemers, green iguanas and Pink Spoonbills. At noon we had time to select the photos and at 1:00 pm it is lunch to leave again at 3:30 p.m. with our guide Joao.
The two-hour tour was a total success, as we surprisingly and unexpectedly saw our second Jaguar. Our guide had seen none here before, in 17 years. After dinner at 7:00 p.m. we again do a night safari in vehicle from the Lodge. A pickup truck with outdoor seating.
Piuval – Rio Claro
In the darkness we began our first Safari on foot. Warning! There is an impressive amount of ticks. We were able to observe capuchin monkeys, coatis and crab-eating foxes. Breakfast was from 07:00 to 08:10 running, but in return we saw traces of jaguars and jabiru stork nests. After lunch we traveled by minibus to Río Claro Lodge for 1.5 hrs. The trip itself is quite an experience with a variety of animals on the road. The Lodge is much nicer than the one in Piuval, especially the facilities near the river. Until 18:00 we were immediately in a boat, fishing white piranhas.
Rio Claro Lodge Rodovia Transpantaneira km 42 www.pousadarioclaro.com.br
Swimming pool, Restaurant, Dock for boats, hammocks and a great variety of birds in the garden such as woodpeckers, caracara, cardinals, guane and parrots among others.
Here we did two night walks and it can be said that we saw almost nothing. The Safaris are offered throughout Transpantaneira and we had already done it and we did not see much either. The best of the Posada are the birds that live right there in the place. The Guyanese peacocks wander around, the nests of parrots can be seen, the Pantanal guanees scream to death and the cardinals come in dozens. The boat trips are really great. The guide throws piranhas caught in advance to the water and immediately: vultures, martins fishers or herons come and take their food out of the water. You can take excellent photos. Yacare caimans are also allowed to feed on piranhas strung on a stick.
Rio Claro – Pantanal Norte Hotel
Before noon we go again to fish and take pictures of birds, including toucans and vultures. In the afternoon we drove through the Transpantaneira in approx. 4 hours to Puerto Jofre. On the way there are some inns and the rest is only gravel road. Right and left are bars can be seen, as also, a lot of Jacarés and an impressive world of birds. The mammals did not show up. After an hour’s journey we stopped at an inn in Mato Grosso. The place is right on a much nicer river than the Piuval or the Claro River, but of course it is next to Transpantaneira. Local guides recommended a cheaper inn in Pouso Alegre. http://www.pousalegre.com.br/ Here, around 4:00 p.m., mammals such as anteaters and tapirs arrive from the jungle to the lagoon to drink water.
Hotel Pantanal Norte provides extensive areas, pool, lagoon, restaurant located directly on the river with boat dock, at the time of check-in you get a plastic bracelet that identifies you as a customer. http://portojofre.com.br
Northern Pantanal – Jaguar Safari
Immediately after breakfast we depart by boat to our first Safari to see Jaguars. Three and a half hours later, the first jaguar appears. Then it is one after another. In total we saw 4 specimens in less than half an hour. Observing them from the boat is a safe point. At first, it felt cold when sailing with wind. We easily walked around with 50 things. The lenses and hoods are important. The hats are easily blown. During the day it is really hot and there are long waiting times with mosquitoes. The jaguar looks pretty, of course the yacares too, since there are millions of them in Pantanal. Much more than that we did not see and as it is logical, we arrived at Puerto Jofré because of the Jaguars. In the afternoon we went in search of the tapirs, but we had bad luck.
North Pantanal – Cuiaba
During the morning we returned to take a safari to see jaguars and we were able to photograph several specimens. After lunch we returned to Cuiaba, a 7 hour trip.
- There are often ticks, mainly in the Piuval Inn.
- You can travel by steamboat through the Amazon from Cáceres to Porto Jofré, 6 nights, 7 days
- The Posada Alegre Lodge is simple and is a cheaper alternative with very good opportunities to see animals
- The Mato Grosso Lodge is perhaps the most beautiful, but it is located next to the Transpantaneira and there are many day guests, which is quite annoying.