Jaguar on the water's edge, Brazil

Land of the Jaguar Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Destinations:
Brazil
Programmes:
Wildlife
Trip Code:
WAI
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

11 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

The Pantanal straddles the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia and is the world's largest wetland region. Its plains and low scrubby forests are home to over 1000 species of bird and 300 different mammals, including tapirs, anteaters, Jabiru storks and the striking Hyacinth macaw. Concentrating on the incredibly rich northern Pantanal in the southwest of Brazil, we divide our time between between two lodges in different areas of the Pantanal, journeying deep into the Pantanal in search of the jaguar, the largest and most elusive feline in the Americas. These solitary predators, as well as being formidable opponents on land, are strong swimmers and are known to frequent the waterways we will explore.

At a Glance

  • 4 nights Hotel Baiazinha Lodge with en suite facilities, 3 nights Araras Lodge and 1 night hotel in Cuiaba
  • 9 days land only / 11 flight inclusive
  • Travel by minibus, 4WD safari vehicle and motorised canoe

 

Trip Highlights

  • 7 boat trips to maximise chances of Jaguar sightings
  • 90% success in jaguar sightings to date
  • Explore a more off the beaten path part of the Pantanal
  • Wetland brid-watching
  • Good chances of seeing capybaras, Giant anteaters, Jabiru storks and other wildlife

Is This Trip for You?

This trip as an activity level grade of 1 and a safari rating of 5. Although the accommodation used on this trip is of a good standard, you should note that we are in a remote area with limited access to luxuries. The trip involves several long drives on dirt roads - these roads are generally in good condition (although sometimes bumpy) during the dry season when this trip operates, but in heavy rain journeys may be significantly delayed. We spend much of the trip in boats, and those with seasickness should be aware that these small vessels have a relatively shallow draft which means any movement would be more noticeable than in larger vessels, though the likelihood of feeling nausea is much lower on rivers than open water. The area’s rich wildlife also includes lots of insects such as mosquitoes so good repellent is a must. When on excursions there are specific spots where we will be able get off the boats but only accompanied by the guides. Mosquitoes are always plentiful in the Pantanal so you should come prepared with long sleeves and adequate repellent.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Cuiaba
End City:
Cuiaba

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Cuiaba.

    The group flights should be arriving in the early afternoon. The rest of the day is free to relax after the long journey.

    Slaviero Slim Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    To Hotel Baiazinha Lodge on the Paraguay River

    This morning we head towards the remote Paraguay River in the Pantanal. We start by driving 205kms towards the town of Caceres before continuing a further 100kms on dirt roads to our lodge located on the banks for the Paraguay River where we will spend the next 4 days exploring the region for jaguars and other wildlife.

    This area is further off the beaten path and the ideal place for jaguar spotting and, with fewer visitors than other areas of the Pantanal, is also much quieter.

    This afternoon we will board our small motorboats to go on our first jaguar safari exploring the river and its tributaries for the elusive big cat as well as tapirs, monkeys, macaws, anacondas, capybaras, Giant otters and any other wildlife we can find. Whilst no guarantees can be made when it comes to wildlife, there is a 95% chance of seeing jaguars. 

    Hotel Baiazinha Lodge or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Days 3-5

    Morning and afternoon boat safaris on the Paraguay River searching for jaguar and other wildlife.

    We spend the next three days on morning and afternoon boat safaris looking for jaguars and other local wildlife and learning about the delicate ecosystem of the area. The exact lengths of the outings will, of course, vary depending on the sightings and you should be prepared to be flexible with the timetable. Make sure to bring all you’ll need including sun protection, insect protection, rain protection, water and, of course your cameras and/or binoculars.

    Hotel Baiazinha Lodge or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Transfer to Araras Lodge.

    This morning we retrace our steps towards Caceres and on to Pocone and finally Araras Ecolodge. Surrounded by pristine forest, the lodge offers a range of activities designed to showcase the flora and fauna of the Pantanal, including jeep safaris, trail walks, nocturnal safaris, canoeing and horse riding. The lodge’s expert bilingual naturalist guides accompany us on all excursions to truly enhance our wildlife viewing.

    Araras Lodge or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Days 7-8

    Search for Giant anteaters and capybaras.

    The next two days we have a full programme of activities around the lodge. Hundreds species of bird, and dozens of mammals and reptiles have been recorded in the immediate surroundings, and if we are lucky, we will catch sight of the striking Hyacinth macaw (Portuguese: Arara jacinta) after which the lodge is named. The largest of the macaws, its dark blue plumage and the bright yellow skin around its eyes and beak make it instantly recognisable.

    Araras Lodge or similar or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 9

    To Cuiaba; end.

    After breakfast we head back to Cuiaba where the trip ends. Those on the group flights will be departing this afternoon.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Lodges & Hotels

On this trip we spend 4 nights at the Hotel Baiazinha Lodge on the banks of the Paraguay River. The Lodge has en suite air conditioned rooms and a swimming pool. We also spend three nights at Araras Eco Lodge, which is designed in a rustic regional style and has 19 comfortable rooms, all with air conditioning, ceiling fans and private bathrooms. The lodge has a bar, swimming pool and gift shop, as well as a spacious restaurant whose excellent dishes feature lots of local fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £480.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

All meals are included in Hotel Baiazinha Lodge and Araras Lodge. Food is likely to be a mix of dishes using a lot of local produce. The local fruit is normally very good. Meat is a staple part of the Brazilian diet, but vegetarians can be catered for throughout the trip. Please advise us at the time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements, especially since the remote nature of the places we stay means that special supplies can be difficult to obtain without prior arrangement.

Transportation

On this trip we use a mixture of private minibus, purpose-built safari vehicle and motorboat.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

The Pantanal has two clearly defined seasons. The dry season lasts from May to October, and the region experiences little rainfall at this time of year. This is generally considered to be the best time for viewing animals and birds. The wet season runs from November to May, and much of the annual rainfall occurs during these months. Temperatures are generally around 25degC, but there can be large seasonal variations. Humidity levels during the wet season tend to be much higher than during the dry.

Weather Information

The Pantanal has two clearly defined seasons. The dry season lasts from May to October, and the region experiences little rainfall at this time of year. This is generally considered to be the best time for viewing animals and birds. The wet season runs from November to May, and much of the annual rainfall occurs during these months. Temperatures are generally around 25ºC, but there can be large seasonal variations. Humidity levels during the wet season tend to be much higher than during the dry.

Weather Charts

Cuiaba

Cuiaba

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 11 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

 

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of TAM (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Due to the scheduling and complexity of domestic flights in Brazil, please note that for the flight from Sao Paolo to Cuiaba and from Cuiaba to Sao Paolo, you will have to add, and pay for, checked-in luggage either via the Gol/Azul website or at the airport. At time of writing the fares quoted by the airline are BRL30 (about GB£7/US$9) when adding checked in luggage online or BRL60 (about GB£14/US$18) at the airport. The website appears to revert to Portuguese, however, when trying to add luggage online. We can provide you with the airline locator in order to purchase the luggage online.

Travelling land only: 9 days starting and ending in Cuiaba

The group flights arrive in Cuiaba in the late morning and depart in the afternoon at the end of the trip. If you are booking your own flights, please do not book a flight which departs Cuiaba earlier than the group flight, since our transfer from the Araras Lodge will be timed to reach the airport for that flight.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Private transfers to the start hotel in Cuiaba (normally the Taina Hotel) can be organised in advance (around GB£60/USD93 per person - please ask your sales consultant for up to date prices). The cost of this private transfer is set by local transfer companies who tend to have a set rate for any journey in Cuiaba even though the hotel we normally use is only 500m from the airport. There are two cheaper options, however. The first is a free transfer organised by the Taina Hotel. This requires you to call the hotel upon arrival in Cuiaba on +55 65 30462000 and is dependent on whether the hotel's car is available at the time. The 2nd option is to catch a local taxi outside the airport. Depending on the style of taxi this is likely to cost between 40-80 Rials (about GBP10-20/ USD12-24) for the journey.

 

Location start:
Cuiaba
Location end:
Cuiaba

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Sunglasses
Sunscreen (high SPF)
Sunhat
Strong-soled shoes or boots for daywalks
Long sleeved shirts and trousers
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Water bottle
Strong insect repellent.
Torch
Warm jumper

Internal flights in the destination country are subject to a weight limit of 23kg.

Optional Equipment

Spare camera batteries
Extra memory cards or film
Binoculars for bird watching
Swimming costume
A monopod for your camera (more useful than a tripod here)

Reading List

Pantanal Wildlife Guide Bradt Wildlife Guides

A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil Ber Van Perlo

Practical Information

Passport

Brazil

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Brazil

Holders of British passport do not require a visa for Brazil.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Brazil

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Brazil's Timezone:
America/Sao_Paulo -03 (GMT -03:00)

Electricity

Brazil's Electricity:

127 Volts & 220 Volts. Plug types C & N; establishments generally accept both two‐pin round plugs or two‐pin vertical flat plugs.

Brazil is one of the few countries that uses two types of voltage. While most states use 127 V, some of them use 220 V. It is therefore important to find out the local voltage before plugging in your appliance (note: wrong voltage can destroy your appliance).

220V, 60Hz. There are power sockets in the rooms at both lodges, which generally accept both two-pin round plugs or two-pin vertical flat plugs. A universal power adaptor should include both of these plug types.

Money

Brazil's Currency

The national currency of Brazil is the Brazilian Real (BRL), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 4.2 to the GBP,  3.3 to the USD, 2.5 to the CAD, 3.7 to the EUR, 2.5 to the AUD and 2.4 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

We recommend taking your spending money for this trip in US Dollars, since exchange rates tend to be better and they are easier to change into Reais. Sterling and Euros can be exchanged in Cuiaba, but not all bureaux de change will accept them.

It is also possible to obtain Brazilian Reais before starting your trip. Most restaurants and shops will only accept local currency, although the lodges will accept Dollars.

There are several ATMs in Cuiaba, including at the airport. Please check with your bank before departure to ensure that your cards will be accepted by Brazilian banks.

Credit cards are accepted at most medium to large restaurants and shops, but most smaller establishments will only accept cash. Araras Lodge accepts credic cards.

Travellers Cheques are becoming increasingly difficult to change in Brazil, and generally attract poor rates of exchange, although they do offer greater security than cash in case of loss or theft.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

As most meals are provided, extra expenses on this trip should not be high. You should budget between US$10 and US$15 for each lunch not included in the itinerary, or US$12‐20 for each dinner, excluding drinks, although it is easy to spend less than this depending on the standard of restaurant. Beer and local spirits are generally slightly cheaper than in Western Europe and North America, and soft drinks about the same.

The lodges we use will accept payment for bar bills or souvenir purchases in either Reais or Dollars.

 

Tipping

Although tips are not compulsory, they are very much part of life throughout Latin America, and Brazil is no exception. We recommend that you budget for tips of US$5-10 per person per day for the local guides in the Pantanal, plus around US$2 for each driver, hotel porter etc. per day

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.