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Tailor-made tours

The Caiman Ecological Refuge

Brazil

5 days

Summary

The Pantanal is the world’s largest wetlands and one of Latin America’s most impressive wildlife destinations. And yet, it attracts few visitors and flies under the radar for most tourists. But we are here to tell you, this is an experience not to be missed.

If you’re keen to see some of the continents most impressive (and unusual) animals, travel during the dry season (June to September) for the best chance of seeing giant anteater, tapir, armadillo and yes, even the elusive jaguar. During the wetter months the landscape transforms and the birdlife is prolific.

Caiman Ecological Refuge is a working cattle ranch located in the southern region of the Pantanal. Choose from 5 luxury suites in Cordillheira Lodge or 6 standard rooms in the family-friendly Baiazinha Lodge. Whichever option you prefer, you’ll enjoy air-conditioned comfort, an outdoor swimming pool and fresh, healthy meals prepared daily by your hosts.

But the real drawcard is of course the activities! From photo safaris to night walks, horseback riding and canoe paddling. Your expert guides will introduce you to this landscape, its people and the myriad animals that inhabit this amazing region.

Talk to us about adding the incredible Onçafari Jaguar Safari or Hyacinth Macaw experiences to your stay.

Highlights

  • You’ll be amazed at the incredible variety and sheer number of creatures you will encounter during your stay
  • Enjoy the combined experience of your “Caimaner” guide, English-speaking and formally trained, and a local “Guia de Campo”. Born and raised in the region, these locals know everything there is to know about the local flora, fauna and culture.
  • Discover one of the world’s best wildlife experiences.
  • Travel during the dry season for the best chance of seeing jaguar. Bird lovers should travel between November and March.
  • Take part in the Onçafari Jaguar Safari or Hyacinth Macaw projects and learn about the conservation efforts of the lodge.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Pantanal

On arrival, you will be met by your Naturalist Guide who will accompany you for the following days of activities & excursions. Start your trip leaving Campo Grande and driving Miranda, a town 3 hour’s drive, with a stop at a roadhouse to stock up on snacks or have a bathroom break.

Once at the lodge, you will be shown to your room and receive an introduction about the lodges facilities, the grounds, and the Pantanal in general. Get a good night’s sleep- tomorrow is your first early start as you head out looking for some of the Pantanal’s famed wildlife.

Day 2 Pantanal

Full day to explore the Pantanal with your guide. Your activities and excursions will depend on factors such as weather and recent wildlife sightings.

Typically, your day will begin at 6 am with an early breakfast, followed by your first activity- perhaps a walk along one of the many trails surrounding the lodge, a boat trip along the Aquidauana River, canoeing the lake near Baiazinha Lodge, horseback rides or a visit to the Blue Macaw Project. After your morning excursion, you will return to the lodge for lunch and you can some time to relax by the pool, in your hammock, or in the air-conditioned lounge area.

Later in the afternoon, usually around 3 pm, you will depart for your second outing of the day, returning to the lodge in time for dinner. Nocturnal spotlight tours are a highlight with many animals venturing out once the sun goes down.

All tours and activities undertaken at Caiman Lodge are accompanied by Caimaners, expert naturalist guides on the Pantanal fauna and flora, who are natural science graduates and bilingual in Portuguese and English. In addition, all excursions are escorted by Field Guides, who are locally-born residents with a deep knowledge and understanding of the area’s nature and culture.

Day 3 Pantanal

Another day to continue enjoying the extraordinary landscapes and wildlife of the Pantanal.

Excursion options include:
– Trekking around the lodge for observation of animals and vegetation. At night, observe caimans and other nocturnal animals.
– Horseback riding; the best way to get into the heart of the Pantanal to areas we cannot reach on foot or in vehicles
– Rides on specially adapted vehicles to distant places where a wider variety of animals roam
– Motor boat trips on the Aquidauana River
– Row boat rides on the lakes near the lodges, while enjoying the sounds of the wildlife around you.

Day 4 Pantanal

Guests travelling during the high season (June to September) will have the opportunity to learn about and perhaps participate in the unique Jaguar Project (extra cost) sponsored and supported by Caiman Ecological Refuge. Ask your consultant about adding this incredible experience to your stay at the lodge.

Onçafari Jaguar Project is a conservation initiative that aims to promote ecotourism in the Pantanal by habituating jaguars in order for people to witness the fascinating behaviour of these beautiful animals, from a safari vehicle. Ecotourism is being used as an important conservation tool, providing an important source of income for landowners and local communities.

Day 5 Pantanal/Campo Grande

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Campo Grande Airport for your onward flight.

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