In the heart of Mato Grosso, set off on an extraordinary animal safari, reserved for wildlife enthusiasts and animal photographers.
On this special Pantanal Jaguar Safari, you will discover the largest American cat, the Jaguar, in the most isolated part of Northern Pantanal, home to hundreds of animal species and as many different plants. This huge expanse of swamp and forest houses many endangered species, and has become a true ecological sanctuary with unrivaled biodiversity.
This region is the most primitive part of Brazil, and is still protected thanks to its geographic location, its special climate and its isolation in the heart of the continent. These factors have seriously slowed down the process of human colonization of the biggest wetland in the world. Apart from a few “Terena” indigenous communities and a few farms spread out over the area, there is very little human activity. It’s in this marshy habitat with its low level vegetation that the Jaguar lives and so it will be easier to see them here, even though they are incredibly shy animals.
On our Pantanal Jaguar safari:
See the jaguar in the wild and in its natural habitat
Explore the River Piquiri and its tributaries
Immersion in one of the largest concentrations of biodiversity in the world
A totally preserved flora and fauna
The Pantanal Jaguar Safari includes :
- 3 nights with full board in a hotel in Porto Jofre
- The transfers and excursions detailed in the itinerary
- A private bilingual guide for the excursions
The Northern Pantanal, a natural refuge for the Jaguar
The Jaguar is an iconic animal in Brazil. Although it’s not the biggest cat, it is the most powerful one with a jaw that can crush the skulls of its victims, killing them instantly.
Even though the jaguar has no natural predator, it is a very solitary animal and spends most of its time alone. This spotted wildcat finds an ideal habitat in the Brazilian forest where it can hide and hunt in ideal conditions.
The number of jaguars continues to decline, endangering the ecological balance of the whole country. Indeed, this apex predator is practically the only one capable of hunting deer, tapir and caiman which makes it a keystone species for maintaining the complex balance of the Brazilian ecosystem.
A victim of deforestation and hunting, it has almost disappeared from the Atlantic forests of the Brazilian coast, and even from the Amazonia region. It has almost completely disappeared in the USA. Its situation is therefore precarious at a time when illegal logging and hunting are totally uncontrolled and eat away at the jaguar’s vital habitat. This solitary animal finds it increasingly difficult to find hunting grounds where it can live in peace without the negative effects of human presence.
In these conditions, the National Park of the Northern Pantanal is a refuge for this animal as for many others. Now listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Northern Pantanal plain is one of the rare places in the Americas where you can still observe the jaguar in its natural habitat.
It’s from June to September, when the water level comes down and its hunting ground expands that you will have more luck in spotting a jaguar, enjoying the sunshine or looking for food!
Pantanal Jaguar Safari – Your chance to discover the rare animals of Mato Grosso
The Northern Pantanal is a stronghold for wildlife. This isolated land is a unique ecological paradise.
For nature lovers, you will find the authenticity you’re looking for in the Brazilian Pantanal.
However, a trip to an area as special as this is not complete without meeting the people who call this wonderful landscape home. In this vein, we propose staying in a small structure, typical of the region, a pousada (standard category). Here, you will learn more about how the locals live in this region. Meals are organized as full board buffets (3 meals a day) and consist of delicious regional produce, a perfect way to discover the splendid local cuisine. You can delight in the specialties namely local beef that is raised on the nearby land and freshly caught fish.
The Pousada Porto Jofre (standard) and the hotel Pantanal Norte (superior) are both located at the end of the Transpantaneira, in the wildest part of the region, where the densest population of jaguars in the world is found. Here, you will discover the area in private boats for an unforgettable safari full of breathtaking moments. You will penetrate the greenery and enter the heart of the swamp, far from human life to discover the wildlife of Pantanal.
An experience that will remain etched in the memories of those who go looking for the jaguar.
Brazil’s most mythical inhabitant
The wide open plain offers an ideal setting for animal spotting. It is also the richest animal reserve in South America and therefore prime territory for an animal at the top of the food chain.
This is why we recommend the Pantanal Jaguar Safari in this particular region of the Pantanal. Here, you are almost certain to encounter at least one of the top cats during the 3 days of this excursion. The local trackers who will accompany you are always ready to share their passion. Their reward is the delight on your face the instant a Jaguar appears suddenly from behind a bush or on the river bank! These 3 days will also be an ideal time to learn how to navigate your surroundings and learn the tracking skills to outsmart these very intelligent animals and see them before they see you!
Still fairly numerous here, the jaguars come to drink at the river and this is the best time to see them. This is why at Porto Jofre, to go jaguar watching, each day you will climb aboard a silent boat. You will be accompanied by an experienced helmsman so that you can concentrate on looking for the jaguar. There is a proverb that warns “the jaguar will have seen you ten times before you see him” so best to keep quiet and open your eyes!
A piece of advice: don’t forget your insect repellent, as extra hats & gloves for insect protection will only attract more insects and make you move more, making it impossible to be discreet!
Detailed Itinerary for Pantanal Jaguar Safari
The stay is with full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 5 (not including drinks, except water).
Day 1 : Cuiabá / Pantanal – Porto Jofre
After your arrival at Cuiabá airport, your driver will take you to Porto Jofre (about 4hr30 – it’s possible to fly in a twin engine plane, contact us). Lunch is at a typical barbecue restaurant on the way, at Varzea Grande or Poconé depending on your arrival time.
Departure in a private vehicle for the 100kms of road to Poconé ,where the Transpantaneira starts and 146 km to Porto Jofre.
From Poconé, the road that crosses the National Park is not used much and your trip becomes a real excursion during which you will discover a whole new world. Whether it’s hundreds of caimans bathing in the sun or four-legged animals on the plain each instant will show you the amazing animal life here.
Arrival at Porto Jofre after 4 to 5hrs of amazing landscapes full of wildlife running free. (Add 1hr30 by boat to reach the hotel Aguas do Pantanal Eco Pousada)
Evening, don’t miss the sunset and thousands of stars that seem so close without light pollution.
Dinner is served as an excellent buffet in the restaurant at your pousada or hotel.
There will be a wide choice of starters, main dishes and desserts all made with local produce (meats, fish, cheeses, vegetables) and local specialties.
Night on site.
Day 2: Jaguar Safari
After a good buffet breakfast at the pousada, you will set off on your photo safari in the area around Porto Jofre.
Aboard a boat and accompanied by an experienced guide, exclusively for you or your group (up to 8 people), you can begin observing the river banks to see the animals, and hopefully a jaguar. You will go slowly and silently along the river so as not to frighten the animals away. A picnic basket is provided for lunch. However if you wish, it is also possible to return to the lodge for lunch.
Return to the Porto Jofre pousada at the end of the day.
Dinner and night at the pousada Porto Jofre.
Day 3: Jaguar search
You will get up at 6 a.m. and have a quick breakfast at the hotel. Then you set off on the day’s expedition along the local rivers in search of the Jaguar.
You will go up the rivers Tres Irmaos, Saint-Laurent, Rio Negro and Piquiri, where you will have every chance of seeing a jaguar.
Lunch will be sandwiches, fruit and non alcoholic drinks while out in the wild so as not to loose precious time and to get the most out of this total immersion in the jungle (however it’s possible to return to the hotel for lunch if you wish).
Along the winding waterways you will get to closely observe this amazing natural habitat.
Return to the hotel at the end of the afternoon.
After a buffet dinner there is a nocturnal excursion to see the animals at dusk with the help of electric lamps installed on the boats.
Day 4 : Porto Joffre/ Cuiabá
Breakfast at the pousada.
If your return flight time allows it, you can go on a last excursion.
You will then be taken by private transfer to the Cuiabá airport:
- 4 to 5Hr drive from the Pantanal Norte hotel
- 30 minutes by plane to Poconé then 1hr road by private vehicle to Cuiabá/Varzea Grande airport, for the Aguas do Pantanal Eco Pousada.
Attention: Transfer times vary depending on the season and weather conditions.
Your driver will take you to the airport with your baggage in time for your return flight.
End of our services.
Pantanal Jaguar Safari – Accommodation
Hotel Pantanal Norte, Porto Jofre (standard)
The Pantanal Norte hotel has long been considered as a reference in Porto Jofre. Located at the end of the Transpantaneira, on the banks of the river Cuiabá and 245km from the regional capital of Cuiabá. It is on the edge of the regional park of “Encontro das Aguas” (encounter of the waters), this establishment is a good compromise between modern comforts and a typical local decor.
The 28 bedrooms are plain, but well equipped, allowing clients to sleep well. There is also a pool, a games room and various other services available.
A perfect place for travelers wanting easy access to the Northern Pantanal and the jaguars and with a well reputed team of professionals at hand.
Hotel Aguas do Pantanal Eco Pousada (superior)
The Aguas do Pantanal hotel is our latest discovery and we are proud to recommend it. Originally for fishermen, it is located right in the middle of the canals in the heart of the best jaguar territory in the world. It is far from the other pousadas in Porto Jofre, and easily reachable along the Transpantaneira. It’s the ideal destination for a stay away from the world and in a setting that is truly wild and full of rare animals.
Finished in July 2016 and among the best quality in the region, it is a fully autonomous ecological installation (drinking water filter system, waste water recycling system and waste sorting system, solar powered hot water and energy generator). The 7 rooms (double or triple) are modern, with quality bedding, glass windows and air conditioning, televisions and European style bathrooms. It is also possible to rent a villa with 3 bedrooms, living room and kitchen, dinning room and large mosquito protected veranda. This unique hotel is particularly interesting for those looking for somewhere exclusive and isolated but still enjoying the best comforts available in Northern Pantanal while looking for jaguars.
Located on the edge of the Piragara river, directly linked by canals to the Très Irmaos river, it’s the best jaguar spot in the world. The hotel is totally isolated in the local jungle and can only be reached by motor boat. It is 1hr45 from Porto Jofre and you can already spot jaguars on this trip. Or, go by small plane in about 35 minutes from Poconé, a magic flight during which you can see all of this beautiful region from the sky but also the daily lives of some of the region’s inhabitants.
The experienced local guides will take you to some exclusive areas, away from the main tourist groups that leave from Porto Jofre everyday by boat. A unique place you must discover if you want to see the best of the Pantanal!