Northern Pantanal is the wildest region in Mato Grosso, to the west of Brazil, one of the last places where nature is practically untouched.
An isolated area, only accessible via the Transpantaneira, this unique ecological paradise will appeal to you with its rich flora and fauna. It’s a choice destination for those looking for wild and natural surroundings. The Pantanal is a unique biotope.
Pantanal means swamp or marsh, alluding to the tropical rains that soak the whole of this region each year. It’s an ecosystem with two seasons, a dry one and a rainy one and is also home to many endangered species. Furthermore, Pantanal has been listed by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve since 2000.
If you visit between April and September, the dry season (or winter), it’s the coolest with temperatures down to around 15 degrees and little rainfall. It’s the season where the Pantanal looks like a grassy plain dotted with tropical forests, rivers and lakes as far as the eye can see. From October to March, the temperature climbs and it rains more often, slowly flooding the plains and changing the landscape. This is when the animals regroup in the forests on higher ground which then become small islands. The ideal period to visit this region is from March to May, when the water recedes and the animals are easier to find!
In North Pantanal
Lodges in the heart of nature
A rich and varied fauna
The atmosphere of the “Transpantaneira”
Our Northern Pantanal package includes :
- 1 breakfast at Poconé or Cuiabá depending on your arrival time.
- 2 nights with full board in a hotel/pousada (Piuval (10km), Rio Claro (40km), Araras eco lodge (32km) or Santa Tereza (70km).
- Transfers in private air-conditioned vehicles with a guide.
- A guide for the whole of your stay.
- The activities and excursions as detailed in itinerary.
Northern Pantanal, a true ecological sanctuary
Because of its genuinely wild nature, Northern Pantanal is an ideal destination for nature lovers. If you are adventurous souls, you will love exploring this ecological sanctuary that is only accessible during the dry season.
Once off your flight in Cuiabá, you will travel to Poconé, the entrance to Northern Pantanal. You will take the Transpantaneira, the only road crossing Pantanal, to reach this natural paradise. This large open plain offers a unique panorama of the surrounding natural habitat. Here, there are no big hotels. Accommodation is in a pousada, a guest house integrated into a fazenda, which is a local farm. This way you will integrate perfectly with your surroundings!
The largest number of animal species in the world!
Northern Pantanal has one of the richest ecosystems on the planet.
Often overshadowed by the Amazon, the Pantanal is in fact the biggest animal reserve in South America. Here, you can find many endangered species such as the Marsh Stag or the Brazilian Giant Otter. Not forgetting the strange Jabiru, a large wading bird easily recognizable by its red collar, it is the symbol of the Pantanal.
To go off in search of these wild animals, you can go on horse back, 4×4 vehicles with a viewing platform or by rowing or motor boat along the many waterways. Always accompanied by a local guide or “pantaneiro.” From the waterways you will have a unique view of the river banks with many bird species to see as well as caimans and giant otters that are not too shy. There are also tapirs, deer, capybara, multicolored parrots or blue Aras to be seen that will delight both adults and children. With a little luck, you may even get to see an “onça” (jaguar), coming to drink at the water’s edge or looking for food.
A true ecological paradise, this wild region will let you enter into a union with nature, the real master of these surroundings! A stay in the Pantanal is a delight for the eyes and a unique and refreshing moment for the soul.
A national park and a world heritage site
The Pantanal National Park was created in 1981 and recognized as an Environmental Preservation Area in 1983.
It was only in 2000 that this unique ecosystem was at last listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Access to the park is controlled, you will need an authorization from the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) to be able to visit or walk through it. You must also be accompanied by an official guide.
Thanks to this initiative, this region’s fragile environment is being protected from intensive farming and cattle raising that permanently modify the surroundings. The park guarantees the exceptional biodiversity found here will remain.
North Pantanal tour package – Detailed Itinerary
A bilingual guide at your airport arrival and departure
Stay with full board, (not including drinks) from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 3.
Day 1 : CUIABÁ / PANTANAL – POUSADA TRANSPANTANEIRA
After landing at the Cuiabá airport, your driver and bilingual guide await to take you to your hotel and check-in for your stay.
Depending on your arrival time, your driver will take you for lunch in the town of Cuiabá close by or take you directly to the town of Poconé (about 100km away). This is the entrance to the Pantanal National Park and where the famous Transpantaneira track begins. It’s the only track that crosses the Pantanal National Park.
You will drive along this track to reach a cross roads (between 500m & 4km depending on the pousada you choose) which will take you into the heart of the park.
On arrival (1-3hrs drive depending on your hotel), you will check-in then go on your first walk to discover all the wonderful birds here, with the sunset as a back drop at the end of the day.
It’s an ideal introduction to this totally new environment teeming with life.
You can observe the Fauna and Flora and see the amazing change of colours as the sun goes down in this incredible place.
Dinner is at the fazenda (full board)
After dinner, you can go on a night safari in a 4X4 vehicle (optional).
Night at the pousada.
Day 2 : POUSADA TRANSPANTANEIRA
At dawn, departure for a 40 minute walk to admire the nocturnal wildlife going home to bed, mixed with the morning bird song. It’s a perfect moment to see wildlife and enjoy the special light and colours of the sunrise.
You will wander the paths watching out for awakening nature, observing the nocturnal animals going to bed and the others starting a new day, in this concert of sounds and songs that breaks the morning silence.
After a breakfast of local specialties at the pousada, you will set off on a boat ride, in a motor boat or rowing boat (about 1hr30).
(Between August and December the excursion is on the Canto do Arancua fazenda if you are staying at the Piuval pousada.)
Return to the pousada for lunch with a buffet full of delicious local products.
You can relax or go off exploring with your guide…. There’s lots to do!
Around 16h00, you will set off on another excursion, on horse back with a “Pantaneiro,” a local cowboy. During this trek, you will discover the animal life along the river banks.
After dinner, there is a nocturnal safari in a 4X4 from the pousada (not private).
You will set off with your guide to see the nocturnal animals, especially the reptiles that hunt mostly at night. Discover another world in the Pantanal under the light of the moon, comfortably seated in your vehicle.
Night at the pousada.
Day 3 : TRANSPANTANEIRA / CUIABÁ
Last morning, depending on your return flight time from Cuiabá, you will get up early for a last excursion on foot.
Breakfast: regional specialties at the pousada.
Enjoy a last experience of this amazing wildlife by going to an observation tower for a final panoramic view of this incredible landscape. (There isn’t a tower at the pousada Rio Claro, so this excursion is replaced by a canoe trip along the river nearby)
Return to the pousada.
After breakfast return by private transport to Cuiabá. Your guide will accompany you along the Transpantaneira then the MT-060 from Poconé to Cuiabá. Your guide will leave you at the airport in time for your flight.
End of our services.
North Pantanal tour package – Accommodation
Pousada Piuval – Transpantaneira Km 10 (Standard & superior categories)
With the pousada Piuval we are pleased to present what we consider the most modern rooms along the Transpantaneira. In a magnificent natural setting on a farm of 7 000 hectares and located about 1hr30 from Cuiabá airport, at the edge of the Pantanal, it is easily reachable. Recently built respecting ecological guidelines, the new superior category rooms are big and modern, with all the latest comforts. There is also an air conditioning system that is quiet and energy efficient. The washrooms have solar heated hot water (some with hydro-massages, ask us for details) as well as a private terrace with a vast open view of the surrounding nature. The quality communal areas are pleasant, with a restaurant for full board, a large garden and a pool.
The Piuval Pousada is a perfect place for leisure and relaxation while discovering the wildlife of the Pantanal!
Pousada Rio Claro – Transpantaneira Km 42 (Standard Category)
The pousada Rio Claro is perfectly located on the banks of a small, quiet river 3km from the Transpantaneira, in magnificent natural surroundings. It has all the necessary facilities including a pool. It is very focused on ecotourism and animal photography. The rooms are all modern, practical and comfortable, each with an air-con system and electric shower. There are no TV’s.
It is excellent value for money from which to explore Northern Pantanal and its treasures. With its 30 rooms, this pousada is particularly adapted for families and groups. There is also a room for people with reduced mobility.
Araras Pantanal Ecoldge – Transpantaneira Km 34 (Superior category)
With 19 rooms decorated using local materials, the Araras Pantanal Eco-lodge is the destination of charm on the Transpantaneira. It is a spacious location with a large reading room over – looking the pool. A suspended walkway runs around the 800m of this hotel to join the 3 observation towers that give a view out over the whole region, ideal for photographers. An extra advantage here is the particularly excellent cuisine which turns this Eco-lodge into a little paradise. It’s the charming destination in the superior category for the Pantanal.
Fazenda Santa Tereza (SouthWild Pantanal) – Transpantaneira km 70 (Superior)
The pousada Santa Tereza is located in the heart of a genuine Northern Pantanal farm at 70kms from the Transpantaneira, at the end of a 4km track on the river Sarare (also called the Pixaim). It has 15 modern and charmingly decorated rooms. They are all well equipped with air-cons and electric showers as well as a desk and a hammock set outside each room. Some of the rooms are large enough to put 4 single beds in the same room if needed, a good option for large families or groups of friends with lower budgets.
The accommodation is the same as any other pousada that we have chosen in the region with full board, an opportunity to sample the regional dishes and fresh farm produce. A team of local guides are present to organize all the excursions and safaris (non private).