AMAZON + SAVANNAH + PANTANAL: Jd. Amazônia, Park and Araras Lodge
Mato Grosso is the only state in Brazil that holds within its borders three Ecosystems almost equidistant from its capital, Cuiabá, and its respective airport. This program provides the visitor with the opportunity of visiting the Pantanal (100 km South), the Savanna Tablelands (60 km towards Northeast), and the Amazon Rain Forest (290 km towards North), comprising 1,050 km of true photo-safari
The mythical Amazon can only be described in superlatives. It covers an area of more than 5 millions square kilometers of which 80% is on Brazilian territory and those spread in 8 States, one of which is the State of Mato Grosso. It is the largest and most intact rain forest region in the world. Through this large area, flows an extensive drainage system of more than a thousand rivers, which account for 20% of the world’s fresh surface water.
The heartland of Brazil covers an area equal to Western Europe (2,000,000 sq km), and its original vegetation is called “CERRADO”, considered the richest savanna in the world, due to its high plant diversity and endemism. Most of Brazil’s big rivers find their sources here. It’s an area of enormous ecological importance with many areas of spectacular beauty, such as the National Park of “Chapada dos Guimarães”, only 55km North East from Cuiabá airport. Its biodiversity includes: 837 birds species, 161 mammals, 120 reptiles and over 10.000 vascular plants from which 44% are endemic.
The Pantanal, one of the last great wildernesses, is the largest contiguous wetland on the planet, declared a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, its South America’s primary wildlife sanctuary. With a total area of 240,000 sq km located in the center of the continent, the Pantanal is a biogeographic mixing bowl, containing elements of the Amazon and Atlantic Rainforests, the Brazilian Savannah and the Paraguayan Chaco. This fantastic biodiversity includes: 698 birds species, 100 mammals, 177 reptiles, 40 amphibians and over 250 fish species.
Day 1 - Cuiabá - Amazon Forest
Arrival at Cuiabá/Várzea Grande airport or pick up and transfer to the Amazon Rain Forest. (310 km paved federal road– approximately 4.5 hours ). Arrival late afternoon, welcome drink and check-in at Jardim da Amazonia Lodge. We recommend a refreshing swim in its pool with crystal clear running waters. Birding along the Orchid Trail (numerous hummingbirds, painted parakeet, blue-headed parrot, masked trogon, etc.) Dinner and overnight.
Day 2 and 3 - Amazon Forest
After breakfast, an amazing trail will take you deep into the Forest, and contact with its exuberant fauna and flora. Good chances to meet tapir, the largest mammal in South America as well as numerous birds (solitary tinamou, royal flycatcher, silver beaked tanager, etc.). The walk will be followed by fish barbecue and light nap in a hammock. Later, canoe down the Claro River, enjoying the solitude of the jungle and its different life forms: (muscovy duck, long tailed tyrant, cormorant, Amazon kingfisher, green and rufous kingfisher, swallow tanager, herons…) Dinner and overnight at Jardim da Amazonia Lodge.
Dia 4 – Amazônia. Nobres e Chapada dos Guimarães
After breakfast departure to Bom Jardim (2hr drive) passing by impressive rock formations. At Nobres, the village of BOM JARDIM, 130 km / 80.77 mi. NE Cuiabá. An important concentration of calcareous terrain is perfect for the formation of caves and grottos, a small mountain range called the “Tombador Complex”, remarkable scenery of rolling valleys and tableland. The Tombador is famous for a series of crisscrossing cave systems while at the surface, the Savanna and Amazonian Rainforest ecosystems meet.
Nobres, just like Bonito (in Mato Grosso do Sul) is the land of many crystal clear water rivers, lakes and caverns, the habitat of several species of fish and plants. Snorkeling and caving are outstanding. Arrival at Recanto Ecológico Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) to pick-up equipment for the activities of the day: 1 km trail to Aquário Encantado/Enchanted Acquarium and Salobra River.
Salobra River: a 500 m / 0.31 mi. snorkeling while the river flow pushes Return to Recanto Ecológico Lagoa Azul for lunch.
Aquário Encantado: one of the sources of Salobra River – floating with the fish (several species and colors) in a 6 m / 19.6 ft. deep pool.
Lunch, rest a bit and then go to Chapada dos Guimarães, in the heart of the South American continent. Reaching the end of the day in the charming Chapada. Check-in at Park Eco Lodge and a brief walk. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
5 º Dia - Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães
Day devoted to wonderful hikes through the National Park. The wind and rain have sculpted intriguing shapes in the sand stones covered with rich “Cerrado” vegetation. Its bird’s songs and crystal clear water falls add to the enjoyment of the walk. The hike ends at the 86m high water fall “Véu de Noiva” where we’ll enjoy a traditional meal at the local restaurant, looking down into this huge canyon. Later, light hike along the “Stone House” trail back to the Lodge. Dinner and overnight.
6 º Dia - Chapada dos Guimarães - Planícies do Pantanal
After breakfast and check-out, drive down and visit the “Veredas da Salgadeira”, humid areas adorned by the “buriti” Palms, at. The slope of Chapada cliffs. Lunch in Cuiabá at Las Velas restaurant. Then drive on to the lowlands of the PANTANAL along 111 km paved road as far as the charming “gold miners” town of Poconé. “Pit-stop” for some snack, toilet and picture taking of its central square, colonial buildings and cathedral. Then on to the Transpantaneira Park Road for additional 32km until Araras Pantanal Ecolodge, welcome drink and check-in. Later a brief reconnaissance walk of its surroundings. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
7º dia - Pantanal
Full day dedicated to observing the Pantanal’s flora & fauna at the Araras Eco Lodge private reserve. After breakfast, the guide will lead you on a 2 to 3 hour horseback ride through the pastures, woods and wetlands. Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, you will go on a hike in a different area of the private reserve, allowing you to observe and learn more of the local environment. Overnight at Araras Eco Lodge.
Dia 8 - Pantanal
After breakfast travel down private dirt roads, to Sentinela Camp on the edge of the Rio Clarinho. Canoe tour to spot aquatic wildlife, birds and flora; possibility of piranha fishing. Brazilian churrasco style picnic lunch along the banks of the river. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Dia 9 - Pantanal
After breakfast hike or bike ride to visit to a neighbor farm. Time to share a “guaraná “ drink following local tradition, lunch at the lodge. Afternoon photo safari south on the Transpantaneira Park road. Dinner at Lodge. Enjoy a night tour on our photo safari truck, with spotlight to search for nocturnal wild lifeEarly morning hike for sunrise.
Dia 10 - Pantanal - Cuiabá
Morning free for personal enjoyment at lodge surroundings, before your photo safari transfer to Cuiabá. Drop off at airport or city hotel.