MATO GROSSO 03 ECOSYSTEMS Amazon + Savannah + Pantanal: Jd. Amazônia, Park and Araras Lodge (LS 7.1)
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 without wasting time with flights and airports.
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.
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 AMAXON RAIN 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. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 AMAZON RAIN FOREST > NOBRES > CHAPADA DOS GUIMARÃES
Nobres is a municipality located 140km Northeast of Cuiabá. Due to a large concentration of limestone in its ground, we find many caves and grottoes. The topography of the area features a small mountain range called the “Tombador Complex”, with rolling valleys and tablelands. These characteristics present a remarkable visual effect. Dozens of complex cave systems cross the region just like at better known and more crowded Bonito, the area has many rivers, lakes and caverns of blue crystal clear waters, habitat of several species of fishes and plants, outstanding for snorkeling and caving.
3-hour-drive towards Nobres until Vila de Bom Jardim. Upon arrival, safety and floating instructions, pick up mask, snorkels and floating vests. Enjoy about 45-minute-long floating activities along the Salobra river and its ponds filled with hundreds of colorful fishes.
• Aquário Encantado: One of the Salobra river’s sources, 6 meters deep where we`ll start the first floating activities among many species of gorgeous and colorful little fishes.
• Salobra River: a 500 meter long float, snorkeling in
• 27oC warm waters.
Have lunch, take a rest and then on to Chapada dos Guimarães, in the heart of the South American Continent. Arrive by the end of the day at Chapada National Park. Check in at the charming Park Eco Lodge and take a reconnaissance walk. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
DAY 4 CHAPADA DOS GUIMARÃES NATIONAL PARK
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.
DAY 5 CHAPADA DOS GUIMARÃES > PANTANAL LOWLANDS
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 Quintal 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.
DAY 6 PANTANAL
Breakfast and departure to Clarinho River along private dirt roads. Exploring its calm waters in canoes. Good chances to spot giant river-otters. Have fun fishing for piranhas to complete your local style barbecue on the banks of the river. Walk Trails along its shore. Later in the afternoon return to the lodge for the sunset at the, 25m high Howler Monkey Tower panoramic wood-tower. Dinner and overnight at Araras Lodge.
DAY 7 PANTANAL
Day devoted to exploring Araras Eco Lodge private reserve. After breakfast the guide will lead you on horseback or walking across this gorgeous ecosystem. Lunch. In the afternoon photo-safari down the Transpantaneira Park Road for an additional 25 km. Dinner and overnight at Araras.
DAY 8 PANTANAL > CUIABÁ
Sunrise walk followed by breakfast. Morning at ease for personal undertakings with the assistance of your guide, before being transferred to Cuiabá airport through estimated 2h30 drive.