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The 3 Ecosystems

PANTANAL / AMAZON RAIN FOREST / SAVANNAH TABLELAND

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS

Detailed itinerary
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 (76 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 million 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 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, as the National Park of “Chapada dos Guimarães”, only 55km North East from Cuiabá airport. Its biodiversity includes: 837 birds spices, 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, is 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 biogeography 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

Cuiaba > Amazon Rain Forest

(Recommendation: Schedule flight with A.M. arrival.) Arrival at Cuiabá/Várzea Grande airport or pick up at hotel and transfer to the Amazon Rain Forest. (310 km – approximately 4.5 hours – 200 km paved + 110 km unpaved). Check-in at Jardim da Amazonia Lodge. Birding along the Orchid Trail (numerous hummingbirds, painted parakeet, blue-headed parrot, masked trogon, etc.) Dinner and overnight.(, D)

DAY 2

Amazon 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 boat trip on the River “Claro”, exploring the Anaconda Lake and stopping for swimming on the Palmeira beach. 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: (moscovy 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 > Serra Azul > Savanna Tablelands

After breakfast, departure to Nobres. 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.

The Serra Azul in Nobres is a natural divisor of the Amazon River and Paraguay River watersheds. Hiking to visit caves, grottos and blue lakes of the Serra Azul, enjoy snorkeling amid colorful fishes. Lunch. After lunch continue travel to Chapada dos Guimarães , by the end of the day arrive at the National Park. Check in at the charming Park Eco Lodge .Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
• 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 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 waterfalls add to the enjoyment of the walk. The hike ends at the 86m high waterfall “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 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.

PANTANAL’S WATERS CYCLES: October, first rains after at least 90 days of absolute dryness.
November / December, the plain become green again with the first rains.
January begins the flood, reaching its crest middle of March, and end of rain season.
April to June, progressively drying out. July to September, the plain is fully dry.

DAY 6

Pantanal - Canoe trip / Safari trip & Pantanal local Music

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 - Horse back ride / "Cowboys" Show & Jungle Walk

5h30 Sunrise walk, time to enjoy the amazing symphony produced by the different birds and monkeys, announcing a new day. Breakfast. 8h30 Horse back ride trough the plain, the woods and forest, learning about this incredible “mosaic” of plants, composition of all main Brazilian ecosystems, reason of Pantanal’s rich wildlife and fame. Organic buffalo meat barbecue lunch. “We are proud of our pure pantaneiros horses and buffalo breading, as well as for the maintenance of the local “peões” tradition. These are some of the aspects that qualify Araras Eco Lodge as a real “ecotourism product”. Hammock siesta, followed by a walk to Araras famous “Howler Monkeys Tower”, a 25m high wooden tower, build amid dense forest, home of tree different monkeys species and from where you have a fabulous overview on the plain, forest and surrounding area. 19h30 Dinner at the Lodge, followed by a night drive to look for nocturnal wildlife.

DAY 8

Pantanal > Cuiabá Airport

Morning at ease for personal undertakings with the assistance of your guide, before being transferred to Cuiabá airport. Note: all services under the assistance of expert bilingual naturalist guides.

HOTELS

JARDIM DA AMAZÔNIA ECO LODGE
”Jardim d’ Amazônia” Eco Lodge, on border of the Claro River the main tributary of the great Tapajós River. Surrounded by 1,000 hectares of luxuriant forest, representative of the transition from the Cerrado to the Rain Forest and housing several springs of crystalline water, this area allow us to enjoy exciting trails, refreshing baths, fresh water fish barbecue in the jungle as the ancient rubber tree collectors, canoe downstream the Claro River amid impressive biodiversity, and much more. Its 7 well decorated rooms, delicious home food and heartily reception add to the excitement of this great experience.

PARK ECO LODGE
The Park Eco Lodge , strategically located on the borders of Chapada dos Guimarães National Park (S 15º 26’ 27’’ – W 55º 49’ 34’’) at an altitude of 750m, houses in its 150 hectares of private reserve 2 water-falls (from Dec. to Jul.), amazing outlook over the entire Park, caves, and several well prepared trails for the enjoyment of the most demanding nature lovers. Its 8 rooms and 1 suite offer comfort with a charming decoration in full privacy and the “Teta da Loba” Restaurant & Bar serves delicatessen from the region rich flora. From this Lodge most of the main attractions of the “Chapada dos Guimarães” National Park, as the 76m high Véu de Noiva waterfall, the 850m high “São Gerônimo” peak, the “Casa de Pedra” cave and the Complexo das Cachoeiras a sequence of 7 waterfalls, are at walking distance. Not to be forgotten are the almost daily, glorious sun set, that can be enjoyed from its large verandas and hammocks.

ARARAS ECO LODGE
The ARARAS ECO LODGE (16º30’42,3” South latitude; 56º42’39,4” West longitude) located amidst unique and rare biological diversity and built in harmony with the environment, without renouncing comfort, offers 19 rooms with air conditioning and private bath. A swimming pool to refresh after a good walk, a bar with large choice of cold drinks and a restaurant with delicious home styled food, complete the lodge’s structure. It’s reachable all year-round through the Transpantaneira Park Road, only 132 Km (82 mi) South of Cuiabá, on an interesting 2h30 hours drive. It’s enviably preserved surroundings, spread on 2.700 hectares of private reserve, offers the possibility to do first-class birdwatching, trekking in pristine forest, canoeing, horseback ridding, jeep photo-safari and much more. Two observation towers with 12 m and 25 m height, linked with 1200m of boardwalk on stills, guarantee easy access to nature and wildlife, during flooded or dry season.

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