Depending on your arrival time, you will hopefully get the opportunity to explore Brazil's most populated city. Sao Paulo is actually the most populated city in the Americas, a fact that helps you to immediately understand the hustle, bustle and movement that you see all around you from the moment you arrive. Reputed for its cuisine, be sure to ask our staff on arrival or do your own research to make the most of your night in Sao Paulo.
Today is another day of covering many kilometers and an ever-changing landscape. Imagine from the bustle of Brazil’s most populated city to the quiet expanse of the world's largest tropical wetland. Remember the sounds you hear this morning as you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Campo Grande and compare those to the sounds you will hear as you lay your head to sleep tonight. After breakfast you will be picked up by your local guide and transferred to the airport for your 1hr 45 mins flight to Campo Grande, the capital city of Matto Grosso do Sul. From there you will be driven 236kms to reach Caiman Ecological Refuge - your home for the next 4 nights. Once you arrive at the Refuge you will have the time to freshen up and stretch out before coming for your introduction talk on the area, the activities for the next few days and your first delicious meal at your lodge. After dinner you can depart on your nocturnal safari (if you choose to do so).
During your stay at the Lodge and your time in the Pantanal there are many activities that you can enjoy. When these activities happen depends on the Lodge availability and the local conditions. You will find out the order for activities once you reach the Lodge. We have listed the options that are available below but bear in mind that the days and timings can change. The program usually follows the following schedule:
Breakfast followed by Morning activity. Return to the Lodge to rest and to have Lunch. Then the Afternoon activity, followed by sundowners and Dinner.
Walking trails in the woods: The beauty of these trails, along with the sheer vastness of the Refuge area and it’s fundamental policy to create sustainable experiences for people, means that the trails taken by guests will alternate regularly so as to minimise the impact on the environment. And such is the beauty of the Pantanal that regardless of which trail you take in the surrounding area and forests, you will still be captivated and enchanted by the diverse flora and fauna within the trails. Walking slowly through this unique nature is one of the best ways to really get to know the heartbeat of the place, the smells, the sounds, and the sights.
Caiman Tour: This is the quintessential tour of everything this Refuge has to offer. You will discover the main parts of the ranch with its 35,000 head of cattle amongst others. You will also visit the corral and see the organic meadow fields and pastures the cattle are raised on. The refuge is also home to research centres, a school and an Environmental Interpretation Center. The work in partnership with universities and institutes to continue the understanding, preservation and continuation of life as it is in the Pantanal. The final destination of this tour is Paizinho’s bridge, one of the most traditional places of the Caiman Ecological Refuge and also the spot par excellence to observe the Spectacled Caimans. It is such a magical moment where you can get up close to these incredible creatures, the symbol of The Pantanal, in their own natural habitat all whilst being guided and assisted by the experienced staff.
Spend a full day with the Jaguar Habituation Team from Onçafari Project as they search of Jaguar tracks, check previously set camera traps for Jaguar signs, search for specific Jaguars using a VHF receiver, and continue the habituation process in general. Apart from the wildlife that you will inevitably come across, this experience is an opportunity to live in the shoes of the amazing wildlife conservationists, who have dedicated their lives towards the betterment of these ecologically vital biomes.
Photographic Safari: Taken on specially adapted vehicles, this activity enables you to have access to the most distant places on the 53,000 hectare farm. Taking in all this incredible land has to offer through both your eyes and your lens will really create memories of a lifetime from this trip.
Canadian canoe trip: In the bays of the ranch, you can row along the waterways in a three-seater Canadian canoe admiring, contemplating and experiencing all of the close up vegetation and water birds. Maybe catch sight of a Cocoi (white necked) Heron or one of the four types of Kingfishers as they dive into the water to capture their unsuspecting prey, or just simply enjoy gliding through the water of the most biodiverse area on the planet. It is also a fantastic opportunity to listen to the many local sounds, as well as admiring and enjoying the beautiful sunsets of the Pantanal.
Today after our breakfast we will bid farewell to the Refuge and journey back to Campo Grande where we will then board of flight for our onward journey to Rio De Janeiro, one of the world’s most vibrant, picturesque and energetic cities. Again, remember to contrast the experience of your senses as you remember how you started the day versus how you ended the day! After our journey to Rio, the rest of the day is left free for you to enjoy as you wish - relaxing and refreshing and taking it easy or getting a head start on exploring what Rio has to offer. Our guides will be on hand to help you with your decision
After a sumptuous breakfast, you will depart on a full day exploration of some of the most remarkable places in Rio. Your first stop of the day will be the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue on top of Corcovado Mountain. Enjoy the scenes of the city down below as you gaze up at the 38m statue, one of the new seven wonders of the world. You will travel up by an electric, eco-friendly train, which slowly allows you to enjoy the surrounding scenery as you travel higher and higher. Following this visit we will stretch our legs with a leisurely trail through Tijuca Forest one of the largest urban forests in the world. Contrast the pace of life in the forest with the hustle and bustle outside. After working up an appetite you can stop for lunch nearby and enjoy a stroll through the artistic, bohemian, quaint district of Santa Teresa. After this you will return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at your own leisure.
After breakfast, meet your guide to depart on your half day excursion to the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain. One of the trademarks of Rio de Janeiro, Sugar Loaf Mountain (396m/1299ft) enjoys a privileged place in the city. In the first part of the cable-car ride, you can see the entire Guanabara Bay, Corcovado and Rio-Niteroi Bridge. In the second part of the cable-car ride you can see, from a unique perspective, the beach of Copacabana, Santa Cruz Fortress and some beaches of Niteroi. You can also opt to hike towards Urca Hill (220m/721ft) which is approximately half way up the mountain. We walk along Cláudio Coutinho path and take the trail up to Urca Hill. You can decide even in that moment whether you want to do this or not as it will reduce the time up there but it will also avoid queuing for the first cable car.
The rest of the day is at your leisure. Relax and unwind at the beach, or opt for the Carnaval Experience, a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes at the largest carnival on the planet.
After breakfast you will be picked up by your guide and taken to the airport for your flight to Iguaçu.
Once you reach the National Park, you will be taken in separate vehicles to the walkways along the falls which are approximately 1 km long where you can see, feel and hear the Falls in all their glory before being taken to your hotel to check in and to spend the rest of your day at your leisure. It is said that the best panorama of the Falls is from the Brazilian side.
today evening, you can opt for private 6-course gastronomical adventure, where the chef will explain nuances of Brazilian cuisine . Do not miss out on this chance to sample the best food from Brazil including harmonized wines from small and medium producers, local beers and exclusive caipirinhas.
After breakfast, your guide will take you for a private full-day excursion of the Argentina side of the falls. This is the perfect side to get up close to several of the waterfalls via the catwalks that have been created through the landscape. Start the tour at the Lower circuit and then enjoy a higher view from the Upper Circuit. Return to the trail and board on a train at the Cataratas Station to walk along a long flat catwalk (1100 meters) built over the Upper Iguazu River, leading visitors to a fantastic close-up encounter with the magnificent Devil's Throat. Lunch (not included) can be enjoyed inside the park.
You can also opt for the exhilarating Macuco safari through the rainforests of the Iguaçu National Park to the base of the falls.
Depending on your flight schedule, you will be picked up by your guide and taken to the airport for your onward journey.