Sea of Xarayés

A River Cruise Through the Wildest Brazil

Day 1: Porto Jofre

The group meets at Porto Jofre to board the Jacaré Motor Yacht by noon. We will have lunch while the boat sails upstream towards the Encontro das Águas state park. After lunch we will explore this area aboard the speedboats, and once we get on the river, the game starts: this is the area with the greatest concentration of jaguars in the world! We will return to the vessel at the end of the day. After dinner, the expedition leader will give a brief talk on the Jaguars of the Pantanal.

Overnights Barco Hotel Jacaré (L, D) (En-suite bathroom, air-conditioning)

Day 2: Searching for Jaguars at Encontro das Águas state park

Today we have morning and afternoon boat trips in the Cuiaba river and its tributaries, in order to maximize our chances of seeing and photographing Jaguars. Although Jaguar sightings are not guaranteed, this region offers the best chances ever to find these that are among the most powerful and elusive cats in the world. We will move along the rivers in search of cats that come to the river banks in search of food, water, or just a cool breeze. These rivers are also home for a few groups of Giant Otters, along with many Capybaras and Caymans. Jabirus, Pied Lapwing, Black Skimmer, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns can also be seen along the sand margins, and we might make a few stops to photograph them as well. After lunch we continue to explore the rivers in the park area with the speedboats while the house boat starts sailing downstream. We will do the same at the end of the day and board the Jacaré further down the Cuiabá river. After dinner another lecture on the wildlife of the Pantanal.

Day 3: Cruising the Cuiabá River

At sunrise, the house boat starts navigating downstream while the group has an early breakfast. After this we board on the speedboats to explore two narrow branches of the Cuiabá: the Negrinho, and the Negrão. These narrow rivers host all sorts of wildlife, such as Jaguars, capibaras, tapirs, caimans, and myriads of birds, offering great photo opportunities. When the heat builds up we will raise the speed and catch up to the Jacaré in time for lunch. After lunch we sail on the Jacaré until we arrive at the area of the Pantanal National Park. Here the landscape starts to change, and we will see beautiful mountains emerge from the flat plains and from behind the forest. There we will explore a lake aboard of the speedboats, hoping to have a beautiful sunrise as we watch hundreds of egrets gathering for the night.

Day 4: Serra do Amolar

This morning we plan to explore the Morro do Caracara, a natural elevation that offers a superb view of the Pantanal for those interested on the hike. We will also reach an archeological site +55 65 9982-1294 www.birdingpantanal.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (depending on special authorization from the park direction) where native people have made their engravings on the rocks thousands of years ago. Here the Cuiabá river meets the Paraguai river, and the landscape is just gorgeous. We will continue our explorations by boat during the morning and reach the house boat at Fazenda Acurizal, a big private reserve run by a local NGO. We might do some exploration on land here and then start navigating across the big lakes while the sun goes down behind the mountains.

Day 5: The Paraguay River

Today we leave the lakes behind and start navigating the narrow channel of the Paraguay river. This is the most remote corner of the Pantanal, and we will explore the main river and also it's tributaries and smaller lakes in search of wildlife. We plan to get close to the Taiamã reserve, the main stronghold for Jaguars in this part of the Pantanal.

Day 6: Jaguars of Reserva Taiamã

We have an early start today looking for jaguars and other wildlife along the river. We will concentrate our efforts in the Taiaman reserve, and perhaps circumnavigate the river island that forms the reserve. We will have lunch at the house boat and continue on exploration in the afternoon.

Day 7: Upstream the Paraguay river

Today we have another early start to explore the rivers around the reserve and also a couple of nesting colonies that could have a great concentration of birds such as Cocoy Heron, Great Egret and Brazilian Cormorant. Return to the house boat by mid morning for some relaxing time on the deck. This afternoon the group might opt for a pleasant time navigating aboard the vessel or for a fun fishing aboard the speed boats. Since this is the last night aboard the Jacaré, we suggest to be at the deck of the boat at late afternoon for sundowners!

Day 8: Cáceres and drive to Cuiabá

This morning the Jacaré navigates towards the town of Cáceres, where we end the trip.

For photographs and more info on the boat go to http://www.barcojacare.com.br/

The price includes:

full time professional guiding services; all the nights at the boat as stated in the itinerary; and all the meals as stated on the itinerary. The lodges and itinerary might still change due to room availability or to best fill the group’s needs. During the tour, daily itinerary and pace might change according to the weather, the group’s needs or due to prevailing conditions. +55 65 9982-1294 www.birdingpantanal.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Price Does Not Include:

Airfare, ground transport, beverages, bottled water, insurance, tips, medical costs or hospitalization, departure taxes, excess baggage charges, laundry, telephone calls or other items of personal nature.

Payment Schedule and Cancellation Policy:

A 30% deposit should be made upon registration on the tour; final payment should be made 60 days prior to the tour. Cancellations prior to 120 days before the departure date of the tour will get 70% refund of the total cost of the tour; Cancellations made between 119 and 30 days to tour have 50% refund of the total cost; Cancellations made with less than 30 days of the tour will have no refund.

Note:.On the river cruise there are no outings during the night. During the tour, daily itinerary might change according to weather, the group’s interests, or any unexpected reason, in which case the guide will consider what is better for the group regarding the group’s needs and safety.

Other useful info:

Weather will be generally warm and dry, with temperatures reaching the 100 (38° C) around mid day in the Pantanal. Temperatures could drop drastically on the arrival of a cold spell, and get as low as 40 (4°C). A good sweater and a light waterproof jacket are recommended. You should also bring a rain-jacket or umbrella, as some rainfall is possible. Long sleeve shirts and pants are recommended, as well long socks that you can tuck the pants in to avoid ticks coming from the ground. Shorts and sandals are good at relax times or at some afternoon boat trips with no walk. Do not forget a hat, mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Quality binoculars are highly recommended as well. +