Day 1: Campo Grande - estrada do parque - Pantanal
Departure by bus around noon (regular line – ticket included – transfer without guide - option of private transportation). We drive around 250 miles on a paved road to Buraco Das Piranhas. There we await our private vehicle to get on the Estrada Do Parque (park road) entering into the Pantanal. The scene is set: on this track crossing swamps, and around it, we can already spot numerous animals. Alligators basking in the sun on the shores of the lagunas, capibaras (semi-aquatic rodent) wandering in the wild, and multicolored birds observing our struggling vehicle lifting huge clouds of dust. We reach our destination after a 5 to 6-hour drive. We settle and then dine. Lunch open. Dinner included. Night in the fazenda Santa Clara. Option: private transportation Campo Grande - Pantanal.
Days 2-3: Pantanal
During our stay in the Pantanal, the (English-speaking) guide alternates the excursions (groups limited to a maximum of 8 people) to allow us to see as many different things as possible His choices depend on the season as certain animals migrate during the year.
Among the activities offered:
- Sunrise hike
- Swim in the lagunas with alligators (no risk, food abound and they don’t attack humans)
- Canoe excursion along Rio Negro or other river (depending on the season) to observe the local fauna and flora
- Fishing for piranha, catfish, etc.
- Afternoon hike (nap from 13:00 to 16:00 well appreciated during the warm season)
- Horseback ride
- Nocturnal exploration in the heart of the Pantanal, in remote areas (only from July to November, outside the rainy season, as the tracks are more manageable and the snakes less numerous).
All included. Nights in the fazenda Santa Clara.
Option: extra day(s) in the Pantanal.
Day 4: Pantanal - Bonito
After our morning excursion and breakfast, we depart in our 4WD vehicle for Buraco Das Piranhas where we board a bus for Bonito (regular line – ticket included – transfer without guide - option of private transportation - 4 to 5 hours on a paved road). Lunch included. Dinner open (numerous restaurants offer plates based on jacaré meat, local name for alligator). Night in a pousada. Important note: on Sundays, the connection by bus (regular line) between Buraco das Piranhas and Bonito is not possible (plan the option of a private vehicle). Option: trip Pantanal - Bonito in private vehicle.
Day 5: Bonito, lago azul cave & estancia Mimosa
Departure from the pousada at 09:00 A 20-minute trip by car takes us to the cave of the "Blue Lake". The cavern is covered with stalactites and stalagmites. With a little imagination you will see all sorts of creatures (little Buddha, dinosaurs, sorcerer, dancer…). The cavern ends in an underwater lake containing crystal clear water of the deepest blues imaginable. The groups for this visit are limited to a maximum of 15 people. In smaller groups, we start in the direction of the Estancia Mimosa, for lunch. Afterwards, on a trail that snakes among orchids and bromelias, we follow a stream up-river, from one waterfall to another, in the search of a place to swim. Return to Bonito at the end of the day. Lunch included. Dinner open. Night in a pousada.
Day 6: Bonito, Rio da Prata & buraco das araras
Departure from the pousada at 09:00 On board a minibus, we drive to "Recanto Ecologico do Rio da Prata". A 40-minute hike in the primary forest, during which we may have the chance to spot a few toucans or parrots, takes us to the shores of the river da Prata. Equipped of a wetsuit, a mask and a snorkel (provided on location - included), we slip into the incredibly clear water to let ourselves be swept by the current over a few miles of a peaceful "flotation" in the middle of a multicolored fauna and flora. This site, which feels us with the unforgettable sensation of closeness and communion with nature, is surprisingly little known. However, it is one of the most impressive in the country.
We indulge in an excellent buffet for a recovery lunch. On the way back towards Bonito, in the middle of the afternoon, we stop at Buraco das Araras, a 200-meter deep, almost circular, cavity. Hundreds of red, blue or multicolored Aras (large parrots), living on the inaccessible cliffs of this geological curiosity, fly whichever way, a few meters away from the visitors. Their strident calls pierce the atmosphere and seem to be aimed at annoying a lost alligator, which arrived, by accident at the bottom of the hole, where he lives a prisoner, forever. Return to Bonito at the end of the day. Lunch included. Dinner open. Night in a pousada.
Note: It is not possible to do this excursion as a private trip but the sizes of the groups, accompanied by specialized guides, are always reasonable (8 people max).
Day 7: Bonito - Campo Grande. In the morning, transfer to the "rodoviaria", bus station. Trip by bus (regular line) towards Bonito (5-hour trip – ticket included). Meals not included. Option 1: private transportation Bonito - Campo Grande. Option 2: hotel night.
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