8 Days
Duration
2/5
Physical Rating
Pantanal, Brazil
Group Size

Pantanal

11 September – 18 September, 2016 with optional extension to Iguaçu Falls

Join us in South America’s greatest wildlife spectacle, Brazil’s tropical wetland region: the Pantanal. Escape the urban life and enter the home of one of the most elusive predators found on the continent: the mighty jaguar. In a region that boasts perhaps the highest density of jaguars in the world we offer you the opportunity to look into the eyes of this majestic cat. When not in the pursuit of jaguars you may find yourself in the company of endangered giant river otters and tapirs, the once endangered hyacinth macaw, or a plethora of capybara, spectacled caiman and birds of all descriptions.

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE LOCATION Cuiaba Airport, Brazil
ARRIVAL TIME Afternoon of 11th September
INCLUDED
Two Focus Expeditions trip leaders
Lodging at all hotels during the expedition
All ground transportation
Meals & bottled water
Local guided services in English
Tips to guides and drivers
NOT INCLUDED
Round trip International airfare to Cuiaba
Entry visa for Brazil
Compulsory yellow fever inoculation
Early or late check-in in Cuiaba hotel
Personal expenses
Extension to Iguaçu Falls

Intimate group travel with a maximum of 8 participants. A combination of both riverboat housing and land accommodation will ensue. Travelers should expect to spend upwards of 3 hours in the morning and again in the afternoon in a speed boat for the best opportunity to spot jaguars.

Finding and photographing wildlife takes extended time and dedication, but can be astoundingly rewarding. You can expect to be situated in the best locations for the opportunity to see the birds, mammals and reptiles of the region and of course jaguars. We are proud to offer you leaders whose accomplishments include publishing a book on the Pantanal, and being one of the first people to photograph wild jaguars in the region (whose photos subsequently adorned National Geographic, including the cover). Jaguars are of course the main focus of the trip, however the region boasts some 350 spectacular species of birds plus much more to appease your photographic desires. Between jaguar spotting we will enjoy the company of a host of other animals – some of them even endangered, like the giant river otter. If it is your burning desire to see rare and elusive animals and observe unique behaviors then this trip is perfect for you! The option to visit one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world – Iguaçu Falls is also available upon request.

Letters correspond to points on the map found at the bottom of this page.

A

Day 1, September 11th: Arrive to Cuiabá

The expedition begins at the gateway to Brazil’s Pantanal: the city of Cuiabá. After your arrival we will transfer to the Hotel Deville. As people will arrive at different times, dinner will be on our own in the hotel.Pantanal-A-opt

B

Day 2, September 12th: SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites

Today begins with breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards we will commence our journey into the Pantanal on the Transpantaneira road, enjoying the benefits of the raised earthen road to view many native Pantanal animals. After lunch at SouthWild Pantanal Lodge we will continue to Porto Joffre where speedboats will be waiting to transport us to SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites: our live-aboard river hotel that will serve as our ‘home base’ while we search the rivers for jaguars.Pantanal-B-opt

C

Day 3-6, September 13th - 16th: Pantanal Jaguar Expedition

For the next three days we will invest our time heavily in pursuit of Panthera onca; the jaguar. Expect to find this elusive feline patrolling the banks of the Cuiabá River and to be able to photograph it from our private speedboats. The days will be filled with the exciting expectation of seeing jaguars, followed by the adrenaline of coming face to face with one. Between jaguar sightings you will be able to enjoy photographing many animals which live in or around the river. These could include giant river otters, tapirs, toco toucans, caiman, capybara, monkeys and many more.Pantanal-C-opt

D

Day 7, September 17th: SouthWild Pantanal Lodge

Today we retrace our steps for an overnight stay at a birder’s paradise: the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge. We will enjoy a vast array of tropical birds during our explorations on foot. Jacaré caiman and capybaras will also be present around the lodge.Pantanal-D-opt

A

Day 8, September 18th: Return to Cuiabá

After our final breakfast together we will say our goodbyes and head for the Cuiabá airport for flights back home. However, the trip does not need to end here – there is an optional extension to Iguaçu Falls for those that are interested!Pantanal-E-opt

EXTENSION TO IGUAÇU FALLS 18-20 SEPTEMBER, 2016

Iguaçu means ‘Big Water’ in the Guarani Indian language, which is a fitting description for this magnificent landscape. Iguaçu is simply spectacular! The Falls range from 60-80 meters (200-269 feet) in height and stretch for 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles), making them twice as wide as Niagara Falls. They are encompassed within two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which means the lush microclimate created by the large clouds of spray and the falls themselves are protected. A visit here will undoubtedly leave you in awe.
The fauna around the Iguaçu Falls is extremely rich with over 60 species of mammals, 422 birds, over 40 reptiles, 18 amphibians, and 250 butterfly species. This area has usually proven to be our best chance of seeing large numbers of toco toucans, the most spectacular of all toucans.

Day 8, September 18th: Fly to Iguaçu Falls

For those that choose to indulge in this spectacular waterfall we will head from Cuiabá to Foz do Iguaçu where we will stay the night at the only hotel within the park borders: the famous Das Cataratas Hotel. We will use the afternoon to explore our surroundings, and scout the best areas for photography. With continuous access to the falls from our hotel we will be free to come and go as we please. Not only is Iguaçu Falls on our doorstep but so is the exciting wildlife of the region including coatis, jays and toucans.

Day 9, September 19th: Iguaçu Falls

Today is a day of difficult decisions! You can either have the day for personal exploration of the region or partake in one of the many optional extras including the opportunity to explore the power of the falls from a large, fast inflatable boat at water level or visiting the neighboring bird park which hosts many exotic captive bird species in natural settings. We will meet back at Das Cataratas Hotel in the evening to spend the night there.

Day 10, September 20th: Depart Iguaçu Falls

Today is our final chance to explore the region before our transfer takes us back to Foz do Iguaçu for our return flights home. It is the last chance to get that photo you have been itching to take and a final look at the spectacular wildlife we will have seen.

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EXPEDITION LEADERS

PETE OXFORD & RENEÉ BISH

Pantenal-PeteOxford
Pantenal-PeteOxford

Pete Oxford and his wife Reneé Bish have lived in Ecuador since 1985 and 1992 respectively. They travel as a professional photographic and tour leading team specializing in wildlife and indigenous cultures. Pete began in tourism in 1987 while living as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. Reneé has been to the Pantanal many times and has explored all the different regions of it. She has spent sometimes over a month at a time in the region and has excellent knowledge of the wildlife and environment. Together they have travelled extensively throughout South America and explored the Pantanal many times as both photographers and trip leaders. Pete was one of the first photographers to photograph wild jaguars in the region, and those photographs subsequently appeared on the cover of National Geographic. Together they bring a depth of knowledge, experience and humor to each destination.

Tour Reviews

5 based on 6 reviews
September 20, 2016

I’ve just returned from the Pantanal. I had an amazing time in every way. I have never been on a trip where the guides were so knowledgable, helpful and fun. The wildlife was incredible – 11 separate Jaguars in 4 and a half days. I can’t wait for my next Focus trip.

September 20, 2016

Experiencing the Pantanal with Focus is a must. Their depth of knowledge in so many areas and uncanny ability to spot wildlife lurking in the bushes made this trip a precious adventure of a lifetime!

September 25, 2016

Birds, jaguars, monkeys, caiman, capybaras, snakes and even a Tapir. Wow. It was such a great mix of photographers and those of us just along for the thrill. Pete and Renee were incredibly knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife — and we had so much fun. Already trying to plan next year’s reunion with Focus.

September 28, 2016

I’m still going through all the pictures! This trip was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The group was wonderful , and the wildlife was unbelievable. I never thought I would see so much in one place. Thank you for everything! I definitely hope to see everyone again on another trip.

September 28, 2016

Add 2 more stars!**. What a rivoting experience—14 Jaguars in 4 1/2 days! We saw Ruth with her 2 cubs on the first day!!
The previous reviews say it all.!
This is my 2nd trip with Pete & Renee, My advice: Don’t leave on an adventure without Pete & Renee , Focus!!!

October 12, 2016

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine a trip like this would be possible. It surpassed all expectations. Pete and Renee are high energy, vibrant, and very knowledgeable leaders. They didn’t miss a beat and ensured our group had a trip of a lifetime. We all bonded in a very special way and enjoyed every moment together. There was so much laughter and tears of joy. The time flew by and all of a sudden it was over. But the magic is there to stay. I miss my Pantanal family.

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