11 Days
Physical Rating
Group Size


16 – 26 July, 2017

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 TIME Afternoon, 16th July
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
Round trip International airfare to Cuiaba
Entry visa for Brazil
Compulsory yellow fever inoculation
Early or late check-in in Cuiaba hotel
Personal expenses

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 and giant anteater. If it is your burning desire to see rare and elusive animals and observe unique behaviors then this trip is perfect for you! There is also the option to combine the Pantanal with the Cerrado and it’s tool-using monkeys, maned wolves and hyacinth macaw blinds as a pre-extension. Anyone doing both of these expeditions will be given a 5% discount on the Pantanal portion of the trip.

Additional information

AccommodationsPer Person Sharing, Single Supplement

Letters correspond to points on the map in the map tab.


Day 1, July 16th: 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 for overnight. We will have a group dinner in a local restaurant for everyone who arrives before 8pm.


Day 2, July 17th: Cuiabá to Fazenda Pouso Alegre

Today begins with an early breakfast in the hotel. We then make our way through cowboy country to the Transpantaneira road, enjoying the benefits of the raised earthen road to view many native Pantanal animals. Our stay for the next two nights is the private, authentic, and still operational fazenda Pouso Alegre. A fazanda is a working cattle ranch and Pouso Alegre is owned by a local who is passionate about wildlife and makes every effort to ensure his ranch and the wildlife coexist in harmony. This will be our most basic accommodation but we will have the opportunity to explore the human relationship with the environment at the fazanda by horseback with the Pantaneiros, by vehicle and on foot.


Day 3, July 18th: Fazenda Pouso Alegre

Another full day to explore the fazenda and its fabulous wildlife. Highlights include the nesting hyacinth macaws, giant anteaters and a large concentration of caiman. This is our best chance to see giant anteaters and we will work hard to find them.


Day 4-8, July 19th-23rd: Pantanal Jaguar Expedition

After breakfast at Pouso Alegre we commence our journey deeper into the Pantanal to the end of the Transpantaneira road at Porto Joffre. Speedboats will be waiting to transport us to SouthWild Jaguar Suites: our live-aboard river hotel that serves as our ‘home base’ while we search the rivers for jaguars. For the next four days we 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 are filled with the exciting expectation of seeing jaguars, followed by the adrenaline of coming face to face with one. Between jaguar sightings you can 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.


Day 9-10, July 24th – 25th: SouthWild Pantanal Lodge

Today we retrace our steps from Porto Joffre to a birder’s paradise, the SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, for a two night stay. We will enjoy a vast array of tropical birds during our explorations on foot and in boats. Jacaré caiman and capybaras are present around the lodge; tapir, tamandua and deer are common visitors. In the evenings we will visit a hide to photograph habituated ocelots.


Day 11, July 26th: Return to Cuiabá

After our final breakfast together we say our goodbyes and head for the Cuiabá airport for our flights back home.

PRE-EXTENSION TO the Brazilian Cerrado and its tool-using monkeys, maned wolves and hyacinth macaw blinds. 12-16 JULY, 2017

See separate expedition page.

Click a letter on the map to show the sidebar and see the highlights of that location.



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. Pete and Renee’s photos of the tool-using monkeys were also published in National Geographic and it was the first time the tool using in primates was seen outside of the old world. Together they bring a depth of knowledge, experience and humor to each destination.

20160914_1353pete      20160919_8renee

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