Brazil's Pantanal Sept 2025

 

Why the Pantanal and Iguaçu?

Why Pantanal and Brazil? 

The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland, a place where water and land blend seamlessly to create a dynamic and biodiverse ecosystem.  Larger than the entire country of Greece, yet mostly inaccessible, the Pantanal remains one of the true wilderness areas of the world.  

 

 

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The Pantanal boasts one of the highest densities of jaguars in the world, offering rare opportunities to observe what is usually a very elusive big cat in its natural habitat.  More common are the endearing capybara, the world's largest rodent, often seen lounging by the riverbanks or swimming through the waters. The playful giant otters, with their curious eyes and social antics, are a delight to watch as they frolic in the rivers. And then there's the impressive array of birds: the striking blue of the hyacinth macaw, the tallest stork in South America, the jabiru, with its commanding presence, and the vibrant toucans, their large beaks adding splashes of color to the canopy.

Reptile enthusiasts will find the Pantanal equally captivating. The yacare caiman, often seen basking in the sun or gliding through the water, and the hard to spot green anaconda, one of the largest snakes in the world, contribute to the region's rich tapestry of life. The waters themselves are alive with the flicker of piranhas and the chorus of frogs and toads that thrive in this humid paradise.

CNH Tours, in cooperation with a local expert, has organized a small group trip to this lesser known wilderness area.  We'll spend 4 full days exploring the wetland by river cruise, allowing us to go where few others can.  We'll add a few days at remote yet comfortable lodges, giving us a chance to stretch legs and do some ground exploration.  We add a visit to Iguaçu Falls (another UNESCO World Heritage site) prior to our Pantanal visit, and finish the trip with a few days of rest and relaxation in a small but charming colonial seaside town.   

 

 

Dates, Prices and Booking

DATES:  10-23 September 2025 (13 nights, 14 days)

# GUESTS:  12 (5 spaces remaining)

PRICE: $10,275 per person, shared accommodation.   Solo:  $13,875.  

SOLO TRAVELLER LOOKING FOR A TRAVEL MATE? 

Try our "Solo Traveller Matching Service".  Provide a few basic details and if someone else (same gender) is looking for a partner on this trip, we'll put you in touch. 

BOOKING:  Go to our BOOKING FORM.  Once we've received it, we'll send you and invoice for the deposit.  

 

Itinerary

DAY 1 – IGUAÇU (D)

Our trips starts with the check-in at our very comfortable hotel in Iguaçu and a lovely dinner. Typically, international flights will have you arrive in Sao Paolo, and from there, a connecting flight to Iguaçu (airport code IGU).   We can provide flight advice.

DAY 2 – IGUAÇU – BRAZILIAN WATERFALL – Half Day Tour – 3 hours (BLD)

Have breakfast and depart to discover the Brazilian side of the Falls. Reach the catwalks for a walking tour where it would be possible to admire the falls from different viewpoints. At the end of the catwalk you will find a fantastic close-up encounter with the Devil's Throat and main falls. Return to the Hotel. Have dinner at the hotel (included). Overnight.

DAY 3 – IGUAZU – ARGENTINEAN WATERFALL – Full Day Tour – 8 hours (BLD)

Have breakfast. Depart to visit to the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls (spelled differently in Spanish...). Arrive at the Visitor Center, an interpretative building with giant panels showing the importance of the biodiversity of the subtropical humid forest. To get to the catwalks overlooking the falls, you will board a small train that will take you to the Upper Falls Circuit and the Devil's Throat. Once at the Devil's Throat Station, take a walking tour on a flat catwalk built over the Upper Iguazu River, with an extension of 3,400ft / 1,100m that leads you to the balconies for an amazing panoramic view of this magnificent fall: The Devil's Throat. Lunch is included. Return to the hotel.  Depart for a special dinner, in Foz do Iguaçu or Puerto Iguazu (included). Overnight.  

Optional Visit on Argentine side (not included in the trip price - add $105):

If you're really into adventure and are in decent physical shape, consider a closer encounter with the falls. Our guide will be your host in this 8-kilometer tour down the Sendero Yacaratiá (Trail) as far as Puerto Macuco, in the banks of the Iguazu River, in order to board motor boats especially designed for this type of navigation. With the life-jacket duly adjusted, we leave for the challenge of going up the rapids in the lower Iguazu River, for about 6 kilometers of rock and vegetation as far as the majestic Devil's Throat.  

DAY 4 – IGUAÇU / CAMPO GRANDE / SOUTH PANTANAL at Pousada Aguapé (BLD)

Have breakfast check out and have transfer to the Airport. Take your flight to Campo Grande (included) and then a private land transfer to the Pantanal at Pousada (country/farm guest house) Aguapé (195 kilometers from Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state. 90mi/145km on paved road and 30mi/50km on dirt road, around 3h30 by car).  The Pousada is a working cattle farm located in the dryer parts of the Pantanal.  It's a wonderful opportunity to understand how people and nature co-exist here.   Accommodation and dinner. If you are up for it, we'll go on a nocturnal walk to see what kinds of wildlife we can uncover. Overnight.

DAY 5 – SOUTH PANTANAL – Pousada Aguapé (BLD)

Your day will be as full as you like it here, where a wide range of excursions (included) are on offer, giving you a chance to explore the local ecosystems on foot, over the water or on horseback.  You can even herd some cattle if you like...   Excursions include: 

  • Horseback Riding: The horse is one of the main attractions of the Aguapé Lodge, and it’s the best way to explore the swamp. Riding through open fields, marshes, caápões, ridges, streams and bays, we encounter a rich variety of lush flora and fauna. There are several tracks with short and long routes. Both can be made in the floods and dry season and are always accompanied with experienced local guides. The tour can take around 1h30 to 3 hours. 

  • Boat Tour: This is the best way to get to know the Aquidauana River and the beauty and exuberance of its gallery forest. It is the natural habitat of birds, mammals and reptiles that lie out on riverbanks. This tour takes about 2h to 2h30, and the life jacket is provided by the lodge. Each boat has capacity for 6 people.

  • Hiking: Hiking is done in dense bush, open fields and gallery forest. During the tour you will have a better contact with the flora and fauna of the region, learning about their function and importance in the Pantanal ecosystem. It is a good opportunity to see the animals closer. There are different routes that can take around 1h30 to 4 hours.

  • Piranha Fishing: The piranha fishing takes place in the bay of Aquidauana River, which is close to the lodge. Piranhas are mainly used to prepare a typical dish of the region - piranha soup. It is also a good way to see the caimans who watch the fishermen stealing its piranhas. 

  • Photographic Safari: The photo safari is done in a 4x4 open vehicle. This tour gives the opportunity to cover more territory of the farm going through different landscapes like cerrado (patches of stunted vegetation), open grasslands, “vazantes” (low-lying areas that are often seasonally flooded), “brejos” (swamps) and bays which are permanently flooded areas. This tour can last around 2h30 to 3 hours.

  • Nocturnal Animal Spotlight: This is an activity that is done at night in a 4X4 vehicle or on a boat, to observe the night animals like anteaters, foxes, capybaras and caimans. You can also hear the sound of frogs and insects and watch the beautiful Pantanal’s starry sky. This tour can last around 1 hour.

  • Horse Carriage: A pleasant tour through the fields of the farm and also a good option for those who don’t like or cannot ride on horsebacks. With the horse carriage it’s possible to do the same routes as the horseback tour, having access to different trails even during the rainy season. In addition to the comfort of the horse carriage, the silence is an advantage of this kind of tour. Takes around 1h30 to 3h.

  • Cattle Handling: During the morning or afternoon, you can accompany the cowboys in their work routine with the cattle. Move the cattle to other parts of the farm, take care of the calves or see the cowboys working at the corral. It is also a good opportunity to learn a little bit more about the culture and habits of the people from Pantanal. Recommended for people with horseback riding experience.

  • Kayak: A relaxing activity to enjoy the nature sounds along the River Aquidauana bays. This tour is done in a fiber kayak, with capacity for 2 people each and 6 people by tour. The route depends on the water season and takes between 40min to 1h30. 

 

DAY 6 – SOUTH PANTANAL at Pousada Aguapé / CORUMBÁ / PANTANAL RIVER CRUISE (BLD)

After breakfast, we check out and head to Corumbá (apx. 5 hours - 210mi / 340kms of which 30mi/50km by dirt road). Arrive in Corumbá in time for a good lunch. After our days at the Pousada Aguapé, a visit to the Museu do Homem Pantaneiro (Pantanal Museum of Man) to learn a bit more about the history of people in this region. We then board our expedition river cruise boat. Dinner and start our journey. Overnight.

DAY 7 – PANTANAL RIVER CRUISE (BLD)

Breakfast and sunrise at Paraguai Mirim (arrival between 6:00am and 9:00am) + Barra de São Lourenço (arrival between 4:00 pm and midnight). Sleep at Acurizal (arrival between 7pm and 3am the next day).  During our time on the river, we'll follow our noses and explore nooks and crannies, on the lookout for all kinds of wildlife.  Jaguars are not uncommon here - but they are less acclimatized to humans, and bit more skittish than those around Porto Joffre (days 9-11 of our trip).   

DAY 8 – PANTANAL RIVER CRUISE (BLD)

Breakfast and depart for the Southern Trail (12km round trip, flat terrain, moderate level, approximately 4 hours duration). At the end of the trail, we will arrive at Vale da Acurizal. The return will be done by bicycle. Have lunch at Acurizal Reserve and rest. At 3:30 pm depart for a river safari to Gaíva Bay (almost at the Bolivia border) with sunset. Start navigation at the end of the afternoon. Overnight. 

DAY 9 – PANTANAL RIVER CRUISE (BLD)

Breakfast and morning at Rio Negrinho (arrival between 7:00am and 10:00am). Lunch on board. Afternoon at Porto Jofre. (arrival between 12:00pm and 6pm). Porto Jofre is the “jaguar land”. From there we will explore the region in the search of the jaguars. Dinner and Overnight.

DAY 10 – PANTANAL RIVER CRUISE (BLD)

Breakfast and depart on a boat trip on rivers and channels surrounding to search the jaguars. Lunch is done at the Boat. After lunch, depart for afternoon jaguar spotting. We will have these day dedicated to our boat safaris exploring the Cuiabá, Piquiri, Three Brothers and other rivers and tributaries in the area. Our outings will be during the day, when we move along the rivers in search of jaguars and other wildlife such as giant otters, tapir, ocelot, capybaras and caymans. We will also see and photograph many types of birds such as egrets, herons, hawks, cormorants, tern, and the beautiful sunset of the Pantanal. Dinner at Boat and overnight. 

DAY 11 – PORTO JOFRE / NORTH PANTANAL at Aymara Lodge (BLD)

After breakfast, check out and have a private land transfer to Aymara Lodge (approximately 3h00 – around 75mi/120km by dirt road). Arrival and accommodation at Aymara Lodge. Have lunch and enjoy a brief introduction to present the surroundings. Dinner and overnight. 

DAY 12 – NORTH PANTANAL at Aymara Lodge (BLD)

After breakfast, morning excursions (included). Return for lunch, then afternoon excursions (included). Some of the possible excursions include:  

  • Sunrise Walk: Early wake up to experience the daybreak in the Pantanal on a walk amid the symphony of night and daytime birds celebrating the arrival of a new day. Breakfast is served right after.

  • Hiking (1-2 hours): There are currently 2 trails within the property to immerse into and search for wildlife. Taking a walk at night it may lead you to see tapirs and anteaters. 

  • Night Walk (1-2 hours): Discover the nocturnal animals’ habits during a night walk.

  • Canoeing (1-2 hours): Paddle along the property’s “corixo” to observe local flora and fauna. Some of the fauna that is likely to see includes monkeys, tapirs, giant otters and many bird species.

  • Photo Safari (2 hours): Depart in vehicle for longer distances within the property and along Transpantaneira Road to search for wildlife.

  • Night Photo Safari (1-2 hours):
    Depart in vehicle for longer distances within the property and along Transpantaneira Road for observation of nocturnal animals.

  • Horseback Riding (1 hour): Be transferred to a neighbor property to go horseback riding, another way to experience the Pantanal. During the transfer you may even the able to spot some animals.

DAY 13 – NORTH PANTANAL at Aymara Lodge / SÃO PAULO (BLD)

After breakfast, check out and have transfer to Cuiabá (approximately 2h30 – 80mi/128km) in time to board on flight to São Paulo (included). Arrive in São Paulo and have a special farewell dinner (included). Overnight.

DAY 14 – SÃO PAULO (B)

Breakfast, check out and be transferred to the International Airport to board on flight back home - or continue your trip with extensions to Rio de Janeiro, to charming UNESCO World Heritage colonial towns, to the Amazon... contact us for details. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your accommodations

At Iguaçu (3 nights)

The very comfortable Hotel das Cataratas of the Belmond group (it doesn't get better than that).  We feel that after a very long trip, you will doubly appreciate the comfort here.  No corners are cut for you.  BONUS:  It's the only hotel in the park. Hotel guests are the only people allowed to wander in the park after hours.   

 

Into the Pantanal - Southeast sector (2 nights)

After Iguaçu, we head off into the wilderness - we hope you didn't get used to the luxury.... though still comfortable, accommodation options in the Pantanal are a little more on the rustic side.  Our home is the Pousada Aguapé, owned by the same family for over 150 years.  

 

Pantanal River Cruise (5 nights)

The Akaia is a solid ship that will take you to remote places in a good deal of comfort, but don't expect any polished brass / white gloves.  With 6 cabins, it accommodates 12 people.  All cabins have twin beds, with one of them being a bunk (3 beds / cabin).  The top bunk can be used to store luggage, clothes etc...  All have air conditioning, windows and private ensuite bathrooms.  With the advent of Starlink - you'll also have internet service.  

 

 

 

 

Pantanal - Northern sector (2 nights)

Unlike our first Pantanal lodge, the Aymara lodge was purpose built to receive guests.  Located in the heart of the Aymara reserve, it's a classic Pantanal "boutique" lodge, with only 18 rooms, it retains a sense of intimacy with its forested surroundings.  Rustic - yet very comfortable. 

 

Sao Paolo (1 night)

After our amazing journey through the Pantanal, by road and boat, we end our trip as we started it - in a very comfortable Rosewood hotel , with a peaceful inner courtyard and a rooftop pool.  It's a perfect place to gather your thoughts and enjoy a bit of down time.  If you'd like to extend your stay here, let us know and we'll extend our special rates for you. 

 

 

 

What's included / Not included?

It's always important to be sure! 

 

INCLUDED

  • All transfers from airports to lodges and hotels starting on arrival in Iguaçu and ending at your Sao Paolo hotel
  • 2 domestic flights (Iguaçu to Campo Grande & Cuiaba to Sao Paolo), economy class (contact us for other options)
  • All the tours mentioned and excursions at the lodge, on the river boat
  • All the meals as stated (BLD)
  • 3 nights' accommodation in Iguaçu (luxury Cataratas hotel)
  • 2 nights' accommodation in South Pantanal (at Pousada Aguapé)
  • 5 nights' accommodation in private cruise (ship is chartered for our group only)
  • 2 nights' accommodation in North Pantanal (at Aymara Lodge)
  • 1 night's accommodation in São Paulo (luxury Rosewood hotel) 
  • Private English speaking guides
  • Emergency medical evacuation insurance (US$200,000)
  • Carbon offsets

 

NOT INCLUDED

  • International airfare 
  • Airfare to Iguaçu
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • All other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.

 

 

 

Terms & Conditions & Insurance

RATES

Published voyage rates are quoted in US dollars and are based on passengers sharing accommodations. Once a deposit is received, your rate is locked in. 

RESERVATIONS

To confirm a booking a US$800 deposit per person is required. The balance is due 90 days prior to the trip start date (11 June 2025). 

CANCELLATIONS / PAYMENTS

Payments are not reimbursable once the deadline for that payment has passed. In cases where payment is late, we reserve the right to treat the booking as canceled by you.  All payments may be made via cheque, direct deposit, wire transfer or VISA / Master Card (2.7% transaction fee applies to credit cards).  Consider acquiring appropriate cancellation insurance that covers you in case you need to cancel.  

TRANSFERABILITY
The trip is entirely transferable.   Should you not be able to participate, we would accept a replacement proposed by you and apply any payment made by you to your replacement.  While CNH Tours will not impose a transfer fee, air carriers may charge a ticket change fee.  
ELIGIBILITY / PHYSICAL FITNESS

While you don't need to be an Olympian to join this trip, you should be prepared to spend a few hours per day on your feet.  There will be a few easy to moderate walks programmed during the trip - the longest being up to 5mi/8km.  Our walks are at a leisurely pace for the most part, as we are there to observe nature.  If you feel that a walking stick would be useful, do not hesitate to bring one. There are a few overland journeys on rough roads - some lasting as long as 2 hours.  We will be making stops during such journeys.  Your tour leader reserve the right to deny a guest participation in an activity if he/she feels that the guest would be at undue risk to him/herself or to others. 

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

CNH Tours strongly urges its guests to be fully vaccinated for any common communicable diseases such as COVID and the flu.  Should you come down with symptoms of such diseases in the two weeks prior to the trip date, we ask that you inform us and keep us posted on the situation.  Should you come down with such symptoms while on the trip. we will require that you see a doctor (at your expense) for an examination.  Your tour leader will help to arrange a visit.  

INSURANCE

All CNH Tours guests on this trip will benefit from a US$200,000 emergency medical evacuation coverage.  Any additional insurance, such as emergency medical to cover medical costs related to accidents or sudden illness while on the trip is recommended.  You may also want to consider acquiring trip cancellation / interruption insurance, which would reimburse all or part of your trip costs under certain circumstances.  There are other insurance products sold by travel insurance providers that you may want to consider.  

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itinerary as described on this website is the one we intend on following.  However, circumstances such as extreme weather events, labour strife etc. make can result in the need to modify the itinerary.  In such circumstances, the tour leader will be responsible for making alternative arrangements. In the event of such a change no refunds or price adjustments are possible. Placement of a booking with CNH Tours amounts to an acknowledgement that itinerary changes are possible.

WILDLIFE SPOTTING

While the Pantanal and Iguaçu Falls areas are rich in wildlife diversity and numbers, and while the chances of spotting the most iconic species found in these areas are good, no responsible travel company could guarantee that you will see them.  In joining this trip, you accept and understand that nothing is guaranteed.  Your guides will do their utmost to maximize your chances of spotting these such species.

VOYAGE CANCELLATION

In the unlikely event that a trip is cancelled by CNH Tours for any reason, CNH Tour's liability will be limited to the payments it will have received by the participants.  This will not include any costs assumed by our guests that are not invoiced by us (for example, airfare).  

TRIP LANGUAGE

Our trip will be conducted in English. Your guides are fluent in English and Portuguese.   

AUTHORITY

All guests are subject to instructions or regulations given by your guides. 

SMOKING

Smoking is not allowed inside any of the accommodations, restaurants nor in the transport.

RESPONSIBILITY

CNH Tours, the tour leader and participating local service providers shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against CNH Tours or its service providers for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. 

By participating on a CNH Tours trip, the participant acknowledges these terms and conditions and certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CNH Tours and its designated representatives reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant from a voyage or daily activity.  CNH Tours and its representatives / tour leader / service providers reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants. The tour leader has the right to restrict the activities of any guest whose behaviour results in a loss of enjoyment or the safety of other guests. 

Neither CNH Tours, nor its service providers shall be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non – refundable ticket to or from the participant’s departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

 

Terms and Conditions subject to change. 20 June 2024