Head to the Pantanal for a chance to see the water-loving big cat - the jaguar. We recommend a stay at Caiman Ecological Refuge, also home to conservation organisation Oncafari. 98% of guests saw a jaguar in 2019 thanks to their ongoing work in the conservation of this magnificent big cat.
As well as cats you have the chance to see giant river otters, anteaters, capybaras, monkeys and many species of bird.
Because of the open nature of the Pantanal landscape, wildlife sightings are easier here than in the dense jungle of the Amazon and this is why for wildlife lovers, the Pantanal is an absolute must-visit and the number one wildlife destination in South America. Due to seasonal flooding the optimum time to visit is between July and October during the dry season.
Accessing the Pantanal is done by flying to either Campo Grande in the southern Pantanal or to Cuiaba in the northern Pantanal. From either airport it is then either a light aircraft flight or around a 3-hour drive to reach one of the many lodges.
If you are visiting the southern Pantanal then the area combines very well with the town of Bonito, a centre for eco-tourism and a favourite with families, where it is possible to snorkel in aquarium-like rivers, visit one of Brazil’s deepest caves and abseil into caverns. The Northern Pantanal combines well with the Chapada dos Guimaraes, which is excellent national park for trekking, whilst Cuiaba offers the only direct flight to Alta Floresta, a gateway to the southern Amazon.
Think of Brazil and you think of the Amazon of course - there are many fabulous jungle stays and boat journeys you can do to experience this iconic network of rivers and rainforest. Wildlife can be elusive, hidden by the thick canopy so give yourself time to really explore and choose a lodge offering an array of different activities to really get to grips with this incredible region.
The two main tributaries of the Amazon, the brown Rio Solimões and black Rio Negro meet just outside Manaus at a phenomenon known as the Meeting of the Waters. For 6 km the two rivers’ waters run side by side without mixing. Manaus is close to where most of the Amazon lodges are located and it is where most of the tour boats depart from.
Between July and November the coast offers whale watching at Bahia (humpbacks) and Santa Catarina (southern right whales).
The state of Bahia is situated half way up the coast of Brazil and is renowned for having some of the best and most fashionable beach destinations in the country. The state capital of Salvador is steeped in colonial history.