Into the Wild 12 Days

Priced from: $2785

If you are passionate about exotic wildlife and the splendor of nature, plus love the thrill of adventure, then this trip was customized for you as it is truly a visual journey not to be missed.
You will tour the most pristine natural places in Brazil without having to sacrifice style and luxury.  Visit Pantanal, the wetlands area that has the highest concentration of animals in the Americas, discover the Cave of the Blue Lake as you explore the natural paradise of Bonito, and snorkel in amazing crystal clear waters of Rio da Prata. Be prepared to have an awe-inspiring moment at the site of the majestic Iguaçu Falls. You will not only be wild about Brazil after this trip, you will be in love!

Charming Destinations does not have fixed departure dates, and any of our suggested private luxury trips to Brazil can be easily customized for you. Please call our Destination Specialist at +1 (415) 871-0531 or e-mail us at info@charmingdestinations.com. If you are outside of the US, please dial our office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at +55 (21) 99595-6057.

Day 1: Iguaçu Falls

After a brief flight from the Sao Paulo International Airport to Iguaçu Falls, you will arrive in paradise. Located on the border of Brazil and Argentina, Iguaçu Falls is one of the most awe-inspiring wonders of the world, with water flowing over 275 falls, spread across 3 miles, and 266 feet high! You are in for a spectacular treat.

Upon arrival to Foz do Iguacu your private driver will be waiting for you in the arrival hall to escort you to the Hotel das Cataratas by Orient-Express, the only hotel located inside the National Park. After getting settled in your room, you will meet your guide for a walking tour of the Brazilian side of the magnificent waterfalls, viewing the flora and fauna that thrive around Iguacu. Dozens of rainbows created by the falls attract tropical birds and colorful butterflies, making this a truly magical site!

Complete your day with a relaxing dinner on the outdoor terrace of the Itaipu Restaurant, watching a mesmerizing sunset and indulging in Brazilian culinary experiences.

Note: Sample some of the finest restaurants on your trip with Charming Destinations. We will provide you with a complete list of fine dining suggestions as part of your pre-departure package. Please advise on your preferences, and we will be happy to make reservations for you at the top dining establishments of Brazil.

Day 2: Iguaçu Falls

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, you will explore the Argentine side of the Iguacu Falls with your private guide. Walk along the Upper and Lower Trails of the Falls and be prepared to be impressed by the power of Mother Nature when you arrive at the Devil’s Throat  – a location at the Falls where fifty percent of the entire Falls’ flow runs into a narrow section, creating a deep roar with a huge amount of mist. Hundreds of birds add to the splendor as they dive into the waters below.

While on Argentinian side of the falls, your guide will take you to one of the most acclaimed local Parillas (Argentine Steak House) where you can enjoy one of the best steaks of your life, along with empadas (mouth watering Argentinean appetizers), and a perfectly smooth selection of Malbec wine. After lunch, embark on Gran Aventura, a fast zodiac excursion (group activity) that will bring you close to the falls – a truly powerful sensation. Finish your day relaxing poolside at your beautiful hotel.

Meals IncludedBreakfast

Day 3: Iguaçu Falls

Spend today at your own leisurely pace, enjoying the wonderful amenities of the hotel, visiting the boardwalk on Brazilian side of the falls, or take the opportunity to explore the incredible Bird Park (optional). Situated in 5 acres of native subtropical forest, admire and photograph birds in their natural habitat as you walk through a vast forest aviary that is not restricted with netting or cages. Home to over 800 birds, the Bird Park also provides sanctuary to caimans, snakes, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Meals IncludedBreakfast

Day 4: Iguaçu Falls/Pantanal

This morning you will take a flight to the capital of South Pantanal, Campo Grande, where you will embark on an amazing adventure into the wetlands of Pantanal. Upon arrival, you will be met by your private driver who will take you in a 4×4 vehicle through the Pantanal to the amazing Cayman Ecological Refuge.

Your drive to the lodge is a perfect introductory safari that will provide many photo opportunities and give you a glimpse into the adventures in store for you in Pantanal! Once you arrive at the Lodge, your delightful host will show you to your bungalow so you can refresh for dinner.  If it’s not too late in the afternoon, your host will also provide a short walk around the Lodge so that you can become familiar with the grounds and take in some of the wildlife that inhabit the property. Drinks and dinner are served at the main Lodge building.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch box in route to the Lodge, and Dinner

Day 5: Pantanal

After a restful night’s sleep, wake to the sounds of chirping tropical birds and enjoy a delicious early morning breakfast before setting out for an incredible trail hike. A native field guide who is very familiar with local flora and its inhabitants will accompany you. He knows the medicinal values of the local plants and will entertain you with genuine folklore tales as you admire the beauty of the landscape during your walk.

As you explore through high forest and fields as well as around lakes, your highly knowledgeable and bi-lingual guide will serve as a scout, distinguishing the animals’ footprints and sounds and increasing the chances to see the most elusive creatures, like a boa constrictor, an ocelot, or a pack of collared peccaries.  This is the time of day when animals are hunting or catching their first rays of sun after a busy night out so there is plenty to take in, and the surprise element is always an exciting aspect of the Pantanal!

By late morning you’ll arrive back at the Lodge, where you can enjoy some free time before lunch to explore the grounds, which are abundant with many birds and mammals. The Lodge is located in a private reserve, and a field guide is always available to take you around. You might also choose to sunbathe on the white sand along the river or take a rejuvenating swim, but you’re on a Brazilian adventure so this is no ordinary riverbank!  Jaguars and tapirs have been reported crossing the river here and it is also an excellent spot to observe giant otters catching fish or relaxing in the sun on the opposite riverbank.

At lunchtime enjoy a delectable meal, made of the freshest local ingredients, before you’re off for a safari boat ride later that day. You will leave from a dock on Rio Negro River on flat bottom aluminum boats. The boats are outfitted so that wildlife is not disturbed as you gently float down the river. Along the way, you will encounter various species of birds, such as parrots, toucans, various types of kingfisher, herons, rosette spoonbill, jabiru storks, plovers, skimmers, jacamars, blue crowned mot-mot helmeted manakins, birds of prey, and many others!

When the sun begins to set, there is also an excellent opportunity to spot mammals, such as tapirs, howler monkeys, white lipped or collard peccaries, capybaras, giant otters, and, if you’re lucky, a jaguar or an ocelot. As the seasonal drought comes to an end, the river can be quite shallow in September and becomes a sanctuary for the wildlife to congregate to drink, hunt, and cool down. Finish your day with cocktails and dinner at the Lodge, recapping today’s experiences and wildlife sightings.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6: Pantanal

This morning you will head out for a lovely hike through the cool mangrove forests situated beside the Rio Negro River. While on your hike, discover waterholes and oxbow lakes fed by seasonal river flooding that have started to dry up and are now filled with fish that can’t return to the river. These lakes become quite the feeding frenzy for birds and caimans. Because there is very little light that penetrates this area, there is minimal ground vegetation, and the trees are twisted as they search for the elusive sky. Animals enjoy these fresh sheltered areas, so it is not uncommon to come across numerous herons, spoonbills, jabiru storks, wood storks and maguari storks or to encounter a resting tapir or a foraging red brocket deer. You might even come across a yellow anaconda in one of the stagnant pools!

At the end of your hike you’ll arrive at a beach where canoes are waiting to take you back to the Lodge.  After lunch and drinks at the Lodge, enjoy a well-deserved afternoon nap, before you depart for a Safari drive in 4×4 vehicles to the wetlands area. On your safari drive you will see vast flooded fields that provide the foundation for the animal kingdom cycle you will see first hand.

During the rainy season, waters flow from higher ground areas and take a 3 month long journey to reach these fields.  As a result, the grass fields become covered with aquatic plants and turn into breeding area for aquatic life.  As the dry season sets, deep pools are formed, and a huge number of caimans and migratory birds are waiting for the fish to get trapped inside those pools and be served as a meal. As the fields dry and the green grass reappears, flocks of parakeets feed on the grass seeds and the giant anteaters, now with their young on their backs, look for the ants that begin to colonize the “terra firme” (dry areas). You can see many birds of prey soaring as they prey for insects, reptiles and birds. Burrowing owls are always on the lookout as they guard their nests on the ground. You will observe many pampas deer and the occasional marsh deer intermingled with rhea groups. This is also the area where the Lodge’s Ranch keeps its breeding cattle, so the puma is never too distant!

While at the cattle outpost, you will meet a cattle rancher’s family and become familiar with their work. These are very special people who have adapted to living in remote wilderness environment and live off the land, even using natural plants remedial secrets passed down over generations from local Indians to settlers.

After catching a magnificent sunset, continue your journey with nocturnal animal spotting, looking for animals and birds that hunt and ‘socialize’ at night, including jaguars, ocelots, tapirs, crab eating raccoons, anteaters, armadillos, and owls.

Once back at the Lodge, enjoy cocktails and a thoughtfully prepared dinner, followed by an excellent night’s sleep, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the Pantanal night.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7: Pantanal

Start today with a delightful horse ride! In the early morning you’ll be driven by 4×4 to stables where you can observe many birds and mammals that are out and about while the temperature remains cool. You may be lucky enough to see a tapir, howler monkeys, or big cats! In addition you may even spot coatis, macaws, parrots, birds of pray, feral pigs, deers, armadillo, peccaries, and crab eating foxes. Then hop on your horse and ride through gorgeous flooded planes, getting close to the fowl and mammals, and enjoying the fresh air and tender rays of a rising sun. Riding through high forest along the planes, you will come across tortoises, howler monkeys, forest falcons, and many other birds and animals that inhabit these lush forests.

Following lunch and an afternoon siesta, depart for a safari boat ride on the Rio Negro River. Keep your eye out for giant otter families frolicking in the river, and lazy caimans, relaxing along the riverbanks. Each time you visit the river there will be a new surprise!

Return to the Lodge to refresh and unwind before heading for cocktails and dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8: Pantanal/Bonito

After breakfast a small private plane will take you for an unforgettable flight to Bonito. Your pilot will fly at only 600 feet above the wetlands, providing you with an excellent overview of the landscape: forested islands, lagoons, lakes, oxbows, channels and the scattered ranch stead’s that are built on the highest grounds to avoid the annual flooding. From the comfort of your seat, you will also be able to spot marsh deer, capybaras, peccaries and big flocks of birds. When you land in Bonito, you’ll be met by your private driver who will drive you to the Santa Esmeralda Hotel, located in the ecological paradise of Bonito. Upon arrival at the hotel, you will enjoy exuberant nature that surrounds the property as you lounge in the natural pools and small waterfalls. You can also hike ecological trails close to the Formoso River, also part of the hotel’s grounds, as you get ready for tomorrow’s adventure in Bonito!

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9: Bonito

This morning your private guide will take you to Rio da Prata, “The Silver River”, with its amazingly crystal clear warm waters, full of over fifty Pantanal species of fish.  Your tour will begin with a snorkeling adventure East of Olho d’Agua River, then you will gently flow downstream and enter Rio da Prata, which is fantastic for viewing massive pacu fish and giant dourado fish.

After a delicious lunch served at Rio da Prata’s lovely farmhouse, you will head to Buraco das Araras, “The Macaws’ Sinkhole”, a giant crater-like formation covered with lush tropical vegetation that wild Red macaws call home. Come right before sunset and enjoy watching the flight of these fascinating birds returning to their nests. A birder’s dream come true…

Return to your hotel later that evening, where you can unwind and relax before another wonderful day of adventure in Bonito.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10: Bonito

Once you finish your delicious breakfast, head out to the Bodoquena Mountain Range, where your private guide will take you to visit the Boca da Onça, “Jaguar’s Mouth” waterfall. A 1.6 mile walk across the preserved woodland leads you to eleven waterfalls, including the 450 feet high Boca da Onça  – the highest waterfall in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Indulge in the translucent natural pools and refresh yourself in the Salobra River, one of the fish cradles of the Pantanal. Then climb the 866-step stairway built along the limestone wall, enjoying unforgettable views of the Salobra River Canyon and the rappel descending area.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing day, instead of taking part in the climb you have the option to take a “Onçinha”, a 12-passenger car, back to the Ranch, where a delicious regional meal will be served for lunch. Spend the rest of your day swimming in natural pools full of local fish, or rest on a terrace enjoying absolutely stunning views before you head back to Bonito.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11: Bonito

Spend this day at leisure in Santa Esmeralda Hotel, with its wonderful natural pools and charming waterfalls, or book any of the optional tours, such as rafting, rappelling, diving, snorkeling, or hiking. Your private driver will be at your disposal and will be delighted to assist you.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12: Bonito

After breakfast, your private guide will take you to one of the most amazing natural wonders of Bonito, Gruta do Lago Azul, “The Blue Lake Cave”. The trail starts with a walk to a cave, followed by a 300 ft descent into the cave that leads you to a gorgeous lake with crystal clear waters. It’s a truly impressive site to watch the morning sun hitting the lake and turning its waters bright blue. Amazing stalactites, stalagmites, and stone flowers cover the interior of the cave.

Depart beautiful Bonito for Sao Paulo this afternoon, where later this evening, you board your international flight home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

If you’re looking to add even more adventure to any of our incredible packages, consider adding one of our Trip Extensions.

  • Four Star Superior/Deluxe
  • Bourbon Cataratas
  • Fazenda Barranco Alto
  • Wetiga Hotel
  • $2785
  • INQUIRE
  • Five Star Deluxe
  • Hotel Das Cataratas
  • Cayman Ecological Refuge (Baiazinha)
  • Hotel Santa Esmeralda
  • $3079
  • INQUIRE
  • VIP Premier
  • Hotel Das Cataratas
  • Cayman Ecological Refuge (Cordilheira)
  • Hotel Santa Esmeralda
  • $3310
  • INQUIRE

Land Only. Private flight from Pantanal Lodge to Bonito is included. Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy. Seasonal surcharges may apply.

Packages Include:

  • Luxury accommodations in Hotels and Lodges mentioned in the program according
  • to your selected level (VIP, Five Star, or Four Star)*
  • All breakfasts, Full Board in Cayman Ecological Refuge or at Fazenda Barranco Alto, Half Board (Breakfast, Dinner) at Santa Esmeralda Hotel or Breakfast only at Wetiga Hotel, Lunch on Rio da Prata and at Boca da Onça Ranch
  • Private transfers mentioned in the itinerary in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Private flight by a small plane between Pantanal Lodge and Bonito
  • Private sightseeing as indicated in day-by-day itinerary
  • English speaking guide during sightseeing and transfers as mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fees to Iguaçu National Park
  • Admission tickets for Gran Aventura zodiac adventure
  • Admission fees and hiking tour to Gruta do Lago Azul (“The Cave of a Blue Lake”), snorkeling tour at Rio da Prata (“Silver River”), hiking tour to Boca da Onca (“Jaguar’s Mouth” waterfall), visit to Buraco das Araras (“Macaws’ Sinkhole”)
  • Pre-departure travel package, which includes detailed day-by-day itinerary, suggested packing list, suggested reading list, information on recommended vaccination, contact information for hotels and lodges on your itinerary, and Charming Destinations’ 24-hour emergency contact line in Brazil

*Note: The American hotel star rating system is not applicable to the Amazon and Pantanal Lodges. Instead, our trip categories are descriptive of the overall exotic and incomparable experience in the most remote parts of Brazil.

Additional fees and/or charges not included in the packages:

International flights, domestic flights, airport taxes, excess luggage charges, travel or medical insurance, passport and Brazilian visa fees, vaccinations cost,  meals not mentioned in the itinerary, drinks, tips for drivers or guides, laundry, personal expenses.

More Information About This Tour:

Important: Due to a very limited number of suites in top two Pantanal luxury properties – Cayman Ecological Refuge and Barranco Alto Lodge – it’s recommended to book your adventure that includes a stay in these lodges well in advance.

Best time for wildlife viewing in Pantanal:

During the dry season (from May to October) there is a high concentration of animals around the lakes and lagoons, which makes it easier to spot them. During the wet season (from October to May) the Pantanal becomes a wetland, and the wildlife becomes more spread out, but it also allows for various canoe and boat trips that can bring you very close to the wildlife.

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