Brazil: Pantanal, Iguacu & Beyond
A Small-Group Expedition into the Heart of One of South America’s Last Wild Frontiers
Brazil bursts with life, and we encounter it in all its exuberance on this unique nature odyssey. National Geographic called Brazil’s Pantanal the “Wild Wet,” an apt moniker for this verdant system of flooded marshes that sprawls over 90,000 square miles in the heart of South America. Though the Amazon is better known, this region is home to the planet’s densest concentration of wildlife, including 10 million caimans, nearly 700 bird species, Brazilian tapir, capybara, giant otter, maned wolf and the endangered jaguar. Brazil also boasts the world’s largest cataract, mile-wide Iguaçu Falls—as well as the world's largest urban rainforest. Brazil is bold and beautiful, and never more so than in its natural state!
- Journey beyond the realm of the typical tourist to remote, rarely visited Caiman Ecological Refuge, where wildlife viewing is the best in the Pantanal
- Stay atop the canyon rim within full view of the thunder of Iguaçu Falls—just one of the unique and authentic accommodations we enjoy
- Experience the natural side of Rio de Janeiro with visits to the city's lavish botanic gardens and Tijuca Forest
No One Shows You Natural Brazil the Way We Do!
Brazil is one of the planet’s most stupendous nature destinations. Encompassing vast rainforests, wild ocean coast and the world’s largest wetlands—the Pantanal—Brazil is a must for nature lovers. We take pride in offering a unique itinerary that immerses you in locales where wildlife flourishes and tourists are fewer. Take a look at what makes our itinerary so distinctive:
- See the Pantanal from the Very Best Location for Wildlife Viewing
In the Pantanal, Brazil’s massive wetlands (and the world’s largest marsh), wildlife is even more abundant than in the Amazon. We may see Brazilian tapirs, capybaras, giant armadillos, giant otters, maned wolves and caiman, and, if we’re very fortunate, elusive panthers or jaguars. But not every lodge is situated to take full advantage of proximity to the greatest wildlife concentrations. We have deliberately selected the remote Caiman Ecological Refuge as our base in the Pantanal for its superlative location, where wildlife viewing—and the array of activities offered to experience it—is far better than anywhere else.
- A Diverse Array of Activities for Multiple Perspectives
We spend three full days in the Pantanal to fully immerse you in this UNESCO World Heritage Site of global importance. We’ll explore this vast mosaic of flooded marshlands and dry islands via multiple means, from nature walks and wildlife drives to horseback rides and canoe safaris—each mode revealing a new vantage point on the varied landscape and its inhabitants.
- Explore the World’s Largest Urban Forest
While vibrant Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s most famous city, few are aware that it also contains the world’s largest urban forest—and of course, we show it to you! Tijuca Forest is a tract of rare Atlantic Rainforest covering more than 12 square miles. After the native forest was destroyed to make way for coffee farms, Tijuca was replanted in the second half of the 19th century by Major Manuel Gomes Archer in order to protect the city’s water supply. It has since become a haven for hundreds of species of plants and animals, many of them endemic and classified as threatened.
- Experience Both Sides of Iguaçu Falls
Iguaçu Falls, one of the largest cataracts in the world, is simply stunning. And while it’s duly famed as one of Brazil’s greatest natural highlights, we make sure you see it fully—that’s why we also visit the Argentine side of this vast set of falls that straddles the border. You’ll see and hear more than 200 individual waterfalls pouring into a horseshoe-shaped canyon as we take a guided walk along rainforest trails and suspended catwalks. On the Brazilian side, we walk along the rim for a full view of Devil’s Throat, where 14 falls drop a dramatic 350 feet with such force that there is always a 100-foot cloud of spray overhead.
- Our Small Group Means More Authentic Nature Encounters
There’s no question that when you’re exploring some of the most renowned nature destinations on the planet, the best way to do it is away from other tourists, for a quiet, personal experience of wildlife and solitude. That’s why we limit our group to no more than 12 travelers. Our small group also helps us ensure that your needs and expectations are carefully met, and you have plenty of individual attention from our Expedition Leader.
- Authentic Accommodations in Unparalleled Natural Settings
We choose our accommodations for atmosphere, comfort and superb locations, where landscape and wildlife viewing is best. A highlight is Caiman Ecological Refuge located deep within the Pantanal, part of a unique private research, conservation and ecotourism initiative. Unlike more touristed Pantanal accommodations, this remote ecolodge lies far from where other visitors tend to stay, with added benefits: while they are very elusive, jaguars are regularly seen here. In Iguaçu, we also stay atop the cataract rim in the only accommodation located within Iguaçu National Park, within full view of the thundering falls.
- Your Expedition Leader is a Top Professional Naturalist
NHA has a well-deserved international reputation for the highest-quality Expedition Leaders in the industry. Our Brazil guides average 10 years of experience, with additional training and resources from WWF’s world-class scientists, so your trip is sure to be a learning adventure. In the Pantanal, we are also joined by local guides who are resident experts in the flora and fauna of the region. See Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- Our Quality Guarantee Ensures Your Exceptional Brazil Adventure
With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that wildlife and habitats are under substantial threat from our planet’s warming temperatures. And we continue to set standards in eco-conscious travel worldwide.
- Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Brazil: Pantanal, Iguacu & Beyond travel books
for this trip.