Tailor-Made Holiday

Jaguars in the Amazon and Wildlife of the Pantanal

Spend time with jaguar researchers deep in the Amazon Rainforest

11 days

from £4,695pp (excluding flights)
  • Spend time with jaguar researchers in the Mamiraua Reserve in the Amazon
  • Mamiraua Reserve has one of the highest densities of jaguars in the world
  • Be one of only twelve people all year to be granted this access
  • The potential, albeit small, of seeing the rare black jaguar
  • Visit the Pantanal exploring this wildlife-rich area on foot, horseback and canoes

This Amazon jaguar watching trip is open to a privileged few. This trip only operates three times a year, only 12 people get to spend time with the jaguar researchers and see their work at first hand. Proceeds from this expedition fund scientific research as well as an educational programme, Jaguar School. Jaguar School teaches science and environmental conservation to children in the communities of the reserve and is essential to the reduction of hunting and conflicts between jaguars and the local communities.

This trip goes deep into the Brazilian Amazon and the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve in search of the jaguar. The reserve is part of the world’s largest protected tropical rainforest corridor and has one of the highest densities of jaguar on earth, including the rare black jaguar. Spend four days at the floating Uakari Lodge, in the Brazilian Amazon, with specialist jaguar researchers. At this time of year the forest is flooded and the jaguars spend their time sleeping and hunting in the treetops. An incredible adaptation that is only seen in this area and, travelling by boat, makes it easier to see jaguars. Although not guaranteed, previous groups have seen jaguar every day during the trip.

A possible option to combine with the time in the Amazon would be to visit the Pantanal, the largest freshwater wetland area in the world and best place for viewing wildlife in the Americas, your days will be spent with experienced guides. Explore the pristine forest on foot, cross the savannah and floodplains on horseback or float down rivers looking for giant river otters. The adventure does not stop when the sun sets - go on night drives and walks and experience the different sounds and smells at night as well as the star-lit sky.

The only set part of this suggested holiday idea is the time with the jaguars in the Amazon, which operates on set dates three times a year. It can be combined with any area and length of time in Brazil whether that be the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, time on one the many beaches on the coast or a visit to the mighty Iguassu Falls.

2019 Amazon Jaguar tour dates:

7 to 11 June
14 to 18 June
21 to 25 June


For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4695 £ 1000

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Travel from Cuiaba to Araras Eco Lodge

Transfer from Cuiaba airport to Araras Eco Lodge, a journey of approximately 2.5 hours. The first part of the journey is on a paved road through farms and cattle ranches. After a stop in Poconé, take the Transpantaneira Park Road, a dirt road with flora and fauna of the Pantanal ecosystem along the way.

The Pantanal, or wetlands of Mato Grosso, is one of nature's last frontiers, the world's largest animal reserve, and home to more than 600 different species of birds and 230 varieties of fish. It is made up of a huge lowland plain that is entirely overgrown by lush vegetation and covered with flowers that bloom during the rainy season from December to April.

The Pantanal features many rivers and crystalline lakes, as it used to be a vast inland sea, and rare species of birds and other animals seek shelter along their shores and cluster around the diminishing pools during the dry season from May to November.

Walking Tour
The introduction walking tour is the first activity, where the history, concepts and surroundings of the lodge are presented. Over the next few days activities will include guided walks, horse rides, boat trips and vehicle expeditions.

Night Walk
Travel out with your guide to listen to the sounds and observe the behaviour of the nocturnal animals. Star gazing on a clear night is amazing in this remote area.

You will be staying at Araras Eco Lodge, full board

Day 2

Activities Around the Lodge
Today explore the surroundings with your guide, activities could include canoeing and a photo safari, learning about the ecosystem and wildlife along the way. Discover the riverside forest in absolute silence by canoe, look out for the two groups of endangered Giant River Otters that live in this area. During the photo safari travel in especially adapted open vehicles, observing the fauna along the roads of the Pantanal and the Transpantaneira crossway.

You will be staying at Araras Eco Lodge, full board

Day 3

Pantanal Exploration
Spend the day trekking the many trails in this area, across woods, savannahs, fields and swamps, with the goal of introducing the diversity of the ecosystem. Three canopy towers, 12, 13 and 25 m high, offer panoramic views on the plain and allow access to nature high up in the crown of trees. Spend the evening either relaxing at the lodge or listening to a lecture.

You will be staying at Araras Eco Lodge, full board

Day 4

Choice of Activities
Another full day of activities which may include riding. Horseback riding is the most traditional way of becoming acquainted with the Pantanal. Exploring areas that are hard to access on foot, a fun and enjoyable way to watch wildlife. The pure Pantaneiro horses have a reputation for their beauty and docility, perfect for beginners.

You will be staying at Araras Eco Lodge, full board

Day 5

Sunrise Walk and Departure
Rise early to witness the cross over of night and daytime birds celebrating the arrival of a new day. A great time of day to view wildlife and good for photographers. After breakfast depart the lodge by shared transfer.

Travel from Araras Eco Lodge to Cuiaba

Return to Cuiaba for the flight to the Amazon.

Fly Cuiaba to Manaus

Located in the heart of the jungle, 1600km up the Amazon river, the history of Manaus is as exotic as its location. Founded in 1669, Manaus has a colonial history which peaked during the late 19th century rubber boom. The fabulous wealth of this period led to the construction of the legendary opera house, where the most famous singers of the era performed.

The municipal market, designed after Les Halles in Paris, was built during the rubber boom, as was the custom house, designed and manufactured in Liverpool. However Manaus's main attraction, the rainforest, lies just outside the city, and boasts a wealth of exotic flora and fauna.

You will be staying at Villa Amazonia, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Fly Manaus to Tefe

Boat journey from Tefe to Uakari Lodge

Transfer to the port, where a boat will take the group to the Uakari Lodge. After an hour travelling through the mighty Solimões, the name of this stretch of the Amazon River, get into the Mamirauá Lake. Along the way it might be already possible to see aquatic mammals such as the Amazon (Pink) River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) and the Grey River Dolphin (Sotolia fluviatilis).

Arrive Uakari Lodge
After check-in, a small presentation is given about the Uakari Lodge, Lauarete Project and Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve. The gigantic reserve protects more than two-and-a-half million acres of forest, rivers and lakes. It is home of many rare and threatened species, some only found within the reserve such as the beautiful Uakari Monkey (Cacajao calvus calvus) and the Black-headed Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri vanzolinii). This reserve is not just a successful conservation project, but a pioneer project that involves the local people into conservation work. Later there is still time for a small canoe tour to explore the Uakari Lodge surroundings.

Please note during canoe trips you may not have an English speaking guide in the canoe, sometimes due to logistics of a three person canoe it may just be a Portuguese speaking boat driver. There is always that an English-speaking naturalist guide and researcher with the group in nearby canoes. There are no lectures during these canoe journeys, since it is important to maintain silence in order to best locate the jaguars.

Northern Brazil is dominated by the Amazon Rainforest; a vast tract of tropical wilderness divided by the enormous Amazon River basin. More than half of the Amazon River Basin is located within Brazil, supporting incredible biodiversity with an array of mammals, insects, reptiles and bird species.

Manaus, the capital of Amazonas State, serves as the main gateway into the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. Head downstream by boat to observe the natural phenomena known as the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ where the clay-coloured waters of Rio Solimões meet the black waters of Rio Negro and flow in parallel for six kilometres before converging to form the Rio Amazon.

You will be staying at Uakari Lodge, full board

Day 7

Jaguar Tracking and Time with Researchers
After breakfast go on a field trip to look for jaguars with GPS collars. The location of each animal will be previously tracked by researchers, who will have access to the GPS points. The goal is to view and understand the largest American cat, take photos, contribute to the research and learn about the jaguars.

During the afternoon be involved in regular research activities, for instance inspecting camera-traps installed in the treetops.

You will be staying at Uakari Lodge, full board

Day 8

Jaguar Tracking and Mamiraua Lake
Again today travel with guides and researchers on a field trip to look for jaguars. In the afternoon whilst heading by boat to the Mamirauá Lake and cruising towards the lake, lookout for the Uakari Monkey (Cacajao calvus calvus), Black Caimans (Melanosuchus niger), Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta), Hoatzin (Opistocomus hoazin), Tui Parakeet (Brotogeris sanctithomae) and Spot-breasted Woodpecker (Colaptes punctigula). It will be dark on the way back to the lodge, and there might be a chance of night animals sighting.

You will be staying at Uakari Lodge, full board

Day 9

Community Visit and Sloth Census
In the morning visit one of four communities in the area. During the afternoon a sloth (Bradypus variegatus) - one of the main food supplies for jaguars - census will be made in trails near Mamiraua Lake and some camera-traps will be collected. After dinner the images from the camera-traps will be revealed and discussed.

You will be staying at Uakari Lodge, full board

Day 10

Depart Uakari
This is the last morning and there is still time for a short outing after breakfast.

Boat Journey from Uakari Lodge to Tefe

Return by boat to Tefe for the flight back to Manaus, a journey of about an hour.

Fly Tefe to Manaus

Fly Manaus to Rio de Janeiro

As the Brazilians say, 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. This vibrant and lively city is a fun place to spend some time, and offers something for everyone.

Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Rio's natural beauty is unsurpassable. Its magnificent shoreline, with its charming bays and beautiful beaches, is an important part of Rio social life and offers numerous outdoor activities from biking to surfing.

In the mountains above Rio, you will find the Tijuca national forest, the largest natural urban park in the world. The city's eight million inhabitants, known as 'Cariocas', are friendly, carefree people who always seem to find time for the pleasures of good living.

You will be staying at Miramar by Windsor, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Days at Leisure with Suggested Sightseeing
Find below a selection of activities and excursions you may wish to investigate on your free day:

" Learn how to Samba at a dance school

" People-watch on Copacabana Beach

" Watch a football match at Maracana Stadium

" Listen to live Bossa Nova in a restaurant in Ipanema

" Visit the botanical gardens and the avenue of imperial palms

" Admire the view from Corcovado below the statue of Christ

" Visit Petropolis, the Summer Residence of the Imperial family of Brazil

" Board a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain

" Hire bicycles and explore the beaches

" Visit Santa Teresa, the bohemian quarter

" Explore the colonial historical quarter

" Relax on the beach and enjoy the day to day life of the Cariocas


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Uakari Lodge

Uakari Lodge

The Uakari Lodge is a community run floating lodge in the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve, the largest area of flooded Amazonian forest....

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Araras Eco Lodge

Araras Eco Lodge

Nestled amongst vast, lush wetlands, Araras Eco Lodge was constructed to blend in with its natural surroundings and is committed to local environmental initiatives such as inhibiting deforestation along the banks of the Rio Clarinho and encouraging hyacinth macaws to nest in the Northern Pantanal....

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Villa Amazonia

Villa Amazonia

Villa Amazonia is a restored historic mansion dating back to the golden age of rubber extraction in Brazil....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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