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We traveled 3 weeks in August 2016 to the Brazilian Pantanal. As Chilean residents, we have already traveled in the South American tropics (Madidi National Park in Bolivia, Amboro National Park in Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Mata Atlantica in Eastern Brazil). We had already seen pumas (at Torres del Paine in the Chilean Patagonia and at Madidi NP in the Bolivian Amazon) as well as jaguars at Madidi. We had also seen giant anteaters, giant otters and much more. But we were totally aware that Pantanal would offer us outstanding possibilities of spotting the largest cat of the Americas, the mighty jaguar or onça pintada. And contrary to the rainforests, it would be much easier to see wildlife in Pantanal. Animal densities are really high, and the Pantanal is an open habitat, rather good for observation, while on the other hand it is much harder to clearly see wildlife in the Amazon. We decided to focus our safari on jaguars, tapirs, giant anteaters and giant otters. We thought it might be a great idea to visit Northern and Southern Pantanal at the same time. For jaguars, we had to take a decision if we would go to Porto Jofre, as 95% of the travelers do. I was really afraid of seeing a jaguar with 15 to 20 other boats, I really like exclusivity when I want to meet wildlife or to be in contact with nature. I have seen on ST that there was another destination with some reasonable possibilities to spot jaguars on the Rio Paraguay, at Taiama reserve. For tapirs, I was clear that Pouso Alegre was the right place to visit. There are some remarquable sightings on the web from this lovely place. For giant anteaters, chances are larger in Southern Pantanal. I was considering different fazendas, but eventually decided to visit Fazenda Barranco Alto (FBA) after reading the amazing reports on ST. I might have chosen Bahia das Pedras too. The are many differences between Northern Pantanal, which is located inside Mato Grosso state, and Southern Pantanal which is in Mato Grosso do Sul. Safaris in both regions are largely done on private land. But one main difference is that most fazendas (such as FBA) in Southern Pantanal, provide all inclusive service (food, accommodation, guiding) with the exception of transport. On the other hand, most places in Northern Pantanal, need to contract a guide, that is not included with accommodation and food in the Fazendas. We decided to use Pantanal Jaguar Safaris agency from Andre and Leen. There were really nice comments about there small agency, based at Chapada dos Guimaraes. We exchanged few mails to set our program, according to our dates and to availabilities. We were offered two alternatives to track jaguars: Porto Jofre, or the new Pedrinho floatel at Rio Paraguay. I decided to try the second option. I also asked for one night at Rio Claro. We ended booking one night at Mato Grosso Hotel, based on the bank of the Pixaim river, not so far from Santa Tereza Fazenda. We were told by Leen it would should a good place to see the giant otters. Well, the program was decided. We would stay one might at Cuiaba, 1 night Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel, 4 nights at Rio Paraguay, 4 nights on the Paraguay River, 1 night at Chapada dos Guimaraes. We would then fly with Azul to Campo Grande, from where we would drive to Aquidauna and take a short flight to FBA, where we would stay for 5 nights.
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