Brazil wildlife holiday, Pantanal & Rio

“An exciting combination of time in Rio, then the Pantanal for ranch life and wildlife watching, rounded off with freshwater snorkelling in Bonito.”


Rio de Janeiro | Christ the Redeemer statue | Atlantic rainforest walk | Pantanal | ranch stay | wildlife safaris | boat trip to see giant otters | optional: fishing for piranha | Bonito | freshwater snorkelling | birdwatching

Description of Brazil wildlife holiday, Pantanal & Rio

This Brazi wildlife hoiday, Pantanal & Rio, is a wildlife and cultural journey in Brazil. We are a specialist operator offering holidays with a difference and insider experiences. We have a unique approach to working with local people and places.

This is a private tour (just you and who you are travelling with). Popular as a couples get away, friends travelling together or a family adventure. Minimum age usually five (we have had families with younger children take this trip). If you're travelling as family, contact us for a custom quote.

On this trip, you'll kick off with the insider experience of Rio de Janeiro. You'll also get a chance to tick off the main sights if you wish. Then it's a day trip to a reforestation project, this Atlantic rainforest contains more birds than in the whole of Europe! Some larger animals here too, monkeys ranging from the smallest to the largest.

Then onto the vast Pantanal teeming with animals ranging from otters as big as a man, caiman (like alligator, but don't eat humans) to giant anteaters. If you are luck, you may spot a jaguar, the Pantanal is considered the best place to spot the world's third biggest cat.

You'll end the trip with some relaxation in the the crystal-clear waters of award-winning Bonito, some of the finest freshwater snorkelling in the world.

If you can travel for longer, it is possible to extend your trip with a visit to the famous Iguacu waterfalls or a beach extension. Just make an enquiry to be put in direct contact with us - we even work evenings and weekends!

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Fly from London Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro. Regional departures are possible. It may also be possible to have flights from other countries arranged (or arrange your own).
Day 2:Arrive in Rio in the morning (due to time zone difference). Pick up by your driver in a private car or minivan and transfer to a beautiful private home in the hills where you will meet your hosts and settle into your bedroom (with its own bathroom). Time to settle in and enjoy amazing views over Rio from your balcony. Later on your driver will take you to visit the botanical gardens. Evening activity with your hosts.
Day 3:Day sightseeing in Rio including the Christ the Redeemer statue. Time to relax and change. Later on , your driver will take you out in Rio and wait for you (choose a restaurant from the insider tips in the pack we give all our customers)
Day 4:You'll be driven out of Rio to an Atlantic rainforest area for a nature walk and a chance to spot some of the beautiful birds (there are more species of birds here than in the whole of Europe!)
Day 5:Transfer to airport and fly to the Pantanal. Pick up and transfer to ranch. Settle in and enjoy the pool. Dinner at the ranch.
Day 6:Meet the cowboys on the ranch. Walk or horse ride to see wildlife including giant anteaters & caiman. Evening dinner then night safari.
Day 7:Cultural activities with some of our local Indian friends.
Day 8:Boat trip to see giant otters (2 metres!) and look for jaguar which live on the banks.
Day 9:Morning at leisure to enjoy the pool. Afternoon keep safari to look for armadillos, ocelots and metre-long hyacinth macaws, the world's largest parrot. Evening ranch dinner. Night safari.
Day 10:Boat trip and optional fishing for piranha (other options include birdwatching, hiking, riding or some R&R!)
Day 11:Pack up and transfer to nearby Bonito, a small town in in area of caves, sinkholes and some of the best freshwater snorkelling in the world. Time to settle into small hotel.
Day 12:Birdwatching in a huge sink hole, then freshwater snorkelling, amongst tropical fish.
Day 13:Most of the day at leisure. Late afternoon transfer to the airport and internal flight to Sao Paulo or Rio for an official connection back to London Heathrow.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

Although dates are flexible, it can only depart on a Friday or Saturday.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Brazil wildlife holiday, Pantanal & Rio


This wildlife holiday in Brazil focuses on the greener side of life.

Even when sightseeing in Rio de Janeiro, you will be exploring the greener side of it. Yes you will visit famous sights like the Christ the Redeemer statue to tick them off, but did you know it is in the middle of a national park? Your day will take this park in. You will also visit the botanical gardens.

When you go the Pantanal, unfortunately you do have to fly there (Brazil is vast, nearly as big as the USA), but do read our tips on offsetting your carbon (through lifestyle changes, not tree planting). You will be staying in ranches, not big hotels. They are also working ranches. Transport on the ranches will be mainly be by foot or boat or horses. Wildlife is viewed from a sensitive distance and with expert local guides including indigenous people. Bonito won the World Responsible Tourism award (best destination) in 2013.

Accommodation throughout this trip is in old buildings converted for existing use (e.g private home) or working ranches. The one exception is the hotel you stay in for some R&R but this is a small building, built sensitively to the environment.


Throughout this wildlife trip, you will meet a variety of local people.

You will not be guided throughout by one person from the big city. It's not just 'local guides' but people local to a particular area. You will meet expert guides, wildlife, birding and otherwise and you will have different drivers and you will meet local people who don't work in the tourism industry. They range from professionals in Rio to ranch owners and cowboys in the Pantanal. You will also have one on one interactions with indigenous people who do not usually benefit from 'tourism dollars'. You will learn about their traditional ways which will benefit both you and them, helping keep their traditions alive for future generations.

We believe in 'trade not aid' and pick people we work with carefully and support them as much as we can through business. On this trip, we also support initiatives like a reforestation project. However, we do also make charitable donations including one which helps street children in Brazil with care and support, particularly training them with useful skills and helping with reintegration with their families where possible.

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