Brazil wildlife tour, jaguars and waterfalls

“A private tour with almost guaranteed sightings of jaguar in the Pantanal, plus time to explore Rio and both sides of the Iguacu Falls.”


Rio | Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugar Loaf mountain | Atlantic rainforest exploration | Cuiaba | private wildlife guide | Pantanal | wildlife safaris and walks | boat trips to spot jaguar | canoe ride | horse riding | Iguacu | Argentinian and Brazilian sides

Description of Brazil wildlife tour, jaguars and waterfalls

"We had a wonderful time on our trip in June. We saw six different jaguars, hundreds of caiman and lots of birds. The guides were great, very friendly and helpful..I enjoyed every aspect of this tour..Definitely value for money"

The ultimate trip for wildlife lovers, this jaguar holiday in the Pantanal Brazil includes seeing jaguars in the wild. Recommended in Wanderlust Magazine's top 10 wildlife trips and The Sunday Times Travel Magazine.

Our expert guides have tracked jaguars for the BBC, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, as well as Netflix's Our Planet. Our trips have had 100% success rate for several years, with multiple sightings of jaguars and cubs.

This private tour explores the Pantanal, takes you to the world-famous Iguacu waterfalls, exploring both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides with a private guide and also takes in Rio de Janeiro.

Please see itinerary overview below and for more details, please make an enquiry on this page - Responsible Travel will put you in touch with us (the specialist tour operator who designed and run this trip) and we will email you directly. You can also phone us until 9pm, 7 days a week.

The 'season' is June to November. We recommend reserving as early as you can, ideally at least 12 months before. You can reserve with a deposit. Note we only take 1 party (e.g. 1 couple or 1 group of friends or 1 family) per departure date - first come, first served!

*Solo travellers* We occasionally run a special set departure for solo travellers. You can travel with a small group of others and there is no single supplement. Please enquire for details.
Photos on this page used with thanks to Roger Day (first 2 jaguar photos) and Roger Sargent (all other photos), taken on private tours in different years.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Fly to Brazil from London Heathrow. If you live outside the UK, you're welcome to book excluding flights and start your tour in Rio de Janeiro on Day 2.
Day 2: DMorning arrival at Rio airport. Time to settle in and relax before visiting Rio's botanical gardens. Authentic dinner with local hosts.
Day 3: BTick off Rio's main sites including Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugar Loaf mountain.
Day 4: LEarly morning departure out of Rio to conservation hotspot, Regua. Explore Atlantic rainforest to spot birds and have a chance to see wildlife up in the trees including tiny marmosets and lazy sloths. After lunch, you'll head back to Rio and have a little bit of free time in the afternoon.
Day 5: BDFly from Rio to Cuiaba. Transfer to ranch in the Pantanal, stopping to view wildlife on the way. Meet your wildlife guide for the next 6/7 days.
Day 6: BLDWalking safari for a chance to see animals including capybara and metre-long hyacinth macaws. Night safari. Watch out for the red eyes, they are caiman!
Day 7: BLTransfer deeper into the Pantanal to Porto Jofre, known as "Jaguar Ground Zero" by wildlife film crews. After lunch, you'll have your first boat trip searching for jaguar as birds of prey fly overhead and giant river otters frolic.
Day 8: BLDBoating looking for jaguar, river otters and more.
Day 9: BLDBoating further up the Cuiaba river looking for jaguar and other animals.
Day 10:BLDTransfer to lodge and wildlife walks and night safari.
Day 11: BLEarly morning canoe ride followed by horseriding (walking options are also possible) for more wildlife and learning about life in the Pantanal. Transfer to Cuiaba and overnight in comfortable hotel near the airport.
Day 12: BFly to Foz do Iguaçu, home to the famous waterfalls. You'll be met at the airport. Settle into your hotel and have a dip in the pool.
Day 13: BFull day visit to the Argentine side of Iguaçu waterfalls with your private guide.
Day 14: BVisit the Brazilian side of Iguaçu waterfalls with your private guide. Then you'll visit an aviary to see amazing birds including some which are near extinction.
Day 15:Relax by the pool (depending on flight timings). Short transfer to Foz do Iguaçu airport, for a connecting flight to Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo and onward to the UK.
Day 16:Land back at 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

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This jaguar holiday in Brazil supports local people and naturalists and jaguar guides. They also have an international impact by being involved with Panthera, an organisation set up to ensure the survival of wild cats worldwide. Eco tourism in the Pantanal has proven to have a positive impact on the survival of jaguars.

You'll be staying in locally owned accommodation including ranch houses which are existing buildings, not vast hotels built for tourists.

By the time you're in the heart of the Pantanal, you'll be getting around by boat and foot, a lot of the time. Or horses if you are so inclined!

In Rio you'll be exploring the greener side of the city, which includes the mountain, Atlantic rainforest and the botanical gardens. You'll also visit a reserve which is regenerating forest and is a valuable home to birds and monkeys.

Sadly there will be some carbon footprint with the distances involved. We're not fans on carbon offset programmes, however, we do provide tips for lifestyle changes you can make (optional of course!) to help.

The Impacts of this Trip

You'll meet different local people throughout your trip. You certainly won't just be guided by one person from the big city (or more extremely from another country like the USA).

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.

We also hope you enjoy the opportunities to learn about local cultures, from the 200-year old Pantaneiro culture to the centuries-old indigenous.

This trip supports initiatives throughout this trip including a reforestation project.

On the whole we do have a 'trade not aid' philosophy. However, we do also make charitable donations in the countries we operate in. In Brazil this includes a charity that helps street children with reintegration into their families and learning skills which will be useful to them in life.


3 Reviews of Brazil wildlife tour, jaguars and waterfalls

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Our recent adventure to Brazil literally took our breath away. We could not believe the variety of mammals, birds and reptiles we had close encounters with. I can’t even begin to agree on a single highlight, there were so many; seeing four jaguars (including cubs) in one spot, unexpected encounters with a puma and an ocelot and spending an hour watching a tapir mooch about our lodge grounds. the operators were also fab in helping Theresa with her photography skills and accommodating our request to see a sloth

The trip was very well organised and everything ran very smoothly on the ground. Our guides were fabulous, especially Tito! We’ve been on similar private tours with ‘luxury’ agents that have turned into an absolute farce and this could not have been further from those experiences.

Besides the SPECTACULAR wildlife we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Rio, with its picture postcard landscapes, unique street art and fabulous food.

This holiday was worth every penny and more. If you are contemplating whether its right for you, sit back, have a Caipirinha and get it booked. You won’t regret it!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take lots of insect repellant! Please note our itinerary was altered to remove the waterfalls and add the Amazon but 98% of the wildlife we saw was in the Pantanal.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely! It really help promote conservation and we could see the employment benefits for local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Reviewed on 29 Oct 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Having so many decent sightings of jaguars not just fleeting glimpses so taking good photos of them was easy.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go to the end of the transpanitaria to Porte Jofre this seemed the best place for jaguar spotting and for giant otters. Although we saw a couple of jaguars at Rio Claro I think we were extremely lucky as sightings here are not as common even our guide was surprised & pleased.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes as it used local guides, drives & independant accomodations hopefully the money brought in by tourists will help with conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent especially the Pantanal. Only dissapointment was the day we visited Sugar loaf mountain & Corcovado as it rained and visibility was zero, not the tour companies fault but would have been better if they were more flexible with the itinerary enabeling it to be swapped with another day we were in Rio.

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The wildlife viewing is wonderful. The highlight is definitely seeing the jaguars on the riverbanks in the Pantanal from about 20m.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a good camera, insect repellent and knock down spray. Expect to pay for drinking water.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - jaguar viewing in the Panatanal is relatively new and helps contribute to wildlife conservation in this area. Similarly, Iguazu Falls has a large conservation area which benefits from the visitors to the Falls on both sides of the border.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


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