Over the past year the number of jaguars in the Northern Pantanal wetlands has grown to the point that we can say that it is almost guaranteed to find this species on the path during the dry months (July-October). We say “almost” because when it comes to living things nothing can be fully guaranteed, but the chances are great.
The best place to observe the jaguar is the area between the three rivers Cuiabá, Três Irmãos and Piquiri, where the protected National Park was created. The nearest access to this area is out of Porto Jofre, at the end of the Transpanteira.
From Porto Jofre, all of the jaguar observation programs leave by boat along the river, with the intention of exploring the areas around the park, each following the same path. The difference in the programs is only in the structure and maintenance of the boats used and in the facilities offered by the various Lodges.
1. Puma Lodge > Located 210 km from Cuiabá. It has 20 air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms. They normally use boats with 15 and 25 hp engines. It’s around 35 km from Cuiabá River. It is distant from the observation area, you will have to drive almost 1 hour to reach the river.
2. Jaguar Lodge > Same location as Puma. They have only 12 rooms with private bathrooms, mosquito nets and fans (some have air-conditioning). The boats used on the tours also have 15 and 25hp engines. It is distant from the observation area, you will have to drive almost 1 hour to reach the river as well.
3. Porto Jofre Hotel > Located right in Porto Jofre, has 26 rooms, good service and at least 4 big boats for 6, 10 and 20 passengers with a 115hp engine. Our best option at this moment.
“Regardless where you stay the idea is to stay as long as possible cruising along the river in search of signs that indicates the presence of jaguars.
Be patient, wait and enjoy!
This means you go out early morning and you can bring a picnic lunch or return to the Lodge for lunch, restarting later in the afternoon to search along the river bank until 6.00pm.
Therefore we recommend a minimum of 3 nights, although many guest had luck on their first outing, but … For professional’s photographer they mostly go for a 6 nights stay in order to have better chances for a top picture.”