The Hotel Pantanal Norte (formerly Hotel Porto Jofre) is best known as a fishing lodge, being positioned on the Ciuaba River, it is also in one of the best places in Brazil to see jaguar in the wild.
It has direct access to the river, making it easy to head into quiet creeks and tributaries to spot the enigmatic and elusive feline. Accommodation consists of 28 comfortable, air-conditioned bungalow rooms with en suite bathroom, TV and minibar. Facilities include a restaurant that serves home-made local dishes, bar, TV room, internet room and convenience store. There's a swimming pool and lots of outside space in which to relax or observe birds or wildlife in the down time between excursions.
Once a riverport for transporting cattle, food and agricultural produce for the farms of the region, it stands at the end of the 145-kilometre-long unasphalted Transpantaneira Highway, which leads north to Poconé, from where a tarmac road continues another 100 kilometres to Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso state. During the five hour transfer from Cuiabá, particularly in the dry season (July to October), you often see caiman, capybara, plus jabiru stork, macaws, egrets, spoonbills, cardinals, and - if lucky - jaguars, rheas and deer. In the wet season, depending upon the state of the road, the drive may take a lot longer.
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