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Adjoining the small town of Miranda in the Pantanal, Refúgio Ecológico Caiman offers visitors the chance to stay in the heart of South America and to experience the nature and culture of the Pantanal. It consists of three operations: Caiman Lodge, Caiman Ranch and the Nature Conservation Programme.

Established in 1985, in the Southern Pantanal state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Caiman Lodge was the area’s first ecotourism lodge. Comprising two separate lodges -  Cordilheira and Baiazinha – it offers first class hospitality and cuisine. Rooms are equipped with pure cotton bed linen and towels, down filled pillows,  with ceiling fans and air conditioning.

Recently renovated, Cordilheira Lodge sits harmoniously in its surroundings, offering guests comfort and hospitality. Five double, contemporary styled suites comprise a bedroom, bathroom and living room. There is a social area incorporating a dining room, seating up to ten people, a spacious TV/DVD and a games room. On one side of the lodge is a wooded hillside, where the local fauna can be spotted during the day, and on the other side is a branch of the lake, either dry or full, depending on the season.

Baiazinha, Cordilheira’s sister lodge, is a bird-shaped house built on the shores of a permanently flooded lake, with balconies overlooking crystal-clear waters. Decorated in traditional ranch style, six standard rooms, with bathroom, are situated on the wings of the bird, with spectacular views of the wetland sunset from the balcony.  The social area of the lodge includes a dining room for 12 people, and a large, comfortable living room with TV/DVD. Both lodges have outside pools where guests can relax between excursions surrounded by the vast Pantanal landscape. 

Nature conservation values operate in the lodges, such as the Caiman Recycling project, and the Refúgio Ecológico Caiman operates an important Nature Conservation Programme that maintains a 5,600 hectare Private Reserve of Natural Patrimony (RPPN) which supports research and species management projects on the whole ranch.  The programme is recognised domestically and internationally.

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Key info

Wildlife trips

This accommodation is featured in the following itinerary:

Jaguar Fiesta

There is no finer place in the world than the Pantanal to see South America’s greatest apex predator - the jaguar. Accompanied by acclaimed wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt, we track and photograph these magnificent felines with our research team and get close encounters by boat from Porto Jofre.

  • When to go: Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £8,995 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
This accommodation is located in:

Southern Pantanal

Conservation projects in the southern Pantanal focus on jaguar and the hyacinth macaw. From a comfortable lodge you can see wildlife by boat, vehicle and on foot. Bonito, on the southern fringe, is a mecca for ecotourism, where you will find grottos with blue lakes and walking trails surrounded by monkeys.

  • Where: Mato Grosso & Mato Grosso do Sul
  • Ideal for viewing: capybara, giant anteater, giant river otter, jaguar, spectacled caiman
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, River safaris, Jaguar watching, Birdwatching