9 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park

Surrounded by rainforest, the little visited savannahs of this tableland are of enormous ecological importance, and attract many hummingbirds. Situated at the heart of South America, the red sandstone cliffs at the edge of the plateau give the landscape its characteristic appearance with canyons, caves and waterfalls.

  • Where: Mato Grosso
  • Ideal for viewing: Jaguar, Maned wolf, Puma, Scissor-tailed nightjar, Tropical screech-owl
  • Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Birdwatching

Cristalino Private Reserve, Alta Floresta

This private rainforest reserve on the Cristalino River occupies a region very important in terms of Amazon biodiversity. The high number of species and endemics makes it a great place to see birds, mammals, butterflies and orchids. It is easily reached from the northern Pantanal, avoiding a long flight to Manaus.

  • Where: Mata Grosso province
  • Ideal for viewing: Agouti, Capybara, Giant otter, Harpy eagle, Jaguar
  • Excellent for: River safaris, Birdwatching

Iguacu Falls

Even the most seasoned traveller cannot fail to be impressed by the 275 separate waterfalls that tumble over a 90-metre-high, five kilometre wide, basalt cliff. The surrounding lush tropical forest is home to more than 2,000 species of plants, 400 species of birds and an array of mammals. There is a network of paths and walkways with fine views.

  • Where: Parana state
  • Ideal for viewing: Coati, Tapir, Ocelot, Agouti, Rushi’s rat
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve

These 57,000 square kilometres of mainly flooded Amazon forest are a Ramsar site designated as a wetland of global importance, and designed to protect Brazil’s tropical forests. The native Riberinho people assist with collecting data, in return for being taught how to hunt and fish sustainably.

  • Where: Amazonas
  • Ideal for viewing: Black squirrel monkey, Harpy eagle, Howler monkey, Two-toed sloth, Keel-billed toucan
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Northern Pantanal

Accessed via the town of Cuiaba, the northern Pantanal is home to some of Brazil’s rarest wildlife, such as jaguar and giant river otter. Many of the lodges here are still functioning cattle ranches, offering day and night trips by boat, vehicle, on foot and on horseback, accompanied by local naturalist guides.

  • Where: Pantanal
  • Ideal for viewing: Capybara, Giant anteater, Giant river otter, Jaguar, Spectacled caiman
  • Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, River safaris, Jaguar watching, Birdwatching

Salvador do Bahia

This attractive colonial city was once Brazil’s capital, reflected by the richness of its architecture. Standing between green hills and broad sandy beaches, it makes a perfect stop for some culture and relaxation. Between May and December the nearby beaches are important breeding areas for turtles.

  • Where: Bahia
  • Ideal for viewing: Green turtle, Hawksbill turtle, Loggerhead turtle, Olive ridley turtle, Humpback whale
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

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: Pantanal
  • Ideal for viewing: Capybara, Giant anteater, Giant river otter, Jaguar, Spectacled caiman
  • Excellent for: River safaris, Jaguar watching, Birdwatching

The Amazon

The basin of the world’s largest river contains its oldest tropical forest and most diverse ecosystem, with at least 40,000 plant species, and a variety of wildlife. The lodges offer outings on foot and by canoe to explore the rainforest. Alternatively a riverboat voyage can take you deeper into the rainforest.

  • Where: Amazonas
  • Ideal for viewing: Capybara, Giant otter, Red and blue macaw, Tapir, Yellow anaconda
  • Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, River safaris, Jaguar watching, Birdwatching

The Pantanal

This ecological paradise is the world’s largest wetland, with 124 mammals (including the world’s largest jaguars), 177 reptiles, 1,100 species of butterfly, and a myriad of birds, brightly coloured flowers, and shoals of fish. There are significant differences between the north and south; we recommend visiting both.

  • Where: Mato Grosso do Sul
  • Ideal for viewing: Capybara, Giant anteater, Giant river otter, Jaguar, Spectacled caiman
  • Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, River safaris, Jaguar watching, Birdwatching

1 recommended location for extending your wildlife trip.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio is legendary for its stunning beaches, and the iconic peaks of Sugar Loaf and Corcovado, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer. The city’s lesser known natural attractions include its botanical gardens and Tijuca National Park, where you can walk forest trails past creeks, caves and waterfalls.

5 recommended trips. All our trip ideas are offered to inspire you, but our strength is in tailoring your itinerary.

The Pantanal - Brazil’s Wetland Wonder

This immense landlocked delta in the heart of South America offers tremendous habitats and the finest opportunity to see the elusive jaguar.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 16 days

Jaguars of the Pantanal

Endeavour to glimpse one of the most elusive animals in the world's most spectacular wetlands.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 13 days

Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon

Voyage into a rarely visited area of the Amazon rainforest far up the Rio Negro where the flora and fauna is largely undisturbed.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

Just Jaguars

Explore the maze of channels in Taiama Reserve, part of Brazil’s famed Pantanal wetland, to seek out jaguars.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 7 days

Brazil’s Natural Highlights

Enjoy a complete Brazilian wildlife experience, visiting three contrasting ecosystems.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

When to go

Cooler in the south from June to September, wet in the north east from April to July and in the south from October to January, Brazil’s climate remains warm and tropical all year.

Seasons

  • Dry season

    Jun to Sep: Southern Brazil experiences cooler weather from June to September
  • Green season

    Oct to May: Southern Brazil’s summer months bring higher temperatures but higher rainfall.

Wildlife events

  • Jan to Mar: Pantanal floods – animals seek high ground
  • Jan to Aug: High water in Amazon creates igapó (flooded forest)
  • Apr to Jun: Pantanal waters recede, migrants return, caiman give birth
  • Jul to Sep: Dry season in Pantanal – birds & reptiles gather at pools
  • Jun to Oct: Water level falls in Amazon, exposing river beaches
  • Oct to Dec: Pantanal rains, migrant birds depart; predators plentiful

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