Suggested flight (not included in the cost of the tour) British Airways flight BA 247 departing London Heathrow at 22.25 hrs.
Arrive in Sao Paulo Guarulhos at 06.20 hrs and connect to a Gol flight to Cuiaba.
Lunch under own arrangements. Transfer to the Pousada do Rio Mutum (journey time approximately 2½ hrs). The road is paved for 50 km, with a further 80 km on dirt roads. Although a long transfer, it is an excursion in itself, cutting directly across the Pantanal and giving a first taste of the beautiful landscape and abundant plant and wildlife.
The Pousada do Rio Mutum is located on the banks of the Mutum River and the lodge is an ideal base from which to explore the remarkable wetlands of the Northern Pantanal. They are home to over 650 different bird species including macaws, herons, cormorants, ibises, curassows, parakeets and wood ibises, 80 species of mammals including capybaras, Brazilian otters and monkeys, 50 reptile species including alligators, 262 fish species, 1,100 butterfly species and more than 1,700 species of plants.
The Pousada do Rio Mutum is a comfortable and well-appointed lodge, with swimming pool, restaurant and bar. There are 22 chalet style apartments, each with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, hammock and private balcony. Meals are buffet style and are a mixture of international and local cuisine with an emphasis on local fish, meat and locally grown vegetables. There is also a terrace bar, small shop and games/TV room. The grounds of the lodge are a haven for local birds, including macaws, whilst at night capybara keep the lawns neat with their grazing.
Four nights at Pousada do Rio Mutum including all meals.
Transfer to Cuiaba airport for an Azul flight to Alta Floresta.
Lunch under own arrangements. Transfer to Cristalino Lodge (journey time approximately 1½ hrs). The first hour is by road and then the final thirty minutes is by boat, along the Cristalino River.
The lodge is located on a private reserve of pristine forest with a great variety of medium to low altitude eco zones, different types of forest cover, lakes and micro habitats. 586 species of birds have been catalogued including specialist understory and bamboo grove species, as well as endemic ones such as the cryptic forest-falcon, red-fan parrot, crested owl and Amazonian umbrellabird. Diverse neo-tropical wildlife can be seen including mammals such as the giant otter, tapir, capybara, anteater, sloth and many species of monkey; reptiles such as lizards, frogs and iguanas; and an astounding variety of butterflies. Encounters with jaguar are dependent upon persistence and luck, but these do happen a couple times per year.
The rooms at the lodge were built to promote close contact between guests and their surroundings. Sustainable practices include solar heating, grey-water treatment system, black-water treatment system and a roof design with air-escapes to maintain a cooler temperature. The floating deck provides an area for relaxation with breathtaking views. The kitchen serves buffet style meals prioritising local seasonal products including fresh fish, whilst the bar offers a great atmosphere with an open fire at night on a spacious outdoor deck.
Four nights at Cristalino Lodge including all meals.
A wide range of outdoor activities are available including birdwatching, butterfly observation, hiking into the dense surrounding rainforest, visits to the observation towers, fauna and flora observation, canoeing, swimming and boat trips. Two half-day tours are included per day, each morning and afternoon, and the hotel provides specialised local guides to ensure that you get the best out of your experience.
Transfer to Alta Floresta airport for an Azul fight to Cuiaba.
Lunch under own arrangements. Transfer to Hotel Deville Prime Cuiaba where one night is spent. The Deville Cuiaba is one of the original hotels in town but was completely refurbished for the 2014 World Cup with a modern lobby bar and restaurant as well as an outdoor pool. Dinner under own arrangements.
Transfer to Cuiaba airport for a Gol flight via Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont (domestic) airport. Lunch under own arrangements. Transfer to Reserva do Ibitipoca (journey time approximately 4 hrs).
The Reserva do Ibitipoca came into being in 1981, with the acquisition of Engenho’s Farm within the Ibitipoca State Park, an area with an incredible range of biodiversity including over 350 species of birds, 41 amphibians and many fish. The reserve’s main focus is environmental work including the reconstitution of natural habitat through reforestation and vigilance against poachers, which has resulted in the gradual return of animals like deer, boar, capybara, jaguar, and ocelot; the reintroduction of threatened species such as jacutinga, the curassow, the macuco and the harpy eagle; and the protection of critically endangered species such as the northern muriqui monkey.
Accommodation is at Engenho’s Farm, a traditional farmhouse founded in 1715, which was rebuilt to exacting standards in 2006 and converted into a lodge welcoming guests to the reserve. There are just 8 traditional suites, designed to help you forget about the external world by not providing televisions while allowing you to do so with the luxury of Egyptian-cotton king-sized beds, underfloor heating and modern bathrooms with warm towel rails and amenities provided by L’Occitane. The daily-changing menu is always prepared with the freshest ingredients, many of which are produced on the Reserva do Ibitipoca’s land, and the lodge has its own well-stocked wine cellar. A huge emphasis is placed on the importance of well-being; an inviting spa with a sauna and Jacuzzi provides a variety of massage treatments and the opportunity to enjoy morning yoga sessions.
Three nights at Reserva do Ibitipoca Lodge in an Engenho Suite including all meals.
Two daily guided walking tours including birdwatching are included with your stay. There are over 200km of trails leading to stunning landscapes featuring caves, mountains and pristine waterfalls. It is also possible to do extra guided tours by bike or on horseback at an additional cost.
Morning at the lodge. Lunch at the lodge.
Transfer to Rio de Janeiro International Airport. Suggested flight (not included in the cost of the tour) British Airways BA 248 departing Rio at 21.50 hrs.
Arrive London Heathrow at 13.10 hrs.
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