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    Amazon and Pantanal

    Amazon and Pantanal

    Il Regno del Giaguaro

    • Periodo Ottimale: 16 Settembre - 24 Settembre 2020; 25 Settembre - 3 Ottobre 2020
    • Giorni: 9-14
    • Zona di interesse: Amazzonia e Pantanal
    • Costo: € 3129,00 (estensione in Amazzonia: € 992-1245)
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    Wildlife viewing trip in the some of the most species–rich ecosystems on Earth, from the flooded forests of the inner Amazon region to the immense Pantanal floodplains and the remote brazilian savannah. An incomparable and once in a lifetime trip into the heart of one of South America’s last wild frontiers, and a unique opportunity to experience stunning wildlife encounters, from Jaguars to the Maned Wolf.

    • The Amazon River – along a true wonder of the world deep in the rainforest, be in awe of this rich immersion in the most spectacular avifauna on Earth, Macaws, Toucans, Hoazin and the legendary Harpy Eagle.
    • Mamirauà and Cristalino– the world’s largest protected area of flooded forest and “terra firme” forest deep in the Amazon.
    • Amazon Primates– the endemic Uakari, Spider Monkeys and Howler Monkeys.
    • Sloths, Armadillos and Opossum – phylogenetically distant mammals from a world apart.
    • Pantanal – the South American Tapir, the Giant Anteater and the “terrestrial” fauna of South America.
    • The Jaguar – observing the top–predator in the wild.
    • The Cerrado – the brazilian savannah, reign of the incredible Maned Wolf.
    A note on accommodations: contrary to other itineraries, during the trip into the Amazon wilderness it’s not advisable to stay in rustic and simple accommodations. This for both safety and practical reasons (use of boats, local guides, type of equipment necessary for conducting spotlight wildlife observations, difficult viewing spots in remote areas). Due to the choice of upmarket accommodations with many creature comforts and top–class facilities, costs are higher than in other our itineraries. We paid attention, as usual, to choose lodges designed to minimize the impact on the local environment and maintain the ambiance of the rainforest, and to select ecologically sustainable activities that promote conservation through an appropriate economic return to local communities. Araras Ecolodge, Uakari Floating Lodge and Cristalino Ecolodge (you can visit their websites for more infos) are actively involved in many conservation efforts and research programs (Uakari Floating Lodge has two research stations for biodiversity surveys linked with the Ministry of Science of Brazil).

    ClimateBiogeographic ProvinceBiodiversity and Cultural Heritage

    The Amazon Rainforest climate is typically tropical, i.e. hot (average annual temperature about 26°C) and humid (average relative humidity about 83%) throughout the year. The Pantanal receives about 1000–1400mm of precipitation a year; temperatures average 25°C but can fluctuate on a yearly and daily basis (0 to 40°C).

    The Amazon Rainforest: The huge Amazon basin drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries is mostly covered by the Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia. With 5,5 over 7 millions square kilometres of the area covered by dense tropical forest, it is the largest remaining tropical rainforest in the world. It is located in Brazil for 65% of its total area, but extends also in Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana.

    The Pantanal: Stretching across Brazil (in the state of Mato Grosso), Bolivia and Paraguay, the Pantanal is the world’s largest continental savanna wetland, with a total area of 195000 square kilometres. Flooding occupies about 80% of the whole area, and the maze of fluctuating water levels, nutrients, and biota forms a dynamic ecosystem hosting the richest and most abundant zoocenosis in South America.

    The Chapada dos Guimaraes: the altitude plateau above the Pantanal, a 300 million year old seabed now replaced by a peculiar savannah-type ecosystem, with red sandstone cliffs that gives the landscape its characteristic appearance with canyons, caves and waterfalls.

    Biodiversity: Floodplain ecosystem of Pantanal is home to one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in South America, hosting over 1000 species of birds, 400 of fish (most of whom are detritivores and adapted to live in hypoxic conditions characteristic of seasonally flooded habitats), 300 of mammals, 480 of reptiles and more than 9000 of invertebrates. This huge wilderness is of vital importance to rare mammals, such as the Marsh Deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) and the Giant Otter (Pteroneura brasiliensis). Also worth to mention are the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhyncus hyacinthinus), the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), the Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus), the South American Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) and the Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare), among other wildlife. The Pantanal is also home to the highest density of jaguars (Panthera onca) in the world. Among reptiles, in addition to the Yacare Caiman, the checklist includes the Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), the Golden Tegu (Tupinambis teguixin), the Red–footed Tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) and the Green Iguana (Iguana iguana).The Chapada dos Guimaraes is a peculiar savannah-type ecosystem, with an array of endemic birds and the stunning presence of the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). More than 2,5 millions species of insects, 3000 species of fish, 1600 species of birds (more than one fifth of the world’s estimated species of birds), 248 species of mammals (many “New World” Primates, two species of River Dolphins, many different Felids and Canids, Sloths, Armadillos, Anteaters and Marsupial Mammals. By contrast, the region lacks mega–fauna on the scale of Africa, due to paleozoogeographic events), 427 species of amphibians, 378 species of reptiles and 60.000 species of plants have been recorded. Currently, scientists described between 96.669 e 128.843 species of invertebrates only in Brazil. These are the world’s greatest and richest remaining natural resources, the most powerful and biodiverse natural phenomenon on Earth.

    Cultural Heritage: The Federal Government of Brazil has recognized more than 200 tribal groups in the Brazilian Amazon, even if the presence of subtribes and non–recognized tribes make this number likely to be hugely underestimated. Some, like the Mapidian (total estimated population of 50 people in 1975), the Negarotê (40 people) or the Amikoana (5 people) consist of few people and are at risk of extinction. Others, like the Guarani Kaiowá (more than 31.000 people in Brazil) or the Kaingang (more than 33.000 people) are more settled and numerous. Some tribes are uncontacted and isolated, living in the deep Amazon Rainforest, others, like in the case of the Xingu National Park and Indigenous Peoples Reserve, live inside reservations granted by Brazilian authorities, while others again live in villages close to towns.

    Detailed Program
    • Day 1: Arrival at Cuiabà and transfer to the stunning Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park. The road will lead us to the above plateau that overlooks the Pantanal, among red sandstone 800 high breathtaking pinnacles in a unique savannah-like ecosystem. Accommodation at lodge, with good chances to spot hummingbirds, tanagers, woodpeckers and the first mammals.
    • Day 2: Full day dedicated to the exploration of the “cerrado” and the woodlands of the Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park. 4×4 safari at dawn, nature trek on foot, birdwatching from observation towers: we’ll discover the beauty of what is considered as one of the most scenic ecosystem on the whole continent. Very good chances to spot the Scarlet and the Red and Green Macaws from the top of the cliffs. Accommodation at lodge.
    • Day 3: Brief naturalistic activity in the Chapada (visit to the dramatic Bride’s Veil Waterfalls or birdwatching at dawn from the observation towers searching for endemisms), then land transfer heading to Pantanal. After Poconé we’ll take the legendary Transpantaneira: a 145 km-long dirty road streaching in the heart of the Pantanal ecosystem, the largest humid area on earth, among  Jacarè caimans, capybara and a fabulous avifauna. Lunch at lodge, then in the afternoon first 4×4 safari in the so called “dry” Pantanal, in the search for all the mammals, birds and reptiles that make that ecosystem encircled between land and water so special and a paradise for photographers and nature-lovers. Accommodation at lodge.
    • Day 4: Morning land transfer towards Porto Jofre. To drive along the very end of the Transpantaneira will represent itself an amazing trip, with emotions hidden at every corner. Bridges on ponds full of wildlife, emotional landscapes: everything here reminds us we are in a remote but amazing wildlife sanctuary. At Porto Jofre the “wet” area of the Pantanal will start, and we’ll switch from the 4×4 vehicle to a motorized canoe to reach our stunning “house” for the next few days: a comfortable House boat in the middle of nowhere, anchored to the riverside in the heart of the water maze of Pantanal. After lunch first boat safari in the Pantanal, with two main goals: the Giant River Otter and the Jaguar. Accommodation at House Boat.
    • Day 5-6: Full-day boat safari searching for the mesmerizing eyes of the jaguar, the incredible family life of the Giant River Otters, the iconic Anaconda and the immense array of birds that live here. The very meaning of biodiversity lays here, a deep dive in nature between land and water. Accommodation at House Boat.
    • Day 7: In the morning last ride with our motorized canoe for wildlife encounters. Lunch on the House Boat, then transfer back to Porto Jofre and along the Transpantaneira to our lodge. Stay alert, as everything can pop up while driving! At the lodge, safari at dusk in spotlighting for the most elusive species, under the stars of the Pantanal. Accommodation at lodge.
    • Day 8: Very early morning wildlife safari (on foot, by 4x4x vehicle or by boat depending on our exact location), then lunch and drive back along the Transpantaneira to Cuiabà. Dinner at restaurant, accommodation at hotel.
    • Day 9: International flight to onward destination.

    OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO THE AMAZON RAINFOREST, OPTION 1: Mamirauà

    • Day 9: Flight to Manaus over the “Selva”, the extraordinary green continent: the Amazon Rainforest. Accommodation at Hotel in Manaus.
    • Day 10: Full day dedicated to facoltative activities in the surroundings of Manaus: Meeting of the Waters, first nature introduction to the amazon ecosystem with short walks and boat trips… Alternative: visit to Manaus, the so-called “Paris of the Tropics”. Accommodation at hotel.
    • Day 11: Morning flight to Tefè, some 600 km upstream the Rio Solimões, in a very remote section of the Amazon Rainforest. Then boat transfer to the Mamirauà Reserve, an amphibious maze in a seasonally flooded forest called “Varzea” one of the most fragile and endangered ecosystem on Earth. In the afternoon nature activities on foot or motorized canoes, led by indigenous people from the near communities. We’ll stay in a floating Lodge, one of the most brilliant example of sustainable ecolodge all over the world, with researchers studying here the complex dynamics of primates and river cetaceans.
    • Day 12-13: Full days activities in the search of the stunning wildlife of Mamirauà. We’ll move on foot or by boat with indigenous guides for incredible sightings of the two river dolphins that live here (Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis) and the huge Arapaima gigas fish jumping in the water, or for the search of the flagship of the whole Reserve: the endemic bald Uakari (Cacajao calvus). Other encounters will be with the two squirrel monkeys species, howlers, capuchins, sloths… In the evening we’ll meet the researchers who will show us the actual state of the scientific researches carried here. Accommodation at floating lodge.
    • Day 14: Transfer to Tefè and flight to Manaus. International flight to onward destination.

    OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO THE AMAZON RAINFOREST, OPTION 2: Cristalino

    • Day 9: Transfer to Alta Floresta, arrival at the Cristalino Lodge and introduction to the Amazon Rainforest ecosytem.
    • Day 10: Morning walk to the observation tower (50 m high). In the afternoon, excursion along the Taboca Trail, wildlife sightings all day long.
    • Day 11: Morning walk to the “salt lick” area (clay formations that attract a great array of widlife because of their minerals). In the afternoon, river safari and short walk along the Brazil Nut Trail. In the way back possibility to take either the boat or the canoe.
    • Day 12: Short walk along the Tapiri Trail, with high chances for the White-whiskered Spider Monkey (Ateles marginatus), symbol of the park. Then land transfer to Alta Floresta, lunch and flight back to Cuiabà. Overnigh stay at hotel.
    • Day 13: International flight to onward destination.
    The price includes:
    • Mineral water while on safari
    • All land and boat transfers
    • Driver/Local Guide and guidance from a Biosfera Itinerari Biologist
    • All taxes imposed by government authorities and Park entry fees
    • All permits and boat/land excursions in Parks and Reserves as in the Detailed Itinerary and Program
    • Nocturnal spotlighting with fully equipped vehicle
    • Double bedroom lodge/hotel/houseboat accommodation
    • A comprehensive travel insurance package
    Not included:
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Cost of Procedure Management (30 euro)
    • Domestic flights (Cuiabà/Manaus, Tefè/Manaus or Cuiabà/Alta Floresta)
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Cancelling insurance (facultative)
    • Voluntary activities and service tips, and in general everything not mentioned in section “The price includes”
    • Cristalino conservation fee (88 USD)
    Price
    € 3129,00 based on 8 pax. The travel package price can vary in case of change of the currency exchange rate.

    Optional extension to the Amazon Rainforest: € 992 (Reserve of Mamirauà), € 1245 (Reserve of Cristalino)

    N.B.
    The legislation of Brazil places age restrictions for the type of activities proposed in this itinerary. People under the age of 12 are not allowed to participate on this trip.

    Disclaimer 1: Please note this is an indicative and standard itinerary. Dates, activities and the succession and length of each part of the itinerary may change each year, and can be rearranged with the participants. Upon request by the participants, we will send the definitive and detailed programme to be evaluated at least some weeks prior to the confirmation deadline.

    Disclaimer 2: We will generally honor the posted prices, but these are subject to change at any time due to action or decisions made by local authorities. In such situations, and in the hope that will not happen, we will send all the ministries official communications to all participants, free from ambiguity and in total transparency. We reserve the right to correct the final price to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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