ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Pantanal

Day 13 (1 of 2) – FAREWELL PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Today was our last day in Pantanal.  We know we would miss this memorable 4-day experience.  In the morning, our guide Flavio took us for a morning walk near the lodge.  We stroll on a trail that took us through a forest to the edge of the lodge premise and back.  Along the way, Flavio stopped frequently to listen to the sounds of birds and animals, and helped us to spot their locations.  If not Flavio, we would not have had seen so many wonderful wildlife in the pass 4 days.  During this last stroll near the lodge, we saw some capuchin monkey, a tepu lizard, and again our beloved hyacinth macaw.  After the walk, we rested a bit at the lodge, packed our backpacks, had lunch at the dining hall, and bid farewell to Pantanal to conclude our 4-day trip in Pantanal.  A four hour drive took us back to Cuiaba Airport where we took a Brasilia-bound flight to continue our journey.DSC_7030OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImageDSC_6974DSC_6979DSC_6987

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

Next Destination – Brasilia, Brazil
Continuing on our journey from post Day 13.2

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


Day 12 (4 of 4) – NIGHT OF CAIMANS

After dinner, I (Calvin) went alone to a water pond about 1 km from the lodge to photograph caimans.  Inspired by a photo from a National Geographic magazine, I longed for a chance to take some night shots of caimans.   Because of the heat during the day, caimans normally will only come out of water or mud during nighttime.  Tonight was lit by a full moon.  I didn’t even need to turn on my flashlight when finding my way to the pond.  I stayed at the pond for about 2 hours, photographing the caimans as close as I could get before scaring them off.  It was such a memorable night.  ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 12 (3 OF 4) – AFTERNOON WALK AND EVENING SAFARI, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

To avoid the heat, our afternoon hike didn’t start until 3pm.  We walked through a forest, passed by many capybaras and caimans, and crossed a grassland before reaching a water pond where animals usually come for a drink.  As we crossed the grassland, it was hard to imagine that during wet season, this vast piece of lowland would be submerged under a few feet of water.  At the waterhole, we saw toucans, a tortoise, many waterbirds, a deer, a tapir, coatis, and a rare irara.  Before we headed back for dinner, we also did a night safari near our lodge.  We were again lucky to see two tapirs, a nine banded armadillo, and two tamandua anteaters.
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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


Day 12 (2 of 4)– POUSO ALEGRE LODGE, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Today we said goodbye to Rio Claro Poudosa and moved to another lodge at about 30 minutes drive away.  The new lodge was located in a ranch off the Transpantaneira.  Along the way, we passed by some small green ponds full of caimans having just their eyes sticking out of the water.  The Pouso Alegre Lodge was very different from Rio Claro .  It’s country lodge with horses , cattle and rheas.  There are a few old trees where hyacinth macaws occasionally rested on from time to time.  Finally, we got a glimpse of this rare beautiful bird from up close.

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 12 (1 of 4) – MORNING WALK, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Another day at Pantanal.  We started our animal-sighting hike at 4:30 this morning.  With the the full moon still visible in the sky, we didn’t really need a flashlight.  Then the sky started brightening up at around 5:15 and gradually we started to feel the heat of the day. Today turned out to be our hottest day in Pantanal.  Perhaps it was because of the heat, most animals seemed hiding from us this morning.  We could hear different birds and howler monkey from afar.  In the 2-hour walk, we saw an army of leaf-cutting ants, a crab-eating fox, two deers, a parrot and again many different kinds of birds.

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 11 (2 of 2) – RIO CLARO, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

We decided to do another boat tour of Rio Claro for sunset.  It was great for wildlife viewing on a boat.  After the rain, the river looked extremely calm.  Interesting moments of this boat ride include a family of capybaras, a group of ducks and two storks sharing a mud delta; a tree climbing iguana, and a family of noisy otters whom our boat operator tried to interact with by mimicking their sounds.
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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 11 (1 OF 2) – MORNING SAFARI AND FOREST WALK, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

We left our lodge at 4am for a morning safari.  We spent the first half of the driving inside the lodge area.  With a strong flashlight, our guide managed to spot many Pantanal rabbits and a fox.  Then we drove off onto the Transpantaneira Highway, and saw some birds and deers.  The surprise came when our guide spotted a small tamandua anteater.  The second highlight came not long after when our guide found us a giant anteater.  We were excited and followed the giant anteater for a while. We returned to the lodge for breakfast.  After a short break, we headed out again, this time on foot.  We did a 2-hour walk in the nearby palm forest.  We saw some monkeys, a tortoise, and armadillo holes, and returned to the lodge with uncounted number of mosquito bites.
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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 10 (4 of 4) – RIO CLARO BOAT TOUR, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Our first Pantanal activity was a boat tour in Rio Claro.  Just like visiting the Amazon, a river tour is a must do at Pantanal.  The three-hour boat ride gave us a good introduction to the diverse wild life in the Pantanal.  Our guide also let us try fishing piranha.  Our wildlife sightings include many water birds, capybaras, howling monkeys, river otters, a river-crossing tapir, and finally, a very very very long distant view of the majestic jaguar.  On our way back, the full moon was already high up in the sky.
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ImageThe moment when we saw a jaguar hidden under the shade of the bush.  Can you spot it in this photo?
DSC_6162Here is the zoom-in view of the jaguar from the same photo above.

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 10 (3 of 4) – POUSADA RIO CLARO, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

After 3.5 hours on the road, we arrived at Pousada Rio Claro, where we would be staying for 2 nights.  Birds were everywhere, especially in the courtyard where there were a number of bird feeders.  A long boardwalk extended to the riverside of Rio Claro, ending at a small boat dock. Image
Front gate of Pousada Rio ClaroImage Sleeping quarter of the lodgeImage Dinning hall Image One of the many bird feeders in the lodge Image River dock

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 10 (2 of 4) – TRANSPANTANERIA HIGHWAY, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Aliton from Pantanal Nature (our tour company) met us at 7am at the lobby of Hotel Mato Grosso.  At his car, we met a couple from England who had also booked their tour with Pantanal Nature.  We drove out of Cuiaba. On the way, we picked up a few bottles of water, and filled up the gas before entering the Transpantaneira Highway.  The Transpantaneira Highway is a dirt road built in early 1970s intended to bisect Pantanal from north to south.  Only 145km of the originally intended 397km was built. With 145km and 125 bridges, according to some, Transpantaneria has the highest concentration of wooden bridges in the world. The road work also created many ditches on both sides, accidentally providing water ponds where caimens and waterbirds love to gather, especially during the dry season. During the 1.5-hour drive on our way to the lodge, we saw caimens, rheas, and many kinds of water birds. 

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 10 (1 of 4) – PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Today is the first of our four-day tour of Pantanal, the largest wetland in the world.  Similar to many tropical wetlands, Pantanal has only two seasons, the wet and the dry.  During wet season, much of Pantanal is submerged under a few feet of water. In the dry season, the land dries up except some pools of water at low spots.  Animals and birds gather around these water pools, making Pantanal in dry season the best place for wildlife spotting in Brazil.  Like most tourists, we come to Pantanal for its abundant wildlife: caimens, monkeys, tapirs, anteaters, armadillos, otters, capybaras, macaws, uncounted species of birds, piranhas, and most importantly, jaguars.  With significantly less trees than the Amazon Rainforest, it is much easier to spot wildlife here than anywhere else in Brazil.  Arriving at mid October, we are pretty much at the transitional time from dry to wet season.  Tourism here started about 30 years ago.  Today there are dozens of eco-lodges dotted along the Transpantaneira Highway.  Despite its inaccessibility, most lands in Pantanal are privately owned and they are huge in size.  For instance, the land parcel where our first lodge is situated is roughly 2,500 hectares, and the land of our second lodge is even bigger at 11,000 hectares in size.  Traditional industries in the Pantanal include ranching and fishing.  Fortunately the soil and the climate here are not suitable for agriculture; therefore, much of the landscape is still preserved, and along with it, a diverse ecosystem of wildlife.

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 9 (2 OF 2) – STONE CITY, CHAPADA DOS GUIMARAES, BRAZIL

After the half-day hike, we drove for about half an hour to the lookout with interesting formation of stone. This place is called Cidade De Pedra, the Stone City.  Stone City has just been reopened recently after months of closure due to safety issues.  It started to rain heavily as we approached our destination.  At the gate of the lookout, we met two Australian couples who were driving their custom constructed 4x4s on a round-the-world road trip.  They were waiting at the gate, as they didn’t have a guide to let them in.  Cecilia was kind enough to take them with us.  At the lookout, we waited a bit in the car hoping that the thunderstorm would be over soon.  After a 15-minute wait, we decided to put on our rain gears and ventured out to the lookout in the rain.  Cecilia led us to various lookouts along the cliff.  The view of the red stone cliffs rising above the lush green valley was breathtaking. The rain finally stopped when we reached the last lookout.  Cecilia pointed to a distant cliff and showed us the macaw nests.  Soon after, we saw a pair of red macaws glided over the valley under the afternoon sun.  It was a magical moment. On our way out of the lookout, we drove by a baby owl standing by the road.  We stopped the car to take a few photos through the window.  The baby owl was freaked out and screamed as loud as it could, while its parents stayed cool on a distant tree staring at us.DSC_5681
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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 9 (1 OF 2) – TRAIL OF WATERFALLS, CHAPADA DOS GUIMARAES, BRAZIL

Before our 4-day tour to Pantanal, we had a day to visit the Chapada dos G National Park.  Located an hour drive north of Cuiaba, the bus ride took us about an hour to the town centre of Chapada.  We met our guide Cecilia at the office of Eco Turismo Cultural, the local travel agency that we booked our tour.  We entered the park after a short drive on her 4×4.  We started the day with the Trail of Waterfalls, a 4-hour loop passing 7 falls and a natural cave.  As we hiked, Cecilia picked up some fossils of small seashells on the path and explained to us that Chapada dos Guimaraes was once an inland ocean isolated from both the Atlantic and Pacific.  The cliffs and valley that we could see now was covered by shallow water.  She also told us that Chapada is located at the geographic centre of South America.  It’s about the same distance here to both the Atlantic and Pacific.  Rivers north of Chapada flow north and enter the Amazon; and the ones south of Chapada go south towards the Iguazu River.   The hike was pleasant at times, but we were both overwhelmed by the heat as we hiked up and down the trail to the various waterfalls.  We took off our hiking boots and rested our feet in the water at one of the falls.  The water was cool and clear.  Near the end of the hike, we chilled out at Casa de Petra (House of Stone), a natural grotto carved out by a river. Casa de Petra has been a rest stop for travelers since ancient times.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADSC_5557DSC_5597DSC_5616Casa de Petra

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Previous Destination: Iguazu Falls, starting from post Day 6.1

Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought