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Welcome to the realm of beasts, an authentic cowboy culture, and the "wild wet", the Pantanal! Join this riding holiday for nature and wildlife enthusiasts, a trip where you imagine yourself in the middle of a National Geographic documentary. If you are dreaming of a unique nature and wildlife experience and a truly authentic riding holiday, well, this is it! See exotic animals in their natural habitat in a wild and wet territory in the largest wetlands of the world. The Brazilian cowboys or pantaneiros are a living legend in their country, live mostly of livestock and are proud of its century-old cowboy or rather, pantaneiro tradition. Along with those pantaneiros, you will go on a horseback expedition in a region that has no equal.
You will be staying in three different places during the holiday, two of them are fazendas (farms) and the other one is a wooden bush camp. Your first accommodation, fazenda Baia das Pedras, is a real Brazilian cattle farm. With its approximately 16,000 acres and 4,000 head of cattle, fazenda Baia das Pedras is a traditional farm of the Pantanal. The fazenda is located in an immense area on the banks of the Vazante do Castelo River, amid a lot of rich nature and wildlife.
Your second accommodation will be at a wilderness camp. In a beautiful and isolated area, you will be welcomed at the very nice wooden bush camp. The camp has a good infrastructure. You will sleep in hammocks under a fixed roof with mosquito net walls in a luxury camp. It has a kitchen and two bathrooms with shower and toilet.
Located in a very special and secluded area, Fazenda Barra Mansa is considered as the wildest and unspoilt area of the Pantanal. This fazenda will be your last accommodation on this holiday. The fazenda is situated on the banks of the Rio Negro, where it is possible to go on boat and canoe expeditions and see the way, the natural beauty, and wildlife of the region.
You can spot 270 different bird species including parrots, toucans, ibises, kingfishers, Colibri, jabiru storks, and many more in the Pantanal. In waterholes and rivers are living caimans, giant river otters, and piranhas. Furthermore, you will encounter anacondas, iguanas, anteaters, capybaras (world's largest rodent), and monkeys. No worries, you will see them!
And last but not least, the Pantanal offers you the best chance in the world to see the jaguar. This is National Geographic in the flesh! These are not empty words, because Gaucho do Brasil promises that you will not someday, but every day, see many wild animals! The Pantanal, also very rich in grazing lands, has the largest livestock and farms in the world.
The pantaneiros will saddle their Pantanal horses for you, a fast horse, very manoeuvrable and exceptionally light in the mouth. Their horses are a real pleasure to ride with. Together with the pantaneiros, the only true connoisseurs of the area, you will go for some cattle work in the field and get acquainted with their cowboy culture, lassoing, rounding up the cattle, learn about their music, customs, and habits. They will take you along on their wilderness trips which guarantee adventure, encounters with wild animals, action, super canters, and 100% Latino atmosphere!
Your trip leader Paul Coudenys is a nature and horseriding guide of Belgian origin who lives in Brazil since years. Paul speaks six languages and will be your personal tour guide from the first day upon arrival to the last day of departure. On average, you will spend six hours per day on the saddle which is divided into two periods (morning and afternoon).
In Campo Grande, you'll be greeted by your guide Paul. Take an early transfer at 06:00 by 4x4 vehicle to the Pantanal. Arrive at the farm around noon (12:00). You will get a welcome drink, room distribution, presentation of the region, general information about the Pantanal, and the programme for the next days. If time allows, you will have your first ride in the afternoon. You will get to know the horses and get a first impression of the Pantanal. The Pantaneiro horses are strong, well trained, and very agile. Local pantaneiro saddles are extremely comfortable. Have dinner and overnight at fazenda Baia das Pedras.
Here you can see animals such as capybaras, howler monkeys, crocodiles, wild pigs, peccaries, coatis, tapirs, and hundreds of birds, including toucans, macaws (blue, yellow and red), storks, parrots, parakeets, and many more. You will meet the local cowboys and their culture. Perhaps here you should just roll up your sleeves and help the cowboys to round up the cattle on horseback.
After an early breakfast, you will saddle the horses and go for a ride to Fazenda Primavera. Today is a full day in the saddle. You will ride through the beautiful landscape of Vazante do Castelo, where you observe the abundant wildlife of the Pantanal in a unique and untouched landscape. You will follow an open area surrounded by native bush adjacent to the bed of the river and see the incredible amount of birds in their foraging.
Once you arrive at a resting place Retiro Sao Luis, you will meet the backup vehicle with your luggage and field kitchen. You will take lunch and continue your journey in the afternoon - a true horseman expedition through the wilderness. You will arrive at the territory of Fazenda Primavera but not at the actual housing. Here you will stay at a wilderness camp far away from the fazenda. Have dinner and overnight in the wilderness.
The next morning after breakfast you will walk to the river to take a closer look. Take pictures of alligators, capybaras, and many bird species. Enjoy a second coffee in the cozy camp overlooking the wilderness. In the afternoon, you will make a fascinating excursion on horseback. You will be in the middle of the wilderness, just you and the great outdoors. At sunset, you will make the most beautiful pictures and after supper, you can go with a torch to the river to see the orange eyes of the crocodiles in the water. You will sleep for a second time in a hammock. You will be surprised how comfortable you will sleep in a genuine Brazilian hammock!
After breakfast at sunrise, you will mount your horses and ride through the Pantanal to Fazenda Barra Mansa. From the saddle, you will discover how the Pantanal awakes. You will notice how the landscape is changing as you get to the area of the Rio Negro. You will arrive for lunch at Fazenda Barra Mansa.
In the afternoon, you will go on a boat expedition on the Rio Negro, stopping at beautiful white sand beaches on the shores where you can bathe in the river. You will enjoy a delicious aperitif at the fazenda and listen to the stories of the past days. Overnight in this authentic fazenda.
Alligators, otters, capybaras, anacondas, and maybe even the jaguar are animals you can see at the Rio Negro. In the same area, you will also go riding. So you will discover the area in two different ways, from the water and on land. You will be finding yourself like in the middle of a National Geographic documentary! You will have top horse riding and top river excursions in combination with top game viewing.
After breakfast, take an early departure by 4x4 vehicle back to the city of Campo Grande (six hours). You will be dropped off at the airport or hotel. Farewell. This is the end of an unforgettable wilderness journey.
Note: Gaucho do Brasil will do everything possible to follow the indicated itinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location, and difficulty of terrain. In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, they ask you for flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!
This holiday is suitable for intermediate to experienced riders. You should be confident on a horse at all paces. The pace is varied to include walk, trot, and canter. Non-riders are welcome too.
Paul rode horses in 53 different countries and is perhaps one of the most experienced trail riders in the world. Loving the great horse culture and hospitality in Latin America, Paul decided to move to Brazil in 2010. After years of experience in organizing and guiding equestrian holidays and riding expeditions around the world, he now only concentrates on trail rides and equestrian tourism in Latin America. He is guiding all the riding trips himself and assures you participating at the best horse treks in Latin America. He speaks six languages.
The Pantanal in Brazil, a pristine and almost unknown region, is as good the size of half of France. It has not only the greatest biodiversity of the entire American continent but it is also a true cowboy region! Visited by the lucky few, there are only a few other places on the planet where you can see as much wildlife as in the Pantanal. The Amazon may well run away with the fame and reputation, but there is no doubt that the Pantanal is the best place in South America to spot wildlife. Nature, wildlife, and cowboys, these are obviously the ideal ingredients for a top adventure holiday when you love riding and nature.
The Pantanal, also known as terra de ninguém (no man’s land) is a lush half-open tropical territory which annually in the rainy season (October to March) sets large parts of the Pantanal under water. Water and sunshine are a dream combination of luxuriant vegetation and a wonderful habitat for the most fascinating animals of the globe.
Brazil has a rich cuisine. The country is a mixture of European, Indian, African, and Asian cultures and is reflected in the way the Brazilians cook. The Italian and African cuisines especially have great influence on Brazilian cuisine.
Not only the population is mixed, but also their habits and customs. Already well before Europe spoke about fusion cuisine, Brazil was combining ingredients found from different continents to a new, typical Brazilian cuisine. They also often serve dishes from different countries on one table.
The Brazilian cuisine is very good, varied, and serves many naturally made dishes. The main dishes are mostly rice and beans (feijão) and sauces, with lots of meat or fish and salads. From region to region, one has its own traditional dishes. Along the coast, you will find more fish and shrimp dishes. In the south, the tasty grilled meat (churrasco) will surprise you. In the Pantanal, real healthy country meals are often prepared on wood stoves, which gives a special extra flavor.
During your holiday, you will eat delicious homemade Pantanal dishes at the fazendas. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the fazendas. Meals will be provided on a full board basis. You will also have snacks during the ride.
Campo Grande International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$225 per person
Please book your flight to arrive at Campo Grande International Airport (CGR). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. The transfer will be by 4x4 vehicle from Campo Grande to Baia das Pedras and return from Barra Mansa to Campo Grande. The all-terrain vehicles will take three persons per car, that way you will travel comfortably to and from the Pantanal. The cost for this all-terrain private transfer both ways is 450 USD per person - a drive with a minimum of six hours in the wilderness to go and another six hours to come back.
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