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Trip to Pantanal – Aguapé Lodge

The Pantanal area of Mato Grosso do Sul State is the largest continuous wetland in the world. It has an area of 140.000 square kilometers of floodplain in Brazil and it also spreads through Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. It was formed between 02 and 05 million years ago as a large sedimentary basin and now is an isolated plain surrounded by several mountain areas. It is considered as a world heritage site.

The Pantanal has a diverse aquatic animal life; hundreds of different fish guarantee a rich bird population (more than 600 species live in the area). There are also huge population of reptiles and mammals such as: caimans, capybaras, monkeys, jaguars, armadillos, coatis and anteaters.

Over a period of more than 200 years of occupation by farmers, the Pantanal’s biodiversity and landscape are basically the same as they were in their ancestor’s time. The Pantanal is an untouched and beautiful wilderness with open grasslands, “vazantes” (low-lying areas that are often seasonally flooded), “brejos” (swamps), “caapões” (which in the Tupi Indian language means: caa = forest + pon = round that are patches of slightly elevated ground that are not subjected to inundation), “cordilheiras”(larger than caapões), “corixos” and bays which are permanently flooded areas. In these uncommon Pantanal habitats, there is a rich flora and exuberant fauna which delights everyone. Those who have the opportunity to visit this hidden tropical paradise in the heart of South America and to experience even for a lithe while, its wildlife and lush vegetation as well as to get to know the people, will see the world with different eyes.

The Pantanal goes through three cycles every year that changes its landscape. They are:

Rainy or Flood season: summer rainfall between November and March causes the flood. Most of the animals search for higher areas such as “caapões” and “cordilheiras”. It is a good period to go on a boat ride to see the spectacular landscape and to go through the flooded meadows on horseback.

“Vazante” (intermediate season): it usually happens from April to June. The meadows start drying and the water collects in the bays and lakes; the fish, animals and birds stay round these areas.

Dry season: This is an excellent time to visit the Pantanal. The land dries out with lack of rain making movement easier. Many species can be seen walking around searching for waterholes. Different types of animals get together around the few remaining water pools.

Climate The weather is hot most of the year. Summer is usually a rainy season with the rains coming December to March. From April to November it rarely rains. Sometimes there are cold snaps between May and September but they only last for a few days; the temperature may drop to 7º C.

ACTIVITIES

Horse riding tour
All tours are conducted by the unique landscapes, but the horse is one of the main attractions of the Aguapé Lodge, it is the best way to explore the swamp.

Riding through its open fields, marshes, caápões, ridges, streams and bays, we encounter a rich variety of lush flora and fauna, typical of a region well preserved. The horses are quiet, which means that even those who have never ridden a horse can do this ride. There are several tracks with shorter or longer routes, which can be made in both the floods and dry seasons, always with experienced local guides.

Horseback riding activity, is being implemented a safety management system that meets the requirements of ABNT NBR-15331 – Safety Management System Requirements. As provided in this system, it should be noted the following:

  • Before the horseback ride, an explanation will be made. The monitor will explain the basic rules of horse riding: how to assemble, use the bridle and stirrup.
  • After all hosts are placed on the horse, it gives beginning to ride, which may last 1h30 to 03 hours, depending on the track used, and start and finish at the lodge. There will be a stop along the way to rest and hydration.
  • In horseback riding, it´s only allowed going by step, you may not trot or gallop. Horses should always walk in line behind the monitor.
  • The horseback riding is allowed only for children above 06 years of age. It is not allowed to bring children on the horse’s rump. Children 06-11 years must always be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The equipment used for this tour, which are the saddles, has a weight limit, with 120kg maximum weight. For those who can not ride a horse, we have the option of carriage, which can follow the same path.

In some seasons, the horseback ride goes through pathways with water. Clothing and footwear may get wet.

For the horseback riding, is mandatory:

– Trousers

– Closed shoes (preferably boots or shoes with flatter soles)

– Riding helmet (provided by the lodge)

We recommend the use of:

– Sunscreen

– repellent

It is allowed to bring camera and video camera. It will be more comfortable if you bring something to hanging to your neck. The lodge will not be responsible for any damage to the equipment.

Cattle handling
During the morning or afternoon, you can accompany the cowboys in their work routine with the cattle. Move the cattle to other parts of the farm (cattle drive), take care of the calves or see the cowboys working at the corral.

It is also a good opportunity to learn a little bit more about the culture and habits of the people from Pantanal.

This tour is subject to availability and type of service that will be done by the cowboys.

For this tour, the same rules and restrictions as in the horseback ride tour are applied.

Cattle handling
During the morning or afternoon, you can accompany the cowboys in their work routine with the cattle. Move the cattle to other parts of the farm (cattle drive), take care of the calves or see the cowboys working at the corral.

It is also a good opportunity to learn a little bit more about the culture and habits of the people from Pantanal.

This tour is subject to availability and type of service that will be done by the cowboys.

For this tour, the same rules and restrictions as in the horseback ride tour are applied.

Boat tour in the Aquidauana river
This is the best way to get to know the Aquidauana River and the beauty and exuberance of its gallery forest. It is the natural habitat of birds, mammals and reptiles that lie out on river banks or simply hear the songs of the birds.

On this tour, which lasts about 2 hours to 2:30 am, is mandatory to wear a life jacket (provided by the lodge). The tour is conducted in a motor boat, with a capacity for 06 people.

We recommend the use of:

– Sunscreen

– repellent

– Hat and cap

It is not allowed to swim in Aquidauana river or fish during this tour.
Trekking
Trekking is done in dense bush, open fields and gallery forest. It’s in this tour that you will have a better contact with the flora and fauna of the region learning about their function and importance in Pantanal ecosystem.

It is a good opportunity to see the animals more closely. There are different routes that you can go on that take between 1h30 to 04h00.

In some seasons, the tracks can go through places with water. Clothing and footwear may get wet.

For the walk, the use is mandatory:

– Trousers

– Closed shoes

We recommend the use of:

– Sunscreen

– repellent

– Cap or hat

On this tour should be noted the trail used, always being the guide in front and all in a row.

At any point of the trail, the guide can communicate with the lodge and a car can pick you up if necessary.

Photographic Safari
The photo safari is done in a 4×4 open vehicle. This tour gives you the opportunity to cover more territory of the farm going through different landscapes like cerrado (patches of stunted vegetation), open grasslands, “vazantes” (low-lying areas that are often seasonally flooded), “brejos” (swamps) and bays which are permanently flooded areas.

It is also a perfect tour to see and observe the wild life of the Pantanal.

This tour lasts approximately 2:30 a.m. to 3 hours and may or may not be combined with the nocturnal, depending on the time of the sunset.

We recommend the use of:

– Sunscreen

– repellent

– Cap or hat

– Closed shoes (sneakers or boots)

Nocturnal animal spotlight
This is an activity that is done at night in a 4X4 vehicle or in a boat, to observe the night animals like anteaters, foxes, capybaras and caimans. Also to hear the sounds of frogs and insects at night and to see the beautiful sky of the Pantanal.

The duration of this tour is about one hour.
Piranha´s fishing
The piranha´s fishing is made in a bay of Aquidauana River, that it is located near the lodge.

The piranha is mainly used to prepare a typical dish of the region, piranha soup. It is also good way to see the caimans who watch the fishers to steal their piranhas.

Is important follow the guide’s instructions, because even after fishing, the piranha can bite anyway. So all fish shall be withdrawn by the guide.

Duration of this activity depends on the tourist, if is enjoying or not the activity.

We recommend the use of:

– Sunscreen

– repellent

– A cap

– Closed shoes (sneakers or boots)

 

Aguapé Lodge – General Informations

  • The Aguapé Lodge is located 195 km from Campo Grande. The nearest town is Aquidauana about 54 km to the lodge. The last 50 km of access are on a dirt road.
  • In the Aguapé Lodge daily meals are included (except drinks) and 02 trips per day as well.

Example:

Day 01
Check-in at 2 p.m.
Afternoon Snack
Afternoon tour to start between 2h30-4h30 depending on the time of sunset
7 p.m. to 08h30 p.m. Dinner

Day 02
6h30 – 08h breakfast
Morning tour start at 7 a.m.
12h – 1 p.m. lunch
Check-out at midday. (ou continue the next daily)

One of the nights during your stay, one night safari (spotlight) will be organized, that can be conjugate or not with the safari tour.

  • If the guest is not in the lodge in the stipulated time meal or tour, it will not be scheduled or discounted to replace what was lost.
  • Extra tours can be arranged directly at the lodge reception, usually for the night-tour.
  • At the lodge, we also have panoramic flight option, depending on the pilot’s availability
  • No meals will be served after the stipulated time.
  • All tours have local guide included, bilingual guide is not included, but we can hired this service if necessary and should be warned in advance.
  • Reception of the lodge will be open from 6:30 am to 9 pm. You should be aware of this time to do the check-in and check-out.
  • The lodge provides insurance (Porto Seguro) for the hosts during the tours.
  • Weather conditions, such as heavy rain, can delay, interrupt, or hamper the achievement of tours.
  • Each tour is limited in the number of customers. So they can be divided, even if they belong to the same group.
  • It is important to inform the arrival and departure time, so we can arrange the schedule of the tours and meals.
  • With regard to safety during the tours we have always contact via radio during all parts of the different paths. Local guides have first training and rescue and emergency procedures documented and tested.
  • The location of the lodge and all activities will happen in a rural area, in municipality of Aquidauana, any transport and / or removals to the city often take more than 01 (one) hour.
  • If you are taking any medication, you must bring with you, because as we told you the nearest pharmacy is 54 km away.
  • In all tours, the guide will take mineral water.
  • During all the tours, is allowed to bring camera (video or photos). The lodge is not responsible for any damage of the equipment.

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