Pantanal Tour

Pantanal Tour

Join our Pantanal tour and visit both the Bolivian and Brazilian Pantanal.

The Pantanal is the world’s largest wetland system and one of the most intact and diverse environments on the entire planet. It’s also one of the world’s most important ecosystems. The great Pantanal includes a big variety of fauna and open landscapes, from rivers and lagoons with its caimans, iguanas, water birds, etc., adding floodable plains with marsh deers, greater rheas, anacondas, the incredible palm-tree plains, to the tropical dry forest with its monkeys, spiders, birds, etc.

The tours are developed in all this variety of ecosystems and the programs are designed to offer the maximum variety of fauna, landscapes and transport means.

Your trip in the Pantanal starts from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. From Santa Cruz we will arrange transport to Puerto Suarez by train or by airplane, you choose. Puerto Suarez is located along the southern edge of Caceres Lagoon and almost at the very end of the railway to Brazil (630 km from Santa Cruz). This tour takes place in Bolivia and in Brasil!

REFERENCE PROGRAM

3 Days

3 DAYS PROGRAM (BY TRAIN)

DAY 1 Visiting the Forest “El Tumbador”, surroundings of the lodge and Caceres Lagoon.

The first tour is a walk through the forest and on the Caceres Lagoon shore, so that you can be immersed in the dry forest, cross a little stream, enjoy the gallery forest and the shore of the lagoon. Generally that gives you the chance to see some of the four species of monkeys and, especially for birdwatchers, between 40 and 60 species of birds. After the walk, you can visit the laboratory, where jaguar and caiman skulls can be observed; you can observe some poisonous snakes as rattlesnake and Bothrops as well.
Lunch.

In the afternoon we will visit Caceres Lagoon, which has a surface of 80 square kilometres approx. and an annual depth variation of more than 3 meters. The kind of boats used in the Pantanal, light and quick, allows us to get in the narrow canals situated on the lagoon margins, where is possible to enjoy incomparable open landscapes. The tour is carried out on an aluminium boat, 7 meters large, with an out boarding motor, roof and comfortable seats. In the rainy season (November to February) this tour can be difficult to make because of the low level of the water. We will spend the night in the lodge El Tumbador.

DAY 2 Paraguay River (10 hours)

The best way to survey the Pantanal is by boat. We use the Paraguay River as the main vein to reach the most beautiful places of the floodable plain, there where the typical inhabitants of the Pantanal can appear: caimans (locally called “yacarés”), capybaras, iguanas, egrets, herons, storks, raptors and even giant otters during lucky days.

The tour begins on the Tamengo Canal and follows the Paraguay River (you are in Brasil now). Your views from the boat are beautiful. We will have lunch on the boat and dinner in Porto da Manga (Brasil), where we will spend the night in a ´pousada´ (a lodge).

DAY 3 4×4 Tour (3 hours) and back to Puerto Suarez.

We start our day in Porto da Manga, a little fishing village on the Paraguay River’s shore in Brasil.

We will cross the Paraguay River with a ferry boat. With a 4 wheel drive we will go through the called “Estrada-Parque” (Park Road), which crosses the floodable plain, used by not totally aquatic animals (caimans, capybaras, ant-eaters, etc.) as an important point of land when the water level is high (from April to September). There is a big chance to see lots of wildlife during this ride. After this trip, we will have lunch again in Porto da Manga and in the afternoon we will go back by boat to Puerto Suarez.
Transfer out to train station.

4 Days

FOUR DAYS PROGRAM (BY AIRPLANE)

DAY 1 Visiting Caceres Lagoon (3 hours).

Transfer in from the airport to the Ecological Centre.
Lunch.

In the afternoon we will visit Caceres Lagoon, which has a surface of 80 square kilometres approx. and an annual depth variation of more than 3 meters. The kind of boats used in the Pantanal, light and quick, permits us to get in the narrow canals situated on the lagoon margins, where is possible to enjoy incomparable open landscapes. The tour is carried out on an aluminium boat, 7 meters large, with an out boarding motor, roof and comfortable seats. In the rainy season (November to February) this tour can be difficult to make because of the low level of the water. We will spend the night in the lodge El Tumbador.

DAY 2 Paraguay River (10 hours)

The best way to survey the Pantanal is by boat. We use the Paraguay River as the main vein to reach the most beautiful places of the floodable plain, there where the typical inhabitants of the Pantanal can appear: caimans (locally called “yacarés”), capybaras, iguanas, egrets, herons, storks, raptors and even giant otters during lucky days.

The tour begins on the Tamengo Canal and follows the Paraguay River (you are in Brasil now). Your views from the boat are beautiful. We will have lunch on the boat and dinner in Porto da Manga (Brasil), where we will spend the night in a ´pousada´ (a lodge).

DAY 3 4×4 Tour (3 hours) and back to Puerto Suarez.

We start our day in Porto da Manga, a little fishing village on the Paraguay River’s shore in Brasil.

We will cross the Paraguay River with a ferry boat. With a 4 wheel drive we will go through the called “Estrada-Parque” (Park Road), which crosses the floodable plain, used by not totally aquatic animals (caimans, capybaras, ant-eaters, etc.) as an important point of land when the water level is high (from April to September). There is a big chance to see lots of wildlife during this ride. After this trip, we will have lunch again in Porto da Manga and in the afternoon we will go back by boat to Puerto Suarez.
Dinner and lodge in the Ecological Center.

DAY 4 Visiting the Forest “El Tumbador”, surrounding the lodge area (3 hours).

This tour is a walk through the forest and on the Caceres Lagoon shore, so that you can be immersed in the dry forest, cross a little stream, enjoys the gallery forest and the shore of the lagoon. Generally that permits you to see some of the four species of monkeys and, especially for birdwatchers, between 40 and 60 species of birds. After the walk, you can visit the laboratory, where jaguar and caiman skulls can be observed; as well you can observe some poisonous snakes as rattlesnake and Bothrops.

Tour includes:

  • Transfer in/out in Pto. Suarez
  • Experienced Spanish speaking local guide
  • Excursions detailed in program
  • All transport (boat and 4×4) – Overnight stay in lodges
  • All meals starting with lunch on the first day and ending with lunch on the last day

Optional: English speaking guide

What we recommend to take with you:

  • Backpack
  • Comfortable walking shoes that can get wet or dirty
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block
  • A hat or cap against the sun
  • Binoculars
  • Light clothes (like cotton) and shirts with long sleeves
  • Rain jacket
  • Light pullover (in winter, from May to September, temperatures can suddenly fall until 10 degrees Celsius)
  • Bathing clothes
  • Passport
  • Yellow fever certificate

NOTE: These are reference programs. Programs can be changed due to the weather conditions. Also, programs can be adjusted to your travel scheme. Your time of arrival in Puerto Suarez depends on if you travel by train or by airplane. There are also different trains and different airlines that travel to Puerto Suarez. We can arrange the train or airplane tickets for you. Please contact us for more information or for making a reservation.

If you wish to stay longer or shorter, please let us know, we can make organize a tailor made tour.

The Pantanal floods during the wet season, submerging over 80% of the area, and nurturing the world’s richest collection of aquatic plants. It is thought to be the world’s most dense flora and fauna ecosystem.

REVIEWS

  • 'Dear Gijs, the tour to the Missions was great! The guide Iver and the driver Franc were great company and we had a good time together. Iver did a terrific job of explaining not only the missions and their history but also, the social history and culture of the indigenous people, the geology of the region, economics and much more. We would have missed so much without having him along to explain ...'
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    George & Barbara Willock USA
  • 'Dear Gijs, I just wanted to thank you for arranging an excellent tour of the Missions. Jose was delightful company and a very good driver. The visits to the Missions churches were fascinating. I particularly enjoyed looking around the museum and mission complex with Milton, who was a close colleague of Hans Roth. We had a very good guide for San Miguel, San Rafael and Santa Ana. The hotels were ...'
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    Simon Johnson UK
  • 'Ruta Verde is a Tour Operator based in Santa Cruz , Bolivia , run by a charming Bolivian lady, Maria Eugenia and her very efficient Dutch husband, Gijs Dijkshoom.Last august we (my wife and me), while visiting this beautiful country, called on Ruta Verde as to organize a tour to the Jesuits Missions region, east of Santa Cruz. I knew the Missions for having visited the place in 2002. During ...'
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    Michel Villeneau France
  • ´Trip was wonderful, mostly because of the guide Iver! He is so knowledgeable and quite gracious. I felt a special kindred spirit with him because of his love and commitment to the environment, his independent spirit, his knowledge of language, history, culture, and his personal experiences that he shared with discretion and respect. The car was very comfortable, the hotel beautiful and the ride ...'
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    Nancy Snowden USA
  • ´In May 2007, Ruta Verde organized a wonderful trip for us to visit the missions and Flor de Oro, the lodge in the north of Noel Kempff Mercado national park.The original plan was to visit the missions, Los Fierros and Flor de Oro, but after flooding knocked out a key bridge and various roads near Los Fierros, Gijs efficiently re-organized everything, arranging a week in the north after our ...'
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    Ronda Klevansky South Africa
  • ´Any mention of Ruta Verde brings a smile to my face. Let me say first that I am a university Spanish instructor (Indiana University Southeast) accustomed to roam the world, particularly, although not at all limited to, where Spanish is spoken. So we can say that at 60 yrs, of age, with some 50 countries under my belt, I've been around the block a few times. Gijs and his lovely wife Maria ...'
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    Marie Cogswell USA
  • ´I had a wonderful experience. The Missions were amazing, especially as have seen the ruins in Paraguay and one Mission in Argentina (in the modern town of Alta Gracia). Your tour was as promised. The car was very comfortable and the guide attentive. The meals were ample. I was able to go to Mass every day.Sucre was the jewel. Lourdes is among the best guides I have ever had and she ...'
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    Fr. Mike Knipe USA
  • ´Hi....we absolutely loved the tour, every bit of it...well done..wonderful guides and driver...wonderful all in all...the guide was SENSATIONAL...gracias por todo..mkt´
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    Maria Kathalina Thomas USA
  • ´Nos han gustado mucho los dos tours. Los chóferes y guías muy bien en ambos casos. Los hoteles nos gustaron mucho y todo ha salido muy bien. El Salar y Lagunas espectacular. En general muy bien todo. Muchas gracias!'
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    Estefania Roig y Jordi Garcia Spain
  • 'Independent travel on our own schedule has always been our preference. Earlier this year we made the wise decision of allowing Gijs and Maria Eugenia of Ruta Verde to make all our travel arrangements for us to Noel Kempff Mercado. Even though we had four weeks in May to explore Eastern Bolivia it was immediately apparent that a trip to the park would require much planning and coordination of ...'
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    Nina Lara and Jerry Clark USA
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