Brazil - Pantanal Explorer


Brazil - Pantanal Explorer

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 11 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers

Notes

Important Information

Foreign Travel Advice Warnings

We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At present there are no warnings against travel to the parts of Brazil that we travel to on this tour. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.

It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.

Accommodation and Meals

Hotel Check-in Times

As a general rule most hotels will allow guests to check-in from 2pm. Please note that the price of your tour does not include guaranteed early check-in. Therefore please advise us if you would like to ensure that your room is available for an earlier arrival. This is particularly relevant on the first day of the tour and for early morning arrivals. One option is to pre-book and pay for an extra night at the beginning of your tour which will guarantee your accommodation is available irrespective of what time you arrive. Please contact us for information and costs.

It should also be noted that on many of our tours we have set-aside Day 1 of the itinerary as an ‘arrival day’. For this reason and because tour participants are likely to be arriving at different times, and often from different countries, guided sightseeing or other activities are not included. If you are arriving early or before the start date of the tour and would like to organise some extra arrangements on a private basis please contact us.

Accommodation Rating

Accommodation on this tour is of a simple but comfortable standard and rooms will have air conditioning at the lodge and on the boat. Please see the itinerary for the description of the accommodation in the Pantanal.

We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.

Food & Drink

Brazilians usually eat two hot meals a day, with lunch (almoço) being the largest. Dinner (jantar) is usually a little lighter. In smaller towns and villages employees have a 2-hour break for lunch. In bigger cities lunchtime is shorter, but is never less than 1 hour. In Brazil the so-called self-service restaurants (comida a kilo or peso) are very popular. People put food on their plate from an extensive buffet, put the plate on a scale at the end and pay a fixed rate per kilogram. In restaurants, dishes are often supposed to be shared - i.e. they serve more than 1 person. It is always good to check whether a meal serves 1 or 2 people. The more upscale restaurants serve dishes for 1 person only. Each region in Brazil has its own specialties: among the most famous are the cuisine from Bahia (with its moquecas), from Minas Gerais, the many fresh water fish specialties from the Amazon, and the barbecue restaurants which can be found all across Brazil and that work according to the rodízio (“all you can eat”) system, serving up many different kinds of meat straight from the barbeque to your table. Also famous in Brazil are its many tropical fruits that are made into juices and cocktails as well as being served in meals. Petiscos, little bar snacks that accompany drinks, are very popular in Brazil as well. Service is usually included in the bill (10%); otherwise, it is customary to leave a tip.

Outside of Cuiabá all meals are included on the tour. The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.

Dietary Requirements

If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.

Budgeting for your Tour

You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.

Food

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch: GBP 10.00

Dinner: GBP 10.00

Drink

The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.

Bottle of Beer:  GBP 2.00

Water:  GBP 1.00 (500 ml)

Tipping – Guide and Drivers

Foreign Exchange

ATM Availability: ATM facilities will only be found at Cuiabá airport and in Cuiabá itself.

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are widely accepted in Brazil. Pousada do Rio Mutum accepts cards; the Pantanal expedition boat does not accept cards, as there is no internet on the boat. For this part of the trip, you should bring enough cash for personal expenses.

Local Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL) 

Recommended Currency for Exchange: US Dollar. What usually works best is to validate your bank card for international withdrawals before the trip and get cash out (in BRL) upon arrival.

Where to Exchange: There are places to exchange money at the airport and in Cuiabá itself

Joining your Tour

Flight Information

Our advertised prices do not include the cost of international flights to Cuiabá. Please contact us if you would like a quotation to book a ‘flight inclusive’ package. If you are originating in the UK and Undiscovered Destinations books your flights then your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a free airport transfer, both on arrival and departure. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country and be valid for the entire duration of your holiday.

Visa Information

British nationals can normally enter Brazil without a visa as a tourist. For further information about visas see the website of the Brazilian Consulate in London. Other nationalities should check with their nearest consulate or embassy.

Passports

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.

We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.

For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Vaccinations & Protection

As with travel to most parts of Asia, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis. The use of a DEET-containing insect repellent is highly recommended.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in your home country can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

Preparing for your tour

Climate

April and May brings the start of the dry season with June to September being the peak of the dry season, when the water recedes into pools and so acts as a magnet for surrounding wildlife, making them more easily observed.  Rainfall starts to build from October with the height of the rainy season usually from December to March. You should be prepared for very hot conditions during the day where temperatures can reach 35 degree Celsius and temperatures can drop markedly. Humidity can also be rather high. Please note that global climate and weather is increasingly difficult to predict so this information should only be used as a guide.

Suggested Clothing

Light clothes in general are the way forward. Lightweight trousers, long sleeved shirts (light fabric/neutral colours), wide brimmed hat, trekking boots, swimming attire. Extra pair of shoes/sandals and waterproof rain coat. Thermal shirts or lightweight jacket for any cool evenings.

When out on the excursions it is essential that you protect yourself from the strong sun and are well hydrated.

Green Credentials

On this tour we use partners and properties that have a high focus on sustainability and protecting the magnificent environment in which they are located. To avoid excessive single use plastic, whilst you are on tour outside of Cuiaba, you will be able to refill your water bottle from safe water sources.

Wildlife Expectations in the Pantanal

On this tour you have the opportunity to see some amazing biodiversity. We travel to the places where you have the very best chances of excellent sightings including Jaguars. However these animals are wild and sightings can never be guaranteed although it is fair to say you would e very unlucky on this tour not to see at least one. So please enjoy what nature has to offer and keep expectations realistic.

Equipment

The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared and to be adequately immunised. A good insect repellent and bite cream is advisable. Suncream/sunblock is a must – please ensure you bring enough as it may not be available locally. A torch or head lamp may come in useful in certain dimly lit areas. Of course as this is a trip with the potential for excellent biodiversity, a good birding/wildlife book of the Pantanal, binoculars, and a camera with a telephoto lens would be recommended. Extra batteries for camera equipment.

Footwear

For the first section of the tour at the lodge, during the excursions we would recommend closed shoes.  For the boat expedition sandals would generally be suitable. 

Luggage on tour

Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.

Electric Supply & Plugs

European 2 pin style plugs are widely used but we recommend to bring an international adaptor. 

Tour Itinerary Versions

Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These tour notes updated 30th November 2019.