Lonely Planet Writer

Explore Brazil’s wild tropical wetlands from this luxury expedition boat

Located in the heart of South America, the Pantanal are the world’s largest wetlands, measuring approximately 20 times the size of the famed Everglades in Florida. And while the Amazon is perhaps more famous, when it comes to spotting wildlife, the Pantanal is a much better option, with its open marshes making it much easier to see a selection of its hundreds of species of birds and mammals. Knowing the interest from keen explorers from all over the globe, one company has just announced the world’s first luxury expedition boat journey through the Brazilian section of the wetlands.

The Peralta is a brand new luxury boat that takes guests through the Pantanal.
The Peralta is a brand new luxury boat that takes guests through the Pantanal. Image by Red Savannah

Created by luxury travel company Red Savannah, the Brazil Wildlife Adventure package sees guests arriving in Rio de Janeiro for a two-night stay at Copacabana Beach, providing them with the opportunity to visit iconic sights such as Christ the Redeemer as well as taking a cable car to the summer of Sugarloaf Mountain. Following that, days three to five can be spent on board the brand new Peralta, a luxury expedition boat with cabins, a viewing lounge and a restaurant which feature floor to ceiling windows for watching the wetlands and spotting wildlife (including jaguars). While the boat sails through the narrow waterways, guests can relax on a viewing deck that includes a plunge pool.

The Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world.
The Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world.

Day six sees guests catching a flight to Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, where they can explore the urban pocket that is surrounded by jungle. The next day includes a trip to the heart of the Amazon rainforest either by road or seaplane, with guests staying in a special jungle lodge on the banks of Rio Negro. On arrival, they are greeted by naturalist guides who discuss the following two days in the jungle, which include canoeing through the Igapós and spotting nocturnal wildlife by the light of the stars.

The boat features a deck with a plunge pool.
The boat features a deck with a plunge pool. Image by Red Savannah

The expedition explores two of the most biodiverse regions in the world, the Pantanal and the Amazon. The tropical Pantanal wetlands is a vast flora and fauna rich marshland with wildlife including jaguars, capuchin monkeys, caimans, piranhas and giant anteaters.  As well as gently sailing the Paraguay river and its tributaries, guests will also take motorboat rides through the smaller waterways to observe blue macaws, capybaras, anacondas and other wildlife, go piranha fishing and to visit the riverside communities to learn about the customs and lifestyle of the region,” said Sarah-Leigh Shenton of Red Savannah.

Alternatively, days three to five of the adventure can be spent at an eco-lodge on the Pantanal, where guests can explore the UNESCO World Heritage site’s pastures, woods and wetlands on horseback. Prices for the Brazil Wildlife Adventure package start at US$5598 (€4900) per person.

More information on booking is available at the official Red Savannah website.