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North Pantanal: A Paradise of Biodiversity


Ever curious about the Pantanal?


This destination is a favorite among our clients’ visitors - a region of incredible biodiversity and natural beauty. Stretching across Brazil and extending into Bolivia and Paraguay, the Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland area.


In Brazil, it spans parts of the Central-West region, specifically in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. Thus, we often refer to it as "North Pantanal" and "South Pantanal," reflecting the two different states.


Today, let’s explore the North Pantanal. Shall we?





Immense Biodiversity


According to the SOS Pantanal Institute, the Pantanal is considered an Ecotone (a complex of ecosystems) as it is a convergence zone between five biomes: the Cerrado, Chaco, Amazon, Atlantic Forest, and Chiquitano Dry Forest. UNESCO has recognized the Pantanal as a World Natural Heritage site and a Biosphere Reserve, due to its ecological significance.


The WWF reports that the Pantanal is home to about 4,700 species, including 3,500 plants, 650 birds, 124 mammals, 80 reptiles, 60 amphibians, and 260 freshwater fish species. It's a vast array of wildlife, some of which are at risk of extinction.






Challenges and the Importance of Conservation


The region faces challenges such as agricultural expansion and livestock farming, which can lead to deforestation and habitat loss. Additionally, climate change poses a growing threat, with more intense drought periods affecting both aquatic and terrestrial life.


To preserve this unique ecosystem, organizations are engaged in research and developing sustainable land use practices. Ecotourism is also promoted as a way to raise awareness and generate income for local communities, while carefully maintaining the delicate balance of nature.


Jaguar Spotting Programs in North Pantanal


Cuiabá is the heart and capital of Mato Grosso, a state dominated by the cerrado biome but also touching the Amazon. It serves as the gateway to the Northern Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães, and Alta Floresta, which are among Brazil's top destinations for wildlife watching and nature exploration.


The Northern Pantanal is renowned for its Jaguar Spotting Programs. In recent years, spotting the jaguar (panthera onca) has become incredibly easier compared to the past, making these majestic wild cats the stars of the Pantanal.


More on this below!







OUR PICK: FEATURED LODGING


Araras Eco Lodge


In this wonderful country-style lodge, visitors enjoy full amenities and comfortable rooms to relax after a day full of Pantanal adventures. Situated in the heart of the world's largest floodplain and built in perfect harmony with the environment, Araras Eco Lodge is located 132 km south of Cuiabá, in the rural area of Poconé.


The lodge offers spacious rooms with rustic decor blended with modern touches, all equipped with split air conditioning, ceiling fans, screened windows, box beds, and private bathrooms with hot showers.


In the evening, the lodge's restaurant and bar provide a venue for tourists to interact with other guests, make new friends, and enjoy Pantaneira cuisine accompanied by a fine selection of wines. Breakfast and lunch, meanwhile, are served by the pool to the sounds of macaws.


Guests at the lodge have the opportunity to engage in superb bird watching, forest trail hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, photographic safaris, and much more - all with the ongoing assistance of specialized guides fluent in various languages.




Aymara Lodge


Aymara Lodge welcomes its guests with a full board regime, including breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee, and dinner (excluding drinks). The menu is set daily by Chef Adilson Rondon, taking into account dietary restrictions of guests and the availability of local and seasonal products.


The peace and tranquility of the place favor relaxation of both body and mind, allowing visitors to connect with nature while disconnecting from the outside world.


The lodge also offers a range of activities tailored to the available time, interests of each guest, and the period of the visit: during the dry season, from mid-June to November, or the so-called "green season," which runs from about December to May.


OUR PICK: FEATURED EXPERIENCE


Jaguar Express (regular tour)


The Jaguar Express is a 14-hour excursion in search of jaguars and other wildlife along the banks of the Cuiabá River and inside the Encontro do Parque Estadual das Águas, 112 km south of Araras Eco-Lodge. It is combined with a minimum 4-night package at the lodge.


ITINERARY


05:30 - Breakfast at Araras Eco Lodge.

06:00 - Departure in an air-conditioned vehicle heading south, along 120 km of the Transpantaneira Park Road, to the Cuiabá River crossing at the Porto Jofre region.

09:00 - Motorboat tour for an exciting safari, traversing rivers and beaches in search of wildlife, with the main goal of spotting jaguars along the way.

12:30 - Stop for a light picnic (sandwiches and fruits).

17:30 - Return to the embarkation port at Porto Jofre.

18:00 - Return to Araras Eco Lodge for a night safari on the Transpantaneira Park.

20:30 - Dinner at Araras Eco Lodge.

Included: Air-conditioned transfer-safari, 8 hours of river safari, picnic, water, bilingual guide. This tour is only available from June to November.


This regular tour takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For other days of the week, please inquire about the upgrade option for a private version.


Be the perfect connection for your customers to discover Brazil! Contact us to learn more.





ITINERARY


Our Nature and Wildlife 3 - Jaguar Spotting itinerary is a perfect fit for everything we've discussed so far. This option includes a host of special activities to observe the fabulous wildlife of the Pantanal.


Yes, Brazil is everything you imagine and more. Send us a message and offer your customers the best of destinations.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


Brazil Pass


Brazil is a country of continental distances, and the need to use internal flights is quite substantial even in more classic itineraries. To reach different destinations within Brazil, the Brazil Air Pass can be a good alternative, since it is a flat rate for a range of selected flights.


As you might know, most domestic flights are instant purchase so the advantage of the airpass is the possibility to extend the time limit to issue. Prices vary depending on availability but the airpass is usually cheaper compared to the published fare.


This service is only offered for travel agencies based out of Brazil, so it is not something that we can offer to you. But please talk to us so we can give you more details and direct contacts of the Latam and Azul Airlines representatives in Europe.


LATAM Airpass allows quoting domestic flights separately from the internationals but only if passengers have an international ticket number on LATAM. The international ticket number can be within the same pnr or booked separately elsewhere.


However, the international ticket number has to be documented within the endorsements of the airpass once ready to issue.


For Latam (click here) or mariajose.frech@latam.com

Gol also relaunched their program recently. Just as an example Azul Airlines is offering unlimited internal flights inside Brazil from USD 399.


For GOL (click here)


For Azul, you can contact support.europe@voeazul.com.br. More info here.




Special offer!


How about enjoying up to 20% off daily rates at two hotels?

This promotion is valid for clients traveling until November 2024, for the following accommodations:


Hotel Praia dos Anjos - Arraial do Cabo/RJ

Rodrigo Lourenco/Unsplash


Pousada Le Refuge - Trancoso/BA

Find out all the details with our team of consultants and book now for your travelers.

Daniela Meres talks about sustainability in tourism at LATA training. Sign up!

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) embarks on the fifth cohort of its Strategic Sustainability Training, with over 80 members having already completed the course. This webinar will examine the benefits of taking a holistic approach to sustainability.

We are one of five businesses that have successfully completed the training and will explore how the 4Cs – conservation, community, culture, and commerce – translate for tour operators, DMCs, hoteliers, and expedition cruise operators. We will discuss the success and challenges we have encountered while embedding them in our businesses, and also look at how the training complements and enhances working towards other certifications.


Registrations are open here at this link, and you can join us to hear more!


Another new member for our team in Curitiba


Mariana Palmeira is a person full of enthusiasm and loves exploring new places, experiencing and connecting with different cultures. She highly values moments spent in nature, especially by the sea, which are very meaningful for finding renewal and inspiration in these peaceful environments.


She recently joined the financial team at the Gondwana Brasil headquarters, her area of expertise - and she is very happy with this new opportunity. “I am grateful to be surrounded by great people,” she said. Thanks for being with us, Mari!

TEAM RECOMMENDATION

Sharing tips from our team about Brazilian culture

How about a "geladinho"?


Luzimar Del Rei, our sales specialist for the English-speaking market, has a very special emotional memory she shares with us today... "One of the most enjoyable moments of my last vacation was being on the beach at sunset, enjoying a tapioca geladinho and listening to the album Sandália de Couro by singer Jau. That's why this is my recommendation. The song Flores da Favela is a highlight," she says.

For those unfamiliar, a "geladinho" is a type of homemade ice pop found from north to south in Brazil, known by various names depending on the region: chupe-chupe, gelinho, chope, sacolé, refresco, dindim, geladinho, juju, and others. In Serra Grande, in the south of Bahia where Luzimar lives, it's popularly called "geladinho," hence we've kept this name.


This beloved treat is typically packaged in individual cylindrical bags and made from the pulp of local fruits, giving it distinct characteristics of each place. It can include a variety of ingredients like milk, creams, and even alcoholic beverages for adults (some even dare to make versions with the classic "caipirinha").


Because of its artisanal nature, it's often sold in homes, marked by small signs saying "geladinho for sale," or even by vendors roaming the sandy beaches.


We hope this information enhances your clients' experience in Brazil!



FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA / OUR CONTENT

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Last month, we shared some of our actions related to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 - Gender Equality: Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

We have developed sustainability policies that take a detailed and careful look at gender equality. We are a company that embraces diversity and welcomes various talents. At Gondwana, women occupy a range of positions from the board of directors to the most technical and operational roles, without any distinction.


Our Presence at WTM Latin America

More than just tourism, Gondwana acts as a catalyst for change, advocating the importance of caring for our land so that we can then care for others.


Our time at WTM Latin America was a reflection of this commitment: safeguarding what's ours, fostering new and renewed connections with partners and friends—these vital links make our business possible.


We were also particularly honored to be featured as one of the cases in the book "Responsible Tourism: Results that Inspire," surrounded by so many inspiring stories.


The publication is an initiative of the Instituto Vivejar and the Center for Tourism and Social Development Studies at the School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo, supported by the IDB, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Ministry of Tourism.


You can also download the digital version of the book here.


Connect with us on LinkedIn!


Thank you for being with us and following our newsletter this month. Missing any content or have something more you'd like to see here? If so, reply to this email with your suggestion.



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