South America

Our South America wildlife holidays and Brazil wildlife holidays are incredibly popular with our clients, whether you want to take a small boat Galapagos cruise looking for marine iguanas, go on your own private Jaguar safari on our Pantanal wildlife safari tours, see Tapirs and Turtles on our photography tours to Costa Rica, or search for Pumas on our small group Torres del Paine wildlife tours; we have the perfect wildlife holiday in South America just for you.

Our wildlife photography holidays in Brazil focus on iconic wildlife, such as the Maned Wolf and Jaguar, whereas our Costa Rica wildlife tours provide a great mix of bird watching, frog and reptile photography and viewing iconic big cats on our Jaguar watching tours in the Pantanal.

All our South America wildlife tours can be tailored to your requirements, so for example we can combine our Puma watching tours in Torres del Paine, with our Pantanal jaguar tours to give you the chance to photograph the two big cats of the Americas. The wildlife in South America is rich and diverse and we encourage all our clients to book a longer wildlife holiday so they have the time to see the best wildlife in South America in an unrushed and natural way.

Amazon & Pantanal Jaguar Safari

For your Pantanal jaguar safari we explore different types of major habitats accessed by using the Transpantaneira road and you will have quality time in two of them. In particular, the Cuiaba River (and its tributaries) where approximately 90% of the jaguar sightings take place during boat safaris. You cannot visit this area for just a couple of days and expect to see Jaguars and you can certainly not expect to see them if you do not go to the end of this famous road and spend some quality time on the water. Most other operators return to their lodges or houseboats for lunch, but we take packed lunches and stay out all day. Unlike other big cats around the world, Jaguars are sighted often in the middle of the day; either relaxing under the shade of the riverine forest, or sometimes hunting Capybara, Caimans or other prey species.

We then fly you up from Cuiaba to Manaus and due to the timings of flight schedules between the capital city of the Amazon and Tefe, we overnight you in a charming bed and breakfast. We can organise a boat safari to the ‘meeting of the rivers’, or you can simply have a walk around the attractions of Manaus – we recommend a visit to the Opera House. You will then fly to Tefe and enjoy a spectacular small boat transfer to Uakari floating lodge; beautifully located on meandering loop of a river in the unspolit and wildlife rich Mamirauá Reserve. During your stay you will be able to explore the flooded forest in a private dugout paddle, as well as take small group boat safaris to observe pink river dolphins, spider monkeys and sloth. This is a genuine community led project with 50% of the income going back into the community and the majority of the food you eat is purchased from the local villages.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 15
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£4990
Brazil Jaguar Safari with Four Full Days of Private Boat Safaris

There are several different types of major habitats accessed by using the Transpantaneira road and you will have quality time in two of them. In particular, the Cuiaba River (and its tributaries) where approximately 90% of the jaguar sightings take place during boat safaris. You cannot visit this area for just a couple of days and expect to see Jaguars and you can certainly not expect to see them if you do not go to the end of this famous road and spend some quality time on the water. Most other operators return to their lodges or houseboats for lunch, but we take packed lunches and stay out all day. Unlike other big cats around the world, Jaguars are sighted often in the middle of the day; either relaxing under the shade of the riverine forest, or sometimes hunting Capybara, Caimans or other prey species.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 9
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3690
Cloud Forest, Margays & Turtles

The timing of this Costa Rica wildlife holiday is crucial if you have a strong desire to see turtles. Tortuguero is one of the most important sites on the Western Hemisphere for the nesting of sea turtles. Four out of the seven sea turtle world species come to Tortuguero to nest, but because three of these species are highly endangered, there are only tours permitted to see the Green Turtles and these are managed by the park authorities. July to October is the best time to see the Green Tutles nesting, so this provides the window for our tour. As well as turtles, we visit the ‘real’ higher altitude cloud forests for sloth, monkeys and endemic birds like Orange-bellied Trogon. Here at Wildlife Trails we love to see what the animals are doing at night, so there are some very cool night walks for Costa Rica wildlife which comes alive in the dark.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 12
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2250
Galapagos Small Boat Cruise

A Galpagos cruise will be a one off lifetime event for most visitors to the most famous natural history islands in the world, so your choice of not only the boat, but the structure of your itinerary is critical to the success of your Galpagos small boat cruise. Yes, choosing a small boat provides access to several island where the larger boats are not allowed due to strict environmental laws, but it is the day to day structure, overnight long journeys between islands and often being the first to arrive at the key sites that makes this Wildlife Trails Galapagos cruise really stand out.

Style - Small Group Photographer
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3850
Puma Safari Near Torres del Paine National Park

Join us on a 7-day photography adventure focused solely on Chilean Puma sightings. Other animal extensions are available upon request.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 7
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3575
Quetzals, Humpbacks & Tapir

Our quest for not only a good location in Costa Rica to see Tapir, but also how to organise the day by day activities, has been a long but enjoyable one for Wildlife Trails. There are many companies who talk about ‘the chance’ to see Tapir, but 90% of the time you are going to be disappointed. We realised that the Osa Peninusula was one of the best places to see Tapir in Costa Rica, but without our clients pre-booking specific wildlife trails with expert guides, their chances would still be quite low. So, this tour not only gives you the best chance to see Tapir when visiting Costa Rica, but also includes some amazing Humpbacj, Dolphin and Quetzal action enroute. Enjoy the ride!

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3490
Sloths and Monkeys

Experts on Costa Rica rainforests and ecosystems all acknowledge that mammal viewing in this species rich country is far from easy and many of the original Costa Rica eco lodges were set up more for birding groups, than mammal enthusiasts. Therefore a tour focused on viewing sloths, monkeys and other mammals species in Costa Rica needs to be carefully planned and include longer stays at the key habitat locations for primates and other mammals. With our ‘Sloths and Monkeys’ tour we have consulted wildlife photographers, our own trips and that of our clients to bring together all the elements required for some great mammal viewing.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3550
South Pantanal Wildlife Tour with Iguacu Extension

As more and more exciting Jaguar photos ‘flooded’ the internet it was inevitable that locations like the Cuiaba river would start to attract large numbers of wildlife enthusiasts and we recognise that this is not the experience all wildlife lovers are looking for on their bespoke Brazil wildlife holiday. There are actually many other locations in the vast wetland known as the Pantanal and simply by flying into the south you can experience a very different style of wildlife safari.

Although the chances here to see Jaguars are less, the animal count can often be higher and more diverse and our clients have been lucky enough to see many giant anteaters, bush pigs, peccaries, 6 and 9-banded armadillos, capybara and caiman. Because you will have your own private naturalist, you can dictate the pace of the wildlife viewing; although we definitely recommend a few night time drives.

You will then fly south to Iguacu airport where you will be met by your friendly knowledgeable guide. We have visited this Unesco world heritage site multiple times, so know the importance of booking a hotel within the park and therefore being able to visit the falls in that ‘golden’ first 1-2 hours before the mainstream tourists arrive. We also know great places for bird watching and eating locally; so you will really maximise your 3 nights spent here before flying onto Sao Paulo or Rio.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 8
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2390
Specialist Rainforest Photography Tour in Costa Rica

A specialist Costa Rica photography tours designed with careful consideration to the wildlife lodges and the quality of their facilities to enable the best photographic opportunities for our clients. The lodges have specialist hides and equipment which allows us to get up close and photograph species like bats, and King Vultures.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 16
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3830
Two Rivers Pantanal Jaguar Safari

This really is the ultimate Jaguar safari in Brazil, as we take you to two famous Brazilian rivers, each with a high density of wild jaguars. Less people visit the Paraguay river and the Taiamã Ecological Reserve where you will be taking your boat safaris. In the last few years there have been more Jaguar sightings closer to our riverside lodge on the banks of the Paraguay and we can use the latest sightings reports to plan our daily activities. We have a large spacious boat designed for 12 but only carrying 4 Wildlife Trails clients; who will enjoy a huge amount of space for their comfort and all important camera equipment. After 4 nights on the Paraguay river we drive back to Cuiaba and start our journey down the Transpantaneira road. We focus on two different habitats along this road, the drier north where you are more likely to see Tapir, Giant Anteaters and Ocelot and then the end of the road for our Jaguar boat safaris; where we are also likely to see Giant river otters, Howler monkeys, Caiman and Capybara. To have the best possible chance to see Jaguars we again have a large boat with just a few clients in and we go out as early as possible and take packed lunches. Which means that we are still viewing and photographing Jaguars, while the other groups are back at the lodge or on their houseboats having siestas.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£6155
Ultimate Pantanal Birding Tour

When you visit Brazil on a wildlife holiday even if it involves a Jaguar Safari in the Pantanal you soon pick up on the fact that nearly all the local guides are full on birders and will take every opportunity to point out ‘special’ birds to their clients. As all birders know, if you want to maximise the variety of sightings and species you need to visit a diversity of habitats and altitudes in the company of an expert guide. This combination of higher altitude Cerrado plateau and Wetland habitat – without the need to travel too far in Brazil – is ideal for keen birders and those looking to see a diversity of landscapes and wildlife in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 6
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2500

Related Articles

Pantanal Jaguar Tour – Which One is the Best for You?

The Pantanal is a huge seasonal wetland covering the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso in Brazil. In recent years it has become famous around the world as the best place to see Jaguars in the wild. This magnificent big cat and deadly killer thrive in this rich mosaic of huge rivers, enormous ranches and riverine forest. However, there are different locations within the Pantanal that attract a variety of wildlife and big cat enthusiasts looking for the ultimate Jaguar photo.

Giant Anteaters & Armadillos Rock!

Of course, many clients booking a Brazil wildlife tour are focused on charismatic predators, such as the legendary Jaguar. However, once you have enjoyed your Pantanal jaguar tour you might be looking for more unique Brazilian wildlife; such species as Giant River Otters, Maned Wolf, Armadillo’s and the utterly charming and bizarre Giant Anteater.

Brazil Wildlife Holiday; The Search for the River Wolves of Brazil

One of the most joyous wildlife encounters during a Brazil wildlife tour is to meet a foraging family of Giant River Otters on the river. These beautiful animals are superb swimmers and can avoid predators with their speed and agility. They can often turn defence into attack and push a caiman or snake from their territory, by constantly haranguing the unfortunate creature which gets too close to their heavily protected dens. It is often the case that you hear the Giant River Otters before you see them, and their distinctive high-pitched squeaks are one of the great sounds of a Pantanal jaguar safari.

What

Our Clients Say About Us

★★★★★
Amazing Experience

We travelled through the Pantanal in Brazil. Our guide was fantastic. He met us at our hotel and accompanied us throughout. Transportation (4x4) with a driver was very comfortable, particularly as was mainly mud roads! The first few days we spent at Pousada Alegre, Bird sightings were great, but also fox, monkey and tapir to name but a few. Majority of our trip was spent looking for Jaguar o the river. And we definitely were lucky! We had some amazing sightings, including a number of mum and cubs. Allan's organisation of the trip was spot on. Everything worked like clockwork and the guide he chose spoke perfect English and went out of his way to ensure that we were always in the best places / positions to photograph the wildlife. We have used Allan on on several wildlife trips in the past and this one was up to his usual high standards. Allan takes the time to get to know you, your preferences and understand exactly what you wish to do / see and works with you to achieve the type of holiday you wish. Thanks again Allan - looking forward to Tanzania in February!

ByIsabell and Steve
★★★★★
A Pantanal Adventure

We re-visited the Pantanal having enjoyed a previous trip so much. This time, with Eduardo as our guide, it was truly an adventure. His enthusiasm and excitement about all of the wildlife is so ectious. We had some fabulous sightings of jaguar, some totally exclusive to us. Eduardo is equally keen on all that the Pantanal has to offer & energetically pursues experiences for his guests to share. He & I had the most amazing encounter with a giant anteater with a baby on her back. His excitement for this was palpable & it greatly enhanced my experience. We also had some very special daytime tapir viewings and this is entirely due to his observations of their behaviour and the likely directions they may take. So for this and the giant anteater sighting, the viewing was extended by his ability to predict what might happen next. Even staying at his lodge (JER) was a continuation of wildlife experiences as he actively seeks to find all the creatures that he can. Plus I found his lodge delightfully quirky & fun. Eduardo took great & very personal care of us & he was a joy to be with & very knowledgeable. Allan & Kirsty Blanchard make Wildlife Trails perfect for our needs. They have got to know us over time and the experience of working in partnership with them to plan our trips means that our holidays come to life through the planning process. So by the time we set off we can feel confident that our trip will be exactly what we want. Thanks for doing such a grand job.

ByAvril and Brian
★★★★★
An excellent wildlife holiday

We are so delighted that this interesting combination of the Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães and the southern Amazon worked out so well. It was a real pleasure organising this bespoke zilian wildlife tour for you and we hope you have a treasure chest of memories. Wildlife Trails arrangements worked very well.

ByScott