Caiman Ecological Refuge is a 53,000-hectare working ranch with intimate guest rooms. This beautiful stretch of land has been left to thrive as a natural haven. More so than in most areas of South America, this is real ‘safari’ country. There are myriad bird species and you will regularly see fascinating creatures such as giant ant-eater, tapir, capybara, ocelot and caiman lazing on river banks. Of course, the real draw is the elusive jaguar.
Staying here you’ll have the choice of two lodges or the private owner’s house, perfect for larger families or groups of friends to explore this vast wilderness together in comfort and seclusion. The style of décor is a modern take on ranch-style, with traditional patterns and photographs from around the property displayed proudly in the rooms. Cordilheira Lodge is built into the hillside, with suite views overlooking the wetlands beyond, where the Baiazinha Lodge is nestled on the banks of the lagoon.
The true treat of a stay here is exploring with the expert guides and researchers of Projeto Oncafari to learn about their jaguar conservation programs. The most successful and inspiring of their specific activities has been to ‘re-wild’ and reintroduce two jaguar sisters who had been orphaned in the northern Pantanal. It was so successful in fact that you may still be able to see the sisters on your game drives! Joining the researchers for a day or more gives you the unique opportunity to spend even more time with these majestic felines, discovering more about the unique characteristics that certain cats display.