Safari through Argentina & Brazil

Wildlife Wonders of South America

September 23–October 8, 2024

Optional luxury Amazon Rainforest extension

Our hand-crafted South American safari highlights the wildlife wonders of the continent, from Peninsula Valdes in Patagonia to the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil. Southern right whales and jaguars, elephant seals and anteaters, penguins and capybaras–discover a Southern Hemisphere safari like no other on our small group tour, with the option for an extension to the Amazon Rainforest. 

Trip Highlights

  • September 23–October 8, 2024
  • Optional extension to a luxury eco-lodge in the Brazilian Amazon, October 9-12
  • Escorted by BJ & Lauren, owners of RetreaTours
  • Explore the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal
  • Spot jaguars along the rivers of Porto Jofre
  • Witness the gathering of Southern Right Whales in their most important breeding spot on the planet
  • Discover huge colonies of penguins on Peninsula Valdes
  • Experience all-new species on safari: tapirs, capybara, caiman, anteaters, river otters, and endless gorgeous birds, including the Hyacinth Macaw and Toco Toucan
  • This journey is double carbon offset
  • Maximum of 12 guests
  • $8999 per person based on double occupancy. Please see the “Price and Inclusions” boxes below for inclusions and private room supplements.

How to Register When You Are Ready

  • Click the button below to complete the Registration Questions
  • Lauren will email you with options to pay the deposit

Puerto Pirimides

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Cuiaba, Brazil

Peninsula Valdes, Argentina

Porto Jofre, Brazil


Cristalino Jungle Lodge–Optional Amazon Luxury Extension

Daily Itinerary at a Glance

September 23   Welcome to South America! Tonight we’ll rest in central Buenos Aires, the beautiful capital of Argentina, before heading to northern Patagonia tomorrow morning. (Overnight in Buenos Aires)

September 24  We’ll fly south this morning and make our way to our home base on Peninsula Valdes, a protected park that is a treasure trove of marine mammal and penguin life! (Overnight in Puerto Pirimides, Argentina)

September 25, 26, 27    During our time in Peninsula Valdes, based in the charming town of Puerto Pirimides, we’ll take boat excursions to witness the thousands of majestic Southern Right Whales who congregate in these waters in September and October. We’ll also venture further north on the peninsula to visit a huge Magellanic penguin colony. In addition, we’ll have the opportunity to see elephant seals, sea lions, guanaco, rhea, and maybe even orcas patrolling the waters.  (Overnights in Puerto Pirimides)

September 28  We’ll bid farewell to our oceanfront digs and fly back to Buenos Aires today in preparation for the next leg of our journey in Brazil starting tomorrow! (Overnight in Buenos Aires)

September 29  This morning we’ll depart from Argentina and make our way over to the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal. We’ll stay overnight in the town of Cuiaba, to prepare for a gorgeous morning drive tomorrow on the Transpantaneira. (Overnight in Cuiaba, Brazil)

September 30  This morning we’ll drive south on the Transpantaneira, a small road through the Pantanal that is a safari in its own right. With plenty of stops to see wildlife along the way, we’ll arrive at our beautiful lodge for lunch and an afternoon (and night!) safari.  (Overnight along Transpantaneira–Aymara Lodge)

October 1   Aymara Lodge is a fantastic place to explore the Pantanal’s wildlife, with fabulous walking trails and vehicle safaris. The owner here literally wrote the book on the Pantanal’s gorgeous bird life!  (Overnight along Transpantaneira-Aymara Lodge)

October​ 2  We’re blessed with one more morning to enjoy sunrise (and all the sunrise animal activity at Aymara!) After lunch, we’ll continue our journey along the Transpantaneira south to Porto Jofre, the jaguar-watching capital of the world.  (Overnight in Porto Jofre)

October 3, 4, 5​ ​​  Welcome to the end of the Transpantaneira–where the road ends, the boats begin! We’ll take morning and afternoon safaris daily to discover the life along the river’s edge.  The star of the show in this area is the jaguar, the only ‘big cat’ native to the Americas. Along the way, we also will have the opportunity to see the endangered giant river otter, as well as capybara, caiman, tapir, and more. (Overnights in Porto Jofre)

October​ 6​  Today we head north on the Transpantaneira again, with a stop at a wonderful lodge full of wildlife on its grounds and along the river.  (Overnight along Transpantaneira, Rio Claro Lodge)

October​ ​7  One more beautiful sunrise and morning boat safari here in the Pantanal! After lunch, we’ll head back toward Cuiaba.

October 8  Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to the Pantanal. Your flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil is included for this morning.  For those interested in extending your adventure into the Amazon, read more in our narrative itinerary below about our luxury extension from October 8th to October 12. 

Who is this South American Safari for?

You don’t typically hear the words “safari” in relation South American wildlife, and we think that’s a shame! When you hear the word “safari” (which is really just Swahili for “journey”), your mind probably drifts to the African savanna and images of elephants, lions, and giraffes, right?

But what about jaguars, tapirs, anteaters, guanacos? How about a marine safari, including whales, orcas, and penguins? And heck, elephant seals have “elephant” right there in their name! And that’s to say nothing of the gorgeous birds of the continent, in every color combination imaginable.

If you love exploring your home planet and you love animals, we invite you to explore the wildlife wonders of South America with us!


Detailed Daily Itinerary

Peninsula Valdes, Argentina

September 23–28


Wildlife we may encounter

  • Southern Right Whales
  • Magellanic Penguins
  • Elephant Seals
  • Southern Sea Lions
  • Guanacos
  • Orcas
  • Birds such as Darwin’s rhea, giant petrel, imperial cormorant, southern flamingos

Peninsula Valdes

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Puerto Pirimides, Argentina

Welcome to Buenos Aires–you’re about to embark on a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience on this South American safari!

You’ll rest comfortably in the capital of Argentina tonight before we fly out to Peninsula Valdes on the morning of the 24th. It is a quick 2-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Trelew, then a 2-hour scenic drive to our home base at Puerto Pirimides. Be on the lookout for guanacos and Darwin’s rheas on our drive through the Patagonia steppe. 

Why is Peninsula Valdes so special?

Peninsula Valdes is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its global significance for the conservation of marine mammals.” This peninsula, attached to the mainland by a tiny strip of land, is perfectly situated to serve as a sanctuary for marine mammals and penguins. The Malvinas current brings plenty of cold, nutrient-rich waters from the south while the northern currents bring warmer water into the protected bays and gulfs that give shelter for breeding. 

These waters are the most important breeding area for Southern right whales on the planet. We will be here during their annual migration to Peninsula Valdes, and we’ll enjoy boat rides into the bay to get up close and personal. It is estimated that over 2000 individuals migrate to these waters in September and October for one big social mixer!

We’ll base ourselves in Puerto Pirimides for our Peninsula Valdes adventure, in a chic hotel directly on the water. This northern Patagonia community lies within the boundaries of the protected park area and is the definition of charming. With a permanent population of around 500 lucky folks, it’s got a laid-back coastal vibe with cute shops, cafes, and a sandy beach with spectacular views. At high tide, you should be able to whale watch from our “backyard.”

Beyond the Whales

But Peninsula Valdes is more than Southern right whales! It’s also home to one of South America’s largest Magellanic penguin colonies. (Estancia Lorenzo alone is home to 300,000+ penguins!)  Male penguins make their way back to the peninsula in September to start building nests to impress their mates. These adorable penguins burrow in the sand and dirt, creating an impressive landscape of carefully crafted cubbyholes.

Speaking of impressive, have you ever seen an elephant seal!? Peninsula Valdes has the only elephant seal breeding grounds located on the mainland of any continent, and it is the fourth-largest elephant seal colony on Earth (perhaps the galaxy). The average male elephant seal can weigh 3.5 tons and grow to 18 feet long. Don’t let that weight fool you, though, as they can get around: they can dive down to depths of more than a mile to hunt for food, and their migration takes them more than 7000 miles each year.  And yes, the males can even have an elephant trunk-like nose!

You’ll see Southern sea lions dot the shore, as well. Although it is not the time of year for this behavior, this is the very place where orcas have learned to charge the shore, slightly beaching themselves in the process, in order to snag resting sea lions for a snack. It’s a wild way of hunting that only one other pod of orcas in the world has ever been witnessed to employ. (This is a BBC video of the process, but be warned, it does show successful hunts). However, orcas do patrol these waters year-round, so we may see some on this adventure, as well!

The Pantanal, Brazil

September 29–October 8


Wildlife we may encounter (highlights)

  • Jaguar
  • Giant River Otter
  • Capybara
  • Tapir
  • Giant anteaters
  • Lesser tamandua
  • Monkeys (Capuchin & Howler)
  • Birds such as the Hyacinth macaw, Toco toucan, Aracari toucan, Jabiru storks, Sunbittern, Great Potoo, Capped heron and many more!

Cuiaba, Brazil

Porto Jofre, Brazil


On the 28th, we’ll bid farewell to the rich coastal landscape of Peninsula Valdes and fly back to Buenos Aires. On the morning of the 29th, we’ll head to Brazil for the next leg of our South American safari!

Why is the Pantanal special?

The Pantanal is the world’s largest wetland–ten times the size of the Everglades in Florida (and bigger than the entire state of Florida itself!) In 2000, a small sliver of the Pantanal was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the third largest biosphere reserve on the planet, containing at least 4,700 flora & fauna species. The bulk of the wetlands lie in Brazil, but it also spreads into Bolivia and Paraguay. The basin of the Pantanal is the remnant of an ancient inland sea that dried up 65 million years ago; each year during the wet season (December to March), these wetlands flood and become inaccessible by road.

The magic of the Pantanal’s wide open wetlands is how relatively easy it is to spot animals that would otherwise be obscured by the dense jungle of the Amazon Rainforest. The Pantanal boasts the highest concentration of jaguars in the world (perhaps the solar system), and it’s home to the planet’s biggest parrot, the Hyacinth Macaw. Capybaras, caimans, giant river otters, tapirs, anteaters, southern tamanduas, coatis, agoutis, and countless birds–the Pantanal is a wealth of wildlife well worthy of a safari!

Down the Transpantaneira

We’ll fly into Cuiaba, Brazil (via Sao Paulo) on September 29th and start out the next morning on the Transpantaneira, the only road through the Pantanal and a destination in itself. It is over 90 miles long and crosses over 120 bridges (as you might expect in the world’s largest wetland!)  The bridges are a great place for your first taste of Pantanal wildlife, including hundreds and hundreds of caiman. Don’t worry you worry about those chubby capybaras sharing the waterways with these alligator-like creatures–they’re mostly interested in eating fish!

We’ll arrive at our lodge, Aymara, and enjoy lunch before setting out on an afternoon (and night!) safari. Aymara will be our home base for two nights, set in the middle of a 588-acre Private Natural Reserve. Aymara is a perfect place to begin our adventure, as there is so much wildlife on the grounds, including the stunning blue hyacinth macaw. The owner of the lodge literally wrote the book on birds of the Pantanal!

During our time at Aymara, we’ll have the opportunity for daytime safaris (a mix of walking and in vehicles) and nighttime safaris, allowing a special glimpse into the nocturnal world of the Pantanal. Giant anteaters and lesser tamanduas are more active at night, as are crab-eating foxes, nightjars, and even ocelots.

Jaguar Country

On October 2nd, we’ll delight in a beautiful sunrise followed by a morning safari; after lunch, we’ll continue south on the Transpantaneira toward Porto Jofre, the jaguar-watching capital of the world! Our next home base is the waterfront Santa Rosa Pantanal Hotel, set directly on the Rio Sao Lourenco.

We’ll enjoy 4 nights at Santa Rosa, complete with two boat-based safaris each day (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) on the lookout for jaguars, giant river otters, tapir, and more. There is amazing wildlife around the hotel grounds, as well, including capuchin monkeys and plenty of toucans in the morning!

Jaguars are the third largest big cat species (after lions and tigers) and the only big cat native to the Americas. (Before you ask: mountain lions are not considered “big cats,” as that term is reserved for the Panthera genus.) Adept swimmers, they hunt along the river banks both day and night and can prey on everything from capybara and caiman to fish and birds. They generally lead solitary lives, except for mamas and their cubs. They are classified as “Near Threatened” by the IUCN, and they are still under threat from trophy hunting and deforestation for logging and cattle farms.

Spotting a jaguar in the wild is phenomenally exciting. If you’ve been with us on safari in Kenya before, you may immediately notice the differences to the African leopard. Jaguars are larger and more muscular, with a giant head! Their spots are actually quite different from a leopard’s, and we’ll teach you how to tell the difference (then you can go home and see if your favorite jacket is actually leopard-print or jaguar-print!) 

Life on the River

We’ll see many other animals on our river safaris, as well. The endangered giant river otter can reach 6 feet in length and their personalities are just as big. They are social animals and they are extremely vocal–wait until you hear what they have to say (it’s more the tone of their voice!) Capybaras are famous for their friendship with all animals, and we know you’ll fall in love with them, too. They are the world’s largest rodent (they can grow to 175 lbs!) and can live in groups of up to 40 members. They are remarkable swimmers, with webbed toes and the ability to stay underwater for up to 5 minutes. Tapirs are the heaviest land mammals in South America–you might think that they look like an elephant had a baby with a pig, but their closest relatives are actually the hippo and the horse. They are excellent swimmers, and can even use their prehensile snout as a snorkel!

After lunch on October 6th, we’ll bid farewell to the Porto Jofre area as we head north up the Transpantaneira and stay overnight at the Rio Claro Lodge. We’ll enjoy a different sort of river safari here on the Rio Claro, and the birdlife is amazing. They’ve set up bird feeders all over the property which are constantly full of colorful specimens–and the trees are often filled with naughty monkeys who snatched a pastry from breakfast!

We’ll enjoy one last sunrise in the Pantanal on October 7th and head back to Cuiaba in the afternoon. Your hotel in Cuiaba is included tonight, as well as your flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil on the 8th.  However, if you wish to extend your stay in the Brazilian Amazon, read on!  (If you wish to skip straight to this trip’s FAQs and nitty gritty, you can click here instead to skip further down the page).

Optional Brazilian Amazon Extension

October 8–12


Are you ready for one more adventure here in South America before heading home? You’ve seen so many of the classic animals of the Amazon while in the Pantanal, but this is an opportunity to immerse yourself fully in the Amazon–the world’s largest rainforest and the most biologically diverse place on the planet. Join BJ and Lauren on this extension, based in a luxury Amazon jungle lodge accessible only by river, surrounded by primary rainforest on a protected reserve.

Cuiaba, Brazil

Cristalino Amazon Lodge

Enchanted Aquarium

Nobres & the Enchanted Aquarium

We’ll begin our extension with one more dive into the Pantanal–literally! We’ll visit an area north of Cuiaba where crystal-clear springs emerge from the earth and form some of the headwaters of the rivers that run through the Pantanal.

As we drive north (~90 miles) to Nobres on October 8th, you’ll notice the landscape shifting into more arid uplands (Cerrado), including pockets of forests and limestone formations. It is this limestone that helps create shockingly clear blue springs and rivers. We’ll visit one such spring area for a truly immersive experience. The “Enchanted Aquarium” is a natural spring setting that allows us to snorkel in refreshing, translucent pools and to actually drift snorkel through the woods in a clear stream. Thirty-two species of fish have been identified in the stream, and you may even see some monkeys frolicking in the canopy above us. This is a wonderfully unique activity that is a fun, relaxed way to round out your time in the Pantanal.

Onward and Inward: Into the Jungle

On October 9th, we’ll begin our Amazonian adventure. This is a remarkably precious and privileged experience, to visit the world’s largest rainforest. The entirety of the Amazon rainforest contains more than 390 billion individual trees–that’s more than the number of stars in our galaxy.  The Amazon is often called “the lungs of the world,” as it produces almost 20% of the world’s oxygen.

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” ~Kahlil Gibran

We’ll fly to Alta Floresta airport (2-hour flight), and on arrival we’ll embark on a one-hour road trip, followed by a beautiful boat ride along the Teles Pires and Cristalino Rivers, taking in the spectacular scenery of the southern Amazon.

Welcome to Cristalino Jungle Lodge, your home for the next 3 nights. Cristalino was named one of the World’s Best Ecolodges by National Geographic Traveler magazine–the only one in Brazil and one of only two in South America on the list.  Cristalino started as a private reserve (one of the largest in the Amazon, at 42 square miles) to protect this primary forest, and the lodge came later. 

From our comfortable base at Cristalino, we’ll enjoy two expertly guided tours a day to take advantage of all of the natural beauty around us. From canoeing to forest walks, exploring the “uplands” or bird watching, we’ll have experts with us to help us make the best of every moment here. We invite you to learn more about all of the activities at Cristalino directly on their website. Birders will definitely want to check out their birding specific recommendations; you’ll find some areas are only accessible to birders! 

The southern Amazon around Cristalino has an incredibly rich diversity of species because this is a transitional region from the Cerrado to the Rainforest. Guests have the opportunity to observe a variety of mammals, including 9 species of monkeys, giant river otters, peccaries, and tapirs, as well as nearly 600 species of birds. Because we are in a protected private reserve, the animals do not flee when they see humans, allowing for greater spotting (and photos!)

Conservation is of the utmost importance to Cristalino, yet they still manage to deliver a truly cozy, chic experience for all of their guests. Their menu makes use of delicious ingredients from the forest and showcases authentic local cuisine. Their floating deck is a special place to spend time on the Cristalino River, one of Brazil’s few fully protected rivers. Special systems are used for the treatment of wastewater, solar water heating, solar energy, and the separation and recycling of waste, all geared to minimize impact.

Our time at Cristalino will come to a close on the morning of October 12, after our final morning tour. We’ll return to the Alta Floresta airport by boat and by vehicle and fly back to Cuiaba, where we’ll continue directly on to Sao Paulo.

How to Register When You Are Ready

  • Click the button below to complete the Registration Questions
  • Lauren will email you with options to pay the deposit
Please click the title of the desired tab to open it.
Price & What is Included

There is a minimum of 6 guests required for this journey and a maximum of 12. When we have reached our minimum, we will let you know, at which time you can buy airfare and your travel insurance.

  • Trip cost is $8999 USD
  • The non-refundable deposit is $1500 and holds your space
  • The 2nd installment of $4000 is due on April 1, 2024
  • The balance is due June 1, 2024
  • The single room supplement is $1200 (Please note: We will do our best to match you with anyone else looking for a roommate, but if one cannot be found, you are responsible for the private room supplement)

Price Includes

  • Hotel accommodation starting from September 23 through October 6
  • All ground transportation starting with airport pickup in Buenos Aires
  • 3 flights: Buenos Aires to Trelew flight and return; Buenos Aires to Cuiba, Brazil (via Sao Paulo); Cuiba to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • All meals starting with dinner on September 23
  • All entrance fees
  • All tips to guides
  • All tips at hotels and restaurants
  • Online photo album after the trip
  • Double carbon offsetting for the entire journey

Price does not include:

  • International airfare (although we will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Alcohol
  • Laundry services
Amazon Extension: Details, Price & What is Included

This Amazon extension is $3999 per person, with a $399 private room supplement. 

The non-refundable deposit for this extension is $1000 and holds your space; $1500 is due on April 1, 2024 and the balance on June 1, 2024.

A minimum of 6 guests must join this extension for it to move forward. 

Extension Price Includes

  • Accommodation in Cuiaba on October 8
  • Day trip to Nobres for Enchanted Aquarium experience
  • Flight from Cuiaba to Alta Floresta and return
  • Accommodation in Superior Room at Cristalino Jungle Lodge October 9, 10 & 11
  • All meals
  • Two tours a day at Cristalino (and one on the day we check out)

Expect Rainforest Weather!

Expect temperatures from 70° to 90°F+, with high humidity in the rainforest. Cristalino has fans in the rooms but it does not have air conditioning on the premises. There are no swimming pools but you can take a dip in the Cristalino River.


Other Bits to Know

  • There is wifi available at the lodge.
  • Food allergies can be accommodated.
  • As per the lodge, “The activities at the Cristalino Lodge are suitable for people of all ages and require a low to moderate level of effort.”
Payment Information

Please refer to the Price tabs for specific information about price & what is included in your journey.

The non-refundable $1500 deposit guarantees your space and internal airfare. The 2nd installment of $4000 is due on April 1, 2024 and the balance on June 1, 2024. The private room supplement of $1200 will be added to the final balance.

For our American guests, we accept payments via check, credit, or debit card (via PayPal), Zelle, or Venmo. Lauren will send you these details after receiving your registration form.

For our guests outside the U.S., Lauren will connect with you about the best ways to transfer money.

Cancellation Policy & Contract

We do everything in our power to do right by our guests. We are proud to say that in the wake of our COVID-related trip cancellations through 2020 and 2021, we were able to offer each of our guests the choice of a 100% credit, if not a full refund.

We’ve re-examined each trip and done our best to reduce the deposit amounts as much as possible. Upon your registration, your deposit immediately goes toward reserving your space for flights, hotels, and excursions that must be booked months in advance and are often non-refundable.

Cancellation by our guests

The cancellation charges are as follows unless otherwise indicated on the detailed itinerary for each trip. All cancellations must be received via e-mail or US mail.

  • Cancellations prior to 120 days to departure, money will be refunded minus the non-refundable deposit. Please note that deposits for any pre-trip or post-trip extensions are not transferable to another portion of the trip should you decide to cancel that module of the journey.
  • Cancellations received 61 to 119 days prior to departure are subject to a penalty of 50% of the total cost of the trip.
  • Cancellations received 60 days or less prior to trip departure will forfeit the entire cost of the trip.

If a trip is cancelled by RetreaTours

When a tour is cancelled in the case of force majeure, the Tour Participant will receive a refund minus any funds that we are unable to recover from any supplier.

You can see the full cancellation policy in our contract here. 

Travel Insurance

Required Coverage

RetreaTours requires that each guest carries travel insurance that covers emergency medical treatment and emergency evacuation and repatriation. The minimum coverage should be $100,000 emergency medical treatment and $250,000 emergency evacuation and repatriation. Please send Lauren your policy information as soon as you have it.

Suggested Coverage

We suggest trip cancellation insurance, as well, as you never know what obstacles life can toss at you leading up to a trip. However, we do not require this coverage, we only suggest it highly.

Please familiarize yourself with RetreaTours’ guest cancellation policy in your journey’s contract. Please read this article to understand a bit more about trip cancellation insurance and what it may or may not cover. “Cancel For Any Reason” policies do exist, as well, although do check to see what percentage of the trip cost they actually reimburse.

When to purchase your policy

Please purchase this insurance as soon as we tell you the trip has reached its minimum. Please do not wait until the last minute, should you need to use your (optional) cancellation coverage before then.

Where to search for policies

Below you will find some options to start your search for trip insurance. However, we ask that you carefully consider your choice in travel insurance. What works for some people may not work for others, particularly if you have any pre-existing conditions. Please do take the time to consider the best policy for your individual needs. and  are two sites where you can see and compare many policies at once, and you can refine the options by what coverage you would like. Both of them allow you to research policies with or without trip cancellation coverage and to put in your own parameters for coverage that is important to you.

World Nomads provides policies for guests under 70 that include trip cancellation options. Use the link above and pop in your info to get an immediate quote.

It may also be a good idea to check with your credit card companies, especially American Express, to see if they offer any medical coverage for travel.

Passport and Visa Requirements

Your passport must have at least 3 blank pages and be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of the trip.

You will not need to apply for an Argentinean visa before the journey.

Brazil is revising their visa policies on January 9, 2024 but details have not been made public. This may simply be a visa application that must be completed OR they may institute a charge. As soon as we learn the details, we will share them with you.

Vaccines and Staying Healthy


RetreaTours requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccine and booster for this journey.

No vaccines are required to enter Argentina or Brazil, but we highly encourage you to work with your local travel clinic or the travel department of your local health department (often a much cheaper option). Please visit the CDC and NHS links below, and feel free to seek guidance from your own country’s health department.

Consider making sure all of your routine shots are up to date, including your annual flu shot and tetanus.

We will be eating in tourist-centered places that focus on hygiene, so keep that in mind when you read about Typhoid and other food-borne illness vaccines.

Malaria & Yellow Fever

Please note that we will be visiting the Pantanal in the dry season, so we don’t expect many mosquitos. Malaria is present in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, but the NHS has the Pantanal in the “low to no risk” category.

However, both the NHS and CDC recommend the Yellow Fever vaccine for Brazil.   The latest advice is that your Yellow Fever vaccine covers you for life, no matter when you got the vaccine.

Your best line of prevention against mosquito-borne illness is wearing long sleeves and pants at dusk and dawn and using a good insect repellant.

Staying Healthy on Tour

We will be taking 8-10 river safaris  along with 1-2 whale watching boats. We don’t expect this to trigger motion sickness but if you are sensitive to it, please see the motion sickness prevention and treatment section of our comprehensive article, “How to Stay Healthy While Traveling…Naturally” here.

Expected Temperatures & Suggested Packing List

We’ll provide a suggested packing list several months before this journey.

Temperature by location

These conditions are based on historical averages, thanks to The range as a whole is 45-95°F (7-35°C)

  • Buenos Aires: 55-65°F, 25% chance of light rain
  • Peninsula Valdes: 45-65°F, plus possibility of wind (average in late September ~15 mph)
  • The Pantanal: 75-95°F, high humidity and some chance of rain
About our Hotels

Each of these hotels was carefully chosen for its comfort, location, and character. They each have their own private bathroom and shower.

Here is a list of all of our hotels:

About the Food

Most any dietary requirements can be met on this journey with enough notice. Please indicate any special requests/allergies on the registration form and we’ll reach out to you with any advice or information necessary before taking your deposit.

Bringing Snacks

If you are a “snack-y” person, you may wish to bring some snacks from home as it won’t always be easy to get snacks (especially ones you are familiar with) on the road in the Pantanal. This might mean nuts, protein bars, or other sealed, portable goodies.

Can I drink the tap water?

Please stick to bottled or filtered water on this journey.

Internet & Electricity

The internet in the Pantanal can be very slow, which is manageable once you set those expectations!

We recommend staying connected with your loved ones via WhatsApp (which we will also use on the tour to communicate the schedule and updates). WhatsApp seems to work with the slightest wisp of wifi.

Electrical Outlets and Adaptors

You will need some sort of Universal Adaptor for this trip (such as this), which also has USB and USB-C outlets so you can charge multiple devices at once.

Suggested Fitness Requirements

There are no strict fitness requirements required for this trip because all activities are optional. However, in order to get the most out of your experience, here are our suggested fitness requirements.

We recommend being comfortable (or at least making peace with!) driving on a bumpy road; although we’ll be driving along the Transpantaneria in Brazil, we’ll stop often for photo breaks.

We recommend being comfortable walking 1.5 to 2 miles at a moderate pace (often much slower, along trails in the Pantanal). This will sometimes be over uneven terrain (dirt and sand).

You’ll be entering and disembarking from a small boat for our river safaris in the Pantanal and for whale-watching trips in Peninsula Valdes.

It is going to be warm and humid in the Pantanal; you’ll have A/C in your rooms, but when we are out and about, you’ll be able to enjoy a “Pantanal Sauna”  ;)

If you have any questions about your fitness for this trip, please reach out to us and we’ll answer any questions you have!

Travel Times on the Road

We won’t be in a vehicle too much on this journey, but we want you to be prepared. Our vehicle travel times are as follows: 


  • Trelew Airport to Puerto Pirimides: ~1.75 to 2 hours (and then return)
  • Cuiaba to Aymara Lodge: 2 hours (with stops)
  • Aymara Lodge to Porto Jofre: 2.5 hours (with stops)
  • Porto Jofre to Rio Claro Lodge: 2 hours (with stops)
  • Rio Claro Lodge to Cuiaba: 2.5 hours (with stops)
About your International Flights

We are more than happy to recommend international flights, but ultimately you will make the purchase yourself. We recommend purchasing them directly through the airline when you can, as this makes any potential changes a bit easier than going through sites like Expedia or Kayak.


You’ll begin this journey by flying into Buenos Aires, Argentina by the night of September 23rd.


Your departure flight should leave from Sao Paulo, Brazil anytime from the late afternoon of October 8th. If you need to get home sooner, we can arrange to have you fly from Cuiaba back to Sao Paulo the night of October 7th.

If you are staying on for the Amazon extension, you’ll want to make your departure flight for October 13.

We’ll be more than happy to help you make decisions based on your specific circumstances! Please do wait to purchase flights until we tell you which airport you’ll be arriving into in Sao Paulo.

Our Carbon Negative commitment

RetreaTours is Climate Positive!

We purchase double carbon offsets for your travels with us—that’s from your home, through the entire tour, and back to your home again, times three

RetreaTours is officially a Carbonfree® Partner with, as well as a partner with Cool Effect.

You may have heard the term “carbon neutral,” which means that a company offsets as much carbon as it produces. With this 200% offset, RetreaTours is actually offsetting more carbon than we produce each year, making us “carbon negative” (or “climate positive,” which has a nicer ring to it!)

Since 2012 we’ve focused on making travel safe and easy for our guests; with our double carbon offset tours, we’re pleased to make our trips as sustainable as they are memorable.

Please see more at

About BJ and Lauren of RetreaTours

BJ Graf and Lauren Rathvon at Torres del Paine. We love our tours to Patagonia!

You’ll be joined on this journey by Lauren & BJ, owners of RetreaTours–and we are so excited to show you the Wildlife Wonders of Argentina and Brazil!

Husband-and-wife team BJ Graf and Lauren Rathvon have traveled the globe year-round since January 2013, researching, designing, and leading impactful journeys. We are deeply grateful for the trust that our guests place in us to save them time and resources while they enjoy a memorable journey.

We are committed not only to our guests but to our host destinations and the planet at large. We engage with local businesses and guides to keep money within the community, and we double-carbon offset each of our tours.

We invite you to visit our Testimonials page to see what other people have to say about us!  You can head to our About Us page to learn more about our story.

Contact RetreaTours

Please write for any questions you may have about this journey.  If you have not received a reply within 48 hours, please do check your spam folder.

How to Register When You Are Ready

  • Click the button below to complete the Registration Questions
  • Lauren will email you with options to pay the deposit

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