A wildlife lover visits Brazil
By Jennifer Salinas
Brazil is one of my favorite countries to visit. Being such a large country, itis simply too large, diverse, and fascinating to see all in one trip (or even on multiple trips!). The geography is very diverse andyou can see different types of rainforests such as the Atlantic Rainforest and the tropical Amazon Rainforest; as well as paradisiacal beaches; or highlands in the Chapada Diamantina region; and so much more. Being a wildlife lover, I am going to highlight two of my best wildlife experiences in Brazil.
The Animals & Birds of the Amazon
My first trip to Brazil was through the Amazon Rainforest, on the Motor Yacht Tucano. This cruise boat is smaller than some of the other boats that cruise the Amazon River and the Rio Negro (Negro River), which allowed us to spot wildlife on some of the quieter tributaries.
The trip on the Tucano could not have been better. The first day, we traveled up the Rio Negro for over 5 hours, as evidence of civilization slowly slipped away. The number of macaws, parrots, and other beautiful birds was astounding and we would all run out to the balcony to check out the pair or group flying overhead. Each of our many canoe and hiking excursions on the river were exciting because you never knew what you were going to see. Just to name a few creatures, we saw: caiman, piranhas, pink and gray dolphins, three different types of monkeys, countless numbers of rare and interesting birds, frogs, spiders, the largest ants I had ever seen; and one of Brazil’s most poisonous snakes. The Amazon is a trip of a lifetime.
If you want to see larger animals, the Pantanal is the place to go. The Amazon rainforest is quite thick so seeing large land animals is difficult. The Pantanal, the largest inland swamp in the world, is located in southern Brazil and borders Bolivia and part of Argentina. Not only does it have capybara, the largest rodent in the world, but there is also a high concentration of painted jaguars. I had come determined to spot one of these beauties.
The trip into the Pantanal was quite different from my Amazon experience. To reach the Pantanal, I had to travel a few hours down a dirt road called the Transpantaneira Road. The farther down the road we drove, the more animals I saw. The first thing that struck me was the numerous, rather large, caiman just lying around, near small ponds of water.
Further down the road, capybara and giant storks started to appear. I was lucky to see an owl, large birds of prey, and several snakes. Giant river otters and white tailed deer often appeared while I was there.
My last full day there, I was lucky enough to watch two jaguars for about two hours as they rested and played along the riverbank. At that moment, I really did not want to leave.
Jennifer Salinas is a travel consultant at South America Travel. She was born and raised in Seattle, in U.S.A. Her favorite country in South America is Brazil. She has written for the travel blog South America Travel News.