The third day had a different feel to it, slightly more relaxing but we were also leaving the Pantanal which would be a relief from mosquitoes, but would also mean we had to leave this great place.
After the usual day-break awakening we had our breakfast, and again got onto the truck which took us from the camp site to the horse ranch to meet our transport for the morning. The 2:30 hour round trip took us through swamps, jungles, fields and rivers where we saw everything from caiman to cows and stags to stalks. This really showed off the diversity of the Pantanal, and the weather was once again perfect as the horses waded through swamps as we where taken deeper into the Pantanal. Toucans flew past overhead and our guides heard a group of small pigs which are apparently really aggressive so it was a good job we didn’t actually see them.
The horses were great, well trained and did exactly what you wanted and also the staff were much the same, not meaning to compare them to horses, but they knew their stuff, looked after everyone and made sure the horses stopped when they needed to. The horse ride was an extra which not everyone goes for as its an extra day but personally I think it is worth staying for as its a great morning with minimal mosquitoes and a lot to see.
Our experience with this company was very positive, from when we first met them in the Foz Do Iguacu bus station until we parted as we made our way to Corumba. The guides were locals of the Pantanal and had a wealth of knowledge of the area as well as being very friendly . The days spent in the Pantanal were kept gratefully sparse with either two or three activities a day, as the blistering heat at times proves hard to deal with. But there is plenty of time to rest and adjust.
The evenings were also very enjoyable as you have to amuse yourselves with the other short term inhabitants but this is by no means a drawback as we found out so much to do further on in our trip through the people we met. We have found this the best way of knowing what to do next, meeting people and hearing what they did as you can judge the enthusiasm for which they hold their experience.
Overall, we would definitely recommend Ecological Expeditions to anyone thinking of heading to the Pantanal. But there is one thing that you must remember, this is the wild and perhaps not for someone expecting to definitely see a Jaguar or a Puma because of the nature of the Pantanal with its thick undergrowth and the secretive nature of these animals.
As always you can view all our photos from the Pantanal on Flickr!