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SouthWild Jaguar Flotel


Rating: Mid-range    

SouthWild Jaguar Flotel overview

Don't come here for luxury, but do come here to stay in the heart of the world's best jaguar spotting territory!

This ten-cabin floating hotel is moored on the Cuiaba River, near the mouth of the Three Brothers in the northern Pantanal. The accommodation is fairly simple, but despite its remote location it offers 24 hour electricity, air-conditioning and hot showers.

Radio-equipped boats are sent out from the lodge each morning to search for jaguars and reporting sightings back to the lodge. This is the only lodge that offer this service, and so gives the best chance of seeing jaguars. Uniquely, the jaguars along this stretch of the river have become accustomed to seeing boats thanks to years of sports fishing in the region, and the jaguars are no longer disturbed by the presence of humans. They will sit on the banks for hours, allowing for prolonged sightings and unparalleled opportunity for photography. Guests at the flotel have seen jaguars fighting, hunting and mating. Nowhere else in the world offers such an excellent chance to see these big cats acting naturally in the wild.

Although they are the biggest attraction, a stay here is not just about the jaguars. The Cuiaba River is also the best place in the world to see giant river otters. The same factors that have allowed the jaguars to become accustomed to people have also worked with the giant otters, and large family groups can regularly be seen swimming and playing on the riverbanks. The forest that lines the riverbanks teems with birds and monkeys, and of course the river is home to countless capybara and caimans.

Stays at the flotel are arranged in small groups on set departures, led by experienced naturalist guides. The boats have been designed to allow the best sightings of jaguars and don’t have canopies which can obstruct vision.

So if you’re keen on jaguars or giant otters, this is the place to come!


Open: From May to November.

Location: The flotel (floating hotel) is located in the northern Pantanal. It is anchored near the mouth of the 3 Brothers River in the centre of the Jaguar Zone. To reach the flotel, you have to drive along the length of the Transpantaneira Highway from Cuiaba to Porto Jofre. It is a long and bumpy drive from Cuiaba to Porto Jofre, and there is plenty to see on the way, so it is best to break the journey and stay at a lodge along the Transpantaneira along the way. From Porto Jofre, you board a small boat for the journey along the river to your accommodation. The non-stop journey time by boat from Porto Jofre is about an hour, but you are bound to stop along the way, diverted by the rich wildlife of the river.

Activities: There are morning and afternoon motor boat excursions, to view not only jaguars but also giant otters, howler monkeys, caimans, capybaras and birds such as kingfishers and herons. These excursions are led by experienced naturalist guides.

Facilities: There is a dining room/lounge where meals based on local cuisine are served. There are large picture windows looking out onto the river and riverbank. The large top deck is partially shaded and has tables, chairs and hammocks. Breakfast, lunch and drinks can be enjoyed here. Electricity is supplied by a generator.

Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.

Children: Please check with us.

Health: Malaria prophylactics are recommended for the Pantanal.

Communication: There is no Wi-Fi internet access on the flotel.

Map for SouthWild Jaguar Flotel

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Guy Marks
Paul Cook
Sinead Bailey
Fernanda Costa
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customer rating

95% from
14 reviews











client reviews

Mr. Jeff Torquemada/ Ms. Wendy Sparks (09/09/2017)

"We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Flotel. The staff was warm and friendly and the room was over the top! Again having a/c was a delightful bonus."

Mr. Kevin Robinson (01/09/2017)
"Delivered on Jaguar sightings. We saw cats on every boat ride. We got upgraded to a suite on our last night, and although the room was larger and particularly the window; most of the time in your room it is either dark or too hot for the animals to be active. Not sure it would be worth paying the extra. Food good, breakfast not great but you are on the river. In the evening they have short talks on the various main animal species. A nice introduction and who knew Capybara's make good pets!!!"
Mr. Robert Lee
"Accommodation basic on main boat - noisy fisherman can be a problem. There is a new boat moored alongside with more spacious suites. Food excellent. Paul Donahue gave a series of evening talks on jaguars, caimans, giant otters and capybara's, which were informative and very enjoyable Two 4 hr boat trips a day exploring the main and side rivers. Many jaguar and giant otter sightings including a confrontation between the two, as well as a jaguar plunging into the river after a capybara and jaguars mating. Amazing number of birds Sergio and our boatman, Jader could not have made our trip more enjoyable."
Mr. Gary Elson
"Room was a little basic, but I only used it to sleep in. The boat trips were efficient and the dining area was comfortable. I was particularly impressed at the amount of work going into building a picture of the jaguar population....I gather nobody else can be bothered."
Alister Bould
"The suites are great - the website pictures do not do them justice. Food was ok, although variety was limited. "

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