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Birds of a Feather

If you have a soft spot for big, bold, charismatic birds, then you might want to think about heading for Brazil’s Pantanal region, where you can see at least three species of macaw on a single trip. How does this sound: Hyacinth Macaws, Blue and Yellow Macaws, Red and Green Macaws and even the little Golden-Collared Macaw? Intrigued? Here’s how to do it!

Where to Stay:

Fazenda Barranco Alto ecolodge is a small (only 6 rooms) family run, family friendly, eco-friendly lodge with the express purpose of allowing the natural surroundings to flourish and to help visitors see the Pantanal. The 19 point environmental policy is even spelled out on their website. The lodge puts you in the middle of a unique array of ecosystems, where macaws and other creatures have free reign.

When to Go:

The best time to go is during the drier season from May to October. It’s also a better time to go if you intend to drive (the roads aren’t passable during rainy season) and to see ….get this…. 4,791 species in the area… including the macaws!

What You’ll Do:

A diversity of ecosystems (forests, grasslands, fresh and salt water lakes, and a nearby river) means no two days will be the same. Here you have full access to tours by 4×4, boat, horse, canoe or your own two feet, all led by bilingual guides.

What You’ll Eat:

The food served at Fazenda Barranco Alto comes from their own gardens and local producers when possible. Fresh produce, meat, milk, yogurt and cheese, are all prepared on the premises.

How to Get There:

Getting to Fazenda Barranco Alto depends on the season and the speed you like to travel. Driving (only June to November) in a 4×4 takes at least 6 hours from Campo Grande. You can combine driving and flying from Aquidauana if you want to shorten the drive, but don’t want to miss the land route entirely. By air, it takes 1 hour and you can only reach the lodge by air the rest of the year.

Terry Lawson Dunn

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