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“A great time at Lontra pantanal with Pantanal Discovery” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lontra Pantanal Hotel

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Lontra Pantanal Hotel
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Passo do Lontra, Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A great time at Lontra pantanal with Pantanal Discovery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

Me and my boy friend had an absolutely wonderful time in the Southern pantanal with pantanal discovery at Lontra lodge.
We luckily spotted the jaguar for more than 30 minutes from the boat on a night safari (photo).
The accommodation was great and the air con worked perfect during the three very hot days.
The food was extremely healthful and the traditional barbecue (photo) was delicious.
The whole people at the Lodge made our tour incredible good. The canoeing (photo) at the red river was spectacular and we could see otters, caymans, capybaras, the big bird (stork) flying over, the howler monkeys coming on the edge of the river to drink water cause of the heat maybe. We also took the car safari to a different area of the region where we done trekking tours inside of the jungle followed by Carlos, a knowledgeable guide that can spot any animal from a far distance.

We do advise any people to take this tour, don't think anything can go wrong with the organization at the Lodge.

Andy & Anna from UK

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Hamburg, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

I spend 3 nights at the Lontra Pantanal and the time there was very comfortable and fun. I was in the 6 bed dorm, which had airconditioning, a fridge and a big bathroom with shower. The room was cleaned daily. The food was plenty, various and delicious! The staff was very friendly and helpful.
Especially I want to thank my great guides Bruno and Carlos, who fundamentally contributed to the wonderful time I had! They explained us the flora and fauna of the Pantanal, were fun to be with and were never tired of pointing out for the hundreds time that this bird is not a Schakalaka but a different one :p. I especially liked that they really respected the nature and were careful to not disturb the animals around.
Unfortunately the horses were on a break during the week I was there. But nevertheless the time was always exciting, including boat rides, floating in the current of the river, fishing piranhas (I caught one and it was later prepared in the kitchen for dinner- surprisingly yummy), a walk through the jungle woods, kanoing, and a photo safari etc.

Pantanal is a great alternative to the Amazon, since it is cheaper, closer to other great places to be visited (ex. Bonito) and you will have an amazing nature experience!
I really recommend the Lontra Lodge for your stay! Thank you Lontra team :).

Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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Santiago de Compostela, Spain
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

We booked a 3 day 2 night tour through Gil from Pantanal Discovery a couple of months in advance of our trip. Gil was very helpful - he replied quickly to all emails, picked us up bang on time in Campo Grande, taking us to several cash machines so we could withdraw money, and he helped us organise our onward journey to Sao Paolo after the tour. The fact that he was so helpful made us optimistic that the rest of the trip would live up to our expectations. We were under the impression that our guide would be Gil or someone else employed by him, but this was not the case. Gil is basically an agent who points people in the direction of a hotel in the Pantanal, in this case Passo do Lontra, and it is the hotel who provides the guides and activities.

I could write a book on my experience of Pantanal Discovery/Passo do Lontra, but here is a summary of the pros and cons:

Efficient transport to the hotel from Campo Grande - air conditioned minivan followed by 8km on a jeep type vehicle.

Scenic and relaxing setting - Passo do Lontra is right by the river in a very pretty spot so it is good for swimming and enjoying the sunshine in one of the sun loungers on the lawn.

Food - the 3 meals a day are included in the tour price and the food is pretty decent. It's a self-service buffet with several options to choose from, the only extras are drinks which are fairly priced.

Social aspect - there are lots of people about and it is easy to meet people, so if you were a solo traveller you wouldn't have any trouble making friends during your stay.

Wildlife - on the trip we saw loads of birds, caimans, monkeys, lizards, an armadillo and the footprints of a jaguar (but sadly no jaguars).

Location - Gil tells you that from Campo Grande it is a 5 hour transfer to the accommodation in Pantanal, which suggests that you will be quite deep into the Pantanal. It is actually only a 3.5 hour journey, so the information is very misleading. Passo do Lontra is actually quite a developed complex only 8km into the Pantanal wetlands beside a large concrete bridge and a small favela. So really it is only just about inside the Pantanal, and the amount of traffic and roads obviously limits the amount of wildlife to be found, as a lot of it is further into the wetlands away from the hotels and main roads.

Lack of welcome - although our guide Bruno turned out to be a nice guy, we were given no welcome by him on arrival. He picked us up without explaining he would be our guide, telling us his name, asking our names, explaining how things worked. We had to track him down, ask him his name and quiz him on where to eat, and what time meals and activities were at. Sounds pernickety but it would have made us feel more valued to have a proper welcome and explanation of how the tour was going to work.

Noise - the hotel was very busy with both tourists and students of the regional university when we where there. The staff played loud music late into the night, and the rooms don't have proper windows, just a rickety shutter where the glass should be, meaning that you are kept awake by the music and the sound of people talking outside the rooms.

Large group size - prior to the trip, Gil had told us the group size was usually 7 people per guide. Once in Campo Grande, he told us it would be 8 or 9 people. There actually turned out to be 11 people in our group. Again, slightly misleading.

Scrimping on activities we had paid for - Before booking with Pantanal Discovery we had asked for a specific itinerary for the 3 days. This is what we were told:
"First day, takeoff to pantanal at 10:00am and boat trip with night safari.
Second day: Horse riding, walking tours adm jeep safari.
Third day: Sunsire walking, boat trip along the river and piranha fishing."
The first day was fine, but there was no horseriding on the second day and the substitute activity was a swim in the river, which although fun, only lasted about 20 minutes and was something we could have done on our own. The activities therefore ended at 4:30pm and there was nothing else planned for the rest of the day. The third day was a complete disappointment - no boat trip, no jeep safari. The only thing we did was a short walk to look at birds, an activity which was over by 9:50am. We were not due to leave until 2pm and it felt like a waste of a day - there was definitely enough time to do another activity and see more wildlife.

Unreliable transportation - we were due to leave at 2pm on the 3rd day. Then during lunch our guide told us that we would actually be leaving at 3pm. That was fine with us, and we took our time eating and then packed up our things. However, the minivan did not arrive until 4:30pm, meaning we had only 4 hours to get back to Campo Grande and catch our bus to Sao Paolo. We were outside in the heat waiting with our luggage for 1.5 hours, and no-one came to explain why the bus was late or tell us when it would be coming. Instead we had to hunt down hotel employees and get them to call the driver and find out what was going on. It would have been nice to have been given a complimentary drink as we were waiting to compensate for the hassle. It was especially frustrating because Gil had been the one who took us to book our bus tickets to Sao Paolo and assured us that we would be back well in time. In the end we made it to our bus, but it added a lot of unnecessary stress to the trip. The driver was doing 130 km an hour for most of the journey, overtaking lorries and buses on corners all to get us to the station on time. We made it, but it left us no time to get something to eat before embarking on a 15 hour bus journey, and it put a slight dampener on the whole experience. Also, Gil did not make an appearance at the bus station to find out whether we had enjoyed the tour and ensure we made our bus okay. I'm not sure what would have happened had we missed our bus, because clearly Gil had gotten his money and had no further interest in us.

Overall, I'd say that the Pantanal is definitely worth visiting, but I probably wouldn't recommend booking with Pantanal Discovery/Passo do Lontra. I enjoyed the experience, but feel I could have gotten a lot more for my money and had a more pleasant experience elsewhere, especially after speaking to other travellers who had lots of praise for other companies such as Santa Clara.
Gil needs to be more upfront about how the tour is organised and about the fact that he is just an agent who has nothing to do with the tour once you're out of Campo Grande.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We took three days tour in the Southern Pantanal with Pantanal Discovery last June and we had a blast. We were very said to leave the Lontra hotel after the three days. Our family with 3 kids, and the five of us had a wonderful time. The facilities were great, the food with incredible variety the guide Luiz made our visit to be memorable, he can fell any movement and spot any animal from a large distance. He is a very kind and gentle and let you fell very safe while taking us on the tours offered during our staying in the Hotel. The location is great and its right by the river with good chances to swim and relax with the most beautiful sunset of the pantanal. The activities were from early morning treks, boat rides along the two rivers with plant of wildlife, jeep safari , bird watching, alligator spotting at a night safari and the best activity, the canoeing at "rio vermelha". We also finally done piranha fishing in South America and the kids went crazy with it.
Thanks to Luiz as a guide and Gil in Campo Grande who organized and made our pantanal trip one of the highlights of our visit in Brazil. We'll be back one day, we would love to see the Pantanal in the flood season.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
São Paulo, Brasil
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

When I arrived in Campo Grande, I went to some travel agencies to compare tour offers and prices. It turned out that the "default package" was the 3 day 2 night boat-ride-hike-piranha-fishing-horseback-riding-jeep-expedition tour. I booked with Gil from Gil's Pantanal Discovery. He was friendly, helpful, and said that the Lontra Pantanal Hotel was the only place with decent food, the others would basically serve rubbish. I would definitely have a chance to see a hyacinth macaw. I had to pay in cash, but Gil even took me to an ITAÚ outlet with his car, so that I could withdraw money. In return he gave me a travel voucher. The transfer to the fazenda went smooth and as promised. However, when I arrived, I recognized that we were not as deep in the Pantanal as promised. The hotel was actually next to a new oversized concrete bridge next to the old wood construction. Next was a little favela (shanty-town) where the inhabitants would throw their trash into the river and its surroundings. As I learned during my stay, the favela was in parts inhibited by the workers of the Lontra Pantanal Hotel (this is all easy to see on http://goo.gl/maps/fWlRe)

On arrival in the hotel, I gave the receptionist the travel voucher that I had received from Gil. The hotel itself was not rustic, but a modern structure in stubbed area. The room was simple, but ok. I just had to call the maid because there was a piece of old cheese in the fridge as a gift from a previous owner. The food was not as marvelous as Gil had promised, but it was not bad either. Already there in this place I saw a lot of birds, which I liked (see photo). The same afternoon we started the boat tour. We did not see jaguars, but it was still nice with some amazing views and a lot of birds.

The next morning the so far nice trip turned into a nightmare. Early in the morning, we went to a farm, 30min from the hotel by pickup, for the horseback-riding. With me came two backpackers from Israel, a guide from the hotel, and a guide from the farm. Arriving there, the horses were already ready to go. I asked if it was safe, as I had never ridden a horse before. Yes, this is safe. Beleza. Yes, you can take your camera (a Nikon SLR with a 70-300mm tele-zoom). Great opportunity to spot the hyacinth macaw, for sure. So, we got a short introduction how to command the horses and off we went. However, on the first 500 meters, the horse of one backpacker suddenly switched from walking to full gallop. The other horses after it. Me and the other backpacker tried to give our horses the command to stop, as by the introduction, but no avail. The guides stayed behind. My SLR banging on my back hard. Me and the other guy both failed to keep ourselves on the horses and crashed down at full speed.

Having hit the ground hard, I directly sensed that, besides strong pain pretty much everywhere, something was wrong in my left hand, my spine, and my right foot. After a while, having caught the horses, the guides walked over, in no particular hurry, and asked if I could get up. I told them no, and to get a helicopter, but they said there was none. So, after about 15 minutes, they managed to get me up, but I was dizzy and under severe pain from several parts of my spine. They got me into the car, then came a 45min ride on the bumpy road to the hotel, this was not a great experience. They packed my stuff and the nephew of the owner drove me to Miranda to a public health outpost. As they did not have a CAT scanner, they drugged me and put me into a taxi to go to Campo Grande (hotel service ended in Miranda). I finally arrived in Campo Grande in the early evening after hours of bumpy roads. While the diagnosis for my SLR was easy (fatal), the hospital needed some time to count the damages: left little finger broken, three fractures in my spine (spine, as opposed to ribs), some tiny bone in my right foot broken.

So this was pretty bad, but it is still a game of can you top this. Gil visited me the same day, devastated about what happened. Still, I should not worry. They had the best insurance in place. Healing cost, transport, broken camera, torn clothes, all would be covered. He would come over the next day and see how I was doing, keep strong. That was the last time I saw Gil in person.

The next day, I called him (he was the only person I knew in Campo Grande). No response. He did not pick up his phone the next days, his wife said he was busy. I stayed in the hospital for 8 days, then was able to get to São Paulo, supported by a spine corset. There I spent some more time in the Albert Einstein hospital. By suppressing my phone number, I finally got Gil on the phone. He had been busy, sorry for that. I should send a copy of my passport, the insurance was already be involved, all going well, all going to be fine.

After that nothing happened for a long time. No reaction to email. Gil did not react to further emails, nor answer the phone. So I asked a friend who is a lawyer if she could help to clarify the situation. Now came the big surprise. The contacted the owner of the hotel. He knew nothing about insurance at all. All made up. In addition, he harshly told her to get lost and that she should not dare to sue him, that would not take a good end for her. In addition, he claimed that I had not paid the hotel bill (gross statement, as there everyone pays the travel agent and brings a voucher, and approx. 20k hospital bills on my account - but lesson learned, NEVER forget your official receipt). Back home and recovering, I found several postings of people that had had problems with Gil as well. Usually then a "guy from Australia" rushed to his defense claiming that the complainant was an awkward person, a liar etc. Funny enough, this guy from Australia had pretty bad grammar for a native speaker.

Summarizing: You can have a totally good experience at that place. I do not negate the other reviews of the place. However, if something goes wrong you are on your own, and very much so. There is no infrastructure for accidents and emergencies. Neither is there willingness to help or cope with the consequences of an accident. People will drop you just at the next health post, and you will be erased from their memory. Think twice if you can live with that before booking.

Well, in addition, I learned some lessons on my side:

- Pantanal is amazing, but go to one of the real eco resorts. The price differential is probably worth it
- Research the internet first. Always. Tripadvisor, but also other forums
- Never forget to ask for the tax receipt
- Horses are evil. Don't trust them. No, seriously, just don't sit on a large animal with a strong flight instinct unless you know exactly what you are doing. So, correcting myself, don't trust whoever tells you it is safe
- If people are really nice and helpful turns out when there is a problem, not while they are in sales mode
- Live goes on, even if three compression fractures in your spine cost you a centimeter of size :-)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Paz, Bolivia
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We decide to take the three fantastic days with Gil and his crew at Pantanal Discovery while we stayed in the lodge in the Southern pantanal in a very nice double room (with hot shower) and went out on the river every day searching for wildlife in general and jaguars! The guide Ronny was extremely respectful and knowledgeable about the wildlife the area and were always enthusiastic. When watching wildlife it is extremely important to have experts who can not only tell you everything you want to know, but also to have such an ability to spot animals. During our time here it certainly seemed like the Pantanal Discovery guides spotted more wildlife (especially jaguars) than other groups out on the river. You also feel much more part of the Pantanal when staying in the amazing lontra area, going out in small groups. It's much more than we expected, the whole activities were very well organized and on the first night we spotted the Jaguar what an amazing experience we had. While out on the hike we saw monkeys, anacondas, caiman, porcupine, capybara, tapir, toucans, spoon bill herons, many species of birds, other types of snakes, giant otters, jabiru, and so many more species! We had such an amazing experience

Room Tip: The room number 07
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Swisttal, Germany
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

We both had a wonderful experience in Pantanal after doing a little bit of research and mail communication with severel tour organizers we ended up with Pantanal Discovery, Gils company. He seemed professional in his mail exchange and offered the tour and the answers we were looking for.

We got picked up at the airport on time, dropped at a hotel and everything went smooth.

The hotel room was great with a very reach breakfast and we only payed R$90 for a double room with a/c and the great staff at the reception.

The lodge was amassing , it more like a Pousada, were we staying with a great guide called Ronny Anaconda and dine with him every night was on of the best entertainment, he is full of great experience in pantanal. At the lodge or Pousada, we had private room and bath and it was very comfortable matching most of the good hotels around our trip in Brazil.

The food at the lodge was unbelievable good with great varieties of salad and meet, it couldn't be better. We were with a group of six with Ronny and it was perfect with many nice fellow travelers that made the days in pantanal our unforgettable experience.

Sanders and Pujan in April 25th, 2013

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lontra Pantanal Hotel

Address: Passo do Lontra, Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Mato Grosso do Sul > Campo Grande
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 50 Specialty Lodging in Campo Grande
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Lontra Pantanal Hotel Campo Grande, Brazil

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