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Awesome Wildlife with Stories

We had an absolutely wonderful time with Paulo as our guide. He is extremely knowledgeable and we... read more

Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Reviewed August 25, 2019
KerryE199
Outstanding Naturalist | Excellent Logistics | Amazing Trip

First off, let me say that we have had great trips to Asia, India, Africa, the Arctic, Europe... read more

Reviewed August 14, 2019
danclem
,
Everett, Washington
via mobile
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Reviewed August 25, 2019

We had an absolutely wonderful time with Paulo as our guide. He is extremely knowledgeable and we learned so much. We were well taken care of and Paulo and Hellen went over and above go ensure we were treated well. The flotel was clean and the food was delicious and plentiful. Paulo is full of stories that told us the history of individual jaguars. The lodge was fantastic, too!

Make sure you bring a hat with a good sized brim and long sleeve light weight shirts to protect from the sun. A buff is a great, versatile thing that can serve as a bug screen when travelling on a fast boat. Make sure you have a lens with a long reach. iPhones aren’t going to cut it. Also, make sure you vet your guide, there are other companies with similar names. Finally, check to make sure your travel from Cuiaba to Porto Jofre is in an enclosed vehicle. The road is long and extremely dusty and you don’t want to be is a ‘safari ‘ style truck!

Date of experience: August 2019
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank KerryE199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2019 via mobile

First off, let me say that we have had great trips to Asia, India, Africa, the Arctic, Europe, South America, and much of the globe. Our trip with Paulo and Pantanal & Rainforests Expeditions exceeded most of them, and matched the best outings we have experienced.

Paulo is an exceptionally knowledgeable naturalist who loves the out-of-doors, and it shows. The Pantanal is a remarkable area, and we visited primarily for jaguar photography. In nine four hour outings we not only had multiple sightings each time, but we had great photo opportunities as well. What made the experience even more outstanding is that Paulo knows the name and history of each jaguar we encountered.

If you are thinking about a trip to the Pantanal, please do your research and consider the following.

1.) Ask if your prospective operator has air conditioned transport. The Transpantaneira is a hot, 5 hour dirt road drive. Many operators use open vehicles with seats in a truck bed.

2.) Be sure to stay either in Porto Joffre or or on one of the “floatels” up river. Many operators not located here drive their guests 45-60 minutes to the boat staging area in Porto Joffre and miss out on a great deal of jaguar time.

3.) Choose an ethical operator. There are quite a few questionable operators who run boats with sun screens (a no-no that blocks the views of others), or pull up in front of other boats both blocking their view and coming way too close to jaguars snd scaring them off.

Or, you can just make it easy on yourself and go with Paulo and Hellen. Quality firm, quality individuals. I plan on remaining friends for many years.

Date of experience: August 2019
1  Thank danclem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2019

My husband and I just returned from a week trip to the Pantanal in Brazil. We went with Pantanal and Rainforests Expeditions, Hellen Selva and Paulo Barreiros. We had done some research on various trips and came to this group because of great reviews, as well as the fact that they responded by email in a much more timely fashion than other groups did. I wanted to visit the Pantanal because I had read so much about the biodiversity in that region, and the ability to visitors to see animals close up. TRUE!

I cannot say enough about both of them. I have communicated with Hellen by email only, but she has been so helpful—recommended an airline or a restaurant, or other things. And when I had a question, she was back to me quickly--other groups that I had contacted about trips NOT SO. And even after we returned, she was in contact with us.

As for Paulo, I don’t even know where to start. He was our guide for the entire trip, and although he now has his own company with his wife, he spent over 10 years as a naturalist guide with other companies in the Pantanal area (as well as his work as a naturalist in Europe). Originally from Portugal, Paulo speaks fluent English and is well-traveled, as well as well-read. He arranged van transportation, river houseboat, land accommodations, boat drivers, etc. He met us at the Cuiaba hotel exactly on time, we got to places on time, and we left on boat rides exactly on time. Paulo arranged for the transport van (a nice, air conditioned, comfortable van) for the trip from Cuiaba to Porto Joffre, and back again. Other groups were riding around in open-air trucks with handkerchiefs on their faces to protect against the bugs and the dust—not us. We did go out on an open-air truck to find animals on a short trip, but all of our lengthy driving was done in a van. And whenever we saw something that someone wanted to stop to get a pic of, the van stopped. Our accommodations were great, the food was great, as was all else!

We all ate together as a group, including Paolo. And the conversation was always stimulating because he is an avid naturalist and conservationist, as well as an avid reader, and he keeps up on current events in a variety of countries. My husband is a real talker, and really keeps up with events in the world, and Paulo could keep up with him. He is real, he is polite, he is funny, and he is concerned about people as well as the environment and the animals.

And he is an endless font of wisdom about snakes, birds, jaguars, otters, and everything else alive. I told him that I was waiting to see howler monkeys, and the next day he delivered. And the same thing for capuchin monkeys on the last day. We saw more than 1 jaguar every day, river otters at different times, and birds galore. Walking and riding, we found both giant anteaters and even a tamandua, a lesser anteater. And we saw 2 tapirs at a watering hole favorite of his. He seemed to be able to anticipate where a jaguar would walk. We would move ahead of other boats, seemingly way ahead of the cat, and eventually the cat would be right in front of us, and the other boats would play catch up. He knows everything about every animal, but his specialty is jaguars. We would see a cat, he would give us the lineage of the cat after identifying it (he maintains a database for the cats).

He knew where the we would find hyacinth macaws. And bird identification---amazing! I still do not know how someone can identify a small brown or gray bird without a bird book (and even then, it is difficult for me). Paulo is a whiz at birds.

My husband left his camera in the van when we arrived at the airport. Paulo came looking for us in the terminal to give it back.

I would love to go on a trip to the Amazon with him now!

Date of experience: July 2019
2  Thank jreynolds2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2019

Thank you Paulo and Hellen for such an amazing tour of the Pantanal. I could not have imagined it going any better. Paulo, thank you for being such an awesome guide! Your passion for wildlife is undeniable and your knowledge seems to be never ending. My boyfriend and I came on this trip to see Jaguars and experience the wildlife in a new part of the world as we had never been to Brazil. You delivered! I never expected to see so many Jaguars in my life, let alone in 3 days! Also, I never expected to fall in love with all the wonderful birds not to mention all the other animals... caiman, giant river otter, capivara, howler monkeys and too many more to name! The lodging and hotel boat accommodations you lined up were excellent and the food was soooooo good!! We were very sad to leave. Beyond all else, Paulo, you are just one of the coolest, realest, most genuine people I have ever met. You have so many interesting stories that were so much fun to hear (most of the time ) and I left the Pantanal with a new friend. My trip to the Pantanal was truly an amazing experience I will never forget!
Thanks again Hellen and Paulo, Pantanal & Rainforests Expeditions

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank farrinlenae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HellenS419, Proprietário at Pantanal & Rainforests Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2019

Hi!
While guiding you guys, I had the most fun in months! Your over the top good humor, generosity and passion for the wildlife made my job turn into pure pleasure.
You were both extremely nice to me. More than rubbing elbows with the cool, beautiful, shiny happy people from California, it’s not every day that I get to guide a Hollywood movie star with eagle eyes! You’re a world class wildlife spotter!
Thank so much for your support! Hope that we’ll meet again exploring the wilderness. Take care and have fun!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2019

From the very beginning of our trip to the end, Paulo was incredible. His guiding and tracking skills are 2nd to none, the accomadations were perfect and our sightings were fantastic. We saw Jaguars on every safari, Giant River Otters, Caiman, Capyvara, Iguanas and more birds than we knew what to do with. I learned so much about the behavioral nuances of these animals, it really was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The Panatanal is such a beautiful place and Paulo is on the front lines trying to make sure it stays that way. Most importantly is that he is no longer a guide but a friend and I'm so appreciative of the experiences he gave to me and my girlfriend. I cannot recommend him and his wife Hellen enough, they are great people.

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank JaredFeiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HellenS419, Proprietário at Pantanal & Rainforests Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2019

While guiding you guys, I had the most fun in months! Your over the top good humor, generosity and passion for the wildlife made my job turn into pure pleasure.
You were both extremely nice to me. You’re both great people a lot of fun to hang out with. More than rubbing elbows with the cool, beautiful, shiny happy people from California, it’s not every day that I get to guide a Hollywood movie star with eagle eyes! Farrin is a world class wildlife spotter!
Jared, you are extremely knowledgeable about big cats, fallowing a long-lasting passion. Actually, I was expecting to be bombarded with a lot more questions… but you know the answers to most of the questions regarding these fascinating animals.)
I will try to fallow your valuable advices. Thank so much for your support! Hope that we’ll meet again exploring the wilderness. Take care and have fun!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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