Getting Acquainted with ’Caiman Ecological Refuge’: 130,000 Acres of Wetlands and Wildlife
- The Caiman Ecological Refuge is deeply involved in preserving the surrounding wildlife
It’s time to immerse yourself with a newfound knowledge and understanding of how the Caiman Ecological Refuge’s work with conservation and eco-tourism helps provide an amazing balance between humans and nature. We’ll learn all about the inner-workings of the refuge and the Pantanal’s history and ecosystem, as well have the awesome opportunity to closely observe the spectacled caimans who call the wetland waters home.
The Caiman Ecological Refuge is quite a sprawling place at around 130,000 acres (53,000 hectares) of land, making every single journey across it turn into a safari itself. The refuge combines its conservation and eco-tourism work with a functioning cattle ranch and offers a unique look into how it keeps the harmony between wildlife, humans, and cattle ranching.
Our exploration of the Caiman Ecological Refuge starts off with a delicious, traditional Brazilian breakfast. After that, we’ll walk through the surroundings of the main area of the ranch and observe its many activities going on. Since the refuge is also a running farm, we’ll also be introduced to the lifestyle of the Pantaneiros and get to experience farm cattle, horses, and how they manage these activities with the tourism.
We’ll visit the Paizinho’s bridge, where we’ll get to closely observe the spectacled caimans. These solitary, aquatic reptiles are ferocious by nature and are closely related to crocodiles and alligators. We’ll have the opportunity to get up close to them while getting to know one of the important symbols of Pantanal.
Next, it’s time to learn about the permanent research centers and the Environmental Interpretation Center, where we’ll see a panel of pictures covering the Pantanal’s ecosystem and history. Our expert guides will briefly explain to us how the research centers (Onçafari Jaguar conservation and the Hyacinth Macaw Project) work as well as how integral that work is in maintaining the area and its wildlife. We’ll also learn about the Caiman Refuge’s history, as it was the first ecotourism operation to open in the Southern Pantanal.
Our refuge exploration concludes as we head back to the lodge for a wonderful lunch, carrying with us an important appreciation for the efforts that go into to Pantanal conservation and the work it entails.