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All tour operators work with one or more Pantanal lodges. These operators provide a package itinerary -- usually quite flexible -- that includes transportation to a lodge plus nature tours and guide services.

One of the best tour operators is Pantanal Explorer, Av. Governador Ponce de Arruda 670, Varzea Grande (tel. 065/3682-2800; fax 065/3682-1260; www.pantanalexplorer.com.br). Stays in the Pantanal are at the excellent Araras Eco Lodge. In addition, the company offers trips to the Chapada dos Guimarães and boat trips in the Pantanal, as well as eco-tours to the Mato Grosso part of the Amazon rainforest, excellent if you do not have an opportunity to head up to the Amazon. All of these trips can be combined with a Pantanal stay.

Another good tour operator is Anaconda Turismo, Av. Isaac Povoas 606, Centro, Cuiabá (tel. 065/3028-5990; www.anacondapantanal.com.br). This operator works with a large number of fazendas and pousadas and can customize a package according to your interests. It also operates in the Chapada dos Guimarães and can organize fishing expeditions.

Three Ecosystems -- The state of Mato Grosso features three different ecosystems within striking distance of Cuiabá. Visitors can explore the southern border of the Amazon rainforest, hike through the savanna landscape of the Chapada dos Guimarães with lush waterfalls and beautiful rock formations, and observe the astonishing birds and abundant wildlife of the flood plains of the Pantanal. Contact Pantanal Explorer for more details on this 7-day program.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.