Pantanal Trail Ride Safari, Brazil - Practical information

Know before you go

PRACTICAL INFO:
 Riding Level: Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders.You should be confident on a horse at all paces. The pace is varied to include walk,trot and canter. (non-riders are welcome too)
Weight: Max. weight rider: 100 Kg
Departure:  minimum 4 participants (riders & non-riders)
Maximum group size: 10 riders
Horses: Pantaneiro (similar to the Criollo), a beautiful and explosive horse, easy to ride. Average height: 1.60m
Saddles: pantaneiro saddles (similar to the Gaucho saddle)
Adventure: 100%
Sanitary: comfortable
International passport required!
Vaccinations: not mandatory but recommended (consult your physician)
Gateway: Fly in and out  of Campo Grande (CGR)

Trail Itinerary: We will do everything possible to follow the indicated itinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location and difficulty of terrain  In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, we ask you flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!

TRAVEL GEAR:
 
• Valid international passport 
• Travel insurance
• Pocket money (you can change money on arrival at the airport)
• A sweater and a jacket
• 4 to 5 T-shirts or shirts. long-sleeved shirt is best. (Make sure you take at least 2 shirts with long sleeves!)
• Riding pants or jeans. (Wrangler is the best jeans for riding = seam along the outside)
• Boots/riding Shoes,  with mini-chaps or long chaps. (Your boots/ shoes will/can be wet every day)
• Cotton socks
• A second pair of shoes for the evening
• Swimsuit
• Comfortable clothing
• Hat
• One towel
• Toiletries
• Sun Cream
• Flashlight
• Anti-mosquito spray / lotion
• Camera ... (binoculars)
 
 * Having your luggage in a travel bag / sports bag is handier instead of in a hard case.
 

HOTEL ACCOMMODATION IN CAMPO GRANDE – The Night Before &  The Night After:
Arriving at Campo Grande the day before  is a good idea. As the next morning you will travel early to the Pantanal.(remember the 4x4 transfer takes about 6 hours to get to and from the Pantanal)
For safety ,(in case the return transfer through the wilderness takes more than 6 hours) staying a night in Campo Grande after the Pantanal Safari, before flying back home is another good idea!
There are several good hotel options in Campo Grande from 3 stars hotels of about $ 60 to 5 star hotels of about $ 110. Campo Grande is a very pleasant city with cosy bars and good restaurants.
Transfer/Taxi from the airport to the hotel and return is not included, but is cheap. (more or less about USD 10 for a taxi) We will be happy to make a hotel reservation for you in Campo Grande.

Visa: most European and South American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Brazil. Contact the Brazilian Embassy in your country for more info. North American Citizens, (US - CAN ) require a visa to travel to Brazil.

You are alone?
Do not worry, you can individually register/book and join in a group with other riders. Most participants are people who register individually and may just like you, not know the other riders in your group. Since everyone has the same points of interest (horseback riding, nature, travel, culture) there is always a good atmosphere and understanding among the participants. Participants come from all corners of the world, so you can be part of a group with riders from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, France, Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, and many others countries. Your friends are suddenly so much more international! :) A standard group for the Pantanal consists of 4 to 10 riders. In general there are as many female as male participants.

Are your foreign languages not so good? 
No worries, local trip leader Paul is fluent in 6 languages and will help and translate with pleasure where needed.
Trips are always fun as we all speak the same equestrian language

The Meals: 
Brazil has a rich cuisine. The country is a mixture of European, Indian, African and Asian cultures and is reflected in the way the Brazilians cook. Especially the Italian and African cuisines have great influence on Brazilian cuisine. 
Not only the population is mixed, also their habits and customs. Already well before Europe spoke about fusion cuisine, Brazil was combining ingredients found from different continents to a new, typical Brazilian cuisine. They also often serve dishes from different countries on one table. 
The Brazilian cuisine is very good, varied and serves many naturally made dishes. The main dishes are mostly rice and beans (Feijão) and sauces, with lots of meat or fish and salads. From region to region one has its own traditional dishes. Along the coast you will find more fish and shrimp dishes, in the south the tasty meat grill's (Churrasco) will surprise you. In the Pantanal real healthy country meals are often prepared on wood stoves, what gives a special extra flavor. During our holiday we eat delicious homemade Pantanal dishes at the fazendas.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the fazendas.

Health: 
The Pantanal is a safe region in terms of health. You can easily eat and drink anything without beeing stomach bothered. Eating raw vegetables, salads and icecreams is no problem. 
There are no vaccinations required and there is no malaria in this part of Brazil. 
In case of illness or an accident, we will take you to a good hospital or doctor.

Currency: 
The Brazilian currency is the REAL. = R$. 
1 Euro = approx 4,20 Real 
1 USD = approx 3,75 Real 
Cash dispensers can be found in all towns and cities.
In the cities you can pay with credit cards. (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, ...)

Electricity and plugs: 
http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm

Mobile phone: 
In towns and villages there is mobile phone coverage everywhere. During the ridingtrip there are some days without coverage.

Internet: 
In towns and villages there is everywhere Internet acces. During the ridingtrip you will have internet at the farms, but will not have internet during the 2 days in the wilderness camp.

Time in Brazil: 
http://www.worldtimeserver.com/
During the European summer time it is 5 hours earlier in southern Brazil than in Europe. 
During the European winter time it is 3 hours earlier in southern Brazil than in Europe.

Travel Insurance:
We request you take a travel Insurance. Ask your local insurance company or travel agent about it. You will not be allowed to participate at the “Gaúcho do Brasil” riding holiday programme without having a personal travel insurance. Your insurance details will be requested on arrival.
Trip Cancellation Insurance recommended: In order to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances interfering with your “Gaúcho do Brasil - Entre Orejas S.A” vacation, we strongly suggest that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You can use any travel insurance company you are comfortable with.

Release Agreement:
The “Gaúcho do Brasil - Entre Orejas S.A.” guests are required to sign a release agreement at the time of check-in. This is mandatory and guests cannot participate in the tour without signing the release agreement (all moneys paid are non-refundable). Please feel free to read the release agreement prior to your arrival: please download the form here. Parents or legal guardians of minor children are required to sign the release agreement on their children’s behalf. Please direct all questions to the office.

Safety: 
Brazil has not always the best reputation for safety and crime. This is primarily and almost exclusively in large cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife. 
The state of Mato Grosso do Sul and its capital city Campo Grande is quiet and completely safe.
Our ride passes through the region of the Pantanal where there is no need to worry at all!

General info about Brazil: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil
 
Rules: We are not so much into rules, but we reserve the right to refuse service to any individual who jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of any of our guests, staff, family & community members, animals & livestock, or who refuses to follow the rules we have established for your safety and welfare during your visit with us.

Well, you have brought your weird to the right spot! Paul is the pioneer of horseback riding safaris in the Pantanal. Since the year 2000 he organizes Pantanal rides like no other and has the best connections with the local farmers & cowboys.