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“Go for the wildlife”

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Caiman Ecological Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 August 2017

My mother, my 15 year old son and I spent four nights at Caiman in August. We had a great time in general but there were a few things that we didn't like. Positive things: 1). the wildlife - because of Project Oncafari (more on this below) it is relatively easy to see jaguars. We got to see 3 jaguars on 3 days. We also saw capybaras, giant anteaters, agoutis, coatis, 4 oncelots, tuiuius, hyacinth macaws, alligators, different types of deer, peccaries etc. 2). the guides - the guides were very good (a special thank you to Thiago and the Oncafari guides Jessica, Marinelson and Cinthia) and did everything they could in order to show us as many animals as possible. 3). Projects Oncafari and Arara Azul - the goal of these projects is to study and protect the jaguar and hyacinth macaws of the Pantanal. It is possible to join them for a day and look for jaguars and macaws (we did the Oncafari and loved it. Before looking for the jaguars, we got to see a presentation about the project and what they do. We really liked it). 4). the staff of the lodge - they are all wonderful.
Now to the 2 (important) things we didn't like: 1). our room - Caiman is a very expensive lodge (probably the most expensive in the Pantanal area). We have been to Anavilhanas Lodge (Amazon) and Pousada Maravilha (Fernando de Noronhas) and expected Caiman to be similar to them (they are all in the same price range). At Anavilhanas we felt immersed in the forest (we could lie in a hammock in a glassed porch that was surrounded by trees) and at Maravilha we could see the Sueste Bay from our bed and the hot tub. By contrast, when we opened the window of our bangalow, we could see some hoses on the grass, a fence and the staff house. In the front of the bangalow there is a daybed but we didn't use it because it is not private at all (to get to the dining area and the other suites one has to walk/drive past our room (room 4). Caiman has 3 lodges - Baiazinha, Cordilheira and the Main Lodge. We stayed at the Cordilheira because the rooms are bigger (we were three). Apparently the rooms at Baiazinha have a better view. Another problem with the room is that it is not well appointed. For example, the wall in the shower stall has cracks, we needed a piece of paper to hold the door of the wardrobe in place etc. For the price we paid, we expected something much better (the couple who stayed in room 5 and with whom we did the drives had the same complaints). We learned that rooms 4 and 5 will be torn down and that new rooms will be built in a more pleasant area. That is a good idea; however, since they know these rooms are subpar, shouldn't the guests staying there pay less? 2). the truck used for the drives - the lodge does have safari cars (like the ones used in Africa) that fit 9 people (one person being the guide). So, if more than 8 guests are going on a drive, they use a truck instead. This truck is truly horrendous - noisy and extremely uncomfortable (one has to sit sideways on a bench). We had to use this truck twice and we felt that the whole safari experience suffered because of that. Again, for the price we were paying, we expected the safari cars to be used all the time (we guess the truck is used so that the owners don't have to hire more drivers and guides).
I think that with new rooms and cars Caiman could be a truly amazing lodge (it already has a wonderful staff and great wildlife). At the moment, however, it is only average.

Room Tip: If you stay at Cordilheiras, ask for rooms 1, 2 or 3 (smaller than 4 and 5 but with a much better vi...
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
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3  Thank Nazira L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 August 2017 via mobile

This has been a wonderful experience in the palantel. On the way there we were not sure about it as it is a 4 nights commitment and Brazil has so much to offer but the doubts disappeared fast once we got there. It is all about nature and a very unique way to experience it. A bit like explora although different.

The program works well. You do different things every day and get to rest nicely at afternoons too. We saw jaguars (3 times) and all sort if animals and birds. This is all about nature and wildlife and even if wildlife is not your number 1 thing you get into it and it is exciting and fun.

Food - simply great.

People - very nice and trying hard to ensure you have a great time. We had great guides.

Rooms - we stayed at Cordeil heira so you don't get the lake (and mosquitoes) and rooms are large and you have a living room and more facilities. The pool is so good there too.

Wi fi - had an issue at the start and they brought external people to fix it which was important, and once it was fixed it was fine. You can actually do WhatsApp calls with the wi fi which obviously is important as there is no cell network there in the rooms (only at reception which is 13km from rooms).

Overall experience - outstanding. Son glad we went there.

Tip - go with the flow here.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Niv T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2017

We visited in May'17, the first stop on our Brazilian trip. We arrived from the UK long haul flight into Campo Grande via Sao Paulo, met by our driver. The road trip is some 3-4 hours in total, on reasonable roads until you get to the bumpy dirt track road which then takes you to Caimen. This is some 36 kilometers, and takes about an hour. You then drive to the Refuge reception and check in, we were staying in Bainzinha Lodge another 9 kilometres further into the wildlife area, during our journey, not too far from the lodge we came across our first jaguar sighting a wonderful male crossing the road. We got a really good sighting however as our camera equipment was in the boot of the car - no photographs!

We were the only guests apart from two British tour operators, staying a couple of nights. Our guide who we met later (Jadago?) had a couple of guide trainee's as well for the duration of our 5 night stay.
The lodge overlooks a stunning lake, with a variety of bird and animal wildlife constantly around.
The lodge is very peaceful, quite attractive with the main lounge/dining area central and the rooms leading off on either side.
Our room (No1) overlooking the lake, was adequately furnished with an en suite bathroom & a small balcony. However, it was a little on the small side and felt a little cramped for our liking. I believe all the rooms are the same size.

All of the meals are served 'en famille' in the dining area with your guides, the quality and amount of food available was of consistently high standard. Breakfast is taken at 0630 before the morning activities. Lunch is served once guests return from the activities, the afternoon is free time to do as you please. However, you cannot roam alone far from the lodge due to the wildlife around. There is a pleasant pool & deck area with loungers for chilling out.
Afternoon tea is served prior to going out again on another game drive around 3:30/4pm returning after dark about 7:30, in time for dinner.

We saw 4 jaguars in total during our stay and a good variety of other mammals, (3 species of deer,several giant anteater, peccary's, wild pig, 5 & 9 banded armadillo, some wonderful sightings of Ocelot's). Although the density of the mammals is low in comparison to Africa for instance. Plenty of Caiman & Capybaras though! The bird life though was plentiful we saw some 130 varieties in total.
We had a talk & slide show from the 'Onsafri' team, we also had a great encounter with a male & female jaguar one evening as they had tracked the collared male. The team are doing a great job with the jaguar's.

The main downside for us was the weather, unfortunatly we had a lot of rain, one day a torrential down pour and we were inundated with mosquito's throughout our trip. We had so many bites despite using protection which was a bit miserable.
The camp does have a wet weather option for getting around - a large truck which has see through blinds helping to keep dry. However the truck is slow and very noisy and not very comfortable but you can get up and move around.

We did manage to go canoeing one afternoon to see a sunset, this was one of our dry days which was lovely, and peaceful too.

I would like to thank our 3 guides for giving us a wonderful time in the Pantanal. They were extremely knowledgeable, informative and also great fun, making meal times also interesting and entertaining. The whole team at Caimen are very friendly, and seem to be passionate in what they do.

Room Tip: Rooms 1-3 have wonderful lakeside view, where as rooms 4-6 overlook the pool & deck area so not...
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  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank nette08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaimanLodge, Sales and Marketing Manager at Caiman Ecological Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2017

Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at Caiman Lodge.

We are glad you have enjoyed your stay with us.

That's great seeing so many jaguars! Lucky you!

I wish you all the best! Sincerely,

Juliane Rosa
Marketing and Sales Manager
Caiman Ecological Refuge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2017 via mobile

Great ecological lodge in the Pantanal. Agreements with NGO to recover jaguares and blue ara ara. Very good food. respectful with nature. Recomendable to ask for biologist guide Raisa, very professional and charming. We saw 3 onza, tapir, anteater, ocelot..... and dozens of beautiful pantanal birds.
Very recomendable

Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
Thank LBeltran11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaimanLodge, Marketing and sales manager at Caiman Ecological Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2017

Dear guest,

I would like to thank you for sending your comments!

Our team is glad to know that all their efforts to better serve our guests are in the right way.

We all wish you all the best.


Juliane Rosa
Marketing and sales manager
Caiman Ecological Refuge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2017

Friends and I spent four nights in the quaint Baiazinha lodge (12 double rooms). It was my second visit. We were greeted by Raisa our hostess cum safari guide.  She teamed up with Guarana, a local cowboy, guide/tracker and driver.  We felt more like guests than tourists. The lodge is self-contained with cooks, waiters and room maids, all very dedicated to our comfort.  Rooms and bathrooms are spacious but basic.  A reasonably speedy Internet connection compensated for the absence of mobile phone. The deck swimming pool offers relaxation after morning safari.  The lodge is located on a beautiful lake covered with water lily and home to capybaras, alligators and birds. Fazenda Caiman is a large ranch (55 000 he, plus a 9 000 he reservation area) which tends to some 33 000 heads of cattle. Thanks to Raisa and Guarana who expertly led our safaris, we spotted the main denizens of the Pantanal marshes and swamps: elusive jaguar and ocelot as well as peccary, giant anteater, Capuchin monkey, capybara, alligator, Pantanal fox etc.  The Pantanal is a bird watchers' paradise and we saw many Hyacinth Macaws, and all kinds of storks. Guarana entertained us with stories on "the life on the ranch".  We also went out with Oncasafari NGO to spot jaguar. We were invited to a local BBQ and a lasso contest.
It was a memorable experience.  However, I would suggest that, to maximize wildlife sighting, Caiman organizes, like in Africa, very early morning and late evening safaris when mammals are more easily spotted.  

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank cariocaleblon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaimanLodge, Marketing and sales manager at Caiman Ecological Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2017

Dear guest,

We appreciate your precious comments.

We will consider your suggestions to maximize wildlife sighting.

We are very pleased with your satisfaction.

With our best regards. Sincerely,

Jullane Rosa
Marketing and sales manager
Caiman Ecological Refuge

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Caiman Ecological Refuge

Address: Estancia Caiman S/N | Zona Rural – Miranda, Miranda, State of Mato Grosso do Sul 79380-000, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Mato Grosso do Sul > Miranda
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Miranda
Price Range: $1,755 - $2,887 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Caiman Ecological Refuge 4*
Number of rooms: 22
Also Known As:
Caiman Ecological Refuge Hotel Campo Grande

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