Caiman Ecological Refuge

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Caiman Lodge was established in 1985 as the first ecotourism operation in the Southern Pantanal and aims to create and offer visitors a way of getting up close and personal with the region’s nature and culture, while pursuing excellence in hospitality services and gastronomy. Located on a 53,000 hectare ranch, 36kms from the small town of Miranda in the magnificent setting of the Pantanal wetlands of Mato Grosso do Sul state, Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is a cattle farm, an important centre for nature conservation projects and home to the region’s most exclusive ecologies.

The Caiman Lodge comprises three structures: Main lodge complex, Cordilheira lodge and Baiazinha lodge, located in regions with different natural characteristics and offer guests the same brilliant hospitality services, gastronomy and ecotourism throughout.

These lodges are distanced 22 kms apart and are both run independently.

Caiman Lodge features;

  • Daily excursions in small groups, which are accompanied by a qualified, experienced naturalist guide and a local farmworker. A private guide is available on request for an extra fee.
  • Full board option for accommodation includes gourmet dining – traditional Pantanal BBQ, whereby beef is cooked over fire pits.
  • Nature Conservation Programme, which is recognised domestically and internationally, whichconsists of maintaining a Private Reserve of Natural Patrimony (RPPN) on a 5,600 hectare area and supporting various research and species management projects carried out on the whole ranch. Important conservation projects focus on the stunning blue hyacinth macaws and Americas’ biggest predator, the elusive jaguar.
  • The jaguar habituation project Onçafari is unique in South America and offers visitors an opportunity to track jaguars in an Africa style jeep safari. A presentation by the Onçafari scientists is included during the high season between June and September.
  • Miranda Estancia, a traditional cattle ranch founded in 1910 by English investors, was the precursor of the present Caiman Ranch. The ranch currently runs around 35,000 head of cattle on natural pasture, seeking harmonious integration of livestock with the wildlife. This operation is open to visitors, who can see it at first hand.

The permanent residents’ community, for both lodge and ranch employees and their families, houses 180 people. In addition to having access to a school, medical and dental care and the necessary infrastructure, all employees are trained in and committed to the Caiman Ecological Refuge social and environmental programme.