Trip report author: John Brooks
Guide :                     Paulo Boute

Day 1. Nov 6th. Rio de Janeiro to Cuiaba

We arrived in Cuiaba in the North West of Brazil from Rio de Janeiro just before noon and were met by our guide Paulo Boute, who then drove us for 1.5hrs to our Lodge. Hyacinth MacawThe Puival Lodge is just outside the Pantanal National Park and is set in open flat country surrounded by fields that flood in the rainy season but with many trees surrounding them. The food was excellent, the pool clear and warm, and the accommodation top-class. A fantastic place to spend a few days.
After a late lunch and a swim we started birding around the Lodge and without any effort saw a pair of magnificent Hyacinth Macaws roosting in a nearby tree. Without leaving the grounds we had superb views of Blue-crowned and White-eyed Parakeets, Buff-necked Ibis, Jabiru, Greater Rhea, Snail Kite, Limpkin, Wattled Jacana, Southern Lapwing, Solitary Sandpiper, Turquoise-fronted Amazon, Gray Monjita, Purplish Jay and many more. In total we saw 53 species in a matter of a few hours including excellent views of a Great Horned Owl.
Capybara were everywhere and we got within metres of a Crab-eating Fox.