Pantanal Wildlife Trail São Joaquim Adventure Trail

Pantanal Wildlife Trail

Guest Comments

Dennis Nagel Dennis Nagel Dennis Nagel with Peter Rohmer Dennis Nagel with Peter Rohmer

Dennis Nagel



In August of 2016, I was able to fulfil a life long dream thanks to Peter and Southern Cross Tours and Expeditions. Since I was a young boy in Southern Saskatchewan, I have wanted to ride the ranges of Brazil and work as a vaquero on the big ranches there.


After a lot of searching, I found the Southern Cross Website (hyperlink) and contacted Peter. All it took was that first email, and I knew that this was the trip for me. Peter seemed to know exactly what I was looking for, even though I doubted many tourists would share my desire for an authentic ranch experience and a working holiday. The process to arrange the trip was very straightforward and all my questions were promptly answered via email.


The trip itself was fantastic. I rode on three different Fazendas (Ranches) and at each place, I was outfitted with a sure-footed and honest ranch horse to ride. The tack was different than anything in North America but, as someone who has ridden a lot in my life, I would have to say it was more comfortable. We spent several hours a day in the saddle and I never was stiff or sore. We saw all kinds of exotic birds and wildlife, completely undisturbed by our presence. On horseback, we were merely part of the natural environment.


On the Fazendas, I was not treated like a tourist, but another member of the crew, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Every day, I rode out with the vaqueros to rope and treat calves or sort and move cattle from one pasture to another. I was really able to get a sense of how they raise cattle in Brazil and what ranch life is like. I was wholly immersed in the culture of the Pantanel, from the language, to the sights and smells, to the little jokes that seem to be universally shared between cowboys around the world. And of course, I could not forget to mention how fantastic the food was; meals were hearty and cooked in traditional style. Overall, I can't get over how warmly I was welcomed in the community of the Fazenda. I never once felt out of place and was treated much more like a foreign cousin come home to visit than a paying customer.


I booked the trip with Peter and Southern Cross thinking it would be an interesting vacation. In the end, it was adventure of a lifetime and the opportunity to meet friends I feel as though I've known for years. If you are looking to spend your days, immerse yourself in cowboy culture, observe fantastic wildlife in their natural habitat and become part of a culture you never knew existed in a few short weeks, this it the trip for you.


Thank you Peter and Carlos, Rita, Vicente and all the Vaqueros of Fazenda Nhecolândia. I will be back someday soon.