Tour 2: Living with the Xingu Indians

10 days/9 nights from/to Cuiabá – possible from May to November
2-person minimum, 10-person maximum


Cerrado of Mato Grosso (rainforest)                                                                Arrival by airplane in the Jacare Indian village

Join us on an adventure of a slightly different kind: Become a part of an unknown culture and meet one of the last remaining Indian tribes in Brazil in the village of Aldeia Etenhiritipa, in the state of Mato Grosso. Visit the people of the Etenhiritipa, who belong to the Xingu Indians. They live protected by the FUNAI agency (National Indian Foundation) and have the right to use their land as they wish, forbidding entrance to whoever has not been invited by the tribe. As a participant in this tour you of course have such an invitation, along with the unique chance to experience life as a native Brazilian first-hand.

A large part of the travel price will go to the Indian community for making this project possible, for the purpose of a "gentle tourism". It will be paid directly to the tribe's chief.

We visited the village of the Jacare Indios in March 2010.

We are the first travel business worldwide to get permission to visit the indigenous peoples in the Xingu national park. In early March 2010 we drove to the reservation of the Xavantes and Xingu Indians (Parque Indigenas do Xingu). After hard negotiations, we received all the documents necessary from the Brazilian Indian agency (FUNAI) as well as from the other authorities involved in Canarana, Mato Grosso.

The village of the Jacare tribe (by the Xingu river) can only be reached via plane from Canarana, see itinerary.

Your plane from/to Canarana for up to 6 persons                                               Tour operator Günter S. with the shaman of the Jacare
                                                                                                               Indios, on the way to the Indian village

1st day: Arrival in Cuiabá - Transfer to the Hotel Gran Odara

After your arrival at the airport in Cuiabá our tour guide picks you up and takes you to the Hotel Gran Odara. If your arrival time at the airport allows it (and if you wish) our guide takes you on short city tour in Cuiabá (not included in the price). The rest of the afternoon/evening is free. Dinner not included.


2nd day: Cuiabá - Barra do Garças - Araguaia Park-Hotel (1 night)

After breakfast at 8.00 am drive from Cuiabá to Barro do Garças (about 420 km), located by Rio Araguaia. During the slightly tiring and exhausting ride you experience the diversity of the federal state of Mato Grosso, and you get an idea of the vastness of the country. You pass by countless corn and soy fields, eucalyptus plantations, herds of cattle and sesame fields in the direction of Campo Verde and Primaverde do Leste, all the way to Barra do Garças. On the road opportunity for lunch or break at a local restaurant respectively.


There are approximately 53,500 people living in Barra do Garças. Here you will spend the night at the Araguaia Park Hotel, situated directly by Rio Araguaia. Due to the bad road conditions with many potholes and some extreme traffic, you should be prepared for a few delays and an exhausting drive. Depending on time of arrival there will be a small tour offered for sightseeing in the town of Barra do Garças. Dinner at a local restaurant in Barra do Garças (not included). Overnight stay at the Araguaia Park Hotel including breakfast.


3rd day: Barra do Garças - Canarana - Hotel Raios de Sol (1 night)

In the next morning we drive to Canarana after breakfast (about 350 km), a small town with roughly 22,000 inhabitants, which is the starting point for your trip to the Xavantes Indians. Canarana has a tropical climate and was founded 15.02.1975, to cultivate the land and to allow farmers from the south-east of Brazil to settle here. The town is close to the Xingu national park (Parque Indigene do Xingu), located in the south-east.


30 years ago everything in this area was covered with Amazon rainforest. Now the forest is gone and everywhere soy and corn are grown. Lunch on the way to Canarana at a local restaurant in Nova Xavantina. Dinner in Canarana (not included) and overnight stay at the Hotel Raios do Sol, located right in the center of Canarana.

Pedro Paulo, your tour guide (blue shirt)

4th - 7th day (3 nights): Canarana - Aldeia Jacare

After breakfast at the Hotel Raios do Sol you go to the airport of Canarana with your tour guide. From there you fly into the “Parque Indigena do Xingu” (about 45 to 60 minutes’ flight). Take only a bare minimum of luggage with you (10 kg a person maximum). Beforehand you have the opportunity to buy a few small presents (fishing line for the men, chocolate, lollipops, chewing gum for the children and women – the Indios love sweets).


After your arrival at the village you are welcomed by the Indians. The male tourists take a seat in front of the “man house” with their tour guide to discuss the further course of your stay with the chief and the council of elders.


As agreed upon with the villagers, you are not accommodated directly in the village, but roughly 500 m away from the Indian houses, in a bamboo-thatched cabin. It is of traditional build and was erected specifically for the visitors. You spend the night in the hammocks or sleeping bags you brought with you; the toilet and shower are very crude and not up to European standards, which of course is not to be expected out here, far from civilisation (do not forget to bring toilet paper). Please also remember to take your garbage with you and dispose of it when you leave.


Hikes into the village and its surrounding land will allow you an intimate glimpse into an utterly different way of life, one that is closely linked with the Indians' natural environment. You experience the savannah landscape and go on hikes up into the Serra do Roncador, you partake in village celebrations, go fishing and learn the traditional way to cultivate crops, always accompanied by an indigenous villager and by your tour guide (Pedro Paulo).


7th day: Chapada dos Guimarães mit Übernachtung in Barra do Garças

In the morning of the 7th day you go back to Barra do Garças. You have lunch on the way and dinner in Barra do Garças. Overnight stay at the Araguaia Park Hotel in Barra do Garças.

8th - 10th day Chapada dos Guimarães (2 nights)

After breakfast you go to Chapada dos Guimarães (280 km) where you spend two nights at the Pousada do Parque. During a hike through the highland you get an opportunity to take a bath under one of the many waterfalls. The hike lasts about 3 hours, so a certain stamina is required. Dinner at a local restaurant in Chapada dos Guimarães.

In the next morning visit to the national park and the reservation in the environment of the Pousada do Parque. Trip to the cave of Casa de Pedra (with an underground river), view from Morro de São Jerônimo; hike through the mesas with their many small waterfalls and a magnificent view. Return to the pousada and dinner at a local restaurant in Chapada.


10th day: Chapada dos Guimarães - Cuiabá

Depending on time of departure transfer to the airport in Cuiabá, on request there will be further tours in Chapada dos Guimarães offered in the morning.

route map


Recommended equipment:

Sleeping bag or hammock, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, mosquito repellent, sunglasses, headgear, swimming gear, towels, hiking shoes, torch or flashlight (please dispose of empty batteries at home), light clothing, warm clothing for cooler nights (it is considerably colder in the evening and at night), bedcover or sheet and all personal items. Jaundice inoculation is mandatory. You should be in good health and not have any contagious illnesses. A malaria prophylaxis is not required. Please remember to bring a bag for your garbage, which you have to take back to Canarana with you.


The Indians, especially the children, are always happy about small presents. The giving of a gift from guest to host plays a very important role in their culture (used clothes, sweets, chocolate, small toys, torches, hats, sunglasses, crayons, paper for drawing, ball pens, pencils etc.) The Indians also expect you to buy souvenirs in the village (products of Indio craftsmanship) to help support them (you should budget about 50 – 70 euros for this).


Where you spend the nights:

You sleep in plain straw cabins, about 500 m from the village centre. Your cabin is located near a lake surrounded by dense cerrado forest. You sleep in hammocks or sleeping bags. Next to your cabin there is a simple shower and toilet. In another cabin there is the kitchen, where you also take your meals.

In this cabin you will spend the night

Here your meals will be prepared and eaten.

These are your shower...                                                                                ...and your toilet

Prices apiece:

Tour 2: Xingu village
2 persons
3-4 persons
5-6 persons
10 days/9 nights
4675,00 €
4225,00 €
4095,00 €
single room premium
350,00 €
for 3 nights at
the Hotel
All prices apiece (valid until 30.11.2012). Additional days in the reserve are possible. Follow-up tour to Nobres or to the Pantanal are possible at an extra charge, on request.


The following is included in our prices:

1 overnight stay at the Hotel Gran Odara in Cuiabá including breakfast
2 overnight stays at the Araguaia Park Hotel in Barra do Garças including breakfast
1 overnight stay at the Hotel Raios do Sol in Canarana including breakfast
3 overnight stays at the Indian village Aldeia Jacare in the “Parque Indigena do Xingu” (plain accommodation, poor sanitary facilities)
Drinking water on all trips
Food, water and cook during your stay at the Indian village (3 nights)
2 overnight stays at the Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães including breakfast and lunch. If the Pousada do Parque is fully booked (only 8 rooms available) we will re-book to the Hotel Turismo in Chapada.
All transfers and tours described above
24-hour supervision by English-speaking tour guide (Pedro Paulo), the representative of the Xavantes Indians and local tour guide Paulo in the Indian village

Not included are:

Other beverages, tips and personal expenses. Lunch and dinner at local restaurants in Barra do Garças, Canarana und Nova Xavantinas, as described above. Dinner in Chapada dos Guimarães.

Get more information about the tours and booking:
TERRA Discovery Tours Tel. +49 (0) 23 04 95 37 87


In front of the so-called man house or council house. Only men are allowed here.

Aldeia Jacare

This village is located approximately 298 km (GPS distance) from Canarana, in the midst of the “Parque Indigena do Xingu”. About 320 members of the tribe of the Jacare (Xinguanas) live here. The villagers live mostly on fishing and the cultivation of rice and manioc. While the Indians have contact to civilisation they still continue to preserve and live their culture, customs and traditions. Transfer to the village is only possible by plane and depends on the weather.

Left: the chief’s son                                                                                     Right: Member of the council of elders

Note:

Please follow the instructions of both the local tour guide and ours. Never go anywhere alone. It is strictly prohibited to bring alcoholic beverages to the Indio reservation. Before the start of the tour you will receive a declaration of commitment that you have to return to us. We also need your complete data such as birth date, address, profession, passport number, vaccination card and a certificate from your doctor (German or English) attesting that you have no contagious diseases.

All prices are assuming that the basic political and economic conditions in Brazil do not change until the start of this tour. Due to exchange rate fluctuation and continually rising gas prices, price changes are reserved.

Itinerary changes due to bad weather and other causes that we have no influence on remain reserved. The transfer from Canarana to the Indian village via airplane depends on the weather and may have to be postponed. This can cause waiting periods (in this case you will be provided with food and beverages at the airport in Canarana). There is also a bathroom here. However, please do not panic, this is just a reminder of a situation that might arise; we only want you to be prepared. Until today, all transfers via plane were conducted without any major delays.


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