Salobra River

It rises from some few waterfalls and streams in the Bodoquena Plateau, then following its course across a beautiful valley. When it reaches the Pantanal floodplain the river splits in the form of a delta that empties into the Miranda River.

The Lodge

Refúgio da Ilha is the best alternative for the nature-loving who wants to feel welcome in a charming ambient and full of comfortable nooks

Refúgio da Ilha

A Pantanal charming lodge with rustic rooms in a former farm house and surrounded by a lush landscape.


The Pantanal biome holds one the the greatest biodiversities on the planet, it's home to the largest concentration of fauna in the Americas and gathers a diversification of landscapes and vegetation.

A Pousada

A pousada Refúgio da Ilha é a melhor alternativa para os amantes da natureza que desejam sentir-se acolhidos num ambiente charmoso e pleno de recantos confortáveis.


Situated on an island formed by two arms of the river, Refúgio da Ilha is on the verge of the crystalline-watered Salobra River, in the SALOBRA RIVER DELTA - wedged between the northern Bodoquena Plateau and Miranda River.

It is the most accessible lodge of Pantanal, being only 6.8 miles far from its entrance in the BR-262 in a good dirt-road condition and well rocked. It is also the closest lodge to BONITO and is halfway between CAMPO GRANDE and CORUMBÁ.

Refúgio da Ilha not only houses often research projects focused on biological studies and conservation, but also has partnerships with other institutions and projects for doing studies in the region. It is worth mentioning the project made with the population of giant otters that originated in the documentary RAISING SANCHO: THE ORPHAN GIANT OTTER, produced by BBC - UK / 2008, entirely shot in the surroundings of the lodge and widespread on the channel ANIMAL PLANET. Refúgio da Ilha has also been the scenery of others international filming productions, like the french documentary VU DU CIEL, by Arthur Bertrand, and another by BBC titled FRESH WATER, from the series PLANET EARTH.

The private reserve of the lodge constitutes an important ecological sanctuary for the permanent preservation of the SALOBRA PANTANAL. The low environmental impact of our operations, together with the conservation work in our area, characterize the condition of SUSTAINABILITY to our ecotourism project, and you guest is a direct supporter of this cause!?

BE WELCOME to one of the most original and striking destinations on earth!


There are 8 cozy apartments, fully equipped with private bathroom with hot shower, air-conditioning, ceiling-fan, bedding type king-size, screened windows and bed and bath products. The cleaning, organization and replacements occur daily, or as requested.

The lodge also has charming nooks, internal and external, such as living rooms, a video room, a small library, a shop and two verandas. There are two restaurants - each with its own bar – one inside for dinner and breakfast and another external by Salobra River for lunch. An external restroom, boweres around the hostel and a pier for appreciation of the river and swimming. In our lodge guests can still have easy access and free Internet WI-FI all around.


3 meals are already included in the package: Colonial and regional breaksfast, with fresh fruit, cereals, juices, breads, cookies, and homemade jams and cakes, salami, cheese, yogurt. Buffet at lunch, with dessert, with a variety of vegetables, salads and local dishes. Varied buffet at dinner with dessert, tending to a lighter and international cuisine. And a typical farm snack at mid afternoon (served cakes, homemade cookies). There are also always fresh fruits and snacks available at any time within the reach of the guests.

Our cuisine is a perfect combination of sophistication with the popular wealth from the country farm's culinary. A diversified menu to suit all tastes: several dishes from world wide cuisine with the simplicity of regional food. We offer the best of Brazilian beef but with wonderful and delicious variety for vegetarians. Greens and vegetables comes from an authentic organic garden from the near town of Miranda where really no pesticide is used in the production process. Diversity, sophistication, quality and diligence in the preparation of food. These are the concepts that summarize the care with our guests's tastes.

Our activities aim to cover the most diverse niches of the Pantanal of Salobra and at different moments of day, always favoring on the most pleasant time and with greater chance of spotting wild fauna and flora.

Salobra River, with its headwaters in the Bodoquena Plateau, is curiously different from many rivers in the Pantanal. First because its waters are mostly crystalline along the year (but not at the peak of dry season). Fishing is prohibited by law and therefore without the noise of boats. It is adorned with giant water lilies and diverse aquatic vegetation. In most of its course the river is narrow, which allows an amazing approximation of animals. With the accompaniment of our expert guides it is possible, at certain times of the year, to stay up for hours watching the behavior of rare species such as neotropic otters, giant otters and tapirs, as they care little for the discreet presence of our boats.

There are two activities per day: one in the morning, just after breakfast until almost before lunch, and another in the afternoon up to the end-of-day.

The activities will be carefully selected depending on the climate and time of year, and guests get to know their schedule the previous day of his activity by evening, right after dinner. To avoid the intense sun of the day, the activities take place preferably in the early morning and mid-afternoon. In these times the movement of animals and birds is much higher and then is greater the probability of sighting them.

The tour groups have no more than 6 people to be the most quiet as possible, and having all attention focused on the guide, thus having more chances to observe wildlife, since the disturbance over the environment do not happen in small groups.

Our tours are then characterized as ecological and low environmental impact.


  • Birdwatching, focused on appreciation of avifauna. Countless species of Pantanal and Bodoquena Plateau yet to be cataloged on the island, come to collaborate in building our list of birds.
  • Photo / audio-visual production. Ask us to better adapt you on some special schedule.

The Pantanal floodplain is surrounded by highlands: across the eastern border the MARACAJU PLATEAU; in the south, BODOQUENA PLATEAU -– which we can see the beginning of their great mountains from Refúgio da Ilha –; the western border the URUCUM MASSIF, and a little above the AMOLAR MASSIF; in the northeast we have the CHAPADA DOS GUIMARÃES, and at northwest PARECIS PLATEAU. Because of variations in climate, topography and vegetation Pantanal can be divided into 11 sub-regions, or "pantanais". In Mato Grosso state, with 30% of the brazilian Pantanal, they are 3: Poconé Pantanal, Barão do Melgaço Pantanal, and Cáceres Pantanal. In Mato Grosso do Sul state, with 70% of the brazilian Pantanal, they are 8: Paiaguás Pantanal, Nhecolândia Pantanal, Paraguay Pantanal, Aquidauana Pantanal, Abobral Pantanal, Nabileque Pantanal, Porto Mortinho Pantanal, and yet the PANTANAL OF MIRANDA, where it connects with the SALOBRA RIVER DELTA.


The climate of the Pantanal can be classified as of savanna. The climate is hot and humid in the summer months (November-February) and cold and dry in the winter months (May-August). From April to September it is common the entry of cold fronts from southern South America, the temperature may fall below 10 º C (close to 0º sometimes), which can last 2-4 days.


Pantanal is part of the Upper Paraguay River Basin, which is a vast plain of wetlands, with 870 miles long in Brazilian territory. The decay of the Pantanal is almost nil, 6-12 cm per km, from east to west, and 1-2 cm per km from north to south, favoring floods that spread from north to south and from east to west along the Paraguay River – the only outlet of the Pantanal. Still further south, in the Pantanal of Porto Murtinho, there is a natural dam to the large plain's volume of water which is called the Fecho-dos-Morros Massif (Closing-the-Hills Massif).


A tributary of Miranda River, this 93 miles long river has its source in northern fragment of the Bodoquena Plateau National Park, through which runs a long way through winding canyons before entering the floodplain and splits into several arms of rivers, streams and marshes, forming the Salobra Delta. It features clear and bicarbonate water just like the rivers from Bonito, due to the action of rainwater on limestone rocks in the region. Refúgio da Ilha is between two arms of Salobra River already within the Pantanal floodplain, which thus forms the basis of the region ecosystem.


Located in the central-southern portion of Mato Grosso do Sul, bordering the Nabileque Pantanal, where are situated the cities of Bonito and Bodoquena, and part of the municipalities of Jardim, Guia Lopes da Laguna, Porto Murtinho and Miranda. It features elongated shape in the north-south axis, it is 124 miles long and width ranging from 6 to 43 miles. Its altitude ranges from 300 to 750 m. The main plateaus's rivers are the PRATA and FORMOSO, besides the two main rivers in the BODOQUENA PLATEAU NATIONAL PARK: the SALOBRA RIVER from its northern portion, and PERDIDO RIVER from its southern portion.

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