How To: Spot a Jaguar in the Wild

Although the chances of spotting a Jaguar in the wild are slim, many guides and guests have stories and pictures to prove that if you are very lucky, it can happen. Here are some things you can do to increase your odds of seeing the largest cat in the Amazon in its natural habitat.
  1. Take a trip to the Tambopata Research Center (TRC). While staying at Refugio Amazonas you only have a 2% chance of seeing a Jaguar and an even lesser 1% percent chance at Posada Amazonas. At TRC, your odds increase to 8%.

  2. Hop in a boat. The best place to spot a jaguar is the river bank. In the jungle they camouflage very well and can be nearly impossible to notice. Also, Jaguars prefer river banks to rest and find their food which consists of capybara, deer, peccaries, turtles, caimans, birds, agouties, and fish.

  3. Be very quiet and stay still. Jaguars have binocular and color vision and a heightened sense of hearing. In most cases they are able to detect humans before we can spot them.

  4. Go looking during the day. The jaguar is active 60% of the day and unlike the the Puma and Ocelot, who only hunt at night, the Jaguar can look for food during the day.