How can I see a jaguar in Latin America?
You are right: jaguars are elusive and sightings of them are rare. Having said that, on a work trip two or three years ago I stayed at Refugio Caiman in Brazil’s southern Pantanal and we came across a male jaguar in the middle of the forest - we just could not believe how lucky we were! Other colleagues have also spotted jaguars near that same lodge so I would recommend staying in the area to maximise your chances.
The other place which I have heard is very good for sightings is on the road to the Iwokrama Field Station in Guyana. Guyana is hardly visited by tourists and most of the population live on the coast in Georgetown, so the rainforest is largely undisturbed. We’ve heard of jaguars stretching across the tarmac road absorbing the heat from the concrete, and as they are not used to seeing people they are quite happy to lie there quietly while you watch and photograph them.