Pantanal Travel Guide

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From Rio Miranda

From Rio Miranda

Wilfred Paulse

Pantanal is known as the most continuum humid area on the Planet, one of the richest and most diversified natural reservation on Earth, and a place to have a lot of fun! Unesco recognizes it as a mankind patrimony.

Pantanal is located in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso, in Brazil, but it also reaches Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguai, accounting for almost 200,000 Km2 during the flooding period. Its size is equivalent to Austria, Belgium, Hungary and Portugal all together.

Pantanal is a huge plain of marshy areas, including perennial and periodic rivers, bays and lakes, known during the flooding period as the Xaraes Ocean. During the drainage period (April to June), the land becomes the richest concentration of natural food that will sustain its entire fauna and flora. That is the best time to visit Pantanal. The temperature is nice and the animals look for food exposing themselves to the cameras! From August to October is the best time for fishing. Fishes return to the rivers, a phenomenon known as "lufada". The low season is between January and June, when prices are cheaper.

Places to Stay

Try to stay in one of the traditional counties, such as Aquidauana, Corumba, Coxim, Miranda and Porto Murtinho. Plan to spend some time with locals to learn about their culture!

The best way to experience the Pantanal is staying on one of the traditional cattle ranches deep in the Pantanal. They usually have very extensive and well kept nature and can offer you the real thing, together with a cozy B&B. There you'll meet real cowboys that can show you around their Pantanal... Although expensive this is a worthwhile approach!

(  ) Offer Camp and Lodge (south of Pantanal).

 Try to avoid also the too-cheap-to-be-good offers.

Going There

You can fly, drive or go by boat.

If flying, you can choose Varig, TAM or Pantanal to go to Campo Grande. From Guarulhos (SP), your best option is Varig with a direct flight. From Congonhas (SP), TAM flies stopping in Londrina (PR), and from Presidente Prudente(SP) you can consider flying with Pantanal. If going to Cuiabá, you can choose between Varig and TAM, leaving from Sao Paulo.

If driving, the options are going from Cuiabá to Cáceres through MT-070. From Cuiabá to Porto Jofre, you take BR-364 until Poconé, then MT-060 and Transpantaneira. From Cuiabá until Barão de Melgaço through BR-364 then MT-361 until Barão.

If you choose a fluvial way, from Cuiabá you can go to Barão de Melgaço through Cuiabá River. From Cáceres, you can visit Pantanal through Paraguai River.

What to Do and See

The natural beauty provides breath taking walks and one can choose among different routes in any time of the year.

With so many great alternatives, deciding what to do next may not be an easy task, and you might consider spending at least one week there. These are some of the options one can explore in Pantanal: trekking, rafting, walking, photography, swimming, diving, hiking, driving, fishing, camping and much more…

The city of Bonito is a must see. There, you can see waterfalls, lagoons, bays with water springs, crafts, pre-historical caves, archeological sites, just to name a few. The Blue Lake Cave is an unforgettable journey, a deep and crystalline lake surrounded by geological formations. Caiman ecological site provides rides by foot, horse or boat to different adventures such as watching alligators' eyes at night (face to face). The phenomenon of "piracema" (fish migration to the upper river part for laying out their eggs) can be seen at Mimoso River. At Sucuri River you can swim surrounded by colorful shoal fishes.

Travel Tips

Clothes - jeans, T-shirts and hat for the day, but you should bring a warmer jacket for nights

Food - basically fishes and barbecue

Shopping - better in Campo Grande (cheaper and with more options)

Films - buy a lot in Campo Grande

Repelent - is a must to survive!

Enjoy your travel!

Rui wrote: The Pantanal is a vast alluvial plain in the west of Brazil. a 5 day trek is among the most beautiful experiences you can have. A lot of wildlife and an astonishing natural environment. Take this ride and become one with nature...

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at:


March 24, 2006 change by giorgio

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