How to Plan Your Trip to Pantanal in Brazil
Pantanal is the world’s largest wetland area and covers 210,00 sq km. Its split between the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso. It also spills into Paraguay and Bolivia and offers the best opportunities for watching wildlife in their natural habitats.
Why Should You Go To Pantanal?
There’s no other better place to watch wildlife in South America like in Pantanal. If you aren’t an animal lover, you’ll be one when your trip comes to an end.
It’s easy to observe the animals since it is an open habitat with lots of sunbathing caiman and water birds. You can enjoy a four-day boat trip to the Puerto Jofre area that offers guaranteed encounters with jaguars or piranha fishing. If you love bird watching, there are 550 plus species in the area.
How to See Pantanal
It’s convenient and easy to organize a guided tour to Pantanal since it’s cheap. Guided tours include lots of boat trips, transport to and from gateway cities as well as bed and board at any of the approved government ranches.
Where to Visit
Pantanal has two access points; Campo Grandein located in the south for trips to the Estrada Parque access road and Cuiaba in the north for sites along the Trans-Pantaneira highway. Companies that operate out of Campo Grande go for backpacker style experience, a mass market where comfort isn’t a priority due to budget constraints.
On the other hand, Cuiaba agencies are expensive but offer high-quality and more personalized trips that only offer the best chances of watching wildlife but also probe deeper into Pantanal.
Trans Pantaneira Highway
Trans Pantaneira Highway bisects south from Pocone town which is the heart of Pantanal. It’s a dirt road that’s traversed by eco-tourists and is impassable during the wet season. You’ll have to give way to masses of jaywalking capybara while marveling at flocks of heroin when driving down to your lodge.
Pantanal’s inhabitants such as the jaguar, tapir, marsh deer and giant otter hang out here. The best place to watch the jaguar is near Porto Jofre. However, the area is only accessible during the short dry season.
Impoverished car ferries and red soil are features of Estrada Parque. Also, a dogleg section of loop road dissects the southern edge of Pantanal off the main Campo Grande highway.
The scenery is beautiful with beady caiman eyes staring at visitors from the reed beds, Jabiru stork stalking the marshes and Toco Toucans plucking palm fruits.
When Should You Go?
The cooler winter months of May to August offer a good combination of favorable temperatures and wildlife sightings. During the wet season of November to April, insects are usually busy but some places are temporarily inaccessible. If you are traveling from certain vacation destinations, such asPalm Beach, to Brazil, you will find some of the best weather bar none.
Prices are cheap during the low season (December to March) however the rainy, humid and hot conditions are unpleasant.
Before paying for your trip, research your company to get a good deal since lots of opinions are posted online concerning Pantanal tour operators.