Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Why You Should Visit The Pantanal, The World’s Largest Tropical Wetland
The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland. Located in Brazil’s middle west region, it has the greatest concentration of wildlife in the Americas.
With a total area half the size of France, the Pantanal covers territory across several Brazilian states and reaches neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay.
This massive South American wetland has over 600 species of birds, 350 species of fish, 135 species of mammals, and about 80 reptile species. Pantanal’s wildlife includes capybara (the biggest rodent on Earth)macaws, caiman, giant anteaters, anaconda, jaguar, cougars and monkeys.
Because of its rich and unique nature, the Pantal has become one of the world’s favorite places for wildlife photographers and documentary makers. In fact, a visit to the Pantanal is mesmerizing, since it’s like you’ve just walked into the middle of your own wildlife documentary.
The best time to visit the Pantanal is during its dry season (April-September), which is perfect to enjoy the place for outdoor activities.
See below a list of the best things to do in the world’s largest wetland.
The Northern Pantanal comprises around a third of the total Pantanal area. The subregion presents rich wildlife, with the largest concentration of Jaguars.
Visitors can take a ride through Transpantaneira road. This highway offers one of the best wildlife viewing experiences in South America.
Northen Pantanal also has a vibrant local culture with several festivities in Cuiabá, Poconé and Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade.
Covering almost two-thirds of the region, Southern Pantanal is the gateway for those who want to explore the Pantanal in depth.
Tourists are able to see some of Pantanal’s best cattle stations along with the unique Pantanal wildlife. They can see capybara, alligators, giant anteaters, anacondas, diverse birdlife and jaguars.
Also, tourists can enjoy outdoor activities in the city of Bonito, a paradise location.
Located in the southwest of Mato Grosso do Sul state, Bonito (Beautiful in English) is known for its stunning caves, sinkholes, waterfalls, rapids and, most importantly, its crystal clear rivers. The waters for these have filtered up through the limestone from underground sources. This natural phenomenon results in a series of natural clearwater aquariums allowing visitors to view and swim.
Bonito has built a reputation as Brazil’s eco-adventure capital. The city offers caving, rafting, snorkeling, cave diving, abseiling, horse treks and hiking.
The best time to visit is generally the dry season(April-September). During this period, the sites are easier to access, and the clarity of the waters is better for diving and snorkeling.
Chapada dos Guimarães
Chapada dos Guimarães is one of the best destinations in the Pantanal. This landscape offers an indescribable experience. Situated in the state of Mato Grosso, it is also the geographical center of South America. Its plateau, with red-orange cliffs, has 500-800 meters high and 280 kilometers of border, full of cliffs and precipices.
Chapada dos Guimarães is a perfect place for hiking lovers. The subregion boasts over 100 waterfalls, rocky sandstone, 46 archaeological sites, reddish rocky cliffs, canyons, rivers, fossil shells and caves.