The Pantanal is one of the world's most immense and rich ecosystems. It is arguably the largest wetland on the globe. Extending through Central-West Brazil, eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay, the Pantanal covers from 140,000 Km2 (up to 200,000 km2 during the rain season) or 50,000 sq. Mi. It is larger than Greece.
This is an unparalleled biogenetic reservoir of spectacular beauty, an ecological paradise with hundreds of species of birds, thousands of varieties of butterflies, myriads of brightly colored flowers, and shoals of fish. Capuchin and Howler monkeys, capybaras, macaws, anacondas, caimans and tapirs help create an aquatic and sylvan theatre of sights and sounds. The endangered jaguar, and increasingly rare Hyacinth macaws and giant river otters all call the Pantanal home.
Over 650 species of birds alone have been identified, as well as over 80 mammals, 50 reptiles, and 250 species of fish - with many more likely to be identified in this poorly researched region. The concentrations in which these are found help make the Pantanal an extraordinary habitat for ecotourism, field research, aesthetic inspiration, and ecological education. The Panantal is an unmatched wildlife sanctuary.
The rainy period is from October to March. This area is characterized by heavy, seasonal rainfall and massive flooding. The word "Pantanal" is Portuguese for swamp, although, strictly speaking, the far-stretching perennial swamps lie in the southern part of the region. In drier periods, large areas are virtually waterless. This gigantic waterscape then turns into a savannah shimmering with heat. If it does not rain, green vegetation can be found only on low ground, or in any number of large and small lakes, ponds, and rivers.
The nearest well-developed city in Brazil where tours can be arranged to Pantanal is Campo Grande. Usually, guests stay in farms transformed into lodges and visit several attractions of the region. Horses, boats and 4x4 vehicles are some of the ways to commute there.
If you like the wilderness and/or fishing, don’t miss some days at Pantanal.