"T H E WETLAND AREA OF THE WORLD....." Top 5 Page for this destination Pantanal by schurlif

Pantanal Travel Guide: 87 reviews and 239 photos

Water masses and alligators

The socalled “Pantanal Matogrossense” which in reality is an accumulation of 10 pantanais (wet- or swamplands) is the biggest continious wetland and flood area of the world, recognized by UNESCO as a patrimony of humankind. A giant basin, maybe the size of France, connected to Rio Paraguai, extending between Western Brazil and Southern Bolivia, surrounded by mountainous regions, with poor and “waterproof” soil, the whole area gets inundated by heavy rainfall, principally in the north in the early months of the year. Drainage is only possible to the south (Rio Paraguai) and is REALLY slow, thus the water masses reach the south only by the end of June…. Sometimes Rio Paraguai itself rises due to heavy rainfalls and forms a strip of maybe 40 km of water, called romantically as “Sea of the Xaraiés”, a local indigenous tribe. The Pantanal is world renowned for being the biggest inland water evaporating area but mainly for its great variety of wildlife, mammals, including primates, deers and jaguars, a whole array of tropical birds, gigantic fish and above all, the Jacaré, the South American version of a Cayman alligator…

Camila on the lookout

When we arrived in July (the winter holidays in the Southern Hemisphere) the main water areas had already dried up and the flora was dry and colorless….. It’s not the plants here that are the stars but the animals….. Driving around, standing in the back of a truck, armed with ocular spyglasses, we went on photosafaris looking for the “animal action” and we didn’t have to wait too long, with an approximate population of 10 million jacarés they weren’t so hard to find… And birds were also very easy to spot…

Our host at the inn....

We stayed at a pousada (inn) which actually was like a guesthouse of a gigantic cattle ranch. I knew I was on an ecological trip and couldn’t expect too much of comfort…. But the place seemed to me like an army camp… (what aren’t we tourists not ready to sacrifice for travellings and experiences sake…??) Every morning at 6:15 we were woken up by the rings of a bell in the central area of the pousada, half an hour time for breakfast and/or other activities and then it was out in the nature… no excuse….. no pardon… This cute and nice little green fellow moved around freely in the pousada and kept us some company while we relaxed in the pool area after a long and exhausting day of discovering the nature….

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very interesting ecological destination
  • Cons:no real cons , just make sure you choose right time of year
  • In a nutshell:Eco trip tailored to your expectations
  • Last visit to Pantanal: Jul 2003
  • Intro Updated Mar 11, 2006
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Reviews (4)

Comments (6)

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    A dream of mine. Quite expensive for the Eastern USA. Nice page.

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2007 at 1:49 PM

    Looks like a great experience! I intend to go to Pantanal in December, hope it's right time for the visit. Did you find Miranda a good base for discovering around? Greetings from your ex neighbouring country! :)

  • Confucius's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2006 at 9:00 AM

    I'm trying to think of some silly games that I could play with the alligators. "Hide and Seek" would probably be my first choice. "Tag" might work, but I'm afraid of being "It" all of the time.

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2006 at 2:07 AM

    really nice page with fantastic photos. it makes me look even more forward to going there next month.

  • Dec 3, 2005 at 11:36 AM

    Your story on the stampede made me smile.:) You are right. It sounds like a movie! From Cape Town......Greetings!

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2005 at 11:12 AM

    just watch a program on National Geographic about the Pantanal..now ..humans have problems to survive, well it made me think back, when everything that moved was shot.do we ever get the balance right? fine page Georg..good shot of the Tatu


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