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What to do in the Pantanal?

Traveling to the Brazilian Pantanal is an incredible experience, especially for nature lovers. It is no wonder that this is one of the main tourist destinations in the country.

As the largest floodplain on the planet, the destination is home to incredible biodiversity, as it encompasses Brazil (MS and MT states), northern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia. This means that it is influenced by the Amazon, the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest, in addition to the Chaco biome.

Therefore, it is one of the most stunning places in the world and is rich in attractions, serving its visitors very well and offering various ecotourism activities.

The options range from activities such as sport fishing, horseback riding, canoeing, climbing, biking and trekking to rides on rapids and ATVs.

In addition, wildlife observation activities attract a lot of attention, as the visitor can have the opportunity to closely observe animals such as alligators and even the jaguar, a symbol of the destination. Check out some of the activities that can be done there:

Jaguar in the South Pantanal

Wildlife Watching and Photo Safari

Observe and photograph birds, felines, mammals, fish and reptiles.
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Man fishing in the Pantanal

Artisanal and Sport Fishing

Find more than 230 species in this fishing paradise!
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People crossing the Pantanal river in a canoe

Canoe, chalana, boat and Hotel Boat trip

Stroll along the rivers that give the Pantanal all its charm.
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People ride horses on a farm in the Pantanal

Horseback riding and carriage

Spend the day contemplating the nature of the destination on horseback.
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People hike in Pantanal

Adventure activities

Climbing, biking, trekking, camping and hiking in the Pantanal
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North or South Pantanal: where to visit?

The Pantanal is not just one! Despite being a unique biome, the destination is made up of 11 micro-regions in which each has its own characteristics of soil, vegetation and climate. However, it is divided between the so-called Pantanal Norte, in the state of Mato Grosso, and the Pantanal Sul, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Although similar, the two have some differences. Learn more about each one:

North Pantanal

Ideal for those who want to fish, stay a few meters away from alligators and various birds, in addition to seeing cultural events and typical dances of the Pantanal.

Cities to visit: Cáceres, Poconé and Barão de Melgaço.

South Pantanal

In addition to everything the North has to offer, in the South Pantanal you can also dive into wildlife, venture into the heart of Brazil by crossing the Estrada Parque Pantanal and discover canoeing trips along the Negro, Paraguay and Aquidauana rivers.

In addition, the main cities in the South are close to the Bonito - Bodoquena axis, which are champion destinations for ecotourism in Brazil. It is worth stretching the trip or splitting between the three to have an unforgettable experience in nature!

Cities to visit: Corumbá, Aquidauana and Miranda.

Man in foreground on boat in the Pantanal with people behind

When is the best time to visit the Pantanal?

Low season in the Pantanal

November to may

The low season is usually the best in terms of cost-benefit and happens during the wet season in the Pantanal.

During this period, the region becomes more flooded and is a great opportunity to explore the destination by sailing along its long rivers, taking boat trips, canoeing and fishing. They even get even more interesting, because of the water level!

During the flood season you will see unforgettable landscapes, in addition to finding air ticket deals, low accommodation costs and more inviting values on tours. Therefore, the low season is suitable if you are looking to travel to the heart of Brazil while saving money.

Ebb period in the Pantanal

May, June and July

It is the transition period from flood to drought in the Pantanal, being very rich in birds, reptiles and small alligators. Nights are cooler and days are drier. It is still an interesting period to travel to the destination, even more so during the vacation season.

High Season in the Pantanal

August to october

Drought season in the Pantanal. It is the ideal season if you want to see animals, go on safaris and explore an exuberant fauna and flora, after all, it is during this time that the birth of the cubs in the nests takes place, the rivers are much drier, the Ipês bloom with pink and lilac and many animals appear to quench their thirst in the small lakes formed by the lull of the rains. The ideal is to book accommodation, tours and airline tickets well in advance.

How to get to the Pantanal?

How to get to the North Pantanal

The best option is to fly to Cuiabá/MT by plane and by the time you get there, take a car or bus to the city of Poconé, where the North Pantanal actually begins. It is a 1h30 drive by car, on the other hand the bus can take about 3h30.

How to get to Pantanal Sul

The best way is to fly to Campo Grande/MS and head to Corumbá by car or shared transport. The city is known as the capital of the Pantanal. The trip takes about 4 hours by car. If you have more time, include Bonito and Bodoquena in your itinerary to enjoy even more all that Mato Grosso do Sul has to offer!

About the Pantanal region

Natural Beauties of the Pantanal

As it is a region with different influences from the Amazon, Cerrado, Atlantic Forest and Chaco biome, the humidity and temperatures that range from 21 to 32ºC make the biodiversity in the Pantanal incredible.

There are about 3,500 types of plants (some species exist only in the Pantanal!), around 6,656 cataloged species of birds, 325 of fish, 159 of mammals, 98 of reptiles and 53 of amphibians.

Curiosities about the Pantanal

Several indigenous and quilombola communities still exist and live in the region. They are an important part of the cultural formation of the Pantanal population.

UNESCO recognized the destination as one of the most incredible, exuberant and diversified natural reserves on the planet, making it part of the collection of human heritage.

The Pantanal is the largest continuous wetland on the planet, covering about 250 thousand km², distributed between southern Mato Grosso, northwest Mato Grosso do Sul, eastern Bolivia and northern Paraguay. Even so, 60% of the destination's territory belongs to Brazil.

The vegetation resulting from the various regions that the Pantanal covers cause alternating wet and dry periods. These floods are beneficial for the renewal and survival of local species.

What to eat in the Pantanal?

Pantanal food is rich in diversity, with delicious and unique dishes in the world. As it is the largest wetland in the world, fishing is very present. The most consumed fish are piranha, pacu, dourado and pintado, which can be fried, boiled or roasted. When the waters are low, the highlight is wild boar and alligator meat (an exotic dish just like in Bonito/MS).

The typical foods have indigenous, African and European influences, highlighting the following dishes: piranha broth, Bolivian rice, chipa, Paraguayan soup, Bolivian saltenha, sarrabulho, dried meat paçoca and Pantanal barbecue, among many others.

The so-called Comida de Comitiva is also always present, such as: arroz carreteiro (Carreteiro rice), feijão gordo (fatty beans) and macarrão de comitiva (fried pasta in lard and made with dried meat).

Get your tours to the Pantanal

Do you want to live several adventures in the Pantanal, but with all the facilities of a super complete accommodation? If the answer to this question is yes, check out the options for day use tours that Bonitour offers in the destination.

Hotel boat in the Pantanal crossing a river

Day Use Fazenda San Francisco

Safari, Carandá trail, Chalana tour with piranha fishing and food
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People ride horses at Pousada Pequi in the Pantanal

Experience in the Pantanal for 1 person

Individual Package with safari, food, horseback or boat riding
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Man with his back at sunset during Pantanal Night Focus tour

Experience in the Pantanal for 2 people

Package with safari, food, horseback or boat riding
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Two people take a boat ride in the Pantanal

Experience in the Pantanal for 3 people

Package with safari, food, horseback or boat riding
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Pássaros comem na Pousada Pequi no Pantanal

Experience in the Pantanal for 4 people

Package with safari, food, horseback or boat riding
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Frequently Asked Questions

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