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Perfect Pantanal - The Hidden Gem of Brazil

July 1, 2014

Brazil has been on a screens regularly recently due to the FIFA World Cup 2014 , but what else is there for visitors to experience in this vast and varied country?

Brazil is one of the prime locations in the world for wildlife. Boasting 60% of the Amazon Rainforest within the countries borders, it is one of the most desirable locations for tourists with a passion for all types of creatures! While the Amazon is teeming with life (10% of all animal and plant life on the planet to be exact!) it can actually be a frustrating experience if your sole reason for going is to see animals. The thick jungle and tangled rivers of this vast rainforest are not ideal for viewing animals that for the most part do not want to be seen.


In terms of wanting to see animals go about their daily business, in the wild and in the open, there really is only one Brazilian destination you should be looking at: Pantanal.

A huge expanse of wetlands, Pantanal straddles the Brazil/Bolivia border, and it is an absolute must for nature lovers. Of course, a visit to the Amazon is still an awe-inspiring experience, but Pantanal is home to remarkable scenery.

Pantanal is an enormous wetland that covers a range of the mid-South American continent that is the size of Portugal, and is often described as the largest swampland on the planet. The whole area acts as a drainage basin for the surrounding mountains and plateaus, and the effect is like a sink of that attracts a myriad of plant and animal life.

For the avid animal watcher, Pantanal will be an experience to remember, and thanks to its vast areas of open space, the animals are easy to spot, see, and track. Despite its size, the area is one of the most remote in South America, and has traditionally only been used by cattle farmers, a trade that has lessened in recent years. This area now attracts a myriad of plant and animal life.

The Brazilian government is now seeing the huge potential for Pantanal to become a tourist destination and has made exerted efforts to market the area. The city of Cuiabá at the northern edge of Pantanal has hosted a total of four games during the 2014 World Cup. The city was chosen with a specific design to attract more tourism to the region in the future. However, Pantanal is still very much the domain of Mother Nature in all her glory and the government has assured that tourism will never take precedence over maintaining the natural status quo.

One thing that should be remembered is that a trip to Pantanal is a back to nature experience, one where you will be at the mercy of the climate. This being Brazil, the weather can be baking hot and pouring with rain, but the truth is, whatever happens in the sky only makes for the most mesmerizing of spectacles on the ground. The internal flight to Pantanal is breathtaking enough but on the ground you will be surrounded by one amazing site after the next, with plant and animal life always in abundance. 

If you are visiting after the rainy season or heavy downpours, the chances are many of the naturally non-aquatic animals would have moved into the forests. There is still a good chance you will see them, but you are more likely to see water based animals in these circumstances. Luckily, when the rains have come the flora explodes; lush green trees look illustrious while every flowering plant blooms, making this a spectacularly colourful place.
When the area is going through a drier period you will be treated to the full breadth of Brazilian wildlife and for the most part in full view. Animals that would be elusive in jungle thickets in the Amazon will be visible on the Pantanal wetland, where even the most secretive of beasts come out into the open. Sure, during warmer spells the waters recede and the plant life is not quite as alive, but nevertheless Pantanal is always a green wonderland. Speaking of animal and plant life, in Pantanal you will be treated to it all. Jaguars, Sloths, Macaws, Monkeys, Capybaras, Giant Anteaters, Deer, Piranha, 365 types of bird, Coatis, thousands of flowering plants, Caimans, Armadillos, and many more.

Now is the time to see this paradise. At the moment Pantanal is still relatively unknown around the world, making this truly a unique experience; just remember to bring your camera! Get in touch with us today to find out more.


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