The largest wetlands in the world, the Pantanal Wetlands encompass over 210,000 square kilometres. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this stunning region boasts the richest concentration of wildlife in South America. Despite being in a relatively remote location, the Pantanal is a truly unique location that any wildlife lover cannot afford to miss!
Where Is It?
Although located mainly in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, some parts spill over into Paraguay and Bolivia. Northern Pantanal is best accessed by flying into Cuiaba and by a short drive to nearby Pocone. To explore the southern wetlands, you can fly into either Corumba or Campo Grande.
Water levels can vary a lot in the Pantanal. During the wet season, you will find the only viable means of transport are boat and small airplanes. Flying, however, can be an exciting way to experience the enormity of the wetlands. Alternatively, get up close and personal with the incredible wildlife in a boat! If you plan on driving, the dry season is the time to do it.
What You Can See
Boasting over 325 species of fish, 159 species of mammals and 656 species of birds– the question is more of what you won’t see! The northern Pantanal is one of the best places to see the elusive jaguar, with the highest concentration of jaguars in the world. Capybaras, macaws, toucans, anteaters, caimans and tapirs are all amongst some of the animals you will have the opportunity to see!
What Can You Do?
The Pantanal offers a range of activities, and many ways to discover the fascinating biodiversity of this area. Explore the waterways on canoeing adventures, boat trips and morning and night safaris. For the adventurous, enjoy horse riding, hiking and piranha fishing.
When To Go
For the best wildlife sightings, the best time to visit is during the dry season. This spans from July until September, although it can vary year to year. During this time, thirsty animals congregate around rivers, making for some spectacular sightings. It is also the nesting and breeding season for birds, meaning this is the perfect time for birdwatchers to visit!
For an otherworldly wildlife adventure, you can’t go past the Pantanal Wetlands. A little off the beaten track and absolutely teeming with incredible wildlife, this is one experience you truly cannot beat.