The Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães & Bonito holidays
The vast Pantanal wetlands are considered the best place in Brazil to view wildlife on guided walks, 4×4 safaris, horse rides or boat and canoe trips. Stays in comfortable lodges can be arranged, accessed via Campo Grande in the southern Pantanal or Cuiabá in the north. South of the Pantanal lies Bonito, surrounded by verdant green forest, caves, waterfalls and clear blue pools and rivers, where schools of colourful fish swim. To the north of Cuiabá, the flat-topped ridges, rocky scenery and waterfalls of the Chapada dos Guimarães are another haven for hikers and lovers of the great outdoors.
Explore The Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães & Bonito
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Places to Visit
Bonito is a small town in the Serra da Bodoquena, some 300 kilometres south-east of Campo Grande, and is a renowned eco-tourism destination, surrounded by verdant green forest. The natural attractions of the area include caves, waterfalls and clear blue natural pools and rivers, where schools of colourful fish swim. A stay in Bonito combines well with a wildlife visit to the southern Pantanal
Cuiabá, the capital of the state of Mato Grosso is a peaceful, tree-lined city and gateway to the northern Pantanal, as well as a base for visits to the Chapada dos Guimarães national park. The city was founded by explorers and adventurers who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, settled in the centre of Brazil, setting up trading posts and going in search of the region's abundant gold reserves. Today the city has a well-restored historic centre and a number of interesting museums, including one of the largest collections on indigenous culture
A visit to the world's largest freshwater wetland is a stunning wildlife experience. The Pantanal, with an area of over 2,000 square kilometres, is a mosaic of lakes, rivers, savannahs, seasonal streams and forests that support a great biological diversity. Lazing capybaras, sun basking caimans, iguanas, tapirs, giant anteaters, marsh deer, whooping howler monkeys and an enormous wealth of birds are all easier to spot here due to the lack of dense vegetation. The area is also one of the remaining strongholds for the continent's biggest and most elusive cat: the jaguar. Best for sightings is the protected park near Porto Jofre at the end of the Transpantaneira, a dirt road that carves through the heart of this vast and wild area.
An extraordinary annual cycle of floods and drought defines life in the Pantanal. Heavy rains from November to March transform the landscape into a freshwater wetland, causing mammals to flee while aquatic species populate the region. From April onwards, the waters start to recede and wildlife returns to the emerging plains. In July to October, lagoons and ponds dry out and birds breed. This is the best time to spot mammals and perhaps even catch sight of a jaguar.
Stays in comfortable lodges can be arranged, accessed via Campo Grande in the south or Cuiabá in the north. Guided tours on offer include nature walks, horse rides, boat and canoe trips, birdwatching and 4x4 safaris.
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