Last updated on December 31st, 2018 at 12:01 pm
Are you dreaming about visiting the wildlife wonders of Brazil? Follow our Mato Grosso Travel Guide for the best wildlife adventure.
When talking about Brazil, people typically imagine beautiful beaches and Carnival, but there’s so much more to Brazil. If you want to see cascading waterfalls, crystal clear waters with rainbow-colored fish and extreme wildlife biodiversity, the Mato Grosso state is the place for you. The Mato Grosso jungle is an expansive plain teaming with wildlife in the very heart of South America. With the capital, Cuiabá, situated at the intersection to three of the richest ecosystems in the world: the Amazon Rainforest, the Cerrado, and the Pantanal, you can seamlessly combine these three destinations into one customized Brazilian journey.
Getting to the Mato Grosso Jungle
Where is Mato Grosso plateau located? Almost all the Brazilian airports offer daily flights to Cuiabá, specifically in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Flights from Rio and São Paulo are about 1.5-hours making these cities the perfect starting points for your Brazilian trip of a lifetime.
You can access the rainforest via road trip from Cuiabá, but due to the massive size of the region and lack of accommodations in the Mato Grosso, the best way to enjoy the biodiversity offered by this ecosystem is to fly directly to Manaus. From Manaus, you can choose between staying in one of our recommended hotels or lodges which offers all sorts of activities including jungle hikes, wildlife observation hikes, boat trips, visiting indigenous tribes, piranha fishing, the “Meeting of the Waters” between the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões, and more. There are so many activities to choose from in the Amazon, that we advise you to spend at least three days just visiting the Rainforest. There isn’t one best time to visit the Rainforest for this is a place where it is warm year round, so please don’t forget your sunblock, your insect repellent, and your sense of adventure!
Visiting Cerrado from the Mato Grosso Jungle
The Cerrado region of Mato Grosso is a place of exquisite waterfalls and the most spectacular crystal clear waters you’ll ever see. It is the perfect destination for those who enjoy nature and activities like snorkeling, hiking, bike riding, bird watching and fishing (with over 1,500 species of living creatures registered), natural caves, and much more. Some highlights in the Cerrado region include Chapada dos Guimarães and Nobres. One spectacular sight to see is the sunset! Make sure you spend enough time to relax and admire the breathtaking sunset while visiting. We recommend spending at least two days in the Cerrado of Mato Grosso. If you’d like an extended stay to discover the region fully, allow 4 – 5 days. You can travel to the Cerrado region any time of the year because the climate is excellent from January until December with very few interruptions due to bad weather.
Visiting the Pantanal from the Mato Grosso Jungle
Nothing you have ever seen before will even compare to what the Pantanal has to offer regarding bird watching and flora and fauna. The locals say there are four different Pantanal’s that you can experience, each one changing based on the time of the year you visit. If your objective is to see as much wildlife as possible, the preferred time to visit would be from June to September, when the waters are at the lowest and natural pools from where the fish flock and the birds gather to eat. This time also offers the best opportunity to see yacares, tapyrs, macaws, anteaters, capybaras, marsh deer, iguanas, anacondas and the biggest feline of South America: the Pantanal Jaguar (Onça Pintada). Even if your trip is scheduled for another time of the year, you can still appreciate most of the wildlife species: some easier than others, of course. For example, with a single 2-hour road trip from Cuiabá to Araras Lodge or Piuval Resort, you can take advantage of several activities they offer including boat trips, horseback riding, night safaris and bike riding, to see the flora and fauna of the region. If your trip isn’t going to be complete until you see the Pantanal Jaguar, you must be willing to go a little further down the Transpantaneira road, about a 5-hour road trip from Cuiabá to Porto Jofre Resort. One of the best activities the resort offers is a boat trip to a naturally formed beach along two merging rivers. This is where Jaguars sit and relax, enjoying a nice sunbath. Just the journey deeper into the Pantanal offers plenty of options to see wildlife. It’s an amazing experience and one that any wildlife enthusiast should include on their bucket list. I recommend a six-day trip through the region: spend two days snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of Nobres, and another two days hiking to see magnificent waterfalls in Chapada dos Guimarães and the last two days in the Pantanal. There are several options for hotels, ranch-like lodges, and charming resorts, just ask our sales consultant which option is best for you.