Last updated on December 31st, 2018 at 12:01 pm
In this blog post, I will discuss everything that is the Pantanal. Discover interesting Pantanal facts and our favorite Pantanal Brazil tours (specifically, Pantanal Nature Tours). Then learn where the Pantanal is, the best time to visit the Pantanal, Pantanal wildlife, Pantanal biodiversity and more! Here we go!
About the Pantanal
Let’s talk about the Pantanal wetlands! The Pantanal is part national park, part UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the world’s largest tropical wetland, covering 70,000 square miles of land, equating to the size of my home, Washington State. Travelers from all over the world come to the marshes of the Pantanal region to see an impressive variety of life, from rare jaguars and stealthy alligators to vibrantly colored macaws. Some even find that the Pantanal is better than the Amazon Jungle in terms of spotting wildlife because it is free from dense foliage and thick jungle which can obscure the view. To put a cherry on top, the Pantanal actually boasts the highest concentration of wildlife on the continent!
Where is the Pantanal
The Pantanal is in the heart of South America. The region mostly covers Brazil but also extends into Bolivia and Paraguay. While the Pantanal is shared between Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay – the majority of travelers visit the Brazilian region. Below is a Pantanal map, so you can better understand where the location of the Pantanal.
The Pantanal wetlands, like many South American destinations, experience a dry season and a wet season. The wet season is from December to March. During this time of the year, torrential rain fills the Pantanal basin, creating a vast flooded landscape. Once the downpour subsides, water slowly flows into the Paraguay River. It’s possible to visit the Pantanal at this time but it is not highly recommended. Many hotels close down during this time and it can be difficult to see wildlife.
We recommend experiencing the magic of the Pantanal during the dry season from May to October when wildlife is in full force and rainfall is at its lowest. During this time of the year, native flora and fauna are easy to spot as they gather around the sparkling lakes and rivers, free from dense foliage. Watch the sun rise over the world’s largest tropical wetland and explore marshes full of capybaras, marsh deer, tapirs, radiant macaws, and if you’re lucky, the rare Pantanal jaguar.
Pantanal wildlife tours are extremely popular because the Pantanal has an abundance of bird and animal species. I mean, we’re talking 1000 bird species, 400 fish species, 300 mammalian species, 480 reptile species and over 9000 different subspecies of invertebrates. However, the season and the area of the Pantanal that you visit highly determines what kind of wildlife you will spot. Though you are 99% guaranteed to spot a caiman because there are about 10 million in the region! Other Pantanal animals and species include capybaras, tapirs, macaws, marsh deer and more!
The Best Pantanal Tours
There are plenty of things to do on a Pantanal Tour. Visitors can go on horseback riding tours, hiking tours, safaris and learn how to fish for piranha. What makes things even better, most of the Pantanal is in Brazil which makes it an easy destination to combine with other iconic cities and regions in Brazil! For example, combine a trip to the Pantanal with Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo or Iguassu Falls!
For more Pantanal trip ideas, check out our favorite Pantanal Tours below:
- Pantanal Wetlands & Rio de Janeiro Tour
- Pantanal, Nobres & Chapada dos Guimaraes Tour
- Jaguar House Boat Pantanal Cruise
- Pantanal Brazil Fishing Tour
Pantanal Lodges or Hotels
Are you wondering where you should stay in the Pantanal? What about one of our favorite lodges? Take a look at our two favorite Pantanal lodges below – the Pousada Rio Mutum and Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge.
Pousada Rio Mutum: Pousada do Rio Mutum is in the municipality of Barão de Melgaço, one of the most beautiful regions of the Pantanal. The landscape surrounding the lodge features hills, savannas, rivers, and flooded areas. The Pousada is also nearby the famous Bays of Siá Mariana and Chacororé. Guests can choose from three different types of rooms, as well as daily exciting wildlife and adventure excursions.
Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge: The Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge is a self-sustainable lodge in the Pantanal. While staying here, go on birdwatching tours, walk on the trails of the primary forest, practice canoeing or explore fields and forests on horseback. At night, opt for a safari where you can spot wildlife at the night alongside expert naturalist guides. This lodge features a variety of apartments suitable for solo travelers, romantic couples or small families.
Contact Us About the Pantanal
Curious about the Pantanal? We’re here to help answer any of your questions! Please contact an Expert Travel Consultant if you have any inquiries regarding the Pantanal wetlands or traveling to other destinations in South America.