Pantanal is the largest wetlands on the planet. Its area is about 250 thousand km², and is mainly in Brazil, but also Bolivia and Paraguay. In this almost wild heaven, thousands of species of animals and plants were cataloged, some of them found only in this biome.
The best time to visit Pantanal is during the dry season, between May and September, when the waters recede. During these months, it is possible to travel through areas that are totally flooded when the rain arrives. Thus, you can better observe its flora and fauna.
The itinerary proposed herein can be done in 4 days, but the ideal is to increase two days because there are two long boat trips to do: one from Cáceres to Pantanal Matogrossense National Park; another from the National Park to Corumbá. This way, you can enjoy better this unforgettable trip.
Our great adventure begins visiting the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, 50 km from Cuiabá. Despite the park is not in Pantanal, you can see part of the Pantanal plain.
Since you will be there, you can enjoy some local attractions such as the famous Véu de Noiva waterfall and its 86-meter waterfall. Or the Cidade de Pedra (Stone City), a canyon with jagged formation that resembles medieval castles.
The trip to the Chapada dos Guimarães is worthwhile because it gives the opportunity to experience two different breathtaking ecosystems.
In Cuiabá, take time to visit Craftsman House, a very rich place in art and culture and you have the chance to know more about the story of the region as well buy some beautiful handicrafts pieces.
Cáceres is 200 km from Cuiabá. You can get there by bus, in a 3-hour trip. The city is the gateway to the Pantanal
A good way to be introduced to the local nature is by a Paraguay River tour. There are several boats, of all types and sizes, leaving from the fluvial port. These boats make different itineraries as the photographic safari and night tour. However, the goals of all tourists are the same: to observe the plants, fish, birds and many other local animals, such as the caiman and the jaguar.
If you do not return too late from the exploration, you can visit the city Historical Museum. The neoclassical building was built in 1922, with the objective of housing the Municipal Market. It began to play its new role in 1978. In its collection, we point out to the archaeology session: more than 10,000 pieces that reveal the daily life of the indigenous tribes that used to live in those lands long ago, before the white man arrived.
Getting to the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park takes effort and time, but it is worth a visit. The best way it to mix the means of transport. The first step is by car, from Cáceres. The route includes the Transpantaneira road, from Poconé to Porto Jofre. On the dirt road, you can stop the car to watch several local animals. In Porto Jofre, we switch the car to a boat, for a 150 km trip by the river.
The entire route, including the road from Cáceres to Porto Jofre, will take almost a whole day. So, it is better visit the Park in the next day.
Pantanal Matogrossense National Park has an area of 135,000 hectares and it was listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site and Worldwide Biosphere Reserve. Its creation came to meet the claims of the scientific community and society, which required a park to protect the ecosystem.
When you arrive at the park, you will experience wild nature. And you can see dozens of different animals, free in their natural habitat, in an impressive vegetation.
But remember: to visit the park, prior authorization issued by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation is required. For more information, please contact the Institute.
To go to Corumbá, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, we return to the water and take a boat that goes down through the Paraguay River. The trip of 250 km takes about 7 hours and you should arrive in the mid-afternoon. You can enjoy hanging around the city of Casario do Porto Geral and visiting the Pantanal History Museum, which depicts the colonization and occupation of this biome.
If you prefer, you can visit the park by the Pantanal Park Road. In the rainy season, it is only possible to visit by 4x4 vehicles. However, during the dry season, any vehicle can travel. Along the route, you can see animals even without leaving the car, including caimans, anteaters, monkeys and jaguars.
At the end of the tour, if you want to buy some souvenirs, the right place to go is the Craftsman House. Workshops and booths sell local products made from wood, seeds, fish leather among other.