The Brazilian Pantanal presents a vast and magnificent biomass located in the heart of South America. Covering 250,000 km between Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia, the Pantanal is home to plants and animals of rare beauty. The massive floodplain carries influences of the Amazon, Cerrado, Chaco, as well as the Atlantic Rainforest.
Running through the region is the Paraguay River, which creates flooded areas that shelter a wide biodiversity of water creatures. Tapirs, hyacinth macaws, capybaras, giant otters and armadillos also grace the plain. The spotted jaguar, however, often steals the whole show. That is, if the beautiful beast cares to reveal itself.
Environmental enthusiasts and tourists can experience the Pantanal in all of its splendor in a number of ways. Here are just five.
1. Do some sport fishing
Being the wetlands that it is, the Pantanal is perfect for fishing aficionados. In fact, there are about 400 different fish species to discover in the region. Those who come to the beautiful biome for fishing can stay in the many boat-hotels.
The mini-cruises travel up and down the Paraguay River to provide an optimal fishing experience. These floating hotels are also a great option for those who just want to enjoy the wildlife at a leisurely pace.
2. Animal-watching at night
For those who love a taste of adventure and excitement, the animal-watching at night in the Pantanal makes for the perfect excursion. Among the amazing diversity of animal species in the region, many have specifically nocturnal habits. In addition to the famous spotted jaguar, active night animals include alligators, tapirs, owls, and more.
Many eco-hotels offer the night excursions, which last about two to three hours at a time. In the dry season, the excursions also venture into the beautiful “Corixo Seco” area of closed forest. Tour guides that are familiar with both the terrain and its inhabitants accompany the excursions.
3. Go on a photo safari
Many ecotourism companies offer photo safaris of the magnificent Pantanal landscape and diverse flora and fauna. Safari-goers can choose to travel by either boat or buggy.
From a more rustic wooden canoe experience to high-energy kayaking, sportier tourists can enjoy the wetlands up close.
5. Drive a herd of cattle
Cattle-raising is one of the main sources of income in the Pantanal. For those who want the authentic farming experience, many ranches offer holiday stays and cattle-herding excursions.
The Pantanal is also home to the mysterious blue lagoon, Bonito.