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Pantanal tours are one of the best ways to see wildlife in South America (rivalled only by the Galapagos Islands) and are the best place to see wildlife in Brazil. The Pantanal wetlands cover a large part of western Brazil and small areas of Bolivia and Paraguay. These seasonally flooded plains are home to a wealth of flora and fauna. The biggest choice of Pantanal tours and the best Pantanal lodges are found in Brazil. Pantanal wildlife tours are a considerably easier way to spot wildlife than going to the Amazon as the Pantanal is largely grassland with few trees and wildlife tends to congregate around sources of water, especially during the dry season (May to September). Read on for more information on trips to the Pantanal, or view more nature and wildlife tour ideas. We’ve been offering Pantanal tours in Brazil since 1999 and every Pantanal travel package is customized to fit your travel style, pace and schedule.
Update: Brazil Covid-19 Travel – Brazil is open for travel again!
Brazil reopened to tourists several months ago and we’re delighted to be operating trips again!
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Pantanal wildlife toursOnly a relatively small area of the Pantanal is officially protected by the UNESCO recognized Pantanal Conservation Area. Most visitors stay at a Pantanal lodge, some of which are also working farms. A tour of the Pantanal typically sees visitors stay a few nights in a lodge and take trips by jeep, on foot, by boat or horseback in search of wildlife. You’ll see many species of birds, perhaps including the iconic hyacinth macaw and jabiru stork. Anteaters, tapirs, tortoises, capybaras and giant river otters can all be found on Pantanal tours. You’ll need a little luck to see jaguars and other felines such as the ocelot and Pantanal cat, or take a special Pantanal jaguar tour which will increase your chances of sightings.
North Pantanal tripsThe northern Pantanal has the largest choice of lodges and tours. A typical north Pantanal tour starts with a flight to Cuiaba and from there a journey by road of a few hours to reach a lodge. Along the way, you may well spot wildlife from the road. Some of the best Pantanal lodges in this area include Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge and Pousada do Rio Mutum. Other good lodges in the area include Southwild Pantanal lodge and Pousada Piuval. If you particularly want to see jaguars, Porto Jofre is the place to go. Pantanal Jaguar tours involve boat trips along the Cuiaba river in search of the majestic creatures. If visiting the north, why not combine your trip to the Pantanal with a trip to Nobres, where you can snorkel in crystal clear rivers and visit limestone caves. Or - take a tour of the Chapada dos Guimarães, an area of table top mountains and another good place to see wildlife, especially birds.
South Pantanal tripsThe southern Pantanal is reached through the city of Campo Grande. Much like the north, Pantanal tours here start with a drive of a few hours to a lodge. Typically, the lodges in the south Pantanal take longer to get to than in those in the north. Some of the best lodges in the south include Fazenda Barranco Alto and Caiman Ecological Refuge. A visit to the south Pantanal can be combined with a trip to Bonito, another great snorkeling destination.
Specialist Pantanal toursAs we can customize all our Pantanal trips, so if you have a special interest, please let us know. For example, you might have an interest in particular Pantanal birds, be looking for a Pantanal photography tour, or want a Pantanal fishing trip.
Best Time to Visit the PantanalThe 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 the dense foliage. Watch the sunrise 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.
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5 Best Pantanal Tours for 2023
|Pantanal Wetlands & Rio de Janeiro Tour||from $1474||8 Days||The Pantanal is a vast wetland-approximately half the size of Texas, stretching across the borders of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. During the rainy...|
|Amazon, Pantanal & Iguazu Falls Tour||from $2189||10 Days||The Amazon, Pantanal and Iguazu Falls Tour is your ticket to see some of the world’s most incredible natural landscapes. Immerse yourself in...|
|Pantanal Wetlands Tour & Estancia||from $||5 Days||Choose to stay at the family-run Estancia Vitoria just outside of the Pantanal, just perfect to visit the Chapada dos Guimarães. From the...|
|Pantanal Brazil Fishing Tour||from $||8 Days||Go on an 8-day fishing tour through the Pantanal Wetlands and fish for the massive Dourado, one of the most aggressive fish in the world, along with...|
Pantanal Travel FAQ’s
Thinking about a Pantanal trip? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions we often hear from our guests.
When should I go to Pantanal Brazil?
How do I get to the Pantanal?
What should I bring to the Pantanal?
Where should I stay in the Pantanal?
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.
Where can I see jaguars in Brazil?
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