South of Brazil's Amazon is a vast area of land known as the Pantanal. It is a curious combination of wilderness and cattle farming lands. You can see amazing wildlife alongside the ranching culture of the pantaneiros.
Highlights of the Pantanal include:
The Pantanal is in effect split up into the north and south in terms of what you can reach from which access point.
Northern Pantanal: You fly into Cuiaba then drive south into the northern Pantanal. This area is particularly famed for its jaguars. To reach them it is a non-stop drive of about 6 hours so most people split the journey either one or both ways.
This region combines well with Chapada Guimaraes National Park, which is about 3-4 hours drive north of Cuiaba. It's an impressive area of table mountains. Have a look at Park Eco Lodge.
Southern Pantanal: Fly into Campo Grande. Most lodges are 3-4 hours drive from here, but the very best wildlife lodges are more remote and take about 6 hours (only possible in dry season - June to October). For this reason, it's common to fly into small airstrips to stay at these lodges.
It's easier to get to the southern Pantanal than the north, and it links very well with Bonito, which is only a roughly 4 hour drive.
Some of our favourite lodges in the Pantanal include Southwild Flotel (because of the proximity to the jaguars), Araras Lodge (for its good eco-credentials, horse riding and lots of other activities) and Fazenda Barranco Alto (for its remoteness and excellent wildlife).
Offers charming, rustic accommodation in the Pantanal, Brazil's primary wildlife destination.
2 lodges on a 53,000 hectare ranch and private reserve in the southern Pantanal.
Remote 4-room fazenda in the southern Pantanal offering an intimate wildlife experience.
Fazenda San Francisco is a working cattle ranch in the south Pantanal offering a broad range of wildlife viewing and outdoor activities.
Hotel Cabanas offers apartment and tree house accommodation in a riverfront setting just a few kilometres from the centre of Bonito.
Hotel Deville is a modern hotel conveniently situated for the city of Cuiaba.
Hotel Pantanal Norte is in the northern Pantanal in an area known for jaguars, who can be seen on the river banks.
Jaguar Ecological Reserve in the Pantanal is a small family-run lodge.
Park Eco Lodge or rather the 'Pousada do Parque' is a small lodge located on the Chapada dos Guimares table mountain next to the National Park.
Pousada do Rio Mutum offers a wide range of activities enabling guests to explore the fascinating flora and fauna of the Pantanal.
Pousada Rio Claro is a comfortable lodge in a riverside location in Brazil's Pantanal, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
A converted farmhouse with 7 guestrooms on a 4000 ha river island in the southern Pantanal.
Time: GMT -3 hours
Most flights go to Sao Paulo but some airlines have direct flights to Rio de Janeiro, and to North-eastern Brazil. British Airways and TAM have direct flights from London and many European carriers also offer flights to Brazil.
Language: Portuguese is the official language. Spanish and English are understood quite widely.
Not required for British nationals.
There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the rainforest.