How to Get to the Pantanal
The Pantanal region extends across the southwestern section of Brazil, through the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. It comprises over 81,000 square miles of land altogether and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since the year 2000. For decades, the Pantanal stayed in relative obscurity as the Amazon Rainforest dominated South America’s nature scene. The Pantanal is now becoming more and more accessible for travelers. Read on below to learn about how to get to the Pantanal.
Although the Pantanal region is more accessible now than it ever has been before, getting to and around the Pantanal is still a challenge. This part of the world does not take kindly to spontaneity so it is important that you have everything organized in advance if you are planning a trip there. Transport within the Pantanal is limited so here is a run down of everything you need to know to ensure your trip runs as smoothly as possible.
Getting to Northern Pantanal
If you plan on visiting the northern section of the Pantanal you will need to enter through the city of Cuiabá. Southwest of the city is a small town called Poconé, which is where you will find the start of the Transpantaneira Highway. This road runs just over 90 miles into the middle of the Pantanal region, to a place called Porto Jofre. Take note that this road is little more than a raised dirt track connected by over 100 wooden bridges. During the rainy season, parts of the road are inaccessible so bear this in mind when planning your trip. The easiest way to get to Cuiabá is to catch a domestic flight from one of Brazil’s airports. Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro all have frequent connections to Cuiabá. Most people do not stay in Cuiabá as there is not a lot to do in the city itself. It is used more commonly as a jumping off point for the Pantanal region. Generally, northern Pantanal is considered much easier to get to than its southern counterpart.
Getting to Southern Pantanal
Campo Grande is the capital city of Mato Grosso do Sul and is the gateway to southern Pantanal. The actual entrance to the park is about 6 hours away from Campo Grande in a town called Buraco das Piranhas. From there, you will enter the Pantanal by driving along the Estrada Parque, which is a series of dirt roads. You will travel past dozens of fazendas (ranches) that double up as basic accommodation for visitors. This journey can be long and tiresome and is often avoided in favor of flying.
If you are entering from the south you have the option to take a private plane from Campo Grande directly to one of the fazendas. This is less time-consuming than navigating the dirt tracks but can be quite costly. Alternatively, you can hop in a boat from Corumbá and access the lodges this way. If you are traveling to the south part of the Pantanal, you may want to consider carrying on your journey to either the Iguazu Falls or Bolivia, as both are accessible from there.
It is no secret that when it comes to navigating the Pantanal, having an organized tour set up and private transportation is the best way to go. Are you ready to explore Brazil’s sensational Pantanal region? Then start your planning now! Contact us for more information or call 1-888-215-3555.