Paraguay River in the Pantanal
Coursing through Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia, the Paraguay River has been a strategic waterway for the countries through which it flows for centuries. First discovered back in 1524, the river has been used ever since to transport goods from the Atlantic through South America. It has been particularly useful as a means for landlocked Paraguay to access the ocean.
The Paraguay River starts in Mato Grosso, a verdant state just to the west of central Brazil. These headwaters are known as the Pantanal Region and it is here that our interest lies. Let’s delve deep into the largest wetlands in the world – comprising over 81,000 square miles, and see what is on offer.
What to Do in the Paraguay River and Pantanal Region
Birthplace of the Paraguay River and home to hundreds of animal and bird species, the Pantanal Region is truly something to behold. But, you are going to want to do more than just look at this exceptional patch of natural beauty. Jaguar spotting tours are popular among visitors as are those that take place at night in search of caimans. Even if you’re not on a tour, wildlife can be spotted at every turn, including tapirs, giant anteaters and macaws in every color.
Do you consider yourself a seasoned fishing pro? Or are you interested in trying it for the first time? What better way to spend part of your vacation than sportfishing piranhas in the Paraguay River? There are also giant catfish populating the river – the largest of which ever caught weighed in at a whopping 100kg.
If you are looking for a more relaxing way to spend your time admiring the Paraguay River, a Pantanal river cruise is an excellent option. There is no public transport in the entire Pantanal Region and road transport is severely limited, so if you want to explore, you’ll need to find a boat. But, rather than cramming into a tiny fishing vessel, why not make your vacation more luxurious by booking a tour in a beautiful cruise boat. From the ship you will have the perfect vantage point for ogling your breath-taking surroundings.
What to Bring
The weather in the Pantanal Region is tropical. Prepare for hot, humid days and warm nights with little relief. Light-colored clothing made from cotton is a must, as are sunhats, sunglasses and a raincoat. You will also need plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent. As for footwear, sports sandals or sneakers are best.
This region is seriously picturesque and birdspotting is often a highlight. As such, binoculars and a good camera can enhance your experience.
When to Go
If the aim of your vacation is to set eyes on as much wildlife as possible then you want to go during the dry season. This falls between July and October. When the wetlands dry out, the wildlife congregates around the few remaining water holes, making them far easier to spot. You’re likely to see flocks of birds and other large land animals harmoniously drinking together during this time of the year. If you are more interested in taking outstanding photos then the end of the rainy season – April to July – when the floods are just beginning to recede, is the best time.
How to Get to the Pantanal Region
There are two main roads that service the region: the Transpantaneira and the Estrada do Parque. Both are dirt roads and both cross over hundreds of wooden bridges. For some, simply driving along these scenic roads constitutes a wonderful adventure.
If you do not come via one of these roads, you will need to fly or arrive by boat. As mentioned before, there is no public transport here so you should make sure you have everything sorted before you arrive.
The Paraguay River and Pantanal Region may not crop up often in your friends’ travel stories, but that is all the more reason to go. Free from the crowds that plague much of the rest of South America, this part of the world is still in pristine condition and is guaranteed to make your holiday a once in a lifetime experience.
For more information about the Paraguay River in the Pantanal, please contact us or call 1-888-215-3555.