[well]Pantanal Quick Facts

  • Largest tropical wetland in the world
  • Encompasses 54,000 – 75,000 square miles
  • Abundant flora and fauna

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Pantanal

The Pantanal is a natural region in Brazil that encompasses the largest tropical wetland found throughout the entire globe. With an estimated area between 54,000-75,000 square miles (140,000-195,000 sq km) this natural world wonder is massive to say the least.

Although its size is incredibly impressive, that is not the only aspect that makes this piece of land such a unique and extraordinary sight to see and discover; the Pantanal is also home to an unbelievable flora and fauna throughout the entire wetland.

During the rainy seasons, an average of 80% of the area turns into massive floodplains, which then bring about an ability to help support and nurture the many plant and animal life that abounds there. Because of the way the Pantanal area is formed, the slightly sloped basin receives its water runoff from the upland areas of the Planalto highlands, allowing for water to be slowly released through the Paraguay River and tributaries. This along with many reasons is what makes the life here so abundant and ideal for both plants and animals to thrive.

The wildlife found here includes hundreds of species of birds, a wide variety of butterflies, multiple fish, anacondas, tapirs, howler monkeys and so many more. There are even the endangered jaguars and an increasingly large rare population of Hycanthine macaws and giant river otters. The plant life includes an array of colored flower species, lillypads and cerrado, depending on the flooded areas and more dry areas.


Where is Pantanal

The Pantanal is located in the center of South America and within the country of Brazil. More specifically, it is found south of the Amazon basin, east of the Andes and in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

The coordinates of Pantanal are 18°00′00″ S and 56°30′00″ W.


Best Ways to See and Experience Pantanal

There are several great options for those wanting to visit and explore the Pantanal. For those looking for the cheapest yet still incredible way to enjoy all that the area has to offer, taking a guided tour is an excellent option. The activities include camping, a night in a ranch house, hiking, bird watching and canoeing where you can get an up close and personal look at the wildlife that surrounds the area.

Though the guided tour is a great option for backpackers and budget travelers, those willing to spend a little more money will be able to take a guided tour from guides that are much more knowledgeable and offer a more comfortable accommodation. On these, you will be given specific and scientific names of plant and animal life and will gain a better understanding of the ecological importance of the Pantanal.

Another option would be simply to head out on a self-drive tour by renting a 4WD in one of the neighboring areas. If you decide to do this then it is vital to stick to the two main dirt roads for cars that will give you the safest and best ways to explore the entire area.


Best Times to Explore Pantanal

Average temperatures for the Pantanal region are around 77°F (25°C). It is important to note that highs can reach temperatures over 100°F and lows can get all the way down to freezing 32°F (0°C).


Pantanal Travel Tips

More travel tips coming for Pantanal. If you are a travel expert familiar with Brazil and the Pantanal area, you are invited to contact Seven Natural Wonders with advice and tips.