The World’s Largest Wetland
This area has no specifically defined borders and crosses into current day Bolivia and Paraguay, however I wish to focus on the Brazilian portion, which makes up more than 60% of the area. The Pantanal is slowly becoming a popular tourist attraction for people doing semi long term travel (say a couple of months) through South America, however this being said, it is still very much an off-the-beaten-path destination. I had the opportunity of first visiting the Pantanal in May of 2011. Since then I have been back four times, each time producing new wildlife encounters and incredible experiences. Off the top of my head, I would say finding an Anaconda ‘alive’ underneath a moving truck, marks the most memorable Pantanal experience to date.
My time spent in the Pantanal was almost entirely on the stretches found near the Bolivian border in an area about 300km south west of Corumbá. This is truly the heart of the Brazilian Pantanal and is incredibly difficult place to access (best way in is from Bonito or Bolvia, explained later). This has everything to do with the remoteness of the location, and with a remote location, what do find…? Usually, no people, the possibility of big businesses looking to exploit the area for its resources, an incredible amount of densely populated flora and fauna species, outstanding local wildlife population, and some of the best opportunities to view, encounter, and photograph said wildlife. The Pantanal is exactly this, remote, intense, and chalk full of wildlife, add the humidity and mosquitos, the countless rivers and the overwhelming natural beauty, and it’s time to grab a map, make a reservation, and make your way into the swamp. Here are some photos of the different wildlife I have encountered during my trips into the area.
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Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.
Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.
Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).
Click on this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.
Where is the most remote location you have ever travelled to? Have you been to the Brazilian Pantanal, if so, what did you think? Where is your favourite swamp lands, is it local, close to home? Share your story in the comments below.