Travelling to Pantanal, what you need to know..

The golden rule for travelling, prepare well and your journey will be so much more relaxed and enjoyable. The same goes when travelling to the Pantanal, Brazil. Therefore we listed some of the most frequently asked questions about Pantanal.

How to Travel to the Northern Pantanal?

When travelling to the northern Pantanal you have to fly to Cuiaba (Marechal Rondon International Airport). Most easy is to transfer from an international flight via Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Brasilia on your domestic flight to Cuiaba.

From Cuiaba it takes around 1.5 hours’ drive to the city of Poconé. The city of Poconé is the gateway to the Pantanal. Driving to the Pantanal we will transition from a paved road to a dirt road, also known as the Transpantaneira road.  The Transpantaneira road covers 147 KM towards Porto Jofre. During the 147KM you will cross 122 wooden bridges. Since 2018 the government started to replace some of the wooden bridges by concrete bridges.

Along the Transpantaneira road you find all lodges. Most lodges are basic but offer a good service and have an abundance of wildlife around the lodge.  

Aerial view of the northern pantanal
Pantanal scenary

How to travel to the southern Pantanal?

Fly from Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or other airports to Camp Grande. From Campo Grande drive by car to Bonito or Jardim, depending what location for wildlife you are visiting. On average you will need 3.5 – 5 hours from Campo Grande by car to arrive in Jardim (3.5 hours) or Bonito (4.5 hours).

When travelling from the Northern Pantanal there are three options to travel to south

  1. A domestic flight from Cuiaba to Campo Grande
  2. Night bus from Cuiaba to Campo Grande
  3. Bush flight from Porto Jofre or Pocone directly to lodges in the South for instance; Aguape or Branco Alto.

Which airlines fly to Pantanal?

The best airlines to use are GOL, Azul and Latam. GOL has many international partners, making it possible to benefit from your mileage program. From Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro all airlines offer daily flights to Cuiaba.

Vaccinations Pantanal

Do you need vaccinations when visiting the Pantanal

When travelling to Brazil and Pantanal there are no required vaccinations, however the Yellow fever vaccination is strongly advised. Besides Yellow fever many travelers are advised to have a DTP and Hepatitis A vaccination as well. If you are planning to stay for a long period of time in Brazil (>3 months), it is also advised to protect for Hepatitis B and Rabies. Always consult your doctor when planning to travel and ask advise on which vaccinations are needed.

Malaria in Pantanal?

In Pantanal there is no risk of Malaria. Therefore there is no need to take Malaria medication. However we strongly advise to always consult your doctor when planning to travel and ask advise on which vaccinations/medicines are needed.

Mosquito Pantanal

Wildlife of the Pantanal

The Pantanal has an abundance of wildlife. It inhabits over 620+ species of birds including iconic species such as the Hyacinth macaw, Blue- and Yellow macaw, Tucan, Chest-eared aracari, Jabiru stork, black skimmer, black color hawk, great hawk, red-legged seriema, sungrebe, Anhinga, roadside hawk, monk parakeet and many more.

Besides the enormous variety of birdlife the Pantanal is famous of, it is the refuge for wildlife species such as the Jaguar, Tapir, Giant anteater, southern tamandua, giant river otters, capibara and jacare caiman.

Big five of the Pantanal:

  1. Jaguar
  2. Tapir
  3. Giant river otter
  4. Giant Anteater
  5. Jabiru stork

Lodges in the Northern Pantanal

Along the Transpantaneira highway are several lodges where you can stay 1 or more days to enjoy the Pantanal. We listed a few of the lodges and continue to add lodges and the most recent information about the lodges. By clicking the link below you will visit the detailed information page of the Pantanal lodges, pousada’s and hotels.

Pantanal lodges

Differences between Amazon and Pantanal

Both areas are truly unique and stunning to visit. They are not to be compared due to the significant differences seen from a geographical perspective. Where the Amazon is characterized by dense rainforest the Pantanal is flat and open. Viewed from a wildlife spotting or photographer perspective it is much easier to spot and photograph wildlife in the Pantanal then it is in the Amazon. To decide what would be the best for you, check the following statement:

Travel to Pantanal if:

1. You are into birding and bird photography (620+ species), of which many iconic species (Hyacinth macaw, tucans, jabiru, red-legged seriema, aracaris and many more) can be easily seen and photographed
2. Spot and photograph the jaguar. In Pantanal you have the highest density of jaguars in the world.
3. Explore the world’s largest wetland by boat and car.

Travel to Amazon if:

1. You are interested in exploring jungle trackings.
2. Witness the ‘meeting of the waters’, where two rivers collide.
3. If your main interest are specific species of Amazon such as the pink dolphins.
4. If you would like to visit native Amazon tribes (culture).

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