Pantanal is derived from the Portuguese word "pantano" which literally means "swamp". The Pantanal is one of the world's most immense and rich ecosystems. It is arguably the largest wetland on the globe. Extending through Central-West Brazil, eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay, the Pantanal covers some 200,000 km2 during the rainy season. This is an unparalleled bio-genetic reservoir of spectacular beauty, an ecological paradise with hundreds of species of birds, thousands of varieties of butterflies, myriads of brightly-colored flowers, and shoals of fish. Capuchin and Howler monkeys, capybaras, macaws, anacondas, caimans and tapirs help create an aquatic and sylvan theatre of sights and sounds. The endangered jaguar, and increasingly rare Hyacinth macaws and giant river otters all call the Pantanal home. Wildlife viewing outings are conducted by rowboat or motorboat, special all terrain open vehicles, hikes and on horseback. The area is served by two airports located in the cities of Campo Grande and Cuiaba.
Activities in and around Pantanal include:
River tours by motorboat
Hikes in the jungle
Visits to local communities
The Pantanal has two seasons: summer (April to September) and winter (October to March). During the summertime the temperatures are warm and rainy, while it is much colder and drier during the winter months. Rainfall in the Pantanal varies during the year causing a regular cycle of floods and droughts. Typically, the rainy season starts in October and lasts throughout March. However, it may vary from year to year. In April the water starts to drain away and the area becomes virtually waterless for much of the dry season, April through September.