Pantanal Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Pantanal with our comprehensive guide. Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more.

Introduction to Pantanal

Pantanal, located in South America, is the world’s largest tropical wetland area characterized by a rich biota with high species diversity. Spread across Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, Pantanal is an incredible destination with an abundance of wildlife, pristine natural habitats, and friendly people.

This comprehensive travel guide will provide you with all the information you need, including a list of places to visit, must-do activities, the best places to stay, and much more. So let’s begin our journey to explore the beauty of Pantanal!

List of Places to Visit in Pantanal

Pantanal is a vast region, and there are lots of places to explore. Here are some of the top destinations to consider when planning your trip:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Pantanal has a rich culture, and there are lots of museums and historical places to visit to learn about its heritage. Some must-visit places include:

  • Pantanal Museum: This museum is located in Campo Grande and displays the flora, fauna, and culture of the region.

  • Museum of the Peasant Worker: Located in Corumbá, this museum showcases the history of the region’s workers and their struggles.

  • Serra da Bodoquena National Park: Located in Mato Grosso do Sul, this park contains an array of stunning attractions such as natural waterfalls, snorkeling sites and hikes.

Natural Attractions of Pantanal: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Pantanal boasts outstanding natural beauty and biodiversity, with a wide range of outdoor activities to explore. Here are some of the best natural attractions to put on your itinerary:

  • Encontro das Aguas State Park: A unique river intersection recognized as one of Pantanal’s most impressive natural spectacles.

  • Rio da Prata: An eco-tourism attraction in Jardim, Mato Grosso that offers stunning river views, floating, snorkeling, and walking trails.

  • Wildlife Watching Safaris: Rio Mutum Eco Lodge organizes incredible safaris to encounter some of the regions unique wildlife including jaguars, capybaras, and giant otters.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Pantanal

Pantanal offers some of the most challenging and unique hiking and biking routes in South America. Here are some popular routes to consider:

  • Serra do Amolar: The hike starts from Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul and offers panoramic views of the Pantanal landscape.

  • Chapada dos Guimarães: Situated in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, and offers trails for varying levels of difficulty.

  • Copenhagen Park: Located in Campo Grande, it is a great place to cycle, with trails of varying lengths and terrain.

Best Things to Do in Pantanal: Activities and Tours

Pantanal offers plenty of exciting activities and tours for adventure enthusiasts. Some must-do activities include:

  • Horse Riding: A quintessential Pantanal experience that involves riding through the wetlands as you view the breathtaking landscape, and encounter wild animals.

  • Fishing: With over 200 fish species, fishing is a common activity in Pantanal. Expert guides can take you around the best spots.

  • Boat Tours: Pantanal is crisscrossed by several rivers, making boat tours a great way to explore the region.

Week-Long Itinerary for Pantanal

A week in Pantanal is enough to see and experience some of the best that the region has to offer. Here is a suggested itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Start off with a visit to Pantanal Museum in Campo Grande, followed by horse riding in Jardim, Mato Grosso.

  • Day 3-4: Hike through the stunning Serra do Amolar trail, camp and visit Rio Mutum eco-lodge.

  • Day 5-6: Take a boat tour around Rio da Prata and Encontro das Aguas State Park.

  • Day 7: End your trip with your favorite activity, whether it’s biking, fishing or visiting museums.

Food and Drink Scene of Pantanal

Pantanal is known for its traditional cuisine, which is primarily meat-based, with beef, fish, and pork being the staple. Here are some must-try dishes:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pirão: A traditional soup made with fish, pirão is a delicious and healthy meal.

  • Churrasco: A Brazilian BBQ that includes a variety of meats, including beef, chicken, and pork.

  • Arroz Carreteiro: A rice-based dish that is prepared with beef and garlic.

Local Beverages

  • Cachaça: A spirit made from sugarcane.

  • Coconut Water: A refreshing and hydrating drink that is found throughout the region.

Where to Stay in Pantanal: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Pantanal offers a variety of accommodations to suit every budget. Here are some of the best options:

  • Rio Mutum Eco Lodge: Located in Poconé, this lodge offers eco-safaris, bird watching and boasts a stunning view of the wetlands.

  • Pantanal Ranch Meia Lua: Located in Aquidauana, this ranch is perfect for nature enthusiasts who want to explore the wetlands.

  • Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge: This lodge has been operational for over 30 years, offering an eco-tourism experience and is located in the Northern part of the Pantanal.

What to Buy in Pantanal: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

When visiting Pantanal, make sure to bring home some souvenirs to commemorate your trip. Here are some must-buy items:

  • Handmade Crafts: Handmade crafts made from natural fibers are available throughout the region.

  • Cachaça: Brazil is known for its high-quality Cachaça, which makes for a great gift.

Local Culture and Customs of Pantanal

The culture of Pantanal is a mix of indigenous, African and European traditions. The people of Pantanal are friendly and welcoming, and it is always best to show respect for their customs, religion, and traditions.

Best Time to Visit Pantanal

The best time to visit Pantanal is between July and October when the water levels recede, and the wildlife comes out in full force. The weather is also pleasant during these months.

Do’s and Don’ts of Pantanal

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your trip to Pantanal:


  • Respect the local culture and customs.

  • Hire an experienced guide to explore the wetlands.

  • Be prepared for hot and humid weather.


  • Litter. Help keep the environment clean.

  • Disturb the wildlife by making loud noises or getting too close.

  • Forget to pack sunscreen and insect repellant.

Safety and Health

Pantanal is a safe place to travel, but it is still important to take some precautions to ensure a safe and healthy trip.

Safety in Pantanal

  • Hire a reputable tour operator and guide.

  • Don’t walk alone at night.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid carrying too much cash or valuables.

Health in Pantanal

  • Bring insect repellent.

  • Drink bottled or purified water only.

  • Pack a first aid kit.

Getting to Pantanal: Transportation Options and Logistics

Pantanal is accessible by air and road. Here are some transportation options to consider:

Airports Near Pantanal

  • Campo Grande International Airport - Mato Grosso do Sul.
  • Corumbá International Airport – Mato Grosso do Sul.

Bus Stations Near Pantanal

  • Campo Grande Bus Station – Mato Grosso do Sul.
  • Corumbá Bus Station – Mato Grosso do Sul.

Other Options

  • Rent a car and drive to Pantanal.
  • Hire a private transfer to Pantanal.

How to Get Around in Pantanal

A local guide is the best way to get around in Pantanal, especially if you want to explore the wetlands. Alternatively, you can rent a car or motorbike to explore the region on your own.

Where to Go Next from Pantanal: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

There are many places to visit around Pantanal. Here are some destinations to consider on your onward journey:

  • Bonito: A city located in the Mato Grosso do Sul state, is an excellent destination for hiking, swimming and cave explorations.

  • Corumbá: A city located in the Mato Grosso do Sul state, which offers ample opportunities for hiking and kayaking.


Pantanal is a unique destination, offering picturesque natural scenery and abundant wildlife. We hope this comprehensive travel guide has provided you with all the information you need, including places to visit, activities to try, where to stay, and much more. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Pantanal today!