ultramarinus – beyond the sea

DAY 10 (1 of 4) – PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Today is the first of our four-day tour of Pantanal, the largest wetland in the world.  Similar to many tropical wetlands, Pantanal has only two seasons, the wet and the dry.  During wet season, much of Pantanal is submerged under a few feet of water. In the dry season, the land dries up except some pools of water at low spots.  Animals and birds gather around these water pools, making Pantanal in dry season the best place for wildlife spotting in Brazil.  Like most tourists, we come to Pantanal for its abundant wildlife: caimens, monkeys, tapirs, anteaters, armadillos, otters, capybaras, macaws, uncounted species of birds, piranhas, and most importantly, jaguars.  With significantly less trees than the Amazon Rainforest, it is much easier to spot wildlife here than anywhere else in Brazil.  Arriving at mid October, we are pretty much at the transitional time from dry to wet season.  Tourism here started about 30 years ago.  Today there are dozens of eco-lodges dotted along the Transpantaneira Highway.  Despite its inaccessibility, most lands in Pantanal are privately owned and they are huge in size.  For instance, the land parcel where our first lodge is situated is roughly 2,500 hectares, and the land of our second lodge is even bigger at 11,000 hectares in size.  Traditional industries in the Pantanal include ranching and fishing.  Fortunately the soil and the climate here are not suitable for agriculture; therefore, much of the landscape is still preserved, and along with it, a diverse ecosystem of wildlife.

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought

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