Brazil is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. Pantanal is partly located in the state of Mato Grosso which is in the west of the country. The state also borders Bolivia close to Porto Jofre. When we first flew into Pantanal we landed in the state capital Cuiaba. From there we drove all the way to Pocone, where we were staying. Staying in Pocone was interesting because we had to sleep with mosquito nets around us for the first time! We were in Pantanal during the dry season, which meant we could cross the Transpantaneira Highway safely.
The Transpantaneira Highway is the most famous and unique road in Pantanal. It’s unique due to the fact that it can only be crossed easily during half of the year because it is almost all inundated with water for the rest of the year. Since it was the dry season we were able to cross it and we got to see many animals along the way. We saw many caymans clustered together where there was water. There are over 10 million caymans there! There was also flying flamingos and hyacinth macaws in the trees and families of capybaras crossing the dirt roads. Also near the entrance of the hotel were tons of ant homes and we even got to see a tamandua.
On one of our days there we decided to drive to Porto Jofre and go see jaguars. When we arrived we went directly to the river Cuiaba. We were on a small boat the whole time for safety reasons, so the jaguars could not attack us. The safest way to watch the jaguars is to be in the middle of the river, far away from the river banks. The river is full of birds and caymans.
We ate and stayed on the boat, we only went on the land to pee. I remember walking up that riverbank and passing a bunch of caymans on the way, squatting down doing my business quickly and watching out for jaguars. It was a crazy experience!
On the river tour we also got to see giant otters swimming alongside us, between the boat and the jaguars.
We got to see a couple of jaguars from a safe distance and we got to enjoy watching this lazy beautiful creature lay around on a sunny day.
Another day on our trip we went horseback riding through nature because it was too dangerous to walk. We had such a fun time riding the horses and observing the animals, like wild dogs, monkeys, iguanas, caymans, capybaras, jabirus and different plants. It was a very nice and relaxing time because it was just the horse, nature, and ourselves around.
Traveling to Mato Grosso do Norte and visiting Pantanal was an incredible trip that I really enjoyed. I am so glad I was able to visit Pantanal.
written by Isabella