BRAZIL (with parts in PARAGUAY and BOLIVIA)
MATO GROSSO (DO SUL) (Miranda), (w)
20o09´15´´S/56o10´03´´W (Aquidauana) 20,000,000ha, mainly flat, large area permanent marsh, rest seasonally inundated, tableland mountains, open forest (over 60% in places), influences of Amazon forest, cerrado and chaco
World Heritafe Site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, part in the south is the Pantanal National Park
dry season August to December is generally best time to visit (time visited)
Birding Site Guide
The Pantanal is the largest inland delta in the world, at 200,000km square, of this two-thirds 140,000km square is located in Brazil, with the remainder in Paraguay (see FUERTE OLIMPO write-up on BSG) and Bolivia. The area is mainly flat and a large area is permanent marsh, the rest being seasonally inundated, the main rivers being the Paraguay, the Cuiabá and the São Lourenço. The seasonally inundations are from January to March, drying April to July (temperatures between 18o and 40oC) and dry from August to December (temperatures between 10o and 30oC), but this varies north to south. The dry season is generally best time to visit, as wildlife concentrates around the remaining waters. Always check with where you intend to stay for the best time to visit for the activities you wish to do. There are tableland mountains (sierra Bodoquena) in the south, and much fairly open forest (over 60% in places) there is also denser forest with influences of Amazon, and elements of cerrado and the chaco.
The state capital is Cuiabá, which is located just n and outside of the Pantanal area. Campo Grande is a well-known large town associated with the area and is located about 180km e of the Pantanal. Following the road from Campo Grande to the Pantanal (BR262) takes you to Aquidauana on the edge of the Pantanal and further on to Miranda. Miranda is a popular town from which to plan your visit, and most of the popular areas are located ne of here. Carrying on on the BR262 to the border you will reach Corumbá. South of Miranda is Bodoquena. Further se is the town of Bonito and to the sw Porto Murtinho.
Places to Stay
There are hundreds of places to stay, many have websites and email address so it is possible to book in advance without phoning. Though many have English speaking staff, particularly guides. Most places are very comfortable, many have swimming pools and excellent restaurants, places vary in size from huge resorts to friendly small pousadas. General activities are offered by nearly all (unless otherwise stated) and usually include all or most of the following: 4 wheel-drive, wildlife guides, night drives, trekking, horse riding, cycling and fishing.
Miranda (visited by Charles Hesse). After failing to see Hyacinth Macaw in Bonito, I moved to Miranda which I also reached in a Cruceiro do Sul bus leaving at 6am, taking 3 hours and costing 20R. In Miranda, there are a number of hotels just along from the office towards the Campo Grande-Corumba road. The cheapest was Hotel Diogo which was just 20R with breakfast. There is a nice lodge just 36km from Mrianda where you can see Hyacinth Macaws called Reserva Ecologica Caiman (67 3242 1450). To reach there go North at the roundabout on the main road. This is right coming from Campo Grande, left from Corumba and straight coming from Miranda. This road goes onto another town, but after a few hundred metres, turn left onto a gravel road at the signs for 'Caiman'. It is 36km away but possible to hitch some of the way. You need to contact them beforehand to arrange your accompaniment. There were no researchers there when I called so I couldn't get in. I saw the macaws though, along this road within walking distance of the town. Just after the turn there is a small stream on the left where I saw Grey-necked Wood-Rail and Narrow-billed Woodcreeper. There are a few houses on the first stretch (look out for Dark-billed Cuckoo in the gardens) and after that open pasture land with scattered trees. I saw Red-and-green Macaws here too. After a couple of kms, there is a sign on the right for 'Estancia Paraiso' and also a turn-off on the left. Ignore these and carry straight on. Further on is a left bend with some forest on the right which was quite birdy. Further still the road crosses a small stream where there is a small marsh (listen for crakes) then another house on the left (Great Rufous Woodcreeper in the garden). After this, the road goes over 2 small wooden bridges (splitting and meeting up again at the second). After this there is an obvious sign on the left which reads 'Chacara, Jesus ea Vida', then a open field on the left, then the place where I saw the Hyacinth Macaws. About 5-6km from Miranda (estimated). It looks like good habitat with open woodland with many palms. I saw 7-9 Hyacinth Macaws here between 9:30 and 10:30. They seem quite quiet in the late morning, sitting quietly on high branches and are probably more active earlier on. Further on, there is good habitat and I saw Greater Rhea with chicks. Close to 'Caiman' there are more mammals. I saw an armadillo and tapir tracks.
Bonito (visited by Charles Hesse) I visited Bonito and Miranda in search of the Hyacinth Macaw. There are supposedly a few near the town of Bonito but I don't think this is such a good place to look for them. If you want to have a go, I was told there are a few at Rio de Peixe which is over 30km away. It can be visited on a tour organized through the Youth Hostel or other agencies. The price I was quoted was 120R for a taxi and 67R per person for a guided tour. There are apparently other things to see like waterfalls. The owner puts out food which attracts a few macaw species. I did a bit of birding near town and saw Undulated Tinamou, Red-legged Seriema, Burrowing Owl, Aplomado Falcon, Purplish Jay, Black-tailed Tityra & Chestnut-eared Aracari. The Youth Hostel is very nice and only 25R per person. The Hotel Muito Bonito also sounds nice at 40R per person. Bonito is reached by Cruceiro do Sul bus from Campo Grande taking 5 hours.
Caiman Lodge 19o57´48´´S/56o18´34´´W 52,387ha, Pantanal with some cerrado in sw. One of many places to stay in the Pantanal, but also one of the best. There are many ways to see the Pantanal here: with a guide including truck tour (with seats!), or by horses, bicycles or on foot. Birds are many and varied with the cerrado also close. The bird list stands at 383 species, with 200 species typically seen in a week. Pantanal specialties include Hyacinth Macaw and Blue-fronted Parrot. Jaguars are sometimes seen, Capybara are common and of course there are Black Caimans and snakes. www.caiman.com.br
Araras Eco Lodge 16o30´42´´S/56o42´39´´W This is another excellent first choice located s of Cuiabá and Poconé and boasts a 25m observation tower. It has 15 air-conditioned rooms, English speaking staff and organic food. www.araraslodge.com.br
Pousada Ararauná This place has a research centre, Institute of the Pantanal (IPPAN), offers guests all the general activities. Special feature is a 16m observation tower.
Fazenda Baía Grande and Pousada Arizona www.southpantanal.com
Cacimba de Pedra This place is near Miranda and has guides for birds, flora and fauna. www.cacimbadepedra.com.br
Fazenda Santa Cruz The fazenda is 40km ne of Miranda, and located inside the Pantanal. Take the BR262 and 65km after Aquidauana and before Miranda turn n.
Pantanal Park Hotel 19o33´51´´S/57o26´18´´W This modern large complex is in the sw of the Pantanal, along the River Paraguay. Follow the BR262 past Miranda and on to Morrinhos and the hotel is just w of here. www.pantanalpark.com.br
Fazenda Baía das Pedras Located on the e edge of the Pantanal in Aquidauana district, the place can be accessed by plane from Campo Grande (1hr) or by 4 wheel-drive in the dry season (7hr).
Fazenda 23 de Março 20o09´15´´S/56o10´03´´W Located on the e edge of the Pantanal in Aquidauana, it has 5 apartments for 15 people.
Fazenda San Francisco This place is in the s of the Pantanal with influences of cerrado and the Bodoquena mountains. The bird list stands at 315 species. www.aguasdopantanal.com.br
Fazenda Santa Inês This fazenda is 20km from Miranda. www.fazendasantaines.com.br
Pousada Piuval This 7,000ha pousada is located 110km from Cuiabá and 10km from Poconé.
Estância 3J Hotel Fazenda
Pousada do Rio Mutum This place is in the n near Barão de Melgaço on MT070. www.pousadamutum.com.br
Hotel Fazenda do Betione Situated in Sierra Bodoquena with 40 waterfalls. www.betione.com.br
Ilha do Caracará www.ilhadocaracara.com.br
Pousada Aguapé www.aguape.com.br
Pousada Baia dos Patos www.pantanalbaiadospatos.com.br
Hotel Recanto Barra Mansa www.hotelbarramansa.com.br
Pousada Campo Lourdes www.campolourdes.com.br
Pousada Caranda www.baraua.com.br
Pousada dos Monteiros www.pousadadosmonteiros.com.br
Pequi Pousada Pantaneira www.pantaneira.com.br
Pousada Refúgio da ilha www.refugiodailha.com.br
Pousada Fazenda Meia Lua www.fazendameialua.com.br
Estância Vovô Dede www.estanciavovodede.com.br
Pousada Aguapé www.aguasdopantanal.com.br
Pousada das Amoras www.aguasdopantanal.com.br
Pousada Arara Azul www.aguasdopantanal.com.br
Fazenda Cacimba de Pedra www.aguasdopantanal.com.br
Pousada Rio Negro www.aguasdopantanal.com.br
Estrada Parque www.aguasdopantanal.com.br
Hotel Fazenda Baía das Pedras www.baiadaspedras.com.br
Fazenda Barranco Alto www.fazendabarrancoalto.com.br
Tour Operators Mandovi
Roteiros Turísticos www.decotur.com.br
Águas do Pantanal
Wildlife Around 423 species of birds have been recorded in the Pantanal, though the number varies with source. Presented here is a partial bird list. Greater Rhea Rhea americana Near-threatened Undulated Tinamou Crypturellus undulatus Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi Great Egret Ardea alba Snowy Egret Egretta thula Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Striated Heron Butorides striata Rufescent Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma lineatum Jabiru Jabiru mycteria Buff-necked Ibis Theristicus caudatus Bare-faced Ibis Phimosus infuscatus White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens Savanna Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis Harris's Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle Spizastur melanoleucus Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway American Kestrel Falco sparverius Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis Chaco Chachalaca Ortalis canicollis Limpkin Aramus guarauna Gray-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti Picui Ground-Dove Columbina picui Scaled Dove Columbina squammata White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Hyacinth Macaw Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus Endangered Red-and-green Macaw Ara chloroptera Red-bellied Macaw Orthopsittaca manilata White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalmus Dusky-headed Parakeet Aratinga weddellii Peach-fronted Parakeet Aratinga aurea Nanday Parakeet Nandayus nenday Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Brotogeris chiriri Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani Blue-fronted Parrot Amazona aestiva Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Guira Cuckoo Guira guira Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Gilded Sapphire Hylocharis chrysura Surucua Trogon Trogon surrucura Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona Spot-backed Puffbird Nystalus maculatus Chestnut-eared Aracari Pteroglossus castanotis Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco White Woodpecker Melanerpes candidus Checkered Woodpecker Picoides mixtus Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomea Common Thornbird Phacellodomus rufifrons Greater Thornbird Phacellodomus ruber Great Rufous Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes major Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris Great Antshrike Taraba major Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum Southern Scrub-Flycatcher Sublegatus modestus White-rumped Monjita Xolmis velata White Monjita Xolmis irupero Streamer-tailed Tyrant Gubernetes yetapa Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius Variegated Flycatcher Empidonomus varius Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis Thrush-like Wren Campylorhynchus turdinus House Wren Troglodytes aedon Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea Purplish Jay Cyanocorax cyanomelas Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum Swallow-Tanager Tersina viridis Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina Rusty-collared Seedeater Sporophila collaris Lined Seedeater Sporophila lineola White-bellied Seedeater Sporophila leucoptera Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata Yellow-billed Cardinal Paroaria capitata Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Unicolored Blackbird Agelasticus cyanopus Bay-winged Cowbird Molothrus badius Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus Epaulet Oriole Icterus cayanensis Solitary Cacique Cacicus solitarius Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus Yellow-rumped Marshbird Pseudoleistes guirahuro Chopi Blackbird Gnorimopsar chopi Orange-backed Troupial Icterus croconotus House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced species List by Charles Hesse
A total of 124 species of mammals have been recorded in the Pantanal. Reptiles and amphibians are well represented with 177 and 41 recorded species respectively. Fish have 260 recorded species.
Flora The flora is equally rich with 3,500 species recorded.
Author: BSG, Charles Hesse