Mato Grosso & Pantanal

Mato Grosso is a state located in the western portion of Brazil. The third largest Brazilian state by area, it contains the bulk of the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland area. Renowned for its natural beauty, Mato Grosso is largely a flat state, characterized by alternating chapadas, or plateaus, and plains.

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Red Breasted ToucanIt offers ecotourists three distinct ecosystems. In the northern portion of the state you will find breathtaking Amazon rainforest. The cerrado, a massive tropical savanna region, occupies central portions of the state, while the Pantanal, with its stunning biodiversity, occupies southern regions of the state.

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Visitors to Mato Grosso should be sure to take advantage of opportunities to visit the Chapada dos Guimaraes, a region of sandstone mountains, shaped into interesting formation by the elements. Additionally, this area is known for its cliffs, canyons, and picturesque waterfalls.

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Introduction to the Pantanal
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Giant Anteater

The Pantanal is one of the largest ecotourism draws in Brazil, but unfortunately has been marred by environmental degradation in recent years. Similar to Florida's everglades, although significantly larger, it is composed of a series of rivers, lakes, bays, and outlets that coalesce around the Paraguay River.
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=> A massive, sprawling, tropical wetland, it is particularly known for being home to over 1,000 bird species. Ornithologists believe there are still many more yet to be identified.
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While the bulk of the Pantanal lies in Mato Grosso, portions of it extend into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. During the rainy season, around eighty percent of the Pantanal becomes submerged by various river flows, creating conditions for an abundance of aquatic plant and animal life.

Probably the biggest draw is the ability to observe animals only located in the Pantanal, such as the bush dog, maned wolf, giant river otter, and marsh deer. Additionally, expect to encounter large numbers of fish and reptile species.
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