The Pantanal, the world's largest wetland area, is the place to be if you are craving to see an abundance of exotic wildlife. It is situated mostly within the south of Mato Grosso and the north-west of Mato Grosso do Sull, both states of Brazil.
All in all, the Pantanal is a swamp larger than France that covers a staggering 88,803 square miles (230,000 square kilometers) going as far as the north of Paraguay and the east of Bolivia (where it is called the Chaco Boliviano).
During the wet season the Pantanal floods submerge over 80% of the area. As a result an immense variety of aquatic plants emerged and it is thought to be the world's most dense flora and fauna ecosystem.
A tour through the Pantanal consists of pure adventure. A small motorized canoe takes you on the waters for a few days and you spend the night in camps (where your guide starts playing his guitar and everybody joins in singing out of tune).
This unique ecosystem has over 3,500 species of plants, as well as over 650 birds, and 400 species of fish. If you go under the guidance of blessed spirits you'll have a close encounter with crocodiles, anacondas, piranhas, monkeys and the most amazing tropical birds you can imagine.
Please don't engage in purchasing souvenirs made of skins of endangered animals when you travel in the Pantanal. Under great threat are the Jaguar, Maned Wolf, Giant Otter, Giant Armadillo, Capybara, and Brazilian Tapir.
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*Photograph of "Pantanal in Blue" by Claudyo Casares