©Hakat/Shutterstock

Mato Grosso & Mato Grosso do Sul

Mato Grosso was once Brazil’s wild west, a land known only to indigenous hunters, poachers, gold seekers and naturalists. Today, some of Brazil’s most photogenic wildlife and incredible scenery make it a prime destination for ecotourists and anglers.

The Pantanal, one of the most important and fragile ecosystems on the planet, truly shines as Brazil’s top destination for animal-spotting and bird-watching. The attractions don't stop there: the crystal-clear rivers and cave lakes around Bonito and Bom Jardim allow you to explore a remarkable underwater world by donning a scuba tank or snorkeling mask.

In the far-north town of Alta Floresta, the cerrado (savanna) morphs into the Amazon; in the south near Bonito, the Serra da Bodoquena is a breathtakingly beautiful, watery wonderland. In between the two, the Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães has some of the most commanding plateau views in Brazil.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Mato Grosso & Mato Grosso do Sul.