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Essential information

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Getting to The Pantanal

Cuiabá is the main gateway to the northern Pantanal. Campo Grande is the principal southern launch point into the Pantanal, while Corumbá is a convenient point of access only if you are arriving from Bolivia. The route to Corumbá from Campo Grande runs via Aquidauana and Miranda.

There are direct flights to Cuiabá, Campo Grande and Corumbá from other Brazilian destinations.

Cuiabá and Campo Grande are easily reached by direct buses from numerous Brazilian cities.

Getting around The Pantanal

Roads in the Pantanal are unsurfaced, few in number and are are frequently closed by rain. Since the lodges are the only places to sleep, drink and eat, and public transportation is very limited, independent travel is difficult. Unless you have extensive off-road experience, hiring a car is an option in the dry season only. Only the Transpantaneira in Mato Grosso and Estrada Parque in Mato Grosso do Sul go deep into the region. If you're not hiring a car, you have to arrange transportation in advance through a lodge.

Car hire is available in Cuiabá, Campo Grande and Corumbá. It's worth booking ahead during Brazilian holiday periods.

Health and safety


  • Comprehensive travel insurance to cover theft, loss and medical problems is highly recommended.
  • Some policies specifically exclude dangerous activities such as scuba diving, motorcycling, skiing and even trekking: read the fine print.
  • Check that the policy covers ambulances or an emergency flight home.
  • Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
  • If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation.
  • Paying for your airline ticket with a credit card often provides limited travel accident insurance – ask your credit card company what it is prepared to cover.
  • Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.


There is no malaria in the Pantanal, but dengue fever occasionally breaks out. Preventative measures are usually rapidly taken by authorities and the vector mosquito is, regardless, generally associated with urban areas and not the countryside. If you’re concerned, consult...

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