This tiny settlement on the Miranda River grew into a city after the construction of the railway linking São Paulo to Corumbá and on to Bolivia. In its heyday the railway was called Ferrovia da Morte (Death Railway) because of the many cattle thieves, train robbers, and smugglers that rode the rails. Since the 1980s the railway has been closed to passengers.

Ecotourism is Miranda's main source of revenue. Comfortable

pousadas and farms allow you to get acquainted with the pantaneiro lifestyle. Although Miranda lies just outside the Pantanal proper, the Rio Miranda area has abundant fauna, including a sizable population of jaguars. Here's a great opportunity to practice focagem, a local version of a photographic safari: as night falls, guides take you into the Pantanal in 4x4 pickup trucks with powerful searchlights that mesmerize the animals for some time, so you can get a really close look.

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