Pantanal-North or South?

Old Nov 7th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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Pantanal-North or South?

We want to see lots of birds. We want to see lots of animals. We want fairly nice (relatively speaking) lodging. We want a flexible guide (not a tour group).

Please decide for me, before I drowned in the over-plentiful info. that is out there, but that somehow hasn't helped me decide where we should go. My father-in-law is obsessed with birds, I prefer mammals, and my then (next September) 3.5 year old daughter will love everything, especially horses and a swimming pool (we took her to Patagonia, and she still raves about the horses outside our cabin

I need to have some things nailed down by Christmas, when my in-laws will visit, because the best way to discuss things with them is in person, and with specific information.

Any advice-lodging, guides, locations will be appreciated, but first----North or South????
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Old Nov 8th, 2010, 03:19 AM
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In general - GENERAL - you will find more cheaper options and more outdoorsy, camping like options in the south. In the south, the most frequently spotted animal will be cattle.

There are a LOT of good options in the south, but it tends to be the budget option. Again - with notable exceptions.

From the north you enter via the Transpantaneira Highway and basically connect up with a fazenda owner whose family has switched their family business to eco-tourism. Some are fancy outfits with highly skilled guides, amazing food and accomodations and numerous activities (horses, boats, trails, bird watching platforms/blinds, etc.) and some are nasty rustic joints. And everyting in between.

I would make one suggestion. A friend of mine and her 7 year old daughter went to this fazenda and loved it.

Good luck.
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Old Nov 8th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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Thanks! This gives my brain something to work with. Will check out this site. Gracias!
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 05:47 PM
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You are not the first to pose this question. I remember asking the same thing.

Some responses and reports.
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Old Dec 16th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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Hi, I've been several times in northern Pantanal, only briefly in the south several years ago. As to the north, I've always been there on individual guided tours, with Julio Andre Monteiro from Pantanal Trackers. You can read my trip reports at:
The first time in 2009 basically we camped at a very remote place, the second one we camped for some nights and stayed at four different lodges which I all recommend. Each has it's peculiarities, different landscapes etc. but all are worth a visit. You can either contact directly the lodges or go through a guide, he will then organize the intinerary for you according to your wishes. Julinho from Pantanal Trackers is a very skilled guide and he really customizes the tours according to each different customer, I highly recommend him. In the north is worth traveling along the Transpantaneira and stay at different places. You'll see lots of birds even along the road.
In the South a very nice place to stay at is Fazenda Barranco Alto, if you read around the comments in different travel forums, they are all enthusiastic. It's a family run business, quite remote and in a gorgeous place.
So, Pantanal Trackers for North, Barranco Alto for the South.
In which period are you planning to go there?
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Old Dec 16th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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I can also highly recommend a neighbor of Barranco Alto in the South, Embiara lodge,
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