BEST TIME of the year TO VISIT PANTANAL, BRAZIL: Cuiaba, Campo Grande, Barao do MelgaÇo, Porto Jofre, Corumba
The Pantanal is the biggest bird and wildlife reserve in Brazil.
Cuiaba, the capital of Mato Grosso State, is the most popular gateway to North Pantanal. Cuiaba is 1200 miles/2000Kms from Rio de Janeiro and 1000 miles/1600 Kms from Sao Paulo (land distances).
Campo Grande is the other main air hub to Pantanal. Barao do Melgaco and Porto Jofre, in the North, and Corumba, Porto Manga, Passo da Lontra, in the South, are also key regional references. See map below.
The best time to visit the Pantanal
The rainy season goes from November to March. During it, the rain is intense, the temperatures are high and the Pantanal gets flooded. This is the nesting time for many species of birds, and the period when many mammals retreat and seek refuge in the high terraces of the plains. Obviously, that's not the ideal time to visit the Pantanal. Avoid it.
The best time to visit the area is the dry season: April to September, or a little later in the Cuiabá region (one or two months later in the northern parts of the Pantanal). Since we can’t be sure of the exact weather patterns in a specific year, and since the dry season can begin later in the year or end earlier, it may be a better option to avoid transitional months (April…).
In most years the water levels start to recede in April, and fish become trapped in puddles and small lakes, which attracts birds. And that’s when the great opportunities for bird watching begins (and the best time to visit the area also begins).
Temperatures and humidity also matter: The climate is very hot and humid in the summer (rain season) but average low temperatures drop to much lower levels (around 70ºF/21°C) during the dry season. Expect some cold spells, especially during the night.
Take a look at the graphs shown below, with data from the Brazilian Meteorological Institute. Consider carefully the monthly levels of precipitation and humidity.
Maximum and Minimum air temperatures (Celsius): Pantanal (Cuiabá)
Source: INMET.gov.br, Gráficos climatológicos (1961-1990)
Humidity levels: Cuiabá, Pantanal
Cuiabá, Pantanal, monthly rainfall levels (mm)
Cuiaba, Pantanal & Google Maps
If your destination is the North of the Pantanal, hotels like Pousada Baguari or Pousada Mutum, close to the lakes Sia Mariana and Chacorore (one of the most beautiful regions of the Pantanal), are excellent choices; there are other choices though.
Cuiaba, North of the Pantanal: Cuiaba Airport (CGB).
Campo Grande, south of the Pantanal: Antonio Joao Airport.
The hotels (Pousadas) will provide transfers from/to the airport.