The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetlands (approximately the size of the state of Washington) and is located in southwestern Brazil, northern Paraguay, and eastern Bolivia. According to National Geographic, it has the highest concentration of wildlife on the continent, and every year during the rainy season, approximately 80% of the Pantanal becomes submerged beneath floodwaters. This is the amazing area that we got to spend our Christmas exploring.
We gathered everything we would need during our time there, said goodbye to Didingo (temporarily), and took a bumpy ride in the back of a pickup into the wetlands. We were warned that the mosquitos would eat us alive if we didn’t have bug repellent with as much DEET as possible, and it was true. As soon as we stepped out of Didingo, we were swarmed! During our ride to our hostel, we began to see lots of tropical birds and wildlife.
After arriving at the hostel, we had a little while to unpack and settle in, then it was off to go piranha fishing in the river. We caught some piranhas and catfish and got very close to a few caiman, who were interested in the fish we were catching.
Over the next few days, we took several jungle safaris out into the Pantanal to search for birds and other wildlife. We saw several of the larger wildlife like marsh deer, capybaras, tortoises, monkeys, and coatis.
We spent Christmas day having a blast celebrating with the owners of the hostel and relaxing in the pool. We recorded a wonderful Christmas greeting for all of our family and friends, who we couldn’t be with during the holiday season.
While we spotted many birds during all of our activities in the Pantanal. This is going to be our longest (and best) bird section yet. So, if you’re not a bird human, this is a good place to stop. (Just a hint, all the toucan and macaw pictures are at the bottom if you want to skip to them!)