The northern Pantanal, undoubtedly offers some of the finest opportunities to see rare wildlife, such as jaguar and giant river otter, along with spectacular birdlife.
From Cuiabà, the capital of Mata Grosso state, a tarmac road leads 100 kilometres south to the town of Poconé at the start of the Transpantaneira highway.
The unasphalted Transpantaneira runs south for a further 145 kilometres through the heart of the Pantanal to the town of Porto Jofre on the Cuiabà River, passing through areas where huge concentrations of wildlife and massive flocks of birds are found.
On either side of the road, accommodation is provided by a number of pousadas, many of which are still functioning cattle ranches that offer a variety of trips using different modes of transport, to see caiman, anaconda, jabiru stork, owls, nightjars, armadillo, fox and perhaps even maned wolf. However for sightings of shy jaguar and giant river otter you have to go yet further off the beaten track and enter deep into the river system, either by taking day trips by boat from Porto Jofre, or by staying on a liveaboard boat on a remote stretch of river.
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