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Pantanal vs. Amazon?

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Pantanal vs. Amazon?

Am thinking about adding a few days in one of these areas after visiting my daughter in Buenos Aires in May or early June. Can't find much about Pantanal on TA, anyone have any info they would like to pass on? Sounds as though we would have a better chance of spotting wildlife in Pantanal than on the Amazon? But perhaps the overall experience and accommodations are better on the Amazon, at least if you take one of the better boats? Please help, thanks!

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1. Re: Pantanal vs. Amazon?

As you hadn't had any replies yet I thought I'd share my own research. Although I live in Brazil I have not yet been to either place and am in the midst of a similar debate. We lived in Buenos Aires previously and loved it, by the way, enjoy visiting your daughter there and next time you go consider Patagonia to extend your trip. As for your current debate, many of the locals and ex-pats I know have been offering me advice on where to stay. Truely, if you travel through Manaus I have heard you will see very little wildlife, although you can spot caimans and the pink river dolphins. The reviews on the hotels are fairly bad, and I have heard mixed reviews of the tree-house lodges - if you can get into the novelty of it you will enjoy, but really the quarters are bare levels of comfort and "have a musty smell". Your best bet there is a river cruise (amazon clipper) or one of the eco lodges. For the Pantanal I have met fewer people who have been but have heard there is more wildlife to be seen. I think time of year is important for this area so research carefully. Accommodations are basic but have heard good things about the trips and tours. Do plan on staying at an upscale hotel when you return to town before you fly out for a nice room and hot shower - everyone has said you are going to want it.

My best recommendation is actually the Amazon but from the Mato Grosso side, have heard great things about Cristiline Lodge (sp?) near Alta Floresta. You are able to see the wildlife from here, and get a feeling for the Amazon though not on the Amazon river directly.

Enjoy your visit to Argentina and Brazil and have some maracuja juice while you are here, it's my favorite. :)

Antarctica
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2. Re: Pantanal vs. Amazon?

I did both and would recommend both because they are two very different experiences. The Pantanal is definitely the place to go if you want easy viewing of wildlife. We got there via Cuiaba and the wildlife along the Transpantaneira road is both magical and spectacular. If you opt for the Amazon, you have to stay at the Uakari Lodge outside of Tefe. They run a very interesting program and the wildlife is abundant because it is far from Manaus. Excellent accomodations, guides and food. Check out their reviews on TA. I was also on the Amazon Clipper. It was a nice cruise on a nice boat but after the Uakari Lodge, it just didn't compare.

Antarctica
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3. Re: Pantanal vs. Amazon?

@aainbrazil: Actually, when we were in the North Pantanal, we met people who were doing a split between time in the Panatanal and then driving relatively close to Cristallino Lodge. I believe this lodge is the most accessible from the Pantanal for a "jungle" experience. We met a family who enjoyed the combo trip but mentioned that biting bugs were horrible at Cristallino. Some have argued that this is due to the deforestation going on and altering ecosystems thereby allowing bug populations to flourish. They had nothing negative to say about the actual lodge.

4. Re: Pantanal vs. Amazon?

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5. Re: Pantanal vs. Amazon?

I have been to Pantanal a few times and the Amazon jungle last year.

Honestly, the amount of wildlife we were able to see at the Pantanal and Bonito area (if you go, be sure not to miss Bonito, it is fantastic) was far greater than the Amazon, where wildlife is spread out and not concentrated in dry land, such as is the case in Pantanal.

To have a chance to see more wildlife at the Amazon area, you should go to a lodge that is far enough from Manaus, at least 3 hours away (a lot of resorts are about 1 to 2 hours away from the city). Keep in mind most of the lodges are by the Rio Negro before it meets Solimoes forming the Amazon river. Mosquitoes are really few because of the acidity of Rio Negro, so there is not that much wildlife as if you go downstream to the actual Amazon river. However, downstream there are tons of mosquitoes and more fish, the water being less acidic, and with that more animals etc. THere are way less lodges by the Amazon river though.

We were able to see some monkeys and some rare birds at the Amazon, go on a tour to swimm with the pink dolphins, meet some caboclos, maybe see a snake or 2, which you can also see at the Pantanal.

If you go to Pantanal, you will for sure see lots of aligators (caymans) basking in the sun on the waters edge, up close. You also may see a good number of monkeys, toucans, macaws, armadillos, piranas (we fished some actually) anteaters, capibaras and more. We saw all of that!

Amazon is a place to see more for the amazing great rainforest that it is, whereas Pantanal is an everglade type of place with tons of animals. It comes dow to what is your interest.

6. Re: Pantanal vs. Amazon?

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