Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

State of Mato Grosso do Sul

Blue Manakin  Chiroxiphia caudata ©Lee Dingain Website

Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the Central-Western states of Brazil. Its total area of 357,125 square kilometers, or 137,891 square miles, is roughly the same size as Germany. Neighboring Brazilian states are (from north clockwise) Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. It also borders the countries of Paraguay, to the southwest, and Bolivia, to the west. The economy of the state is largely based on agriculture and cattle-raising. Crossed in the south by the Tropic of Capricorn, Mato Grosso do Sul generally has a warm, sometimes hot, and humid climate, and is crossed by numerous tributaries of the Paraná River.

The state is also famous for its natural beauty, and is a major destination for domestic and international tourism. The Pantanal lowlands cover 12 municipalities and presents an enormous variety of flora and fauna, with forests, natural sand banks, savannahs, open pasture, fields and bushes. The "cerrado" landscape is characterized by extensive savanna formations crossed by gallery forests and stream valleys. Cerrado includes various types of vegetation. Humid fields and 'buriti' palm paths are found where the water table is near the surface. Alpine pastures occur at higher altitudes and mesophytic forests on more fertile soils. The 'cerrado' trees have characteristic twisted trunks covered by a thick bark, and leaves which are usually broad and rigid. Many herbaceous plants have extensive roots to store water and nutrients. The plant's thick bark and roots serve as adaptations for the periodic fires which sweep the cerrado landscape. The adaptations protect the plants from destruction and make them capable of sprouting again after the fire.

The city Bonito, in the mountain of Bodoquena, has prehistoric caves, natural rivers, waterfalls, swimming pools and the Blue Lake cave.

The name Mato Grosso do Sul literally means 'Thick Bushes of the South' in Portuguese, a name inherited from its northern neighbour state of Mato Grosso, of which it was part until the 1970s.

Below are some of its top attractions and websites to the reserves and many places to stay where birding is an option. We welcome a proper introduction to this page from someone who knows the area well.

Top Sites


Satellite View

There is a mountain to the north of the road, just before Corumbá. The main road up is impossible to bird, with large manganese ore trucks passing every few minutes, but there is a quieter road to the right at the foot of the mountain with Green-cheeked Parakeet Pyrrhura molinae, Bolivian Slaty-antshrike Thamnophilus sticturus, a disjunct population of White-backed Fire-eye Pyriglena leuconota and Fawn-breasted Wren Thryothorus guarayanus.


Satellite View

The luxury hotel Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is very expensive but delightful. Birding is first class - lots of Hyacinth Macaws - but it is however difficult to get into the field on your own.

Passo da Lontra

Satellite View

100km after Miranda a dirt road loops round to the right and eventually reaches Corumbá, passing through Pantanal wetlands on the way. Where it crosses the Rio Miranda at Passo da Lontra there are several fishing hotels. Birding is excellent along this road, both on foot and from the car, with much same the species as at Aquidauana. Hyacinth Macaw Anodorhyncus hyacinthinus can be seen at the Fazenda Santa Clara but this hotel now overcharges for inferior accomodation. The owner was, however, quite willing to let us bird there. The Pousada Arara Azul about 40km further along this road looked attractive.

Southeastern Pantanal

Satellite View

The Pantanal is the largest wetland area in the world. Pantanal has mixed vegetation ranging from patches of dry forest, riparian forests, and cerrados to swamps. This is one of the best places in Brazil to watch large birds and mammals. Interesting bird species are Undulated Tinamou, Anhinga, Capped Heron, Jabiru, Buff-necked Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Southern Screamer, Snail Kite, Hyacinthine Macaw, Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Toco Toucan, Silver-beaked Tanager, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl and Spectacled Owl.


Jeremy Minns

São Paulo


Number of Species

Number of bird species: 781

As at November 2016


Number of endemics: 1

Camp Troupial Icterusjamacaii

Useful Reading

Birds of Southwestern Brazil

Catalogue and Guide to the Birds of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and its Border Area B Dubs 164 pages, 58 colour plates, 19 b/w photos, 2 maps. 1992

ISBN: 3952024406

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Books, CDs, DVDs etc.

See the main Brazil page for guides etc. covering the whole country…


Pantanal Bird Club


Much more basic research needs to be performed in Neotropics, research in conservation biology is obviously essential in securing a bright future for this region and its ecosystems. Focusing this need, the PANTANAL BIRD CLUB Conservation Fund permits to award small grants to local students & researchers for bird conservation work in the region. This fund is basically benefit from private donations, profits from Birding Trips and sales of Club merchandise…


Abbreviations Key

Parque Ecoturístico da Bodoquena (Peabiru) - Bonito


Satellite View

O Parque Ecoturístico da Bodoquena é fruto da parceria entre organizações privadas sem fins lucrativos, o Instituto Peabiru de Ecoturismo, a Eco Associação para Estudos do Ambiente e os proprietários da Fazenda Pitangueiras…

RPPN Rio Sucuri


To ensure the preservation of this environment of rare beauty and great ecological importance, 7 years ago was established in the area RPPN (Private Natural Heritage Reserve), with 642 ha.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Boute Expeditions - birding in the Mato Gross

Tour Operator

Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso, Brazil, is within a radius of 60 miles (100 km) surrounded by tropical rain forest, dry and wet savannas. Cuiabá is served by an International Airport, which makes it the perfect gateway to the most exciting birding and natural history destination all over South America. The Amazonian rainforest, the Pantanal lowlands and the dry, savanna-like Brazilian Cerrado are the three great biomes waiting for you.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2003 [09 September] - Pieter Westra


During almost 3.5 months I travelled through Bolivia, where I tried to visit as much as possible different habitats, from dry puna vegetation with highland lakes to humid cloud - and rainforest to the dry lowland Chaco. Besides that I spent about 1 week in the southern Brazilian Pantanal. During this trip I did a lot of things: trekking, mountain-climbing, but overall birdwatching was my main activity…

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Barranco Alto Eco-Lodge - Pantanal


Then in April as the waters recede, the birds return in vast numbers and variety. Due to the wide open areas between patches of forest, birds are easily seen. It is estimated that during the year about 650 species of birds call the Pantanal home!

Bonito Youth Hostel - Bonito


Built in Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul state, municipal district located on the east side of the Bodoquena mountain range, region that has rivers with the cleanest waters in the world and with a large variety of fish and wild animals, caves and balnearies where we can practice ecological tourism, rural tourism, diving (flotation / snorkeling); independent diving in caves and rivers and falls with the most incredible forms.

Caiman Ecological Refuge - Refúgio Ecológico Caiman


Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is a pioneer ecotourism lodge in Pantanal, started 20 years ago. It is based on a ranch of 53,000 hectares, with four confortable lodges, totally integrated with the exuberant local landscape. All our tours are lead by English speaking naturalist guides and some of them are highly specialized in birdwatching. We use especially adapted safari vehicles. The ranch animal list has 380 species of birds and 41 mammals, including the jaguar. The ranch is also base for the Hyiacinth Macaw project and visitors have the chance to study their work. Visiting is possible all year around, with good road access.

Estância Mimosa - Bonito


Estância Mimosa also offers a birdwatching tour, especially made for those who love this activity and nature. With more than a 190 registered species, the ranch is a strategic spot for birdwatching. It is located in a region within Cerrado biome, which has great environmental diversity…

Fazenda Barra Mansa - Pantanal


Die Fazenda Barra Mansa liegt 225 Kilometer. (120 Meilen) von Campo Grande, der Hauptstadt von Mato Grosso do Sul und 120 Kilometer. (75 Meilen) von Aquidauana entfernt. Sie ist nur mit dem Flugzeug von einer dieser Städte erreichbar…

Fazenda Refúgio da Ilha - Pantanal Sul


Another flash site that takes too long.

Fazenda Sanfrancisco


We are located in Pantanal of Brasil and we have a birdlist with 331 species recorded in the area…

Hotel Pousada Bonsai - Bonito


Contact info.

Hotel Pousada Cabana do Pescador - Bonito


In the Hut of the fisherman the Leisure Becomes complete with the Nature, the Vision that the Nature provides him/her and Unquestionable… something tells me this just might be machine translation!

Pantanal Park Hotel - near Corumbá


PANTANAL, onde a exuberância da natureza pode ser apreciada e desfrutada em um dos ecossistemas mais fantástico do planeta. A beleza de sua paisagem é indescritível em todas as estações do ano. Na época das cheias, período em que os principais rios que constituem a bacia do Rio Paraguai extravasam, garantindo assim a revigoração do ecossistema. A fauna rica e exótica está presente em vários ambientes do Pantanal.

Passo do Lontra - Pantanal


Montado sobre passarelas no Rio Miranda, com o Pantanal a seus pés. A riqueza da fauna na região do Morro do Azeite e a beleza do Rio Vermelho…

Pousada Águas do Pantanal - Miranda


O QUE FAZER NO PANTANAL SUL, BONITO e SERRA DA BODOQUENA: Cavalgada, caminhada, passeio de barco e caiaque, focagem noturna de jacarés e outros animais, passeio de veículo aberto, passeio de bicicleta, mergulho, flutuação, rapel, observação de aves e caçada fotográfica a onça pintada, acompanhamento a comitiva de gado e lida do homem pantaneiro…

Pousada Aguapé - Aquidauana


Many interesting species of birds can be seen, such as the Undulated Tinamou (Cryturellus undulatus); the Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga); the Capped heron (Philerodius pileatus);the Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria); the Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatus); the Roseate Spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja); the Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata); the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis); the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus); the Turquoise-fronted parrot(Amazona aestiva); the Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco); the Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo); the Ferruginous Pygmy owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) and the Spectacled owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata).

Pousada Canto do Bambu - Bonito


Bonito é hoje uma cidade mundialmente conhecida por seus encantos naturais, sítios ecoturísticos, que oferecem além de sua beleza natural, passeios inesquecíveis…

Pousada Chão de Pedra - Bonito


Welcome to Chão de Pedra! Rounded by hills with intense green and untouched woods, the lodging Chão de Pedra provides you the sensation of being at the country side, although being less than 1 mile from downtown.

Pousada Currupira - Albuquerque - Corumbá


It`s the biggest wet plain of the planet, with a area of 200.000 km² in Brazilian territory, locate in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, taking also parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. Its extension is bigger than the State of São Paulo, or three times Belgium and Switzerland together. The pantanal is a fascinating ecological paradise that holds the richest animal lives of the world. The research shows 650 species of birds, 80 mammals, 53 reptiles and 235 fish. Its plant life is still a little studied, it surprises the experts everyday the plant that multiply in the different kinds of ground compound the complex kingdom of waters.

Pousada do Tucunaré - Três Lagoas


Preocupada com o bem-estar de seus hóspedes a Pousada do Tucunaré vem lhe oferecer um ambiente agradável e acolhedor com opções variadas de lazer, passeio, descanso. Com o excepcional treinamento de seus funcionários a Pousada oferece aos seus hóspedes o mais puro turismo ecológico da região…

Pousada Mangabal - Pantanal Sul


Lots of pictures - not a lot of info…

Pousada Recanto dos Pássaros - Bonito


Em 30.000 m2 de área verde, construímos nossa pousada para oferecer conforto, tranquilidade e tudo o que você precisa para ter uma ótima estadia aqui em nossa cidade.

Pousada Remanso - Bonito


Aventure-se no Rio Formoso por um percurso de 6 Km, passando por corredeiras e cachoeiras, com parada para banho. O passeio é feito através de botes infláveis com capacidade para até 14 pessoas, de onde se poderá avistar, nas margens do rio, diversos animais e pássaros…

Pousada Villa Verde - Bonito


Com localização privilegiada, a Pousada Villa Verde oferece ao hóspede um cantinho ideal para quem gosta de natureza. Além da área verde, o hóspede encontra na Pousada um pouco da diversidade e beleza local das inúmeras espécies de plantas e aves da região… English spoken too.

Projecto Vivo Ecoturismo - Bonito


Here, families friends and couples find leisure, peace, tranquility and close contact with nature. Waking up to the sound of birds, spending the day doing several activities, or simply relaxing and enjoying the excellent service of our very friendly and efficient staff, makes any person forget the daily rush common in our lives. We offer you accommodations that have air conditioning, frigobar and verandas with protective screens, a double bed and three single beds…

Tapera Hotel - Bonito


O Requinte e o Bom Gosto, estão presentes em todos os ambientes do Tapera Hotel. Tudo á sua espera. O Tapera Hotel, está pronto para recebê-lo com todo o conforto, segurança e uma excelente estrutura para sua hospedagem, com atendimento personalizado e localização perfeita.


Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul


Other Links

Birds of Pantanal


Although 99% is privately owned, the Pantanal (swamp in Spanish) was my favorite place in Brazil. I visited in September which is the dry season and we were never too far from water so this place must look like and ocean in the wet season, actually 80% of its land is under water in the rainy season from October through March.

Bonito Birdwatching


The objective is to increase the birdwatching in Bonito and South Pantanal in Mato Grosso do Sul State of Brazil. The first step is give informations about the activitie in Portuguese for brazilians. After this, talk about birding in the region…