Before traveling Brazil, I had actually never heard about Pantanal. It is one of the world’s largest wetland areas situated in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul in the west of the country, extending into Mato Grosso, Paraguay and Bolivia.
We did not really have an idea what to expect – especially since we traveled the area in the dry season. We booked a room in a fazenda (farm house) and stayed there for 4 nights. Pantanal is a pure experience of both, adventurous and calm nature. Tucans woke us up in the mornings, we went Piranha fishing, fed crocodiles in the wild, saw rare blue parrots and many more animals. Not only did we go on adventurous “tourist trips”, we also went horse back riding with some cowboys to experience their daily work with the cow herds. It such a different life from back home and I was more than happy to do get off the horse after a three hour trip. I was not only scared of my horse, but also of the cattles, that we were riding through while they were staring at me with their frightening horns.
While we were staying in the southern Pantanal near Miranda, the “Arena Pantanal” is situated 800km north in Cuiaba in the geographical center of South America. Constructions were finished in 2014 and will host 4 matches during the FIFA World Cup 2014 providing space for 45.968 people.