Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brazil: Mato Grosso do Sul State - "Thick Forest of the South"

The good in doing tourism in Brazil are the numerous options that our country offers. Mato Grosso do Sul is a great picture of it. The state compensates for the fact of not being bathed by the sea, with priceless scenarios. Crystal clear rivers, waterfalls, caves, dense tracks the immensity wetland flooded ... phew! It's difficult to talk about this natural wilderness.

Photo by Mirian Coura Aveiro

Photo by Mirian Coura Aveiro

Photo by Mirian Coura Aveiro

Known for its biodiversity, ecotourism is an important attraction in Mato Grosso do Sul, especially in the southern region of Pantanal. Recognized by Unesco as a World Natural Heritage and a Biosphere Reserve, Pantanal is a plain that is subject to periodic flooding and one of the most diverse natural reserves on the planet. The main town in Pantanal is Corumbá, where sport fishing is a strong attraction.

Photo by Valentim Manieri

Photo by Mirian Coura Aveiro

The Correntoso a Cavalo Route, comprising the municipalities of Aquidauana, Corumbá and Miranda offers a ride through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Pantanal. It is a 7-8-day horse ride with stops at three lodges, each with different attractions but all with good infrastructure such as rooms with air-conditioning, swimming pools, Pantanal horses and typical regional cuisine.

The ongoing work of erosion has ensured the current shape of the Bodoquena Mountain Range, where the town of Bonito is located. The area houses huge caves crossed by rivers of clear water, which are ideal for diving.
Negro River, Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul / Photo: Embratur

The state capital, Campo Grande, is marked by the diversity of customs, music and cuisine and reflects unique cultural traits due to the natural heritage left by the Indians and Europeans, Japanese, Paraguayans, Bolivians and migrants from other states. (Source: Embratur)

Campo Grande, the Capital. Photo by viajeaquiabril

Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the most aesthetically beautiful states in Brazil in terms of its abundant plant and animal species and its gorgeous views. This makes it a popular destination amongst tourists from Brazil as well as from other countries all over the world. It is surrounded by the states of Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná as well as by the South American countries of Paraguay and Bolivia. Mato Grosso do Sul maintains good relationships with these neighbouring countries, largely because of its location and the relative challenge of accessing other great centers in Brazil that it experiences. Therefore, some of its culture, customs and peoples reflect those of such neighbours, integrating these nations with one another to a certain, yet significant, extent.

Photo by Valentim Manieri

Photo by Valentim Manieri

The name "Mato Grosso do Sul" literally means "Thick Forest of the South" in Portuguese, a name inherited from its northern neighbour state of Mato Grosso, of which it was part until the 1970s. It is not uncommon for people to mistakenly refer to Mato Grosso do Sul as simply "Mato Grosso". Other names that were proposed, at the time of the split and afterwards, include "Pantanal" (a reference to its best known geographical feature) and "Maracaju" (a reference to the Maracaju mountain range that crosses the state from north to south).

This State is hot and humid and its boasts subtropical and tropical climates. Even the cooler winter months are sunny, with daytime highs of about 24 degrees Celsius. The distinct rainy season extends from October to March of every year. With these ample rains, the marshes fill with water, creating a complex system of waterways on which boats provide the main source of transport. Gallery forests and stream valleys cut through vast savannahs in this country, creating a spectacle of natural wonder. There are a large number of grottos and caves, which have been protected from the harmful effects of human habitation to an enormous degree, ensuring that their splendour is authentic and breath-taking in its simplicity.

Photo by Valentim Manieri
"Here where the river embraces the forest and where the waters kiss the trees we feel the eternal presence of God " - Valentim Manieri
Photo by Valentim Manieri
Photo by Valentim Manieri

One of the major obstacles to the industrial sector in Mato Grosso do Sul is the distinct lack of power, which is a necessary resource for almost every form of business. While the service sector maintains dominance in its contribution to the region’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), it is closely followed by agriculture. Soybeans, pork and chicken are very important products of the region and are also major exports. In addition, wheat and cotton are vital crops.
Truck on a scale with a load of soybeans in Brazil, soy storage silos in the background. Photo by brazilorg

Mato Grosso do Sul boasts a number of tourist attractions, most of which are centered on the incredible natural beauty of the area. Some of these include:

• The Rio da Prata (River of Silver) in Jardim.
• Pantanal – the exquisite tropical wetland and the largest flooded lowland in the world.
• Bonito – famous for its clear waters and impressive geological formations. While here, visit Gruta Lago Azul (Blue Lake Cave), Fazenda Estancia Mimosa, Aquario Natural and the Sucuri, Prata, and Formoso rivers.
• The Maracaju Mountain Range
• Corumbá – also called “The White City” for its high percentage of calcium

source: brazilorg

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