By Alison McGowan
March 29, 2011
What an amazing place and what a fabulous treat the Fazenda Baia Grande is: a working ranch with 1800 hectares of land, the same number of cattle and the most incredible variety of birds and animals all around you.
This is not luxury in the normal sense of the word; the five suites are comfortable and clean with good mattresses and air conditioning/fans but basic in every other sense. The luxury here is in the beauty of the surroundings, the gentle hospitality of owner Alexandre, the wonderful home cooked food, the amazing trips and the extraordinary wildlife.
Although we could only stay for 2 days it was obvious that the Fazenda Baia Grande was a place where the guests really come first; where culinary preferences and activity interests are always taken into account and staff trained to look out for any unusual or spectacular wildlife which travellers may want to see. On just one day whilst we were here we saw over 200 varieties of bird with the high spot the unplanned extra early morning walk to photograph the elusive arara azul or hyacinth macaw. Extraordinary.
The first thing to say about the Pantanal is that it is huge – 250,000 square kilometres in total: an area where you could fit the 3 countries of France, Switzerland and Ireland and still have room to spare. The other thing to note is that if you are a bird or animal lover you will see much more here than in most parts of the better known Amazon region of Brazil. Just the variety of birds and flora and fauna is extraordinary: 100 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, 177 reptiles and 250 different fish.
One of the largest wetlands on earth the Pantanal covers a large part of 2 Brazilian states, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul and in the rainy season between December and April, the waters of the alluvial plain rise up to 3 metres, making large expanses of the region impassable except by plane or specially equipped 4×4 vehicles.
The city of Campo Grande is the major gateway to the South Pantanal- and the only large centre of population in Mato Grosso do Sul. From there it is a 3 hour bus ride to Miranda and then an easy 50 minute taxi ride to the Fazenda Baia Grande. You can easily combine your stay here with a side trip to Bonito but forget any idea of fazenda or pousada surfing north south across the Pantanal. There are no roads, and to do that you’ll have to go all the way back into Campo Grande and out again!.
Not To Be Missed
– Bush trails out to bird watch and animal watch capybaras, cayman, anteaters
– Nocturnal jeep trips round the fazenda
– Two hour photo safari
– Boat trips with piranha fishing
– Side trip to Bonito
* Location close to Miranda, in the heart of the South Pantanal
* Hospitality of Alexandre and his team
* Integration of ranch with nature and the local community
* Relaxed easy going atmosphere with maximum 15 guests
* Great home cooked food
Try a different place if…
… you need reliable Internet and local shops and amenities, or if you don’t like nature
Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on email@example.com. Visit her site at http://www.hiddenpousadasbrazil.com/.
Previous articles by Alison:
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Palafitas Lodge, Rondonia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mangueira, Boipeba (Morere), Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Cote Sud, Porto da Rua, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel Spa Casinha Branca, Bananal, nr. Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Castelinho 38, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Capao, Serro, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada d’Oleo de Guignard, Tiradentes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Bela Vista, Novo Airão, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Agua de Coco, Ceara
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Alcino Estalagem, Lenois, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada 0031, Cumbuco, Cear
Brazil: Maguire’s Guesthouse, Manaus, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Salvador, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel BeloAlter, Alter do Chão, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Fazenda Santa Marina, Santana dos Montes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casarão da Amaznia, Soure, Ilha de Marajo, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Mila, nr. Ubatuba, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Beleza, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Bambu Bamboo Pousada and Spa, Parati, Rio de Janeiro
Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
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Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia