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I am travelling to SAmerica in Nov-Jan with 2 friends. Round-about 19 December we are planning to cross from uyuni in Bolivia to The Pantanal in brazil. We want to spend around 3-4 days in the Pantanal and then go to Manus for about 4 days, before heading to Rio.

Can anyone advise me
1. on the best way to see the Pantanal?guided organised tour of live on a ranch for example Faz. San Francisco?
2. Should we do South or Norh Pantanal?
3. Easiest and cheapest way to travel into the Pantanal from Bolivia
4. Manus-Belem per boat, or just Manus with daytrips into the Amazon?
5 Can you recommend some independent tourguides for Rio?I heard a certain Julio or Manu were quite good and highly rated?

Thank you!xx
I know that mmbcross will have something to say about this, but in the meantime, check out the TravelPod blogs.

I found some good ones ones about Pantanal, the photos of the wildlife look amazing:

HI! Check: they have good trips in Manaus,belem etc..
Hi Globetrotter,

I'm not sure where you have been prior to arriving in Uyuni, but if I were in your shoes, I would go by bus and train to the Brazilian border at Corumba, which is in the Southern Pantanal.

Go from Uyuni to Oruro,

then continue by bus via Cochabamba

to Santa Cruz

From here there is a train, the famous "tren de la muerte" (death train because it goes deathly slow).

Corumba is at the southern end of the Pantanal: (in Portuguese)

There are plenty of agencies offering trips into the Pantanal from Corumba, but be picky and ask around to make sure you are getting value. Rip-off artists are plentiful.
Starlagurl gave you some good blogs.

Now you have a problem. Keep in mind that before Alaska became a state, Brazil was bigger than the USA. Corumba to Manaus is almost 1,500 miles as the crow flies, equivalent to New York to Denver, Colorado. So obviously you will have to fly. In this case, continue by bus to Campo Grande, where you will be able to get a flight to Manaus, probably via Sao Paulo. If you look at Manaus on the map, you will see it is about half way between Rio de Janeiro and Miami! Here is a good site to find domestic air schedules in South America. Beware, internal flights in Brazil are very expensive.

Unless you are taking a luxury cruise, travelling by river from Manaus to Belem is by no means the height of comfort. Everything is pretty basic. Many people have said it is really boring because the river is so wide that you really only get to see anything when you stop at riverside towns and villages. It isn't a tour, it's a ferry, so there will be no time for jaunts into the jungle. Plan for a voyage of four or five days. Here is some dated information:

Now you fly another 1500 miles back to Rio de Janeiro. This is equivalent to flying New York to Denver to Miami.

I am under the impression you should think again about this itinerary.

Rio? Here's what our Travepod adventurers have to say about it.

Mull over this and please get back if you need more specific information.

QUOTE(starlagurl @ Jun 19 2008, 12:40 PM) *

I know that mmbcross will have something to say about this, but in the meantime, check out the TravelPod blogs.

I found some good ones ones about Pantanal, the photos of the wildlife look amazing:

Starlagurl and steffanbukkel, thanks for the links, so so exciting!!!And the phots are great!!!!

Martin thank you for the reply, I value your insets!My mates and I are having another planning session tomorrow to talk budget and to refine our itinerary!Being South African and sadly never (yet) travelled to the USA, I dont really have a concept of the distances; but we are prepared that we will cover a lot of distance in a relative small time. It make sense going via Rio to Manus; but we are flying back home from Rio-hence the reason Rio is last on the list. Nothing is set in stone yet, and we will definetly give your advise good thought!
Hello Globetrotter,

Considering you will be departing from Rio back home to South Africa, your itinerary does of course make sense. You may find that overall the side trip to the Amazon may be excessive. If the Amazon is in your plans, you may look to visiting the upper Amazon in Bolivia, which is reasonably close to Santa Cruz and will be a fraction of the cost of getting to Manaus. Skim these blogs to see if this area would suit your purpose. No Opera House I'm afraid.
Awesome, glad you could find some help on here Globetrotter, let us know how your trip planning works out.
Yes, thanks for everyone who gave input. Our plans changed slightly, but I am off on hols this week, so as soon as I am back on track, I will update you guys and offcourse be open to any advise or suggetions
Nice, have a great time.
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