Transpantaneira - Poconé - Mato GrossoThis 145-km-long, elevated gravel road starts in Poconé, takes us over 122 wooden bridges and ends in Porto Jofre.
In September 1973 the Codemat (abbreviation for Society for Development in Mato Grosso) honoured a 20-year-old promise: the building of a road across the flooded area, with the goal of creating a north-south connection to federal road BR-262 running between Campo Grande and Corumbá. In mind was the development of the Pantanal as a cattle breeding region: the road was supposed to facilitate both the transport of the cattle and the bringing in of gear and machines, and thus to make the costly air transport unnecessary. The 145 km of this road – from Poconé in northern Mato Grosso to Porto Jofre on the border to Mato Grosso do Sul – were completed, but every year the road needs to be patched up again.
There are many accommodations (pousadas) along the Transpantaneira, some of which originated from former fazendas trying to develop a second source of income.
Figures on the exact length of the Transpantaneira differ in various travel guides, Internet sites and reports, some saying 142 km, others 148 or 149 km (like a road sign in Porto Jofre). The actual length, as measured from Poconé, amounts to exactly 144,82 km – according to different range finders in our vehicles, this number varies between 144,5 and 144,82 km. We drove this route several times to make sure the Transpantaneira is actually 145 km long.
In May 2009 we measured the most important spots in Poconé and on the Transpantaneira with GPS and processed the data. We will soon make these available to you, and we are also planning to produce and publish a map of the Transpantaneira (completion ca. late 2009).
Note:Since 15th December 2008, stricter conditions are imposed on visitors to the Pantanal. Whoever wants to visit the world natural heritage in Mato Grosso on their own may be denied entrance. Previous booking of a tour at a travel agency including a registered guide or booking one of the accommodations along the Transpantaneira is now a mandatory requirement. Moreover, all vehicles to be used on the gravel road through the unique landscape first have to be registered at the authority in charge.
This is the officials' reaction to the increasing pollution along the Transpantaneira and the wild camping of backpackers in the region, who often light fires that can cause devastating harm, especially in the dry season. But it is also the increasing number of fatal accidents, primarily involving drunk Brazilian tourists and due to a lack of knowledge of the region, that compelled the people in charge of the largest wetland on Earth to enact stricter regulations.
At night the gateway to the Transpantaneira is now completely off-limits to car traffic (10 pm to 5 am), by day backpackers without reservations and tourists with rental cars are rejected. Thus, for an unforgettable stay in the Pantanal it is necessary to travel in expert company (with registered guides and/or through registered agencies) and after careful planning. You can obtain more detailed information on tours in the Pantanal on our website or by phone (daily until 8 pm, also on weekends and on holidays).