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Amazonas - Brazil
Type of Location
About Location


Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Car

The capital of Mato Grosso state, Cuiabá is a modern, pleasant town of 500,000 that sits in the middle of Brazilian cattle country. It was not unusual to see folks on the street in cowboy duds, but through recent years, Cuiaba has been greately modernized. And, it's a great place to stock up on boots, saddles, and other western gear. The city serves as the main gateway to the northern part of the Pantanal -- the Transpantaneira Highway starts just 98km (61 miles) away -- and as the jumping-off point to the Chapada dos.


Key places to visit
Basilica do Senhor Bom Jesus de Cuiabá, Palácio de Instrução, Museu do Rio Cuiabá, Take a guided hike, Chapada dos Guimarães


Places to Visit
  • Basilica do Senhor Bom Jesus de Cuiabá, Praça da República. Tu-F 8AM-11AM and 2PM-6PM. A stylish modern cathedral with some nifty Art Deco features and great stained glass. Mass is at 6am and 6pm daily.
  • Almost next door there's the yellow baroque Palácio de Instrução  M-F 8AM-5PM, now home to Cuiabá's history and natural history museums. Admission is R$1 (US35¢) for both. The history museum is mostly devoted to the 1860s war between Brazil and Paraguay, largely fought in this remote region. The natural history wing features a wide assortment of stuffed dead animals -- all rather tatty looking -- and some great Indian clubs and arrows and headdresses.
  • Down by the renovated riverside port area there's the Museu do Rio Cuiabá and the Municipal Aquarium, Av. Beira Rio s/n (where the Av. 15 de Novembro crosses the river; tel; 065/623-1440. Tu-Su 9AM-6PM. Features displays and exhibits on the changing face of the river, and a small collection of local Pantanal fish.
  • Take a guided hike, and after sunset, go for a spotlight drive on the Transpantaneira to see the night creatures: capybaras, tarantulas, and (with the most incredible of luck) jaguars. It is also strongly recommended that you take the time to explore the Pantanal as it was meant to be seen, on the back of a horse.
  • After exploring the Pantanal, consider a 1-day or overnight trip to the Chapada dos Guimarães, the highlands to the north of Cuiabá. The beautiful red-rock formations, plateaus, and canyons offer excellent hiking and fabulous views, great waterfalls and swimming holes, and some excellent birdlife, including red macaws.
Right Time to Visit

January - March
October - December