Climate of the Pantanal

Clima table of the Pantanal

The Pantanal’s climate is related to the Upper Paraguay River Basin’s climatic circumstances. It is a result of its tropical geographical location, between 16º and 22° lattitude S and 55º and 58º W, the relief and the occasionally incoming cold air masses from the south. The tropical climate of the Pantanal shows average temperatures of around 26°C. The summer is the warmer and rainiest period. The dry winter has its temperatures averaging slightly lower, but fluctuations are common in winter and so the temperatures may rise well above or descend well below the averages, with occasional extreme lows of down to almost 0ºC, result of the ease in transfer of cold air over the southern pampas and the absence of oceanic influences. Annual average rainfall reaches 1,200 mm. and the main rainfall occurs between November and March, months in which the wetlands receive 70% of their annual rain quota.
The dry period occurs from June to September and during these months the Pantanal receives an average of only 10% of its annual rainfall.

Highwater into the Pantanal

When is the best time to visit the Pantanal?
This question is not easy to answer. Both rainy and dry seasons offer advantages and disadvantages to the human visitor.
To observe wildlife in general, the dry winter may be the best time because it forces much of the fauna to stay close to the rivers where they find the only water available than, thus making it easy on us to spot them. In the flood season however, the animals spread over the entire Pantanal since they have access to water wherever they are and although we still see them, the numbers are likely to decrease. In compensation, the Pantanal’s landscapes are certainly much more appealing during the flood. In the dry season we have trouble making boat trips but may hike virtually anywhere through the Pantanal. During flood, we may navigate at will but we’ll have difficulties in walking.

The cycle of the waters makes the Pantanal into an ever changing environment with obvious consequences for those who visit. Therefore we would say that the best time to visit the Pantanal is when it is of more convenience to you.