May 12, 2011

Quads in the Pantanal

by Antonella Kann

I am an adventure buff. Anything that´s off the beaten track appeals to me. But it doesn´t mean that I ´m involving myself in a risky trip. On the contrary. It´s just that as an outdoor enthusiast I believe there are many un-googleable ways to travel.

When my friend Dedeco, who owns a company called Trip Tur, based in southern state of Santa Catarina, told me that he was organizing a quad expedition to the Pantanal ( Brazil´s wet lands located in the middle of the country ) it was like ringing a bell: with the quads, he intends to deposit you in areas which you´d never have access otherwise or by other means of transportation.

Although it´s not exactly a laidback sort of trip – you drive a powerful machine which demands a bit of energy and good physical condition - there´s no reason to groan about it: it allows you to explore the incredibly beautiful terrain of the Pantanal, which harbors eye-filling views and specially wild animals in their habitat.

Think monkeys, blue macaws, deers, birds of all species and crocodiles in their environement…of knee-trembling beauty. The region is blissfully unpeopled, and you´ll be hipnotized by natural gems.

But let´s talk quad: a 4x4 vehicle which can be driven by anyone over 16 years old. It´s so easy to operate that within 15 minutes Dedeco will teach you the basics. Then, follow the guide! It´s more a toy than a vehicle, believe me. I also am positive that it´s the most enchanting way to have the Pantanal revealed to you. And I have been there a couple of times.

There will be a few expeditions from the end of June to beginning of August. As they´ve not done this itinerary before, I can´t provide you with local pictures. But, I can assure you that although the Pantanal is not devoid of tourist gloss, the path taken by quads will certainly be a wander through virgin spots.

The trip includes accomodation, food and guide. And all the guidance that you´ll need. I recommend browsing their site to get more details and the precise dates of departure. Groups are small – max of 10 participants – and fun is guaranteed! I am looking forward for my turn to come - in the beginning of August.

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