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Brazilian states: Mato Grosso do Sul Posted by on Sep 21, 2020 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Geography, Holidays, Learning, Vocabulary

Olá, amigos leitores! Hello, dear readers! Vocês já ouviram falar do Mato Grosso do Sul? Have you heard of Mato Grosso do Sul? This might not be a household name to many of you, but you probably heard of Pantanal, right? As part of our ongoing series on estados brasileiros (Brazilian states), today is Mato Grosso do Sul’s turn. So let’s get to know a little better about its culture and main tourist attractions, shall we?

Located in the Centro-Oeste (Midwest) region, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul should not be mistaken for its vizinho (neighbor) Mato Grosso, as these states separated in 1979, which makes it one of the mais novos (youngest) Brazilian states. In addition to Mato Grosso, the state faz fronteira com (borders) Minas Gerais, Goiás, São Paulo and Paraná, and two South American countries, Paraguay and Bolivia. Its capital is Campo Grande and if we compare it in terms of territorial extension, Mato Grosso do Sul is about the mesmo tamanho (same size) as Alemanha (Germany)!

Birthplace of many beloved sertanejo musicians (Brazilian country folk music), such as Almir Sater, Mariano and Munhoz and the remarkable cantora (singer) Tetê Espíndola (a sort of Brazilian Kate Bush), Mato Grosso do Sul is home to one of the greatest natural gems in Brazil : the Pantanal. For those who have never heard of this biome, the Pantanal is a floodplain with multiple rios e lagos (rivers and lakes), like a pântano (swamp), listed as a UNESCO Patrimônio Natural Mundial (World Natural Heritage) and Biosphere Reserve.

This is where the lovely Bonito is located, which literally translates as Beautiful. From its name, you can have an idea of what the place look like! The main attractions here are the rivers and cavernas (caves) with crystalline águas azuis (blue waters) that resemble giant natural aquariums where you can mergulhar (dive) to catch a glance at the different animals residing in Baía Bonita Ecological Reserve. Two tours must not be missed in this natural paradise, the Lago Azul Cave and the Sucuri River. Don’t forget your snorkel and swimming gear! In addition to Bonito, other cities worth mentioning are the capital Campo Grande, Corumbá and Jardim, the starting points to explore a beleza (the beauty) of Pantanal.

Speaking of biome, this type of environment is the foundation of much of the Mato Grosso do Sul cuisine, whose main herança (heritage) comes from the indigenous people who have settled there. So get ready to try unique pratos (dishes) like caldo de piranha (piranha broth) or carne de jacaré (alligator meat)! Yes, you read that right, both the piranha and alligator are native to the region and these one-of-a-kind delicacies are easily available in the state.

Another option that might sound strange at first, but that is also incredibly saborosa (tasty) is carne de capivara (capybara meat). But if these dishes sound too intimidating, we strongly recommend the carpaccio de dourado (a freshwater fish from the region), the baked pacu stuffed with farofa (another regional fish with cassava flour), the Bolivian rice (rice with ground beef, cheese, vegetables and bananas) or even the traditional carreteiro rice (a mixture of rice with various aged meats and vegetables). To name a few, of course!

Have you ever been to Mato Grosso do Sul or seen the wonders of Pantanal? Let us know what you think about the state and our blog post. Vejo vocês em breve! See you guys soon!


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