Any help in answering the following questions are appreciated.
1. what is the most convenient way to get to Corumba (Pantanal) from Sao Paulo? Should I take a train or a bus? Are there direct train or buses from Sao Paulo to Corumba? How frequent they are? I checked a few travelbooks and got the impression that there is no direct bus between the two cities, and have to transfer in Campo Grande, is this true? Are there any website (English) that provide info such as bus/train schedule?
2. I will be in Corumba (in August) for 3-4 days, and would like to join a group tour to see the Pantanal. I am wondering if I should book the tour before I come or after I arrive. Any recommendations on the tours and tour operators in that area?
In addition to the above, any information and advice about bus/train travel in Brazil will be helpful.
Thank you in advance.
Haven't been there myself, but two very general comments:
1. Guidebooks are often rather incomplete as to their coverage of railroad and bus connections, so there may be something. This time, however, as Corumba is relatively small and Campo Grande is right in between SP and it, it is quite likely that you will have to change. For what it's worth, I've heard good stories about CG, though; apparently, it's a nice place to spend a day.
2. IMHO, booking on the spot is always the preferred option, since it grants you a lot more flexibility in adapting your schedule. Moreover, it is my own experience that smaller tour operators, which are not often found through the internet, generally offer much better value for your money.
The pantanal is beautiful, by the way; if you like it, consider making a detour (well, a LARGE detour) to also see the Paraguayan side.
Go by bus. I'm almost 100% sure that there is no train connecting
Sao Paulo to Corumba. In fact as far as I know there are only two
short (and also turistic) passagers trains in the whole of Brazil.
(one is connecting Curitiba to Paranagua and is very nice if you ever
get the chance). By a little searching on the net I did find a train
connecting Baura (in the state of sao Paulo, but not Sao Paulo city)
to Corumba, but it is a cargo train like most trains in Brazil.
Going by bus, yes you would have to change in Campo grande. The bus
leaves from the Barra funda terminal in Sao Paulo and there are about
14 per day, so you should be able to go there and just get on a bus.
The cost is about 115 reais and it takes 14 hours. From Campo grande to Corumba, I don't know bus it will be easy for you to figure out once you at the bus station in campo grande. By the way if your sole
purpose is to see the pantanal you might as well book a trip in campo grande. At the busstation and in the city there are lots of agencies
doing the Pantanal - so no need to go all the way to corumba.
I couldn't find anything in english but here a link to search for
busses to Campo grande
Solveig, you wouldn't happen to know also how I should get from Sao Paulo to Sao Jose do Rio Preto by bus, would you? I've been trying to figure out from which terminal they leave (my guess was Tiete), but without success so far, and since I will be travelling with lots of luggage this time, I'd rather know in advance...
Hello, I like to thank you so much for the info. From the website you privided, I found the bus schedule not only for Sao Paulo to Campo Grande and Campo Grande to Corumba, but also for (appear to be) direct bus from Sao Paulo to Corumba.
Since there appear to be only two buses that run directly from Sao Paulo to Corumba each day, I am wondering if I can get on one of the buses the day I leave without booking in advance? Any suggestions?