Discover Mato Grosso do Sul

In the south of the Midwest region, Mato Grosso do Sul borders Bolivia and Paraguay, occupying a larger territorial area than Germany.

It is one of the newest states in Brazil, having been created in 1979 from dismemberment to the south of neighbouring Mato Grosso.

Its relief is remarkable, formed by plateaus, plateaus, and plateaus, all inserted in the basins of the Paraná and Paraguay rivers. In the subsoil of its territory, most of the Guarani Aquifer, one of the most important freshwater reserves on the planet, is concentrated.

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Photo: Elis Regina

Economy

The state’s economy is based mainly on rural animal and vegetable production and rural industry, having one of the largest cattle herds in the country.

Mato Grosso do Sul, a state in the central-western region of Brazil, has a robust and diverse economy primarily driven by agriculture, livestock, and industry. The state’s fertile lands support extensive soybean, corn, and sugarcane cultivation, making it a significant player in Brazil’s agribusiness sector.

Cattle ranching is also a significant economic activity, with Mato Grosso do Sul being one of the country’s leading beef producers. Additionally, the state has a growing industrial sector, particularly in food processing, biofuel production, and mining.

These industries, combined with a strategic location and developed infrastructure, contribute to Mato Grosso do Sul’s economic vitality and continuous growth.

Photo: Elis Regina

Biodiversity

Well known for its biodiversity, ecological tourism is an important source of income. The biggest highlight is the Pantanal region, a plain that floods periodically and is one of the most diversified natural reserves on the planet. The main city in Pantanal is Corumbá, which has fishing activity as its main source.

Mato Grosso do Sul is renowned for its rich biodiversity, encompassing diverse ecosystems such as the Pantanal, the Cerrado, and Atlantic Forest remnants. The Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with wildlife, including jaguars, caimans, and many bird species. The Cerrado, a tropical savanna, hosts unique flora and fauna adapted to its distinct climate and soil conditions. This mosaic of habitats supports an incredible variety of plants, animals, and aquatic life, making Mato Grosso do Sul a crucial region for conservation and an attractive destination for ecotourism and nature enthusiasts.

Photo: VisitMS

Serra da Bodoquena

Another attraction is the Serra da Bodoquena, where the municipality of Bonito is located. This region, formed by limestone, extends more than 200 km from Miranda to Porto Murtinho. It has become a relevant tourist destination due to its rich natural beauty, including rivers, caves, and waterfalls.

Serra da Bodoquena, located in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, is a striking mountain range renowned for its stunning natural beauty and ecological significance. This region is characterized by lush forests, crystal-clear rivers, and impressive limestone formations, which create a unique landscape filled with caves, waterfalls, and underground lakes. The area is part of the Serra da Bodoquena National Park, a protected area that conserves a rich biodiversity, including numerous endemic species of plants and animals.

The park is also known for its exceptional ecotourism opportunities, offering activities such as hiking, bird watching, cave exploration, and snorkelling in its pristine waters. Serra da Bodoquena’s unique geology and vibrant ecosystems make it a vital region for ecological preservation and nature-based tourism.

Delta do Parnaíba

The Capital

Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, is a vibrant and rapidly growing city known for its modern infrastructure and cultural diversity. Established in the late 19th century, Campo Grande has evolved into a major urban centre with a population exceeding 900,000. The city is characterized by wide, tree-lined avenues and numerous green spaces, earning it the nickname “Cidade Morena” (Brown City) due to the region’s reddish-brown soil.

As the administrative and economic hub of Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande boasts a robust economy supported by agriculture, commerce, and services. The city’s strategic location has made it a key logistical centre, facilitating trade and transportation within the state and beyond. Additionally, Campo Grande is home to several educational and research institutions, contributing to its reputation as a centre for learning and innovation.

Culturally, Campo Grande reflects a rich blend of indigenous, European, and migrant influences, evident in its festivals, cuisine, and community events. The city hosts various cultural attractions, including museums, theatres, and cultural centres, providing residents and visitors with a dynamic and engaging environment. With its unique blend of modernity, cultural heritage, and natural beauty, Campo Grande offers a high quality of life and numerous opportunities for growth and development.

Photo: Alexandre Debieve | Unsplash

Tererê

The state’s typical drink is tererê, and it is also the largest national producer of yerba mate, a pre-Columbian heritage.

Tererê is a traditional cold tea from Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, deeply rooted in the region’s culture and social life. Made from the yerba mate plant leaves, tererê is similar to the more widely known chimarrão, but it is served cold, making it particularly refreshing in the warm climate of Mato Grosso do Sul. The drink is typically prepared by filling a guampa (a cup made from a hollowed-out bull’s horn or wood) with yerba mate and adding ice-cold water. It is consumed through a bomba, a metal straw with a filter at the end.

Tererê is more than just a beverage; it is a social ritual that brings people together. Sharing tererê is a common practice among friends and family, fostering a sense of community and connection. The preparation and drinking process are often accompanied by conversation and camaraderie, making it an integral part of the local lifestyle.

In addition to its social aspects, tererê is valued for its health benefits. Yerba mate is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and is known for its stimulating and revitalizing properties. It is believed to aid digestion, boost energy, and enhance mental focus. The tradition of drinking tererê reflects the harmonious relationship between the people of Mato Grosso do Sul and their natural environment, highlighting the importance of cultural heritage and community in the region.

Photo: VisitMS

Population

Since the state became effectively populated, its population has grown to high levels. Between the 1940s and 2008, the population increased almost tenfold.

Mato Grosso do Sul, a state in the central-western region of Brazil, is home to a diverse and growing population. According to recent estimates, the state’s population is over 2.8 million people. The state’s population is characterized by a mix of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, including indigenous communities, descendants of European settlers, and migrants from other regions of Brazil.

The capital city, Campo Grande, is the largest urban centre in Mato Grosso do Sul, with a population exceeding 900,000. Other important cities in the state include Dourados, Três Lagoas, and Corumbá, each contributing to the cultural and economic landscape of Mato Grosso do Sul.

The population of Mato Grosso do Sul is relatively young, with a significant portion under the age of 30. This demographic trend, combined with ongoing urbanization and economic development, presents opportunities and challenges for the state. Efforts are underway to ensure inclusive growth, improve access to education and healthcare, and preserve the cultural heritage of Indigenous communities.

Mato Grosso do Sul’s population growth is influenced by factors such as migration, natural increase, and economic opportunities in key sectors such as agriculture, industry, and services. As the state continues to evolve, its population will play a crucial role in shaping its future trajectory and contributing to its social, cultural, and economic development.

Photo: Rico | VisitMS

Tourism

The natural beauty of its landscape and the cultural proximity to neighbouring countries make Mato Grosso do Sul a unique state in Brazil, certainly making it a destination worth visiting.

Tourism in Mato Grosso do Sul offers a rich tapestry of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures that captivate visitors worldwide. The state, nestled in the heart of Brazil, boasts an array of breathtaking landscapes, from the world-famous Pantanal, the largest tropical wetland on the planet, to the dramatic canyons and waterfalls of Serra da Bodoquena.

One of the crown jewels of Mato Grosso do Sul’s tourism is the Pantanal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its unparalleled biodiversity. Visitors can embark on unforgettable wildlife safaris, spotting iconic species such as jaguars, giant otters, and caimans in their natural habitat. Birdwatching is also popular, with over 650 bird species calling the Pantanal home.

Mato Grosso do Sul offers many outdoor activities for those seeking adventure. The crystal-clear rivers and waterfalls of Serra da Bodoquena provide the perfect setting for snorkelling, swimming, and canyoning, while the rugged terrain of Bonito beckons thrill-seekers with opportunities for rappelling, caving, and zip-lining.

Cultural enthusiasts will also find plenty to discover in Mato Grosso do Sul. The state is home to vibrant indigenous communities with unique traditions and crafts. Visitors can immerse themselves in indigenous culture by participating in traditional ceremonies, learning about ancestral customs, and purchasing authentic handicrafts.

Furthermore, Mato Grosso do Sul offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with charming towns and cities that showcase the region’s rich history and heritage. From the colonial architecture of Campo Grande to the bustling markets of Dourados, there’s something to delight every traveller in Mato Grosso do Sul.

With its extraordinary natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and vibrant culture, Mato Grosso do Sul is a premier destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable experience in the heart of Brazil. Whether exploring the vast wetlands of the Pantanal, embarking on adrenaline-pumping adventures in Serra da Bodoquena, or immersing themselves in indigenous culture, visitors will surely be captivated by the wonders of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Frequently asked questions about Mato Grosso do Sul

Some of the most frequently asked questions about this wonderful destination

The capital of Mato Grosso do Sul is Campo Grande.
The Mato Grosso do Sul area is 357,142.082 km².
Mato Grosso do Sul population is 2,757,013 inhabitants (2022).
A person born in Mato Grosso do Sul is called "sul-mato-grossense" or "mato-grossense-do-sul."
The dialing code in the region of Mato Grosso do Sul is 67.
Mato Grosso do Sul borders with the states of Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Paraná in Brazil, and with the countries Paraguay and Bolivia.

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