Here, the tropical climate produces a rainy season that can last 9 months or longer, spreading these marshes over millions of acres, and forming the second largest wetlands on earth. If that sounds like a difficult place to live, try riding a horse through it! Cowboys here graze their animals on patches of sandy grasslands separated by miles of reedy swamp, lagunas and rivers. Horse, rider and cattle all have to be good swimmers to stay in fresh pasture.
Even among the diverse gaucho, llanero and pantanero cultures of lowland South America, the cowboys here are unusual. Mostly of Guarani Indian descent, they have a natty style: a flat, wide-brimmed hat felted of nutria fur, fringed aprons of capybara leather, multi-colored striped canvas leggings called guardamontes, and in place of boots, espadrille-like canvas sandals — or often no shoes at all, with spurs lashed directly to their heels.
Daily hazards here include flash floods, crushing heat, numerous venomous snakes, huge piranha and vampire bat populations, and mosquito-borne maladies. But for a Correntine gaucho, no place could be finer!