A little known gem situated in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul on the west coast of Brazil is the small remote town of Bonito. Bonito is a great place for more down time, outdoor activities and a good place for getting off the beaten track.
It is also perfect if you are wanting to access to Pantanal region of Brazil or the eastern Bolivian border. However, regardless of where you’re travelling from it will take quite a while to get there. If you are into fish and other aqua activities Bonito is definitely the place for you. The three main excursions we did were: Gruta do Lago Azul, Rio do Prato and Rio do Peixo.
The first adventure we went on was to an incredible cave called Gruta De Lago Azul, it cost about $18 USD including a transfer (which took around 2 hours) from our hostel in Bonito. I have never been caving before despite living in an English village that is renowned for being ‘the land of caves and waterfalls.’
This experience was on a different level to my local caves, we trekked down 400 steps until we got to the bottom to find the most crystal clear lagoon surrounded by stalactites. Despite the tour being in Portuguese I managed to grasp that the depth of the water was in fact around 30 metres. To the naked eye it seemed much less because of the clarity of the water. I fully recommend going if you head out to this area.
The next day we set off on a day trip to the ‘Rio de Prato’, a river that Alex (my friend) had researched where you could snorkel for miles and the clarity of the water was similar to the cave we had previously visited. We travelled 3 hours into the wilderness and eventually arrived at a ‘fazenda’ (farm) in the middle of nowhere. We relaxed in an area with hammocks and admired at the local wildlife which included a bunch of pelicans, parrots, horses and cattle before entering the river and floating down it for an hour.
A third excursion was a half day trip to a waterfall trail called, ‘Rio do Peixo’. We spent a day wandering through woodland trails to several different waterfalls. At each waterfall there would be a lagoon type area where you can cool off: an ideal $10 USD day trip that gets you out of the midday heat and allows you to immerse yourself in the Brazilian countryside and culture!