Get ready for a vacation of aquatic adventures, stunning natural beauty and varied wildlife in the Brazilian town of Bonito. This ecotourism center sits nestled within rivers and forests in the southwestern corner of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Bonito itself has few attractions but visitors flock here to explore what lies in the town’s immediate environs. Come face to face with multicolored fish on a snorkeling trip, travel deep into caves to admire massive stalagmites, swim in waterfalls and go tubing along river rapids.
Enjoy a wide range of family-friendly activities at day resorts such as Figueira Beach and Formoso River Ecological Park. Go horseback riding, quad biking, scuba diving and snorkeling. Try river tubing, slacklining, stand-up paddleboarding and zip lining. Spot brightly colored fish while swimming in the crystalline waters of the Municipal Baths. Bathe in the pools of seven waterfalls at the Waterfalls Park (Parque das Cachoeiras). Baía Bonita Ecological Reserve offers the chance to snorkel in a river and look for deer and snakes on a nature trail.
Feel dwarfed by huge stalactites and stalagmites at millennia-old caves. Marvel at prehistoric mammal fossils, stone flowers and Blue Lake Cave, where the water turns a piercing blue when the sun's rays hit it. Watch exotic birds fly overhead as you walk deep into eerie São Miguel Cave. Enjoy more snorkeling in pristine waters at the Mysterious Lake, set at the bottom of a sinkhole.
In Bonito’s town center, Public Square is a major social gathering place and location for free concerts. Sit on the lawns with a picnic or dine at restaurants in the surrounding streets. Learn about aquatic animals native to the region at Aquário de Bonito. Get the opportunity to handle a boa constrictor at the Jibóia Project.
Reach Bonito by catching long-distance buses from Campo Grande, Corumbá and Miranda. Almost all attractions are accessible via organized tours only. Dozens of tour operators line Rua Coronel Pilad Rebuá and charge the same prices for each tour and attraction. Spaces are limited so book well in advance, especially from December to February, during Easter and in July.