And talk about an “adventure”. Bonito is a small town in the suburbs of Mato Grosso do Sul with natural beauties. To get to the hidden treasures beneath the earth or water is for the strong and fearless. To visit the caves, waterfalls and springs of groundwater we must tackle good hiking, rappelling, or even swim underwater and get face to face with a friendly alligator or with an inoffensive anaconda. Are you up for the challenge? I took on the challenge and would definitely do it again. After all, the ecological balance is still perfect in the region.
Tourism in the region is very recent. Do you know how it started? Walking through a rural property, a foreman saw a hole in the ground that reflected something strange. When approaching it, he discovered the Abismo Anhumas, the most radical and beautiful attraction. Since then, other farms around, which also had something special, began to organize to receive visitors. And they are organized in a very cool way . Although small, the city has an airport, it is safe, clean, full of restaurants food and people. Everything works super well. At each visit you receive all clothing and equipment you will need. You don’t have to worry about anything.
Planning ahead is a must. All tours are far from the center, where are the hotels and tourism agencies are located (that control everything with much respect for the environment). It is essential to get in touch with one of these agencies to buy the tours you want to do. Some are very crowded, such as the rappel in the Abismo Anhumas, which receives very few visitors per day. I did everything with the Ygarapé Tour and I was very pleased. I rented a car with a driver and made an agenda for 5 days.
I started with the the Anhumas Abismo which was the most radical adventure. The cave is 24 kilometers of Bonito. The access is quite complicated. Just rappel. There is no other way. The fall of 72 meters is easy, takes five minutes. The climbing part is the issue… It takes between 30 minutes and an hour depending on each person. Even doing a quick training on a steep slope, before the fall, it’s still pretty scary. As you go down, your jaw drops, what a place! At the very bottom, there is an unbelievable crystalline blue lake, with a depth of 80 meters, full of stalagmites from limestone. The water is very cold. Rubber and resistant clothes are given to explore the lake. You can snorkel with a life vest followed by a boat tour through the cave or deep diving with an oxygen tank (you must present your diving license). Schedule an entire day for this rappel. If you want an easier rappel, go to the Boca da Onça.
Another popular adventure is the Gruta Azul (Blue Grotto). However, this is not as radical. After a walk of about 300 meters by uneven terrain, you arrive in the cave filled with stalactites and go down a staircase of 294 slippery steps. The color of the lake is crazy – a deep, glistening, and beautiful blue! It is also worth exploring the Gruta de São Miguel (Cave of Saint Michael).
Another cool escapade for a full day is the Estância Mimosa, which is 24 kilometers from Bonito. You will walk over four miles and pass by 8 beautiful waterfalls. Upon arrival, it is worth renting a pair of rubber boots to explore the waterfalls and natural pools that have rocks and silt on the bottom. After the hike, have lunch at the property. Delicious homemade food made in a wooden stove.
In Bonito is required to do at least a float in the river. One of the most interesting and easy is the Nascente Azul. At the entrance, you receive all the material you will need. The route is fast – 400 meters – with amazing visibility and hundreds of fish around it. Very nice. Another super popular is the float of the Rio da Prata. This is further away a little, in Jardim, about 50 kilometers of Bonito. You mix a fluctuation of 2 kilometers with a walk through the woods of 2 more kilometers. It was there that I saw an alligator during the float, but he didn’t even look at me. He must have thought I was super indigestible with all those rubber clothes, haha!
Go to the Buraco das Araras which lies 56 kilometers from Bonito. It is worth the trip for sure. A fall of 100 meters deep with steep reds filled vegetation, with a greenish lake at the bottom, where the macaws make their nest. You walk for more or less a mile to observe macaws in a tremendous uproar, flying back and forth in flocks, loose in nature. It is incredible!
I listed here only a few of the possible tours (Abismo Anhumas, Boca da Onça, Gruta Azul, Gruta de São Miguel, Estância Mimosa, Nascente Azul, Rio da Prata e Buraco das Araras). There are many more. You can spend a month exploring and you won’t get to see everything. Is this an adventure you would be up for?
XoXo and see you all next Tuesday.