Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul)
Bonito is a city nestled on the Pantanal region of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The city is of little note, but the surrounding region is known for spectacular clearwater river snorkeling, overall natural beauty and lush fauna & flora, and it is often regarded as a model case of sustainable tourism in Brazil.
ClimateThe region has two main seasons: dry and wet.
The wet season goes from December to March and sees lush green vegetation, high rivers, abundant flow on the waterfalls, and plenty of food for wild animals. However, rain makes the river water murky and there are less fish on the rivers due to their yearly migration known locally as piracema. Intense rain might close attraction sites and make roads difficult to pass. Also, this period coincides with the local summer and temperatures easily reach 35°C. From late December to early February the sun shines directly inside the Gruta Azul, making for a postcard-grade spectacular sight.
The dry season lasts from May to August and sees the crystal-clear river waters that made Bonito famous. Temperatures drop to milder figures, with warm days and fresh nights. However, waterfalls are not as exuberant and haze from nearby farms might be a passing issue.
From Campo Grande, bus company Cruzeiro do Sul runs four services a day, departing the bus station at 8AM, 9AM, 1PM and 4PM (no 8AM bus on Sunday). The trip lasts about 5 hours, R$65. It's usually possible to organize a Campo Grande airport pickup through your accommodation, as the service is available even on the hostels.
From Foz do Iguaçu, in the past it was possible to take a bus to Dourados (2 buses a day, 10 hr) and then continue onwards to Bonito (2 buses a day, 6 hr), but the service on the first leg apparently was discontinued. The same can be achieved using a shortcut through Paraguay, leaving from Ciudad del Este to Pedro Juan Caballero, and then from Ponta Porã to Bonito.
From Corumbá, there's a daily bus at 02:30 p.m. operated by Cruzeiro do Sul.
Apart from buses, 15-seater-vans (e.g. by vanzellatransportes) operate between the pantanal (e.g. Passo de Lontro), Bonito and Campo Grande (e.g. R$ 100,- for the trip Buraco de Piranhas - Bonito).
Fees and permits
- Summer school holidays: late December & January
- Holy Week
- Winter school holidays: July
All the entry tickets must be purchased through a licensed travel agency, which are linked to the main governmental system. There are reports this system goes off for the night, which makes last minute arrangements a challenge.
You need a permit to fish in the Pantanal region. The paperwork can be arranged with help of your hotel, and the fee should be paid at the local Banco do Brasil branch.
Gruta do Lago AzulA big cave ( deep) with a lake at the bottom of an incredible blue colour. Approximately from the city.
Sucuri RiverSimilar to Rio da Prata; more beautiful landscape, less fish
Buraco de Ararashuge sinkhole (diameter 500 meters) with some 60-70 pairs of macaws populating the sinkhole; one can also observe armadillos, anteaters and falcons.
Rio da PrataSnorkel in the "Silver River". Amazing underwater landscapes and fishes.
Balneário MunicipalRent bikes in the town center and go with the locals to sunbathe, play volleyball and swim in a river with a lot of fish.
phone: +55 67 3255-4883address: Rua Luiz da Costa Leite, 2457
phone: +55 67 3255-1818Saida para Bodoquena, MS-178. Double rooms: R$70/90
phone: +55 67 3255-1139address: Rua 29 de Maio, 799Centro. Double rooms: R$62-100
Camping Rio FormosaBehind the camping there is a small track of 200 meters to the Rio Formosa, where you can snorkel if you have your own equipment, or just take a bath next to the gorgeous waterfall in the crystal clear water.
address: Rua Lúcio Borralho, 716Nice hostel, you can prepare most of your excursions from here.
phone: +55 67 3255-1818Australian/Brazilian owners - English speaking. Tour agency in the Pousada to book your tours and transport around Bonito.
phone: +55 67 3255-1645Very nice Lodge, with friendly atmosphere, close to the city center. The lodge is built around a court yard, where breakfast is offered. They are also very helpful when organizing transportation.
phone: +55 67 3255-2337address: Rua Bongiovani, 860
phone: +55 67 3255-2000Double rooms: R$100/125
phone: +55 67 3255-1699Rua Cel. Pilad Rebuá, 679 Vila Donária.
phone: +55 67 3255-1058
phone: +55 67 3255-2094r. 24 de Fevereiro- 1985, Centro.
Hotel Lago Azulphone: +55 67 255-1502
Resort Hotel Zagaiaphone: +55 67 2551280, +55 67 255-1290Rodovia Bonito/Três Morros Km 0 Cx. Pos. 36.
Hotel Fazenda Cachoeiraphone: +55 67 255-1213
Pousada do Grilophone: +55 67 255-1174address: Rua Luís da Costa Leite, 2457
Pousada do Estudantephone: +55 67 255-1822address: R. Luís da Costa Leite, Nº 2.100 - Centro
Hotel Taperaphone: +55 67 255-1700Rod. Bonito/Guia Lopes da Laguna, Km 01.
Hotel Paraíso Das Águasphone: +55 67 255-1296address: Av. Cel. Pílad Rebuá, Nº 1.884
Pousada Olho D'águaphone: +55 67 255-1430Rodovia Bonito/Três Morros Km 01.
Cabana do Pescadorphone: +55 67 241-2407address: Rua Bahia, 1462Anastácio (correspondência) - Vila Flôr - Rodovia Anastácio/Bonito Km 53.
Gemila Palace Hotelphone: +55 67 255-1421Rua Luiz da Costa Leite, 2085 - Centro.
Pousada Bonsaiphone: +55 67 255-1814address: Rua 15 de Novembro, 564Centro.
Pousada Segredophone: +55 67 255-1872address: Rua 24 de Fevereiro, 2079Centro.
Marruá Hotelphone: +55 67 255-1040address: Rua Joana Sorta, 1173Vila Donária.
Água Azul Pousada Hotelphone: +55 67 255-1261address: Rua Santana do Paraíso, 554Centro, R$80 and R$55
phone: +55 67 341-4753, +55 67 9957-4655