What to do in Bonito Brazil: The Natural Aquatic Playground (Local Guide)

If you intend to go to Brazil and are looking for things to do in Bonito Brazil this is the right place. The small town is 186 miles (300 km) from the capital, is peaceful and focused on contact with nature, outdoor activities and vacations in a quiet and isolated destination.

Land in this little gem that is Bonito, one of the best ecotourism destinations in Brazil, in addition to being the most visited, so in this article I’ve separated everything you need to know before going and making the most of this incredible place located in the Center – West region of country. The city is close to the Serra da Bodoquena, and about 83 miles (135 km) from Paraguay, so the local culture is influenced by some customs of the neighboring country, also located close to the Pantanal, Bonito and region have a transitional vegetation with forest areas Atlantic and Cerrado.

Planning is a very important step on this trip, as Bonito Brazil in Mato Grosso do Sul has many particularities! The need to book tickets for the main attractions well in advance is one of the details and can only be done by local agencies, local tourism is very concerned with concepts of environmental preservation and sustainability.

It is very difficult to list the best tours in Bonito, there are so many options that you can spend about 20 days and do tours in all of them, however, I only stayed 6 days in Bonito and visited fantastic places of unique natural beauty.

In this article, you will not only learn about the most incredible places to visit in Bonito Brazil but also, a variety of activities that covers a wide range of interests. Whether you are interested in wildlife, hiking, or nature this is definitely a destination for you. So without any further ado, let’s discover the best of Bonito Brazil.

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What to do in Bonito, Brazil Overview

Tops 15 Things to do in Bonito, Brazil

1. Buraco das Araras

According to Moon, “when a cattle farmer purchased the Fazenda Alegre, he wasn’t pleased to find a giant buraco (hole) sitting in the middle of his pasture. The hole, with a lake at the bottom, has a diameter of 500 meters (1,640 feet) and a depth of 100 meters (328 feet). However, he soon found out that the Buraco das Araras was a favourite roosting spot for over 40 exotic bird species, among them the arara vermelha (red macaw).” Now an ecological refuge, the Buraco can be visited with an excursion (the tour lasts an hour). The best time to see the macaws is in the morning when they rise from their nests and start to sing in unison. Bring binoculars. The Fazenda Alegre is some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Bonito.

PRO-TIP: Don’t be late because the float time is scheduled and they don’t tolerate it, if you’re late you lose your float. So arrive early and enjoy the Nascente Azul leisure area.

2. Visit Praia das Figueiras

So, who said that Bonito doesn’t have a beach? That’s right, Praia das Figueiras is not just a river, it is, literally, a freshwater beach by the anaconda river, with sand and everything. Only the waves are missing.

In addition, the big difference of this beach is the unique photos that you can only take there, among the fish. So take the opportunity to buy food and take lots of pictures with the pacus, piraputangas and if you’re lucky, some dourado. If you want to see the photo I took there, see my complete itinerary by clicking here.

Above all, the place is perfect to rest, put it in the middle of your itinerary, preferably after trails, like the one at the mouth of the jaguar.

In addition to knowing the places to enjoy, do you want to know where to stay? Access our article on hotels and inns in Bonito.

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3. Projeto Jiboia

Scared of snakes? After visiting Projeto Jiboia, you won’t be! The project, which started in 2005, seeks to educate and inform individuals about non-venomous snakes and their behaviors. Creator, Henry Naufal, is quite the snake whisperer, housing 12 boas and one python at the project’s headquarters. Henry hosts daily presentations at Projeto Jiboia, which begin with a hilarious introduction to the world of snakes and is followed by the highly anticipated holding of the snake portion of the evening where individuals get to unleash their inner Britney Spears while taking videos and photos.

4. Taboa Factory

Ok, have you heard of cachaça? Well the Kitchnn breaks it down: “production of the country’s national spirit dates back some 400 years, and while only a handful of labels have made their way out for export, over 5,000 brands (yes, 5,000!) are currently available in Brazil, ranging from the artisanal to the industrial. It is a cane-sugar-based spirit, and is actually a very close cousin of white rum.

But the key difference between the two spirits lies in the way the base ingredient is handled: while rum is traditionally made from processed cane (molasses), cachaça is made from fresh-pressed, unprocessed cane juice.” Head over to the Kitchnn for some great cachaça recipes! The Taboa Bar is known as THE only “party place” [and I say that loosely] in town. But located a couple of kilometres away from the bar is their factory where all the magic happens.

Visitors learn about the history behind Taboa, watch as the bottles are assembled by being covered in dried cattail and have the pleasure of taste-testing over 20 different types of artisanal cachaça [my favourite is passion fruit]. And if that isn’t reason enough to visit their factory, Taboa is also known for providing jobs to Bonito youth. In fact, the owner is a strong supporter of skill sharing and cultural exchanges – she doesn’t hire anyone with a resume, and makes sure that their job is part-time so that it doesn’t interfere with school. 

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Things to do in Bonito | HIKING, AND WATERFALLS

5. Cachoeira Boca da Onça

One of the beautiful walks to see waterfalls in Bonito and surroundings is the Boca da Onça Ecotur, made on the banks of the Salobra River and with a route of about 2 miles (4 km) that passes by 8 waterfalls and different points for bathing. The highlight is the Boca da Onça Waterfall and Buraco do Macaco, where through a crack in the stone, you can admire the waterfall behind it! It’s breathtaking!

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6. Cachoeira Rio do Peixe

There are several more waterfalls along the trail, as well as bridges where only one person passes at a time to give more adrenaline.

In addition to the stunning waterfalls, when we return to the support point, where the restaurant is located, we have a large hammock and in the afternoon the monkeys appear to be fed, very cool!

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Things to do in Bonito | ADVENTURE PARKS & ADRENALIN

7. Abismo das Anhumas: Aventura em Bonito

In short, it is one of the most radical tours in Bonito.

One of the most interesting tours in Bonito for those who like adventure because it involves rappelling inside a cave, where there is also a lake where you can dive! It’s a very different and super cool activity!

Just to exemplify, you will rappel down an abyss of 72 meters (26-story building), you will reach the deck on the lake that is at the bottom of the abyss, which is 80 meters deep, but believe me, the waters are crystal clear and suitable for a perfect float.

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8. Quadriciclo Trilha

Vroom Vroom. An incredibly exhilarating experience that leaves you wanting more. The instructors will first take you on a “practice ride”, pparently, individuals get a little too trigger-happy and tend to accelerate instead of break in certain situations, so instructors make sure you are comfortable with the ATV and if you can keep up.

The scenario is like this: it’s completely pitch black and all you can see is the back end of the ATV in front of you as you drive down an incredibly bumpy and narrow path that ends with a stop in an open field to star-gaze. Just remember to keep your eyes on the road!


Things to do in Bonito | RIVER TUBING & SNORKELING

9. Nacente Azul

First of all, the blue spring is an entertainment complex for the whole family. I went with the focus only on floating. However, we came across several very cool attractions.

After the float there are some radical toys, so bring a little extra money. It is a swing, a free fall and the longest zip line in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

In addition, in the leisure area, there is a lake with a bridge structure ideal for children to have fun (and adults too). In other words, it is one of the best tours in Bonito, a must-visit. Check out all the details on the Nascente Azul complex website.

10. Aquario Natural

Floating is the most unmissable tour in Bonito. When people talk about things to do in Bonito Brazil, this is usually what you expect: floatin a river with crystalline waters, watching beautiful fish and fully immersing yourself in nature. And that’s what you’ll find floating in the Natural Aquarium.

The Natural Aquarium is one of the most traditional and oldest tours in Bonito, and one of the closest to the center, to get to the river we take a walk through the forest where we saw several animals of the Bonito fauna. More information about this tour in Bonito is on the Aquário Natural website.

At the end of the fluctuation, it is also possible to do a zip line (at no additional cost) in Rio Formoso. One of the cool things about visiting the Natural Aquarium is that it also has a zoo, it is a recovery work for weakened animals, the RARAS (Recinto de Amparo e Reabilitação de Animais Silvestres). After being treated by the RARAS team, the animals are returned to their natural habitat. Don’t forget to visit the incredible Sapezal restaurant!

11. Barra do Sucuri: One of the Most transparent rivers in the world!

Beautiful floating on the sucuri river, you can take this tour and enjoy the fig tree beach on the same day (that’s what I tried to do…), because they are close to each other.

Floating in one of the region’s rivers is an unmissable tour in Bonito. The Sucuri River, considered the most crystal clear in Brazil, is very nice not only because of the fish that can be seen in the place but also because of the flora, which is diverse. This tour, which takes place in different parts of Rio, is certainly one of the most beautiful in the region.

PRO-TIP: always leave 1 or 2 days free due to unforeseen weather conditions.


12. Rio da Prata

Considered by many to be the best float in Bonito, the Rio da Prata is in the municipality of Jardim.

Before entering the river, you must do a 50-minute trail; they call it the Interpretive Trail, because along the way you will get to know various trees and plants in the region along the way.

The floating journey is extensive (1 mile), takes about 1h30 (in the river alone, excluding the time of arrival to the river and preparation), so it is enough to enjoy the feeling and relax a lot. In addition, it is one of the fluctuations that you can see more species of fish, such as piraputangas, dourados, matogrossinhos, piaus, among others.


13. Parque Ecologico Rio Formoso

The floating tour in Barra do Sucuri is divided into 2 parts, the first on an electric boat and the second floating down the most crystal clear river in Brazil until the meeting with Rio Formoso. It has an approximate duration of 2 hours and a distance of 10 miles (17 km).


Things to do in Bonito | CAVE EXCURSIONS

14. Gruta da Lagoa Azul

The best known cave in Bonito and one that should not be missing from your schedule is the Gruta do Lago Azul, which has an impressive setting. The site, like other caves, is visited in the presence of a guide and to be known in its entirety requires a descent of about 300 steps.

A cave with a bluish lake that reaches a depth of 90 meters, the cave has dozens of stalagmites, stalactites and columns, formed over hundreds of years. The scenery is really impressive, with ancient formations and incredible colored water. Although the 300 steps may seem difficult, the journey is usually done at a slow pace and even the best age people usually visit it.

15. Grutas de Sao Miguel

Another cave that is also beautiful and worth a visit if you like to do different activities are the São Miguel Caves, where you take a small route suspended in the woods to access it and the São Mateus Cave. The tour is stunning, carried out in an area surrounded by forest and although it is not as famous as the Gruta do Lago Azul, it is also excellent for admiring the geological formations inside the cave.

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Bonito Travel Information

How to Get to Bonito, Brazil?


There are commercial flights from São Paulo to Bonito by Azul, departing from Viracopos and by Gol, from Congonhas and to Campo Grande, we have flights by Azul, Gol and Latam. From Rio de Janeiro to Campo Grande there are also regular daily flights, and, as the state capital is only 4 hours away, it is easy to reach your destination by bus or rented car! View direct service from domestic airports.


This is undoubtedly the cheapest way to get to Bonito from Campo Grande for those who don’t have their own car or a rented one and need to save as much money as possible on travel. The route is operated by Viação Cruzeiro do Sul and the difference in relation to the vans is only 30 reais per person, since the amount charged for the bus ticket from Campo Grande to Bonito is R$ 100.

The traveler can choose between two boarding options, it can be carried out at the Campo Grande Bus Terminal or at the Airport itself. But the buses only leave once a day at 8 am.


This option is the favorite between travelers who disembark at Campo Grande Airport and from there head to Bonito driving the 83 miles (300 km) that remain. The journey takes an average of 3 hours and 30 minutes and the roads are very reasonable, nothing that compares to a dual carriageway, but here you will also be free of tolls.

Car leasing is a great option for travelers who prioritize comfort and practicality during their trip. It is important to make the reservation in advance, check the documentation required for picking up the vehicle and the opening hours of the rental companies inside the airport. It is also important to consider that the gas stations are 100 km from each other on this road, so fill up before leaving.

You can get a 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend RentalCar because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

Best time to visit Bonito, Brazil?

The truth is that even though Bonito is a destination traditionally known for diving activities and transparent waters, the city has been increasingly sought as a destination for winter holidays (June and August), in addition, it is precisely during the dry season that the waters are much more transparent. Also in winter that the best deals on tour prices are concentrated.

Another time recommend visiting Bonito is from September to November, during this period, although it hardly rains, that do not interfere with the fluctuations. Two reasons to go to Bonito during these months: the first is to visit Lagoa Misteriosa and the second reason is to be able to enjoy the colorful Ypês, the symbol tree of Mato Grosso do Sul, in spring.

Undoubtedly the months with the highest demand are December, January and February. Finally, April and May are also highly recommended months to visit Bonito.

  • The best time to visit Bonito: April, May, September, October and November.

What to Pack for Bonito, Brazil?

  • Complete Packing List: If you are short on time, check my Ultimate Packing List for Alaska with a FREE printable packing list
  • Portable water bottle: Remember to bring and drink a lot of water and if you need to refill, a LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle is the best option. You will find stations to refill your water along the hiking trails
  • Day-Backpack: I love my day backpack; it is very handy for hiking.
  • Excellent and warm boots: It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit Anchorage, make sure to wear comfortable and warm boots. I love my Sorel boots and I highly recommend investing in a pair.
  • Warm Layers: Early morning or late night can get cold so it is important to bring layers, a lightweight puffy jacket is a must, and I love these warm leggings too!
  • Packing for winter: During winter make sure to have a good quality hiking jacket and pack a warm pair of pants for your hike.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses: It is always important to protect yourself against the sun. Bring a hat with a good face cover like this one and don’t forget to pack a pair of polarized sunglasses
  • Bring your Camera: You will see some incredible views during your hiking, so don’t forget your camera, or check out some great value options here

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Things to do in Bonito, Brazil Conclusion

I hope that you have found the best hotels in Bonito Brazil, and here you find the best areas to visit and stay at Bonito and also the top collections of accommodations in Bonito.

If you have any questions or comments, just leave me a comment below and I would love to connect with you.

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