Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul)
Bonito is a city in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, Is the heart of eco-tourism in Brazil. The optimum period to visit is between December and March, during the rainy season, with green vegetation, abundant food for the animals and rivers are high. Between May and August there is limited rain which means the waterfalls are not as spectacular, but this is still a great time to visit the other sights.
In Bonito and the surrounding towns of Jardim and Bodoquena where some of the attractions are located, the attractions have a fixed price that is determined on a yearly basis by the owners of the properties and published by the association of atractions in Bonito ATRATUR. There is a high season price, for Brazilian holiday periods as determines by the local tourist board COMTUR. For foreigners it is best not to wander into Bonito during a holiday period expecting to find lodging or purchase excursions at the last minute. Many of the hotels reserve accomodations in blocks to large tour operators. All excursions must be purchased through a local liscenced tour agency in Mato Grosso do Sul. It is highly recommended to make your reservations in advance even if traveling in the low period. There is a maximum number of tourists that can go to any attraction in a day, and also in a particular group, but also a minimum number required to form a new group with an additional guide. Whether you arrive from Campo Grande (5 hours) or Bonito, it is likely that you will arrive in the late afternoon or evening when the central reservation system of the government goes offline for the night, and as many excursions depart at 8h00 in the morning, it is difficult to make arrangements at the last minute.
From Campo Grande, Bonito is served by only one bus company called Cruzeiro do Sul . Buses depart every 2 hours during the day (last bus usually at 16:00) and tickets can be purchased at the bus station. The trip lasts about 5 hours. The bus service operates from Monday through Saturday. There is no bus service on Sundays or Brazilian Holidays. If you are in doubt about whether your trip falls on a holiday, contact your travel agency. If you are arriving at the bus terminal, this is the best option.
There is also van service directly from the airport to your hotel or bed & breakfast in Bonito. There are several departures from the airport starting at 14:00 daily including Sundays and holidays. While the van service costs a little more than the bus service, if you are departing from the airport, the additional cost of taking a 20 minute taxi to the bus station in the opposite direction costs more than the difference between the price of the bus and the van, which takes a more direct non-stop route to Bonito. It is best to schedule van service with your hotel or travel agencies as the cost is the same and they will monitor your arrival.
If there are four or more people in your group, or you are made of money you might want to consider contracting a private transport service. Again, this is best contracted through your travel agency or hotel in Bonito as they will monitor your progress and insure that you get to your destination if you encounter any problems.
Getting to Bonito from Iguassu Falls: Bus from Foz do Iguassu Falls to Dourados (2 buses per day - 10 hours), then transfer from Dourados to Bonito (2 buses per day 6 hours). Contact your travel agency or go to the bus terminal in Iguassu Falls for information about schedules for your departure date.
The city has an airport served by flights by Tam and Trip. There are direct flights from Campinas, São Paulo and Campo Grande. The flights are only a days per week, so if you want to arrive in Bonito directly by air plan ahead.
There is virtually no public transit in the city of Bonito. there are moto-taxis, private to hire. there is no rental car company either. bike rentals available.
There are nice places to do Snorkling, explore caves, ride horses, and hike. While transportation and a guide is not always necessary, those wishing to use a guide should know that not all guides speak English, or in some cases, Spanish.
The central area of Bonito offers supermarkets, pharmacies and stores with articles for adventure sports.
There are several places in the town centre for eating at reasonable prices. You also can try out local game such as jacaré (cayman) and fish from the local rivers.
The central area of Bonito has some nice places to relax and have a cold beer or some fresh natural juices. A recommended spot is the "Taboa" bar, located in the main street, famous for it's cachaça and creative drinks made out of cachaça mixed with local fruits.
Most People come here to organise their trip to the Pantanal.