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Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul)

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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. You have to know that it's an expensive place, by no means budget friendly and hardly a backpacker friendly one. The tours start from around 60 R the simplest one without transportation, with an average price of around 150 R in low season for a 2 h tour without transportation. There is virtually no place you can visit by yourself since everything is located into private properties.


Snorkling in the Rio da Prata

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 attractions 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 accommodations in blocks to large tour operators. All excursions must be purchased through a local licensed 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.

Get in[edit]

By Land[edit]

From Campo Grande[edit]

Bonito is served by only one bus company called Cruzeiro do Sul [13]. 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.

From Foz do Iguaçu[edit]

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.

From São Paulo[edit]

Besides the obvious route through Campo Grande, it's also possible to take a bus until the city of Jardim/MS or Rio Brilhante/MS (bus company: Motta), and from there continue onwards to Bonito.

From Paraguay[edit]

Get to the Paraguayan border town of Bella Vista Norte, cross the bridge into Brazil and take a onward bus to Bonito — daily service run by Cruzeiro do Sul, leaving 8h40, 3h, 40 BRL (12 USD, feb 2018).

By Air[edit]

The city has an airport served by flights by Azul, 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.

Get around[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Gruta do Lago Azul. A big cave (100m deep) with a lake at the bottom of an incredible blue color approximately 20km from city. 60R$ + transport.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

There are nice places to do snorkeling, 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.

  • Rio da Prata. Snorkle in the "Silver River". Amazing underwater landscapes and fishes.(include Lunch Buffet) 240R$.  edit
  • Rio Formoso.  edit
  • Balneario Municipal, [1]. Rent bikes in the town center and go with the locals to sunbathe, play volleyball and swim in a river with a lot of fish. 30R$ (high season) / 25R$ (low season).  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

The central area of Bonito offers supermarkets, pharmacies and stores with articles for adventure sports.

  • Pousada in Bonito, Rua Luiz da Costa Leite, 2457, 55 67 3255-4883, [2].  edit
  • Agência de Turismo-Tourism Agency, Pillad Rebuá 1890-Bonito-Ms-Brazil, 55 67 3255-3994, [3].  edit
  • Pantanal Expeditions, Coxim-Mato Grosso do Sul-Brazil, +55 67 84691208, [4]. Pantanal Expeditions is a local agency in Mato Grosso do Sul that specializes in foreign tourists visiting Brazil. We can inform you of the current bus schedules, high low periods and prices as well as make reservations for the excursions,accommodations,private and shared van service, private transport in Bonito, and reliable renal cars.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

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.

  • Pantanal Expeditions, Coxim, Mato Grosso do Sul, +55 67 8469-1208, [5]. 7h00-18h00. Pantanal Expeditions is a local tour agency and tour operator in Mato Grosso do Sul that specializes in foreign tourists. We can inform you of the current bus and van schedule to and from Campo Grande, Iguazu Falls and Corumbá, high and low periods as well as make reservations for the excursions.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

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.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Camping Rio Formosa, (next to the balneario municipal). Behind 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. R$10.  edit
  • HI Bonito, Rua Lúcio Borralho, 716, [6]. Nice hostel, you can prepare most of your excursions from here. 30R$.  edit
  • Eco Pousada Villa Verde, (67) 3255-1818 (), [7]. Australian/Brazilian owners - English speaking. Tour agency in the Pousada to book your tours and transport around Bonito.  edit
  • Pousada Rancho Jarinu, [], +55 (67) 3255-2094, [9]. With swimming pool, barbecue and Very nice Lodge, close to the city center. 140 Real.  edit
  • Muito Bonoto Lodge, (67) 3255-1645, [10]. Very nice Lodge, with friendly atmosphere, close to the city center. The lodge is built around a court yard, where breakfast is offered. But you cannot use a kitchen. They are also very helpful when organizing transportation. 45 Real.  edit
  • Pousadas, Hotéis, Hostel, Albergue e Hospedagem [14]
  • Zagaia Eco Resort Hotel. For those with a bigger budget, the Zagaia Eco Resort, a little out of town, offers excellent and posh accommodation.  edit
  • Hostel Beija Flor, Rua Luiz da Costa Leite, 1028 (next to the supermarket Formoso), (67)3255-4354, [11]. The Beija Flor Hostel has a 24 hour-reception, personalized service and bilingual staff ready to provide full information on what to do in the city, where to go and how to arrive.  edit
  • Pousada São Jorge ([email protected]), Rua: Cel. Pilad Rebua No. 1605, (67) 3255-4046, [12]. New owners and newly renovated Pousada São Jorge and hostel is located on the main street in the heart of Bonito, around the corner from all the main restaurants and tourist shops. Offers super friendly multi-lingual staff and touristic agency for booking activities and the front of the hotel. Communal guest kitchen and backyard area. Offer private rooms and dormitory rooms each with private bathroom and AC, great homemade breakfasts too! 30-100R.  edit

Get out[edit]

Most People come here to organize their trip to the Pantanal.

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