Bonito is a little town located in the west of Brazil in the state of Moto Grosso do Sul. It’s close to the boarder to Bolivia. Bonito means beautiful in Portuguese, you will understand why once you have been there.
Bonito is famous for its amazing crystal clear fresh water rivers. The visibility in these rivers are over 50 metres in a good clear day. The most popular tour here is snorkelling in these rivers, swimming with the fishes and be amazed by these natural aquariums.
There are three of these crystal clear blue rivers: Rio Prata, Rio Sucuri and Aquario Natural. I have been to the first two. They are absolutely incredible. Rio Prata(Silver river) is the most popular one and its my favourite. Floating with the calm current in Rio Prata, with hundreds of beautiful fishes around you (some of them are about a metre long), you feel you are just part of this amazing nature. If you are lucky, you can see otters and anaconda (I wasn’t lucky).
Getting ready, shower and wet suit.
I love this shower, it’s so really cool. Although its about 35 degrees in Bonito, the water in the river is still pretty cool as the river goes through some thick woods.
Once we get ready, a jeep took us the the up stream of the river.
The water is so clear because of the limestone in the area
In the water and swim with giant Dorados.
River Sucuri doesn’t have as many fishes as Rio Prata, but the water is so clear and the water plants are beautiful.
To protect this amazing ecological system, all tourists have to follow the local tour guide. Only 9 people are allowed in a group, and 15 mins gap between each group. So you never see the river crowed. So in busy season, you have to book way in advance otherwise you might not get in.
The amazing colour of the river.
My travel buddy in Bonito Emilie.
Rio Prata is more isolated than Rio Sucuri. Apart from the Jeep ride, we had to hike in our wet suit in the jungle for 45 mins. It was fun!
The silver river.
You probably can’t tell, but this fish is at least a metre long.
When the sun is out, the light and colour in the water is incredible.
So many fishes!
Snorkelling in Rio Prata was such an unforgettable experience for me. Most hostels and agencies organise trips to Rio Prata. The cost including transfer is about R$170, Hi hostel’s tour includes a buffet lunch which costs a bit more. It’s a whole day tour, you spent about 3 hours on the bus, then about 2 hours snorkelling, then the rest is just chilling out (waiting is very common).
It’s definitely worth it!