Visiting Bonito, Matto Grosso do Sol, Brazil
March 2, 2012 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone share their experience of visiting Bonito, Matto Grosso do Sol, Brazil?

The tour services all claim I need to book travel/hotel/etc through them of course, but that seems doubtful to me for a city of 17,000. My favored plan would be to book a hotel myself and rent a car in Campo Grande.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has done this, or visited Bonito at all.
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
I have visited Bonito, but it was in the 1990s, before any real tourism development. We stayed at a private farmhouse and did scuba diving at the Mimoso cave. Highly recommended, it's like an alien world down there. But you need scuba experience, depth is 20-40m and horizontal penetration is 70m — that means 70m with a rock ceiling, no water surface above you to escape to in case something goes wrong, not for the faint of heart.

Also did the thing where you float down the river with a diving mask, really zen and relaxing, the water is crystal clear, amazing for a river.

Unfortunately infrastructure has changed so much since then that I don't have practical tips other than GO, it's amazing if you're into diving.

some pics

posted by Tom-B at 12:28 PM on March 2, 2012

Floating down the river: Rio Sucuri

It's shallow and the water is slow, so you don't need scuba, just a snorkel.
posted by Tom-B at 1:23 PM on March 2, 2012

Recently I traveled 15,000km overland in South America.

Brazil is generally very expensive for the continent, and car rentals are no exception (maybe a minimum of $60 USD/day). Also, roads are generally more difficult to navigate and more hazardous (potholes, unlicensed drivers, etc). You may have difficulty finding parking.

There are many outfitters/agencies in Bonito and you can also find several stationed at the bus station in Campo Grande- from which there are many daily buses- 5-6 hours and around $30 USD. Not sure what kind of budget you have or how long you are spending, but this should be a start.
posted by maya at 6:56 PM on March 2, 2012

You can rent a car in Campo Grande - but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have extensive driving experience in Brazil, as well as more than a passing familiarity with the Portuguese language and Brazilian signage. I like Maya's suggestion of finding an agency at the bus station in Campo Grande, you will be surprised at how many tour guides you will encounter, so maybe plan ahead with some suggestions from Lonely Planet. Even though it is a nice sized town, I think it could be really confusing to show up without some plan of action in place beforehand.

That said, Bonito is AMAZING. I am assuming you are going for the diving? Floating down the Rio Sucuri as Tom-B suggested is also quite nice. Have fun!
posted by msali at 8:33 PM on March 2, 2012

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