Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul
|Município de Bonito|
Bonito's main street
|Nickname(s): Capital do ecoturismo|
Location in Brazil
|State||Mato Grosso do Sul|
|• Mayor||José Artur Soares de Figueiredo PMDB|
|• Total||4,934 km2 (1,905 sq mi)|
|Elevation||315 m (1,033 ft)|
|• Density||3.6/km2 (9/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
|HDI (2000)||0.767 – medium|
Bonito is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Its population was 17,275 (2007) and its area is 4,934 km². Bonito is in the middle of a region which is being discovered as "Caribe do Centro-Oeste" (Caribbean of the Central-West) due to the unbelievable blue colour of its waters.
Owing to the enormous quantity of limestone in the ground, the water of these rivers passes through a real natural filter where impurities are deposited at the bottom of the river bed, leaving the rivers to be some of the clearest and most transparent in the world. A number of fish and plant species have adapted to this high calcium environment, so that all rivers teem with life. The government of the region has consciously aimed to promote tourism and develop infrastructure for receiving and directing tourists, while strictly controlling the numbers of tourists allowed. These limitations are aimed at preserving the rich natural beauty of the area, maintaining popular tourist sites as close as possible to their natural state.
The community that would become the center of the Municipality of Bonito, started with land of the Rincão Bonito Fazenda, which had an area of 10.5 square miles (27 km2) and was acquired by Mr. Euzébio Captain Luiz da Costa Leite Falcão in 1869. He is considered the pioneer of Bonito, and was also its first Registrar and public notary.
State Law No. 693 of June 11, 1915, initially established the District of Paz de Bonito, with an area taken from the Municipality of Miranda and made administratively subordinate. With the creation of the Federal Territory of Ponta Porã, by Decree-Law No. 5839 on September 21, 1943, it was annexed to the District of Paz de Miranda.
Under the Constitutional Act of the Transitional Provisions of the Federal Constitution, it was restored to the state of Mato Grosso, together with the district belonging to the Municipality of Miranda. Finally State Law No. 145 of October 2, 1948, made it a municipality, with its seat in the town of Bonito.
There are more than 30 tours available in and around the Bonito area. The majority of the tours are based around exploring the ecology and natural environment of the area. Almost all of the tours need to be booked through an official tourist agency in the town and require an accredited guide, although this will be organised at the time of booking. Some of these most popular tours include:
- Abismo Anhumas (Anhumas Abism) – Rapelling 72 meters down into a cave and an underground, crystal clear lake, 80 meters deep, with the area equivalent to the size of a football field. Snorkeling or diving reveal the breathtaking beauty of this place: some of the largest underwater stalagmites in the world, up to 18 meters high.
- Rio da Prata (Silver River) – This award-winning snorkeling tour features crystal-clear water, lots of fish, a walk through the forest and a delicious lunch.
- Aquário Natural (Natural Aquarium) – The tour starts with a 25-minute walk through the jungle, followed by a 900 m snorkel, where you float with fish and appreciate the underwater vegetation. After starting the trek where you can see varieties of animals of the region, you can finish with a visit to the museum of natural history.
- Circuito Arvorismo (The trees circuit) – The adventure trek allows you to walk through the treetops on a suspended steel walkway installed in native trees such as Aroeira and Mahogany. The walkways have platforms fixed in the trees, varying in height from 10 to 20m.
- Gruta do Lago Azul (Blue Lake Cave) – The tour starts with a 10-minute walk to the entrance of the cave, which was discovered by a local Indian in 1924. In its interior, after descending 100 meters, it is possible to see the lake of crystal clear water and depth of approximately 90 meters, which makes it one of world’s biggest flooded caves.
Many tour agencies exist in Bonito, although increasingly they are being located in the hotels and “pousadas” (small hotels) in the town. It is best to ask about tour agencies when you book your accommodation.
Bonito has a full range of hotels and “pousadas” (small hotels), catering from expensive five star resorts to back-packer budget accommodation. In the holiday season (July and December to March), accommodation can be very hard to find and prices also rise accordingly. English is spoken at the more expensive hotels and resorts, but very few of the lower priced hotels have competent English speakers, although Pousada Villa Verde does have English speaking staff.
The most common way to reach Bonito is through Campo Grande International Airport, which in located in the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state, this airport provides links to and from all the major cities in Brazil. From Campo Grande International Airport there is the option of either taking an air-taxi or going to the city by land.
- There are 2 flights per week from Campo Grande to Bonito on Thursdays and Fridays offered by TRIP Linhas Aéreas.
- There are also several options of buses and vans that will take averagely 4 hours to reach Bonito on the 300 kilometre long journey.
In February 2013, Azul Brazilian Airlines announced that will be flying to Bonito Airport twice weekly from Viracopos International Airport in Sao Paulo without connections. This long awaited move has been said to be very important for the city's growing tourists numbers.
From Bonito Airport taxis into the city are available for the 12 kilometre long trip.
- Agência Ar
- Agência Ygarapé Tour
- H2O Ecoturismo
- Portal Bonito
- Zagaia Eco Resort
- Eco-Pousada Villa Verde
- IBGE – 
- "Como Chegar a Bonito". Portal Bonito. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Vasconcelos, Nícholas (2013-02-15). "Azul anuncia voo regular entre Bonito e Campinas (SP) a partir de março". Campo Grande News. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
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