Bonito is a magic place with numerous stunning natural wonders, among which some of the clearest waters on the planet, dream-like caves with stunning blue water and many options for either families or adventurists to go bathing, snorkelling, scuba diving, zip-lining, abseiling, scenic flights and so on. It is ridiculous that some travel books don’t even mention Bonito and its surroundings! Besides, Bonito itself is a lovely town with lots of nice shops and restaurants.

Below we list out 22 things to do in and around Bonito, but of course there are plenty more things to do. For us it was the perfect place to celebrate our 22 months of travelling and we’re sure it’s the perfect place to celebrate anything!

To make your experience even more ideal, we start with giving you the below golden tips, which will come in real handy!


  • Most attractions in and around Bonito can only be visited with a tour and guide arranged through one of the authorised travel agencies along Bonito’s main street (Rua Cel Pilad Rebuá). The exception is balneários (bathing resorts), where you only pay some BRL50 to enter and need to bring your own snorkel gear. Tour prices are controlled and are therefore the same price at any of the agencies. For up-to-date prices click here and for details on low and high season (e.g. during public holidays) click here.
  • A tour price generally includes wetsuits, snorkel gear and sometimes an optional lunch, but transportation is not included. You have the option of driving yourself or hire transport services at your travel agency. Sometimes there is space available to join a tour, but no seats available on the bus! So you better book a few days in advance.
  • Most of the roads towards the sites are (sometimes very bumpy) dirt roads. Therefore, if you have your own transport, calculate extra time for transportation, especially if you drive a camper.
  • As each tour has a maximum number of visitors per day, it is recommended to make reservations a few days in advance, especially in high season and you might need to book even further in advance for some of the longer established tours such as Abismo Anhumas (limit of only 18 people per day, four of whom can be divers), Rio da Prata, Lagoa Misteriosa and Rio do Sucuri.
  • Weather conditions may prevent or hinder some of the activities. For instance, the Xperience Bonito paratrike flight can only be performed at wind speeds of 7km/h or less and water activities cannot be performed with thunder lightning.
  • Don’t wear sunscreen nor mosquito repellent or anything to keep the water clear, it is important to conserve the ecosystem and it is prohibited to use while being in the spring waters. Besides, don’t wear foundation/cream on your face to avoid fogging goggles.
  • It’s better to avoid drinking water from the rivers or tap, because although it is clean, it is rich in calcium and magnesium, which can cause intestinal reactions.
  • What to bring:
    Water, food, swimwear, towel, cap or straw hat, backpack, shoes, sandals, rain gear, sunscreen (for after snorkelling), insect repellent (e.g. for the Boca da Onça hike), underwater camera with floater (if you do not have one, you can rent one at some agencies such as ABN), camera, camcorder, waterproof bag and an extra set of dry clothes / warm clothing. At many sites there are lockers to keep your stuff dry while snorkelling. If you have good goggles yourself, we recommend bringing your own goggles, to fit your personal needs. At the Boca da Onça tour, snorkels are not provided, but it is nice to snorkel there, so bring your own! As you cannot wear sunscreen in the precious clear water and the wetsuit pants are short, you might want to wear leggings underneath to avoid sunburn, especially at Rio da Prata where you spend a long time snorkelling.
  • How long to stay:
    We would recommend staying one or two weeks around Bonito. If you want to stay longer, Bonito offers over 30 different tourist sites. Many tours take at least half a day including transportation and some take all day to visit. You will hardly be able to join more than one tour per day, partly because it takes quite a lot of time to get from one site to another as they aren’t close to each other and most roads are dirt roads. As caves without water can be visited at any time of the day (and on rainy days too), these you could plan for an afternoon, after a snorkelling tour for example.
  • Best time to visit:
    • Besides the difficulty of visiting more than one site per day, snorkelling or diving activities are best enjoyed when the sun is at its highest point (midday) or in the morning when the sun is less bright (for better photo taking as there is less contrast). Note that in order to be in the water at noon, your tour start time should normally be around 10:00 a.m. as you will usually have a little hike and will need to get changed before starting the water activities. Also, you can ask your agency for the best time to visit each specific tour.
    • Gruta do Lago Azul only gets direct sunlight into the lake from around November to January and only some 20 minutes per day. When we were there (on 18 November 2016), the time to see direct sunlight into the water would require a tour starting time at 07:40 or 08:00 a.m. Tours starting at 7:00 a.m. are for free for Brazilians (only).
    • Besides, the earlier in the morning, the more chance you have on seeing wildlife (other than fish).
    • It is wise to check the weather, as the visibility and colours of the water (and fish and plants) are way better when it is sunny. Also, less wind is preferred.
    • High season is from December to February; prices are higher during this time of the year. However, weather conditions are good then. We were there in November; good weather and low season prices.
    • Lagoa Misteriosa is closed from around October till April each year (depending on the weather / temperature) due to algae making the visibility in the water too poor.