Bonito is the ecotourism model for Brazil. This small aquatic playground in the southwestern corner of Mato Grosso do Sul has few attractions of its own, but the natural resources of the surrounding area are spectacular, and local authorities have taken the high road in their regulation and maintenance. There are caves with lakes and amazing stalactite formations, beautiful waterfalls and incredibly clear rivers surrounded by lush forest where it’s possible to swim eyeball to eyeball with hundreds of fish.
Since Bonito exploded on the ecotourism map in the early 1990s, the number of visitors has risen dramatically every year, leading to the creation of the 76-sq-km Serra da Bodoquena national park in 2000. Though some of the attractions are within the park boundaries, the vast majority of the protected area is off-limits to visitors.
Bonito is a one-street town. Coronel Pilad Rebuá is a 3km stretch that is home to everything you are likely to need during your stay.