Brazil, Buenos Aires to Rio Overland

Bonito Means Beautiful in Portuguese, and is a Name Well Deserved

Bonito is a place hard to reach by your own as there are very few buses going there, so when we parked up to our hostel there were just a few Brazilian road trippers there from before and then there came an other overland truck from Tucan travel after a couple of days. Bonito is also mainly known for its crystal clear waters like Rio de Prata and Laguna mysteriosa, which also lays a couple of hours outside of Bonito and when booking a snorkelling or diving tour there you also have to arrange your own taxi which would cost more than 90 us dollars so arranging everything on your own will cost a lot and require a bit more effort than we would have to go through.

After spending the first day cycling around and expoloring Bonito on rental bikes (9usd) we had a snorkelling trip at Rio de Prata booked for our second day. Since everyone were going we also got the overland truck taking us and we got our own guide. As Bonito is really practicing eco-friendly tourism, we were only allowed to go eight in the river at a time and they also told us really strictly that we were not allowed to have sun screen or mosquito repellent on and that we were not allowed to stand in the shallow river or use our legs to kick as this would stir up the sand at the bottom making it less clear for people coming after us.

Before getting into the water, I was imagining it looking a littlebit like Silfra in Iceland, where you can dive and snorkel in between the continental plates separating America from Europe, but I was positively surprised when I saw that the waters were just as clear but had 20 different types of fish that were not at all scared of us when we snorkeled past them. Some were around a meter in size while others were really small swimming around in schools, nibbling on our arms and legs as we swam past them.

Our snorkeling guide did not speak any English, but that was fine. When walking through the jungle he pointed at a cobra and we looked at the cobra, when he whistled at the birds we listened to the birds whistling back and when he smelled a tree we just went and smelled the tree after him.

After the snorkeling we also got a really good included lunch and got to relax a bit in the hammocks while waiting for the people diving in the Mystery Lagoon (Lagoa Mysteriosa) which is in the same place as Rio de Prata. When the divers came up they also told us that the diving also was absolutely magnificent where you at 80 meters debth could look up and see the sun and trees at land. People even have gone down to 270 meters debth in that tiny river and still not reached the bottom, which also has given it its name as no one knows how deep it really is. Bonito means beutiful in Portuguese, a name well deserved as its crystal clear lakes are one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.


Photos: Jan Bosker and Elke Dekker