Mato Grosso do Sul, located in the central-west region of Brazil, is a Brazilian state known for its stunning natural landscapes and diverse wildlife. With its vast array of natural wonders, it’s no wonder that Mato Grosso do Sul has become a popular destination for eco-tourism and outdoor enthusiasts. In this Dica, we’ll take a closer look at some of the must-see natural wonders of Bonito, like Gruta do Lago Azul Monument, Buraco das Araras, Serra da Bodoquena National Park, and where to find amazing snorkeling sights. We will get to know its capital city, Mato Grosso do Sul’s state flag, and we will check out it’s place on Brazil’s map. Let’s go!
Population and Mato Grosso do Sul Location on the Map
Mato Grosso do Sul has a population of approximately 2.7 million people. It is located in the central-west region of Brazil, bordering the states of Mato Grosso to the north, Goiás and Minas Gerais to the east, São Paulo to the southeast, Paraná to the south, and Paraguay and Bolivia to the west. See where Mato Grosso do Sul is located on a Brazil’s map:
Things to Do in Bonito
Bonito, located in the southwest region of Mato Grosso do Sul, is a small town that has gained international recognition for its crystal-clear rivers, waterfalls, and caves. The town is surrounded by lush forests and is home to a variety of wildlife, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
Snorkeling in Bonito
One of the top activities in Bonito is snorkeling in the Rio da Prata, a river known for its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life. As you float down the river, you’ll be able to see a variety of fish and other aquatic creatures, making for a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Glide alongside playful giant otters in the glassy waters of the Rio Sucuri. Keep an eye out for the namesake Sucuri, a type of anaconda that adds a touch of thrill to the underwater ballet.
The Aquário Natural, also known as the Natural Aquarium, is a stunning natural pool formed by the Sucuri River, surrounded by lush vegetation and filled with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can snorkel or float along the river, observing the vibrant underwater life, including colorful fish and vegetation. The Aquário Natural offers a truly immersive experience in the beauty of nature and is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Exploring the Gruta do Lago Azul Natural Monument
The Gruta do Lago Azul, or Blue Lake Cave, is an awe-inspiring natural monument that can be found just outside of the charming town of Bonito. This magnificent cave, revered for its unparalleled beauty, boasts a mesmerizing deep blue lake that is embraced by a multitude of striking stalactites and stalagmites, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. This enchanting cave offers a unique experience for visitors as they are able to embark on a guided tour, delving into the fascinating geological history that has shaped this remarkable place. Furthermore, during this captivating excursion, guests will also have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the incredible array of creatures that inhabit this underground sanctuary, illuminating the delicate balance between nature and its inhabitants.
The Anhumas Abyss is another natural wonder. It is a stunning underground lake located near the city of Bonito. The abyss is accessible through a rappelling descent that takes visitors 72 meters down into a cave. Once inside, visitors can go snorkeling or scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters of the lake, surrounded by breathtaking rock formations. The Anhumas Abyss offers a unique and unforgettable experience for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Chase Waterfalls in Rainforest
- Parque das Cachoeiras: Hike through the rainforest paradise of Parque das Cachoeiras, where waterfalls tumble from verdant cliffs. Take a dip under the cascading waters of Boca da Onça or explore hidden grottoes behind the curtains of water.
- Rio do Peixe: For the seasoned adventurer, the Rio do Peixe ecological reserve offers a challenging trek rewarded with breathtaking waterfalls and untouched natural beauty.
Buraco das Araras: A Birdwatcher’s Paradise
Located in the municipality of Jardim, Buraco das Araras is a unique geological formation that is home to a large population of red and green macaws. The site is a large sinkhole, with a depth of over 100 meters and a diameter of 500 meters.
Visitors can take a guided tour around the sinkhole, where they’ll have the opportunity to see the macaws flying and nesting in the cliffs. The site also has a visitor center with information about the local flora and fauna, as well as a souvenir shop.
Serra da Bodoquena National Park
Serra da Bodoquena National Park, located in the municipality of Bonito, is a protected area known for its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. The park is home to several waterfalls, including the 156-meter-high Boca da Onça waterfall, which is the highest in the state.
Beyond the Big Hits
Bonito’s magic extends beyond the headliners. Explore the Lagoa Misteriosa, a sinkhole shrouded in legend, or go horseback riding through the picturesque countryside. Stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking on the Rio da Prata offer serene explorations, while the charming town of Bonito itself entices with delicious Brazilian cuisine and local handicraft.
Campo Grande: The Gateway to Mato Grosso do Sul
Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, is often the starting point for visitors exploring the state’s natural wonders.
Exploring the City
While Campo Grande may not have the same natural beauty as other parts of Mato Grosso do Sul, it is still worth to spend some hours if you are connecting your trip. The city is home to several museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Indigenous Peoples.
Visiting the Mato Grosso do Sul Flag Monument
Located in the city’s central square, the Mato Grosso do Sul Flag Monument is a must-see for visitors. The monument features a large flag of the state, surrounded by sculptures representing the state’s diverse culture and history.
See here how is Mato Grosso do Sul current flag:
Pantanal: The World’s Largest Wetland
by David Waite (https://unsplash.com/@waite17)
The Pantanal, located in the western region of Mato Grosso do Sul, is the world’s largest wetland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This vast area is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna, including jaguars, capybaras, and over 650 species of birds.
Planning Your Trip to Mato Grosso do Sul
The easiest way to get to Mato Grosso do Sul is by flying into Campo Grande International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to explore the state’s various natural wonders.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Mato Grosso do Sul is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the water is crystal clear, making it ideal for activities like snorkelling and hiking.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of accommodation options in Mato Grosso do Sul, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts. For a unique experience, consider staying at an eco-lodge, which allows you to immerse yourself in nature while also supporting sustainable tourism.
How to Communicate
Even though it is not obligatory, it would be very helpful to have some level of Portuguese to get around and to travel smartly and more comfortably. Did you know you can learn Portuguese in Brazil or online with us at Rio & Learn Portuguese School?
Mato Grosso do Sul is a state that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, this state has it all. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore Gruta do Lago Azul and the natural wonders of Mato Grosso do Sul. What did you think about Bonito? Imagine studying with our one-year Student Visa course and spending a week there! Let’s do it?