The Pantanal & Bonito
Earth the color of red ochre, the most vivid of greens and swamps as far as the eye can see, the scene is set. This vast plain, flooded half of the year, begs to reveal its extraordinary biodiversity.
Almost African in appearance, it is a true explosion of colors and sounds, the flapping of wings awaits you; here lies an animal kingdom within your reach, unique in the world.
The Pantanal, natural symphony
We have only just entered the Pantanal via one of its few beaten earth elevated tracks that a Jabiru, one meter tall and hooded in black, symbol of the Pantanal, welcomes us and invites us into its domain. This huge bird is one of the formidable creatures inhabiting this region thankfully almost untouched by human activity. Eagles, falcons, kingfishers and cormorants appear from all sides and the magnificent blue, red and yellow aras (“large parrots") await to be taken by surprise at daybreak or as the sun sets!
At regular intervals bridges span rivers, and from these suitable viewpoints we can easily spot alligators, keeping very still in the sun on the water’s edge. Later, on horseback or on foot, we find groups of coatis or whole families of capybaras, the largest of rodents inhabiting the Pantanal (there are 600.000 of them!).
From a high point, only a few meters above this gigantic swamp, our "Pantanero" guide will explain this hostile and fascinating environment. He will show us some of the medicinal plants, point out the fig tree which grows around and swallows other trees, and he will give us insight into what is necessary for men to survive and to adapt to this special place.
The Pantanal, a true natural symphony conceived by a great composer is unveiled in all its splendor to whomever is not put off by the lack of comfort available there.
Bonito, an unforgettable experience
The region of Bonito, which is not very well known, is ideally located, between the Pantanal and the waterfalls of Iguaçu, the two main sites of Brazilian ecotourism. It certainly offers the most incredible possibilities to observe animals in their natural environment.
Try Bonito, and you will certainly experience something unique and unforgettable. The incredible transparent water of its rivers is due to a high concentration of carbonate able to bond with impurities and other organic residues and sediment in record time. The result of this natural phenomenon is crystalline, transparent water at depth greater than 40 meters, and colorful bottoms (blue, green, light brown, red) where a large number of fresh-water fish, some of them reaching a meter in length, quietly reside, each stranger than the next.
Using a mask and snorkel, the eco-tourist gets the impression of being in a fabulous aquarium as vast as nature itself. And it’s quite possible you will spot monkeys, parrots, arras, toucans, and even an anteater; just stop, take off your mask and raise your head out of the water. Back underwater, if are lucky, you might see an otter performing what seems like an improvised dance! Bonito is simply an incredible place.