The Aquário Natural complex is justifiably Bonito’s next most popular attraction. Located at the river’s source, 7km from town, the Aquário itself is a small sanctuary with water so clear and full of fish that the experience is like looking into an aquarium – something you can take advantage of by a ride in one of the glass-bottomed boats. In fact, visitors are encouraged to put on a floating jacket, mask and snorkel, and get into the water with the 35 or so species of fish, mainly dourado and 35cm piripitanga fishes – a tickling experience with no danger from piranhas who never swim this far upriver. The sanctuary is accessible by a path from the reception through a swamp and mata nature reserve, the Parque Ecológico Bahia Bonita, replete with wildlife, including white-collared peccaries, agouti and the majestic caramugeiro snail hawk. From the Aquário, the Bahia Bonita, a kilometre-long stretch of river, runs down to meet the Rio Formoso, where there’s a death-slide (a pulley and rope system for exciting splashdowns into the river), and trampoline-based river fun.

The Aquário Natural is only one of several snorkelling locations in the area, though it has by far the most developed infrastructure. If you’re on a tight budget, the nearby Pousada Bacuri (R$7 admission), 500m from the Aquário Natural, has a stretch of river all of its own, with dourado fish, four small waterfalls and a small forest. Tour companies also offer snorkelling trips to the Rio Sucuri (R$70 half day), and the Rio da Prata (R$140 full day). One of the best local scuba sites is the Gruta do Mimosa (R$250 full day); a trip here requires both a guide and permit, best obtained through either the Pousada Olho d’Agua travel agency or Ygarapé Tours.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Brazil features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Amazing new aerial images show uncontacted tribe in Brazil

Amazing new aerial images show uncontacted tribe in Brazil

Incredible aerial images of one of the Amazon rainforest's uncontacted tribes have been released by Survival International. The pictures, taken by photographer …

18 Nov 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
A sex-themed amusement park is set to open in Brazil

A sex-themed amusement park is set to open in Brazil

Forget about virtual-reality roller coasters, the future of theme parks just got a whole lot raunchier. Developers in Brazil are planning to build an adults…

13 May 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
23 brilliant pictures of Brazil

23 brilliant pictures of Brazil

This year sees the Olympics and Paralympics take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. If you're heading to Brazil to catch any of the sporting action, here are a fe…

04 Mar 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month