- We snorkeled in the clear and cool (not cold) Sucuri and Prata rivers, full of fish that would seem to belong better in the ocean — from tiny bright jewels flitting around to huge piraputanga and seemingly prehistoric dourado. The sounds of the jungle — the parakeets, macaws, insects, capuchin and howler monkeys — jarringly remind you that your face is in a river, not the ocean. Bubbling cauldrons at the bottom of the river boil out white sand that has such a size and consistency that it doesn’t cloud the crystal clear water but just continues to drop back down on the river floor. This was an experience that no one had done before and everyone was disappointed when the excursion came to it’s unavoidable end.
- Bonito is blessed with water filtering limestone so the rivers are impossibly clear and the region is an adventurer’s paradise, full of enormous caves with blue waters inside and teeming with wildlife. The Anhumas Abysm cave is essentially a hole in the earth that is 500 feet deep and half filled with freshwater. Visitors can repel down 225 feet to a floating platform to experience the cave’s otherworldly structures without damaging anything by walking on or touching. With snorkel gear and a flashlight in hand we lowered off the platform into the water and proceeded to follow a guide through the dripping, dark eeriness of the caves stalactites and stalagmites to the deep recesses. As you snorkel along, you can look down aided by flashlight into the depths to see an array of giant cones which have built up over thousands of years, which made me suddenly imagine I was in the jaw of a great beast whose teeth rose from the dark and welcomed me in for my final swim. After 4 hours in the cave, I felt myself relaxed and in tune with my surroundings as most of our senses get muted in that environment. It was magical and memorable.
Our group had 23 participants and most (80%) had never set foot in Brazil before AdevntureWeek. Those who had, had never been to the Bonito nor Pantanal regions, which are not built for mass tourism. This makes them perfect places for AdventureWeek, ideally suited for the adventure, active and eco travelers of the world to come and experience an amazing place while helping give the locals a financial reason to continue to resist exploitative industries. While the Pantanal is most inviting to lone travelers or small group pulled into the unknown, Bonito beckons the visitor to a tightly managed program to both show off and protect the beauty within. Together the regions create an adventure experience altogether unexpected in Brazil, even to the most seasoned traveler. It’s nice to know that there are still places like this to be discovered, isn’t it?