Located within a sprawling fazenda (ranch) 32 miles (51 kilometers) outside of Bonito, the Recanto Ecológico Rio da Prata offers prime snorkeling in Brazil. Travelers float down crystalline rivers while observing some 50 species of tropical fish, including giant dourados and large schools of pacus. Along the shores, exotic birds, tapirs, monkeys, and other animals can be spotted among the trees.
A snorkeling tour along the Rio da Prata begins with a 50-minute hike along a forested trail to the entry point on the Olho d’Agua River. The snorkeling portion starts with a 30-minute float through these emerald-green waters to where the Olho d’Agua meets the Prata. From there, snorkelers continue on for another 20 minutes. Snorkeling equipment and roundtrip transportation are included in most tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
This river is a must-see for nature lovers and adventure travelers.
Tours to the park must be booked in advance.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for walking over a variety of surfaces.
Waterproof cameras are available to rent in the Rio da Prata visitor center.
The use of sunscreen and insect repellent is not allowed to protect the purity of the water.
How to Get There
Most snorkeling tours to the Rio da Prata include pickup and drop-off at Bonito hotels.
When to Get There
The Rio da Prata is open daily, including holidays. With some of the warmest water in the region, the river is comfortable for snorkeling no matter the time of year.
Other Activities at the Rio da Prata
Besides snorkeling, the Rio da Prata ecological reserve also offers scuba diving for beginner to advanced divers (including technical cave diving in the Mysterious Lagoon), horseback riding through the ranch, or birdwatching in the world’s most biodiverse savanna, where more than 200 species have been registered.
Address: Rod BR 267 Km 515, Caixa Postal 201, Jardim, Brazil
Located only 7.5 miles (12 km) from Bonito, this nature reserve along the shores of the Rio Formoso offers myriad activities. Adventurers can embark on horseback and hiking expeditions that weave through the green canopy forests of the Cerrado ecosystem, while the aquatically inclined can take to the transparent blue waters of the Rio Formoso outfitted in snorkeling or diving gear to glide past schools of fish and subaquatic plants. For an adrenaline rush, jump into a raft for a 90-minute descent along the river’s rapids. This thrilling ride ends at the Ilha do Padre, an island outfitted with a restaurant, bar, and plenty of inviting hammocks.
The Parque Ecológico Rio Formoso can be reached by following the Estrada para Ilha do Padre for 7.5 miles (12 km). Tours must be booked in advance.
Address: Rio Formoso Ecological Park, Bonito, Brazil