Boca da Onça
Boca da Onça, located in Bodoquena (34 miles/55 km from Bonito, 55 miles/89 km from Miranda, and 186 miles/300 km from Campo Grande) is a gorgeous eco site that boasts the highest rappel platform in Brazil with a height of 295 feet (90 meters), and their waterfall, Cachoeira Boca da Onça is the highest waterfall in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul at a height of 512feet (156 meters). For nature and adventure lovers, it is a "must visit" place.
Debra C. Argen with Boca da Onça mascot
Although you can easily spend an entire day there, due to our travel schedule and a heavy rainstorm on our drive there from Pousada Pequi in the Pantanal, we did not arrive at Boca da Onça until the early afternoon on March 18, 2019, when the sun came out to greet us and we pulled into the parking area as if to welcome us to this stunning paradise.
After a delicious lunch, acquainting ourselves with the layout of the vast property, and a visit to their small but interesting museum, we set out to discover the beauty of Boca da Onça with our friends Gilberto and Regina Sacilotti, and our Boca da Onça Ecotour guide. We climbed into their truck for a short ride from the grounds of their reception to the trail where our adventure would begin.
Luxury Experience Team admiring the breathtaking views
Unfortunately, due to the heavy morning rain, we were not able to rappel, which requires pre-training, however we did accompany our guide out onto the suspended rappel platform that extends out 105 feet (32 meters) to enjoy the amazing view. Their rappel platform is the highest rappel platform in Brazil with a height of 295 feet (90 meters), and as we looked out from the platform with the wind breezing around us and saw the 365 degree views of the lush green trees, verdant valley, rolling mountains, and the rushing river far below, we could imagine how exciting it must be to actually rappel there. Note to selves: we must return and rappel there!
Luxury Experience Team at Boca da Onça waterfall
(Cachoeira Boca da Onça)
Our next adventure was trekking a few of their many trails reached by descending wood steps and holding onto the handrails, as our guide lead us down 886 steps to reach the Câniondo Rio Salobra. The trek through the tropical forest with the trees still glistening with raindrops was stunning. There are many poems along the trails, and we took a few moments to read the inspirational verses which remind visitors to slow down and enjoy the journey.
Upon reaching our destination, Cachoeira Boca da Onça, the best word that described our impression was majestic. Soaring to 512 feet (156 meters), it is the highest waterfall in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and has a depth of 13 feet (4 meters). Standing infront of it, we gazed in awe of its beauty and felt its power as it covered us with its mist.
Edward F. Nesta grabbing a quick drink
We stopped at the 4 waterfall pools along the way, only one of which was swimmable due to the powerful river current from the earlier rainstorm, and enjoyed a swim in Praia da Boca da Onça, where we basked in the cool water and enjoyed the surrounding views.
Debra C. Argen and Regina Sacilotti take a swim
As we passed the area known as the Buracodo Macaco (Monkey's Hole), our guide told us that when the water level is lower you can swim with your head above water through a tunnel and exit at the waterfall pool, making it another perfect place to stop on a warm day and enjoy its cool water.
Luxury Experience Team after swim
Alas, it was time for us to return, and as we made our way up the long trail to the truck which would carry us back to the reception area, we stopped along the way to remember the incredible sights and our memorable experience at Boça da Onça.
See you at a waterfall at Boca da Onça
In addition to offering rappelling, trekking, and waterfall adventures, Boça da Onça has inviting swimming pools and hammocks where visitors can relax and enjoy a bit of leisure, as well as watch the red-legged Seriema birds wandering around the property.
Do book your trip in advance as ecosites limit the number of people visiting each day.
Boca da Onça
MS 178 - KM26
Central Reservations & Rappel Training in Bonito:
+55 67 3255-3410
+55 67 9974-8191
Telephone: +55 (67)3255-1234, +55 (67) 3255-1337
On-Site: +55 (67) 9606-04031
Read more about our experiences in Brazil in the Pantanal and Bonito in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Gastronomy and Adventures sections.
• Watch Debra C. Argen describe the beauty of Boca da Onça from the rappel platform - https://youtu.be/WtggYPYNNLw
• Watch description of the magnificent waterfall - Cachoeira Boca da Onça - https://youtu.be/wPYe72apL2k
• Watch as Debra C. Argen shows you the Buraco do Macaco Cachoeira (Monkey's Hole waterfall) - https://youtu.be/-W6DZi-zH-I
Important Travel and PlanningInformation
How to Get There from São Paulo
Azul Airlines flies from Campinas (VCP) Airport to Bonito (BYO) airport. The flight time is 1 hour and 35 minutes. Note Azul Airlines only flies to Bonito on select days of the week. Check their schedule accordingly. Flight time 3 hours 25 minutes.
GOL Airlines and LATAM fly from Guarulhos (GRU) International Airportto Campo Grande (CGR). The flight time is roughly 1 hour 50 minutes. To get from Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul to Bonito, you can rent a car. Drive time is roughly 3 hours 40 minutes.
Travel and Tourism information:
We used Agência Ygarapé for expert and professional tour information and booking our adventures. The agency has been providing high-quality, attentive service for tours, packages, accommodations, and transport services and more for over 20+years, serving Bonito and the Pantanal region.
Please visit their site for more information (site is available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish): www.ygarape.com.br.
Agência Ygarapé is open daily from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm (and until 10:00 pm during high season).
Rua Coronel Pilad Rebuá, 1853, Centro
Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS)
Telephone: +55 (67)3255-1733
Cellular: +55 (67) 99213-7374
For more information on Bonito and Pantanal, please visit: http://www.visitbrasil.com/en/destinos/bonito.html, http://www.visitbrasil.com/pt/destinos/bonito.html
Important Tips for Bonito and Pantanal
Bonito is focused on eco-tourism and as such they only allow a certain number of visitors to eco sites each day. Be sure to book your tours well in advance to not miss out.
For Water Sports (snorkeling), the sites request that you not use sunscreen, tanning lotions, or insect repellent to help keep the waters pristine.
Going hiking in the woods? Wearlight colored clothing as dark colored clothing attracts mosquitos!
There are no ATMs, only banks: Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, Caixa Economica and Sicredi, so plan accordingly. Some small restaurants accept cash only.
Shops stay open late in Bonitousually until around 10:00 pm and most accept credit cards.
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