Bonito ranch business goes swimmingly


Until Bonito discovered ecotourism, cattle used to be king here—just as they are in most other towns in western Mato Grosso do Sul state. But in the past decade, Bonito’s once-sleepy main street, like many a Caribbean dive destination, has morphed into a strip of lodges, restaurants, souvenir shops and tourist agencies selling aquatic safaris. Underlying the change are crystal-clear, spring-fed rivers that meander through nearby cattle ranches. The waterways are nothing less than vast, natural aquariums filled with golden dourados (Salminus maxillosus), reddish piraputangas (Broycon microlepis), smoky-blue curimbatas (Prochilodus lineatus), and silvery, black-spotted piaus (Leporinus ssp.) and an exuberance of aquatic flora. Compared to these underwater vistas, the lush riverside vegetation—home to monkeys, macaws and other wildlife... [Log in to read more]

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