Nascentes do Rio Sucuri is located at the São Geraldo Ranch 20 km (12 miles) from the center of Bonito. The Sucuri River has some of the most crystal clear waters anywhere in the Bonito region. In addition to a spectacular snorkelling trip, the ranch also offers horseback riding, biking tours and a quadricycle trip. The restaurant serves a hardy lunch including meats from the ranch and regional dishes.
Beside the original farmhouse, which has been converted to a restaurant & reception area for tourism, you will be fitted for your snorkelling equipment near the well-equipped dressing rooms. After a short ride across the ranch in an open-air safari vehicle, the trip begins with a short 400 meter (1/4 mile) walk through the Riparian Forest along a well-maintained trail. Here you will have a chance to see diverse species of fauna native to the region and Brazil.
Along the trail you will arrive at the headwaters of the Sucuri River and the springs percolating back to the surface of the earth from mysterious subterranean passages. Here you will first observe the colourful fishes in the bluish refracted light of the limestone waters contrasted by the brilliant greens of the aquatic plants. This part of the tour takes approximately 30 minutes.
At the end of the trail you will receive your mask, snorkel & life jacket. The guide will give a brief orientation to safety and the equipment; perhaps at the same time bringing out your profound inner ability to understand the Portuguese language. Here you will enter the river and float downstream in the gentle current observing schools of fishes including Piraputangas, Curimbas, Piaus, Cascudos and Dourados in a dynamic and enchanting underwater landscape. The clarity of the water is incredible due to the decanting effect of the limestone rock from which the springs emerge. The presence of lime in the water also has a refractory effect. Rays of sunlight react with the surface currents and cast of traces of bluish light across the surface. The riverbed is white and composed of calcified snail shells. The feeling of swimming through this labyrinth in the company of colourful docile fishes is, in a word, unique. Don’t fall into a trance in this enchanted underworld. Remember to take the time to look back at the landscape above the surface. It is full of life as well. You might glimpse a curious Brown Capuchin Monkey or Howler Monkey along the shores, or a water bird like the Limpkin making its solitary cry. A Neotropical Otter or even an endangered Giant River Otter might be resting on the banks who is at least as eager as you are to find some colourful fish. The name of the river, Rio Sucuri, means Giant Yellow Anaconda in English, so who knows what wildlife you will encounter on the river? You will be carried by the current for a full 1900 meters; the snorkelling lasts approximately 50 minutes depending on the group and the current. There are two exit points along the route in case of an emergency. The guide follows behind paddling a boat, and anyone who would like to desist can hop aboard the boat as well as children under 5 accompanied by a responsible adult. The maximum group size is 8 persons. The Safari car will be waiting at the end of the route to return you to the reception area.
An underwater photographer follows along with the group and offers a package of photos for sale on DVD in the reception after the trip. If you don’t have a waterproof camera of your own you can also rent one, or a protective device for a non-waterproof camera in the city before the trip.
The cost of the trip includes the cost of the guide, and the rental of the equipment used for snorkelling. Due to environmental guidelines you may not use sun block, tanning lotion or any kind of moisturising cream during the snorkelling.
Bike Tour Nascentes do Rio Sucuri
Besides snorkeling, you can see other parts of the São Geraldo Ranch and have a swim in the waterfalls of the Rio Formoso, the principal river in the region during a nice bike ride along the roads and through the forests of the ranch. This tour allows you to observe wild animals such as Monkeys, Peccaries, Coatis, Tucans, Macaws, Seriemas, Capybaras, Deer and the like amidst the preserved old-growth forests of the region. The trip takes approximately two hours, and covers a total of 7.3 km (5 miles) across flat terrain. The trip is limited to a maximum of 10 participants, always led by a guide that has a VHF radio for communication with the reception area. Remember that bicycles are always an excellent means of transport for activities like this: They do not make noise, or pollute and still serve as a good physical and mental exercise.
The Horseback Riding Tour at Rio Sucuri not only has the idea to respect nature; but, also the Cowboy Culture of Mato Grosso do Sul. The Horseback Riding trip is 1 ½ hours in duration crossing diverse landscapes such as pastures for cattle, riparian forests, swamps & hills. To assure your comfort and security the trip is limited to ten participants and is always accompanied by a specialized guide and a ranch hand that knows the area like the back of his hand. We always serve Tereré a traditional beverage from the region. The adventure is monitored by radio communication from the reception area of the ranch. In the middle of the ride there is a stop to rest the horses and swim in the waterfalls and pools of the Formoso River. You can see from there some of the mountains that are part of the incredible landscape of the Serra da Bodoquena National Park as well as wildlife.