The Gruta do Lago Azul, or Blue Lagoon Cave, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bonito. Because of its fame and beauty, it is considered the picture postcard of Bonito. What makes it unique is its enormous chamber with stalactite chandeliers at the bottom of which lies a primordial pool of transparent azure water of unfathomable depth beneath which rests a cemetery of extinct prehistoric animals. If you arrive near the solstice in December or January and enter the cave at midday, a column of light will penetrate the cave to the pool. Whatever the season, a visit to Bonito wouldn't be complete without exploring the Gruta de Lago Azul.
Vouchers must be purchased in advance through Bonito Booking or another qualified agency; you will not be admitted to the attraction without one. The property is managed by the municipal government; but, like the private attractions, the price is determined by the landholders on an annual basis and published by the Association of Attractions of the Bonito Region, ATRATUR. The Cavern charges a high season (holiday) price and a low season price based on the yearly holiday calendar published by the Municipal Tourist Authority, COMTUR. Transportation is not included in the price of the voucher. You can either drive yourself, or we can provide transportation for you. All the tours are conducted by a local tour conductor in the Portuguese language. This is an interpretive tour, and for this reason, if you are not fluent in Portuguese, even if you do some of the other activities on your own, we highly recommend that you go with one of our bilingual naturalist interpreters for this tour.
You will arrive by a well-maintained dirt road. The Blue Lagoon Cave is 22 km (14 miles) from the city. To ensure that you arrive on time, we suggest that you depart the city and hour before your tour begins. On arrival, you should register at the reception area and present your voucher. The tours have a maximum of 15 participants and depart 20 minutes apart. When it is your turn to descend, the guide will furnish you with caving helmets and provide a safety orientation. You will then depart along a flat, gravel-covered woodland trail for 900 meters (half a mile) to the cave entrance where your guide will begin his presentation of the history of the cave. Slowly you will descend along 300 steps carved out of the base of the cave stopping at various vantage points to take photographs and learn more about the geology, flora & fauna of the cave. At the last point, you will be able to peer into the eerie depths the blue pool which gives the cave its name before making your way back out. The pace is easy, throughout the route; but environmental regulations do not allow the construction of paths and handrails within the cavern, so the good walking shoes are essential and this activity is not recommended for people who have had mobility problems. Accompanied children must be over the age of five. You won't need a bathing suit; only extinct animals are allowed in the pool. The reception area has restrooms but there is no restaurant on the premises.
Nearby attractions include the São Miguel Caves, and the Abismo Anhumas. For those who want a full itinerary, the Gruta do Lago Azul can be combined with São Miguel Caves, in a half day morning or afternoon period. Despite the proximity, for technical reasons, those who wish to visit Abismo Anhumas should make the reservation for a separate day.
You should bring:
- Loose-fitting comfortable clothes.
- A cap or hat
- Insect repellent
- Sun tan lotion
- Camera for pictures
- Tennis shoes or hiking boots (no flip-flops)
- A healthy snack and mineral water.