Pousada Galeria Artes, Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul
"eco-friendly guesthouse with artistic flavour and fabulous breakfasts"
|Nearest Airport:||Campo Grande - 300 kms|
|Trip Style:||Nature + Wildlife, Eco-tourism|
wi-fi, supports sustainable tourism, supports community projects, spectacular views, private parking, pool, massage, local information, laundry, hammocks, guided tours, bi-lingual reception, bar
|Language(s):||Portuguese, Italian, German, English, Dutch|
|Recommended attractions:||waterfalls, walking, stand-up paddle, snorkelling, rappelling, indigenous culture, horseriding, hiking, flora & fauna, farm visits, diving, caves, birding|
|Ideal for:||travellers with a dog, solo travellers, small groups, friends sharing, families, couples|
|Cards Accepted:||Visa, Mastercard , Bank Transfer|
|Telephone:||+55 67 32554843|
|Pousada Guest Book:||
Note: Where pousadas are off the beaten track, Google maps only show the nearest town, and are not an accurate guide to location.
Alison's pousada review
Pousada Galeria Artes was not originally planned as a pousada but rather, as the name suggests, as an art gallery which would house a coffee bar and meeting place for locals. Politics intervened and the gallery idea was put on hold, but the loss to the town is definitely the traveller's gain as the main family house has now been transformed into one of the newest pousadas in Bonito.
There are 4 suites here, none luxurious but all clean and comfortable with excellent showers. However the real charm of the place comes in the atmosphere created by its super well travelled English speaking owner- Maria Pires. Maria studied fine art in Scotland and travelled the world with husband Frank before settling in Bonito and she knows instinctively and first hand what hospitality is about. This is a place where the welcome starts before you arrive, where everything can be arranged in advance (or not- as you prefer), where you have as much privacy or freedom as you like, where an outing to the farm or a local restaurant becomes time out with an old friend. I loved it and will definitely be back.
Bonito is located in the Serra do Bodoquena, approximately 300 kilometres or a three and a half hour drive southwest of Campo Grande in Mato Grosso do Sul. For 9 years running it has been awarded the prize for best eco-tourism destination , beating places like Fernando de Noronha hands down for attractions, service and pousada accommodation options, so it is strange that it is gets so little international press relative to the southern Pantanal wetlands which are less than 2 hours drive away.
The landscape here is a mixture of hills and cerrado crisscrossed by rivers, scrubland on top of chalk, all of which accounts for the myriad of caves, lakes and waterfalls in the region. Bonito town itself is small and buzzy with several good restaurants and it is also strangely untouristy, with not a souvenir, or indeed postcard in sight. Meanwhile local attractions abound, particularly local fazendas which organise treks to waterfalls and floating with snorkels and then provide wonderful buffet food and the chance of a siesta in the redario (hammock area) after. For the more adventurous there is rappelling and scuba diving- and for the less so visits to the magical Lago Azul (Blue lake) or the recently re-opened Lagoa Misteriosa- over 220 meters deep. There really is something for anyone who appreciates nature.
Just one word of warning though: decide which excursions you want and get the pousada to book them for you in advance in accordance with the sort of transport you want. All trips are guided and timed and have restricted numbers so need to be pre-booked, and transport is paid separately, so if you don't have your own car and are not going when one of the shared vans is going they can work out very expensive. This is really the only negative point I found in what is otherwise a superbly run and ecologically monitored destination with a wonderful Secretaria de Turismo.
- Trips to the Lago Azul and the Lagoa Misteriosa (one of the deepest in the world)
- Floating with snorkel down the Rio da Prata and the Rio Sucuri
- Walking through the forest to the waterfalls and rockpools of the Rio do Peixe
- Alligator sandwiches, ginger and tropical fruit icecreams
- Picanha at Tapera restaurant and fish at the Casa do João
- eco-friendly pousada, 100% non-smoking
- wonderful breakfasts with farm fresh eggs, cheese
- special flavoured honey from Maria's bees
- Maria's hospitality, generosity and help with trip planning
|Try a different place if...
you prefer bungalows and space to a central location, or if you want a pool