Rafting on the Rio Formoso is more about relaxation than thrills and spills. For this reason, it is ideal for kids and families. The 2.5-hour, 7-kilometer (4-mile) journey down the river in rubber rafts involves few rapids, but lots of gorgeous scenery. The voyage ends at the Ilha do Padre, a nature reserve, with lots of foliage and birdlife, where you can bask in the sun, bathe in pools and waterfalls, and have a bite at the restaurant.
It’s 12 kilometers from Bonito (take the Estrada Ilha do Padre); you can enter the reserve without a guide. The rafting trip costs R$50.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition