Rio da Prata is a definite 5 out of 5 experience, but three things made it a four out of 5 for me, none of which are the fault of the venue but my experience can perhaps help others:
1: We were booked on a 1pm tour but arrived at 9am. I think we could have got a transfer to look at the Blue Lagoon like others. This was us being stupid. And don't get me wrong, we do enjoy a game of Gin Rummy, but it gets a little tiring after your 8th. We did tour the complex, but that took all of 10 minutes.
2. On the walk through the forest to get to the river, the mosquitos dug in. Understandably, you can't wear mosquito repellent for this so the water is not contaminated. I wholeheartedly agree with this but the bite I got on my hand made my wrist swell up so much two days later I couldn't get my watch on. All I can counsel here is vigilance - the snorkeling is worth any kind of lasting discomfort, but if you're a pasty Northern European like us, be aware!
3. When the instructor tells you to go left to avoid rocks, do what he says. I managed to nod dumbly and then ignore the advice completely and gashed my knee. Also, if new to snorkeling as I was, concentrate on your head position to avoid getting excess water into your wind pipe, took me a good 20 mins to work out that be lifting my neck I was dumping my pipe in the water! Smart!
However, despite my clumsy problems, its a very well run outfit and the experience is incredible. My group were great - really quiet so you could wonder at the marvel of floating down a Brazilian river, seeing everything with such clarity. The group behind, who caught us up, were a bit too fond of whooping for my money! Also, I need to practice my diving - couldn't get anywhere near the spring near the end of the tour!
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