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“Excellent, and Excellent Value for Money”

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Pousada Caramanchao
Ranked #18 of 19 Hotels in Bonito
Reviewed 22 June 2010

As a prelude I should explain, as I always do, that my wife & I have been on the road, traveling across South America / the Caribbean for the last four months, and have travelled extensively over the last decade and a half (my wife and I met while traveling over seven years ago). Needless to say we’ve stayed at many places.

Anyway, I should begin by stating that Pousada Caramanchao is about the best value-for-money pousada we stayed at in Brazil. Combining clean rooms (not luxury by any means, but very clean with plenty of space, working A/C units and clean, private bathrooms), a fantastic location, solid breakfast and a wonderful owner, it’s a tough deal to beat.

The owner is a very sweet, and very well organized, middle-aged man, who speaks very little English. Thankfully his equally sweet son speaks perfect English (we speak no Portuguese), and so it’s his son who serves as the translator, very effectively.

Bonito is a special place, and, having spent three days there, we highly recommend that you visit all three of (i) Lagao Azul. (ii) Rio de Prata and (iii) Abismo Anhumas if your budget allows. The last (Abismo) is expensive, but a completely unique experience that is worth the cost. Note, however, that (a) all trips in Bonito need to be booked through a licensed agent and (b) there is a single, set, price per excursion that all agencies charge, so one cannot save money by shopping around. All that matters is finding a reliable agency, which brings me to an additional fantastic element of the pousada – the owner is a licensed agent. We emailed him what we wanted to do in advance and he set up everything for us, drivers included (there is no public transportation to many of the sites). It was hassle-free.

The last general tip I would give is to rent the underwater camera from the pousada if you go to Rio de Prata – in addition to burning the photos you take onto a CD for you, the pousada will also burn a file of professional photos of all the major sites in Bonito onto the disc, which was fantastic for us when we sent photos to family and friends and updated our Facebook account and travel blog as some of our own photos from the other excursion (Lagoa Azul, Abismo) did not capture the true majesty of the places.

In summary, this pousada is clean, perfectly located, and is run by an extremely pleasant, honest, efficient and helpful family. It’s a great deal.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SAfricanTravelAddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 12 of 79 reviews

Reviewed 22 March 2008

For anyone wanting to visit the attractions of Bonito without paying the high prices some reviewers complain about, Caramanchao is the ideal solution. Paulo, the really friendly and helpful owner (he speaks only Portuguese but he has a great young helper who speaks quite good English), is also a travel agent so you can ask him to organize your whole itinerary in advance by e-mail. That way you are sure not to be disappointed by finding your most-wanted excursion fully booked (all the best attractions have a maximum number of visitors per day). He offers ‘packets’ including certain excursions, but I preferred to pick my own and just took his advice on the order in which to do them as some could be combined morning and afternoon, others were further away or full-day trips.
Caramanchao’s rooms are simple-spartan, almost all with a double bed plus a bunk bed, fridge, air conditioning and bathroom. The rooms on the first floor have a balcony which looks onto the garden. On the ground floor there are also some hammocks to rest ‘al fresco’. Breakfast is self service with a fair choice. The hotel prices are low and he offers various discounts (his was the only hotel which offered 10% discounts on the room price if you booked tours through him – though the prices of tours are fixed whoever you buy from; and also his ‘low season’ went right up to Christmas, while all the others examined started high season prices around December 15 or 16).
Paulo organized the exact trips we wanted (not the fixed packets others offer), including transport (there is no public transport to the attractions, spread over a very wide area). He also sent a driver to pick us up at the hotel we stayed at in South Pantanal, four hours’ drive away (whereas that hotel only offered expensive transport back to Campo Grande, out of our way for Bonito), he bought us bus tickets in advance for our onward journey from Bonito to Iguazu…. The drivers were very obliging (Portuguese-speaking only but very willing). We added a couple of extra outings during our stay and the car was always there punctually.

The town of Bonito is nothing special (built about 30 years ago to cater for the tourist boom in the vicinity after a tv documentary brought it to the wider world, and the main road can be quite noisy at night. By day some stores have annoying non-stop loudspeaker announcements and music to try to attract more customers. Most shops are quite tacky, but there are some lovely handicrafts at reasonable prices too if you look beyond the cheap clothes and shoe stores.

From Caramanchao it was easy to walk into the centre where you could find restaurants selling all the local specialities (including the exotic cayman meat, capybara, white-lipped peccary…) Local fish, especially pacu and piraputanga, are really good.
Paulo’s kindness did not end with our departure. When we got home we realized that the dvd we bought of our excursion to Rio Sucurì, bought there for 40R$, had been copied badly and did not work. We got no answer from our mail to the Rio Sucuri people, but as soon as I wrote to Paulo to ask for assistance, we got a very apologetic answer and full reimbursement from them.
If I return to Bonito (in our 3 day stay there were still a couple more places we would have liked to visit), I will definitely go to Caramanchao again!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank PuravidaPlaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2017
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  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
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Thank Cintia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2017
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Áudia V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2016
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  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank csoares11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2016
Google Translation

Room Tip: O querto nº 3 é bem ruim, com rachadura na parede, reboco caído.
  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 877luizm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2016, travelled solo
1  Thank Everton M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pousada Caramanchao

Address: Flowers Street, 1203 | Downtown, Bonito, State of Mato Grosso do Sul 79290, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Mato Grosso do Sul > Bonito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 19 Hotels in Bonito
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
Pousada Caramanchao Bonito, Brazil

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