Once upon a time when a long-clawed sabre-toothed tiger and giant sloth roamed the earth, there was a little boy. One night he saw the dark blue sky with sparkling stars showering their small glittering lights upon the water. He and his family took shelter in a cave to protect themselves from the dangerous animals outside. His family made a small fire inside the cave to keep themselves warm. The fire cast funny and mysterious shadows on the ceiling above. The boy looked wide-eyed at the sparkling rocks above. He dreamt of a night full of stars, which stood a boy holding the sun in his hand, illuminating like a pearl. This was the story of the revered caves of Sao Miguel, situated at the Ecological Park Nature Reserve region of Bonito at Mato Grosso do Sul, in Brazil. Hundreds of years have passed, and still, this story is told over and over again. On a small hill of at 470 meters covered by cerrado, is the lime-washed cave of Sao Miguel, created 4.6 billion years ago in the pre-Cambrian period, which is famous for its stalactites and stalagmites.
Takes you to a prehistoric world
The caves have three-point entrances, and the extreme south entrance has a creepy cold temperature of 4 degrees less than the outside. You would feel goosebumps on your skin caused by the difference between the external and internal temperature.
All you need is a pair of rubber boots, a flashlight, a helmet, and a bottle of water. As soon as the light falls upon the ceiling, the grains of mineral salts in the rocks sparkle and look like stars. As your eyes adapt to the caves' brightness, you would feel as if you are surrounded by a militia of stars, and it seems that the caves have magically transported you to a prehistoric world.
A majestic world inside!
Once upon a time, there was a sea underneath the gigantic lime-washed caves. The caves were formed by the dissolution of the limestone rocks when saltwater infiltrated and reacted with the rocks. Slowly an underground world was created spanning 3.149 meters. Beautiful and complex formations on the walls, ceilings, and floors with stalactites, stalagmites, quartz veins, rare decimetric coralloids, beautiful travertines, and majestic columns all created by an impressive cathedral of white limestone make the caves a must to visit place for tourists.
A Walk through the trees! A journey through the trees would make you feel like taking a pilgrimage to an ancient site. A trail suspended high above among the cluster of trees, the whispers of the leaves in the wind, the singing of the birds, and the cries of the rodents make the journey all the most more enchanting and creates a magical ambience throughout. The trail runs above hills around 200 meters. It is a bit far from the caves' entrance so that the visitors can get an experience of some kind of basic tree climbing, walking on treetops and looking at the beautiful world from above, before entering this ancient realm.
Things to Do
Beware of the Spectacular Coralloids
Coralloids are one of the most found formations of caves which can assume various shapes and sizes. They are mostly found in knobby, globular, button-like, and decametric formations that naturally form either on the surface or beneath the water. The internal pathway of the caves is created in such a way to protect the beautiful, spectacular coralloids from getting scathed by visitors. The trail inside the caves is higher than the ground, and one can see down the beautiful creation of Nature underneath. The coralloids are one of the great attractions of the Sao Miguel Caves which point out how nature had handcrafted these specimens millions of years ago when humans weren't even born to witness.
Visit with a Small Group
The caves of Sao Miguel are pre-conditioned for a small number of visitors only. 15 people at a time can only enter and not more than 285 people in a day. So book your slot in advance to witness these natural teleporting time capsules which will take you back to a prehistoric era where reigned the dinosaur and mammoths free.
The Inhabitants of Sao Miguel Caves
The tour itself is self-gratifying when you will capture the beautiful and colourful birds into your lens. Throughout the journey, you can find colourful Macaws and parrots, welcoming you with their mesmerizing voices. As a result, the souls get enriched and rejuvenated their voices. Inside the caves, another world persists. A faraway world from the outside plunged deep in darkness and solitude where the termites clustered in their nests and the fruit bats hung upside down. Small animals like anteaters, rodents, mammals, and mongoose reside around the caves dieting on the worms, termites, fresh leaves and roots found.
And the Tour Begins
At the scheduled time, you will gather at the reception house to meet other visitors travelling to the same destination. At the reception, you will be provided with a short overview of the tour, and a small video of the caves will be shown for your insight and knowledge. After that, the long-awaited tour begins! With bated, breathe you, and other travellers will walk through the suspended walkway staring at the face of the surprised birds and listening to the leaves' whisperings on the way.
At last, You Reach the Caves
Before entering the caves, pause for a moment and look out to enjoy the surreal surrounding and the magical landscape all around. Along with the green leaves of the trees and the green portrait of the ambience, one can find many cacophonic birds in these parts like macaws, surucuas, guaxes, sanhacos, and many others different species. You can take a huge number of photos of the birds and landscape beneath.
It's Time to Enter
As soon as you enter, a pall of darkness will hit your face. Your heart will beat faster with rapid thrill and excitement. Almost all of your senses will enhance and heighten to a great degree. The delicious fresh air of the tropical bonito will make your adrenaline rush. As soon as your eyes go accustomed to the dim lights inside, you will see the variegated shapes and sizes of the lime-washed rocks hanging from the roofs and erupting from the floor beneath.
We’re heading to Cabanas Aventura & Hotel Cabanas next
The guide accompanying you will enlighten your soul with the caves’ stories and how they were formed and discovered. In the dim light of the lantern, those, stories would look like the tales of grandma. Caves of Grutas de Sao Miguel is an enchanting place in the daytime. It turns into an infinitely exquisite magical land by night. It’s a dazzling place for both adults and children. It’s a 50 minutes trip that you will remember till the end of your life!
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