Also called “Lagoa Misteriosa”
So why is it called the mysterious lake? Lagoa Misteriosa is a lake at the bottom of a sinkhole, a type of geological formation common in limestone regions. This lake of transparent waters impresses visitors for its incredible depth. It is considered one of the deepest submerged caves in Brazil, with more than 220 meters of water column. Lagoa Misteriosa is a phreatic cave, that is, it was formed by the flow of underground water that dissolved the limestone in its passage. The first dive at Lagoa Misteriosa was done in September 1992 by Augusto Auler, member of a French-Brazilian Expedition that came to Bonito in 92. In 2008, a team of specialized divers mapped the cave until the depth of 70 meters. The maximum depth of 220 meters was reached by the professional cave diver Gilberto Menezes de Oliveira, in 1998, which explains why it is called mysterious. Actually nobody knows how deep the lake is. The left picture (click on the picture to see it in full size ) is a map of Lagoa Misteriosa, after reaching a depth of 2.4 meter deep, two different wells open up with about 10 meters in diameter each. These wells meet again at 50 meters depth, forming a single well that reach at least 220 meters deep. Technical dives accompanied by an instructor can be made up to 60 meters deep.
After putting on the SHORT wetsuit (this is our first dive in warm water) we went for a short drive to the trail that leads to Lago Misteriosa. A staircase of 179 steps takes you towards the lake.
Let’s go diving
It is a crazy feeling to descent through the water without being able to see the bottom at all
We are only certified PADI Advanced Open Water, which certify us to a depth of 30 meters. So unfortunately we could not dive to 60 meters and get the change to descent in the first well and ascent in the other well. Anyway we did make it to the 25 meter mark.
The light in the lake is just amazing when the sun is shinning on the lake. We started our dive around 12 pm, and would recommend to dive 1-2 hours earlier if it is possible. While we finished the dive, the sunlight on the lake disappeared.
We really enjoyed diving in the warm and clear water
We had our own diving instructor accompanying us and an extra diver was in the water taking photos and video with professional underwater equipment. The dive cost 380 Reales per person and we paid additional 83 Reales for the photos and video (totally worth buying the pictures and videos).
The dive is all about experiencing the clear water and the amazing blue and green colors. There is not much ground to cover, and the underwater life is scarce. Again a very different dive, that has added to our experience as divers.
The diving in Lagoa Misteriosa is a part of the Recanto Ecológico Rio da Prata, so when we got back the the ranch after the diving we took a long and warm shower, and relaxed in the hammocks.
We left the ranch in the afternoon, which is the best time to spot animals
A few more photos
Our next stop is the border towards Argentina and Paraguay. It is time to leave Brazil, but we still have to big things to see. The Itaipu dam and the Iguazu falls. Another night at a gas station in Brazil… see you tomorrow. We are not fans of staying overnight at gas stations, but here in Brazil there has not been a lot of other options.