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Articles

12/02/2010 - 14h04
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Lago Azul Cave, Bonito, State of Mato Grosso do Sul Where the sunshine turns blue

 
 

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The Lago Azul Cave (Blue Lake Cave) is one of the most important caves in Brazil and the one of the mainly natural touristic attractions of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, with emphasis on the underground lake that acquires an intense blue color during the period of the day that it is exposed to rays of sunlight. The exceptional value was the reason for been declared as a heritage site by the "Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional - IPHAN" (National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute), together with the Nossa Senhora Aparecida Cave situated in the vicinity.

Besides its exceptional underground view, the Lago Azul Cave is noted for its fossils of Pleistocene mammals (Salles et al., 2006) and the occurrence of rare minerals (e.g., nesquehonite), in the form of fragile agglomerates and by the occurrence of endemic crustaceans that inhabit the underground lake.

The cave is easily accessed with great potential for geotourism activities, partly achieved by tourism guides to relatively intense tourist flow (44,786 visitors in 2003 according to the "Secretaria de Turismo de Bonito" (Secretariat of Tourism of Bonito Town). The cave have a big entrance to the outside, allows natural light, it has been possible to implement low environmental impact, wich comes to be refined through implementation of the "Monumento Natural Gruta do Lago Azul" (Blue Lake Cave Nature Monument), a kind of brazilian conservation unit special to geological and geomorphological features, created in 2001, in the areas where the two declared national heritage are found, and by the implementation of the measures and internal and external infrastructure established in the "Plano de Manejo Espeleológico" (Speleological Management Plan), submitted to IBAMA in February 2002 and approved in 2008. By initiative of IPHAN (brazilian heritage institute) the area has been proposed as geopark.

LOCATION

The Lago Azul Cave is located to the west of the town of Bonito (MS), between the Anhumas creek to the North and the Taquaral cave to the south, at coordinates 56°35`26.53"W and 21°08`40.79"S. From the town of Bonito, it is possible to access the site after 19 km on an unpaved road.

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By Paulo Cesar Boggiani, William Sallun Filho, Ivo Karmann, Ana Lúcia Gesicki, Nicoletta Moracchioli Philadelphi, Marcos Philadelphi

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