A easy walk suitable for all ages

Contemplative walk, lasting about 01 hour. Light walk for about 970 meters, around a sinkhole (geological formation), with two stops for observation and contemplation in two lookouts. Groups are a maximum of 10 people, always accompanied by a tour guide or local environmental monitor.

A geological formation resulting from the collapse of rock blocks through thousands years ago creating this enormous cavity: it has a circumference of 500 meters (1600 feet) and the depth reaches 100 meters (330 feet). At the bottom, an emerald-green lagoon, surrounded by exuberant vegetation, is home to caimans whose survival is a mystery. Besides them and the macaws, mammals such as armadillos, anteaters, coatis, foxes and others 130 birds species, including ibisis and tucans, chose the place to live.

Come see the Buraco of Araras Private Reserve and feel all the sensations that nature can to offer!!


Espetacular formação geológica. Natureza exuberante e, se der sorte, poderá ver o sobrevoo das Araras. Nem sempre elas estão disponíveis para tal. Mas mesmo assim, vale a visita. Somente se estiver com o tempo chuvoso, prejudica em muito a visitação

(JRGimenez , Caxias Do Sul, RS)


But this story does not end here. It gains a new paragraph each time that a new visitor arrives at Buraco das Araras and leaves a testimonial and contribution to ecotourism. And it also goes on with the actions of the new Sampaio generation, who learned from the cradle to respect this fantastic place.

Come and help us to continue this story!

The vocation for tourism became more evident each time that the owners attended a professional qualification course and brought improvements to the area. Besides the official government permission to operate tourism, in 2000 the Buraco das Araras Sinkhole took part in the national meeting for the regulation of tourism in caves and natural cavities promoted in Bonito by CECAV/IBAMA (the department of the Federal Environmental Agency responsible for managing the country’s caves and natural cavities). Several conservation initiatives were debated during the event, and from there on many infrastructural improvements were applied to suit the official environmental regulations. Some highlights are the nearly integral recovery of the vegetation at Fazenda Alegria, the changes in the trail layout, the new reception building further away from the sinkhole, the obligation of time intervals between tour groups and the qualification  of local tour guides and group leaders.

In the following years, with the place already established as a tourism destination and an example of environmental conservation, the owners felt the need of perpetuating the conservation status of Buraco das Araras. Hence, in April 11, 2007, the place was officially declared as a Private Reserve of the Natural Patrimony, ensuring permanent protection for the 29-hectare (71.6 acre) area around the sinkhole.

But in the mid 1980’s things started to change. In 1986 Mr. Modesto Sampaio bought part of Fazenda Costa Rica to raise cattle, named this new area Fazenda Alegria (“Happiness Ranch”) and brought his wife and three children to help. What they did not know is that the old corridor had been included in the deal, and the hole was right in the middle of the property they bought. His wife did not like the surprise at all, but since everything in life has a reason of being, it was a matter of time until the place’s destiny was found. The Macaws’ Hole was fenced around to avoid accidents with the cattle raised at the ranch and received frequent visits by the family, who appreciated its beauties.

But curious people still came to the area, many of them causing depredation. Mr. Modesto, who always liked nature, felt disturbed and came up with a great idea. When he noticed that outsiders wanted to light up fireworks or shoot guns to make noise and scare the birds in the surroundings, he approached with a humble attitude and asked people to leave. When the visitor replied, he would say: “I am sorry, these are orders form the boss…”. And people would go away not knowing that he himself was the boss… The vandalism gradually diminished and visitors came only to admire, without interfering. The visitors’ curiosity did not go by unnoticed – it brought the owners awareness about the importance of that place. And the will to make that hole full of macaws again grew higher.

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The story of Buraco das Araras sinkhole is lost in memories and local culture. Despite being known since long ago by ancient inhabitants of this region, the first official record of its existence only took place in 1912, by local worker Antonio Amaro de Oliveira. He was doing his routine cattle work with some partners at Fazenda Costa Rica, which by then was part of Bela Vista district, in the former Mato Grosso State (today this region belongs to the municipality of Jardim, in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul). The men noticed many macaws flying near a large patch of forest and decided to check what was going on. Instead of a thicket, they found an enormous hole hidden among the vegetation. Due to the amount of macaws, they began to call the place “Buraco das Araras” (“Macaws’ Hole”), as it is known until nowadays. It is easy to imagine that the news were not very welcome by the former owner of Fazenda Costa Rica, afraid that cattle and horses could fall into the hole. The solution was to leave it outside of the ranches, creating a corridor (former road) between properties.

At that time some people started visiting the place, amazed by its dimensions and with the macaws flying inside. But soon a nefarious use was given to that place. Some people figured that the immense sinkhole was a good place to eliminate opponents and started to throw their enemies inside, so that they would die and never be found, turning the Macaws’ Hole into a true “open sky cemetery”. History says that many cattle robbers, lovers caught red-handed and people who knew too much about a given secret were taken there upon orders from ranchers, foremen, politicians and also wanderers, the most famous being Silvino Jacques. His stories are very famous in the region, among them the method of ordering the victim to run as a form of escaping the gunshots, without knowing that he/she was rushing towards the fatal abyss.

Fortunately this is all part of the past. The only remains are several tales about ghosts or people that managed to survive by grabbing the trees and returning for revenge against their harassers. These cases started to attract more people interested in knowing the famous Macaws’ Hole. However, many of them had no environmental awareness, and since the access was open, for many years the sinkhole was vandalized. The rock walls and macaws were used as shooting targets, there was a lot of littering and even remains of robbed cars were thrown inside. As a result of these negative practices and also of the growing deforestation on the surroundings, the once abundant macaws began to gradually disappear, until none were left and the name “Macaws’ Hole” became a memory from past times.