By Pedro Souza
November 26th, 2016
Brazil is a country known for the beauty of its luxurious nature. Every state hides its own wonders, just waiting to be explored by the outdoors lovers. Based in the state of Goias, the Chapada is a plateau with an estimated 1.8 billion years of age. In 1961, the national park was inaugurated by the then president of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek. With an area of 655 square kilometers of very well preserved land, the park has become one of the most popular destination for nature lovers in Brazil. To get there, one needs to take the road, since there are no flights directly to the park. The most common way of getting there is by taking a bus from Brasília. If you are far from Brasília, you can get there by plane and then take a bus to the Chapada.
The park’s rock formations are among some of the oldest in the world, which help to form the cerrado biome. The cerrado is a form of savannah characterized by its vegetation formed by crooked trees, low forests and grassy plains. This environment is also home to a rich fauna, which attract many nature enthusiasts. One can find animals such as the maned wolf, the pampas deer, the jaguar and the capybara, which is the largest rodent in the world. The park is also a delight for birdwatchers, with species such as the savannah hawk, the great black hawk, the crowned eagle, the king vulture, the ringed kingfisher and many species of macaws and parakeets. There are also many lakes, river, waterfalls and canyons in the park, which compose a truly wonderful landscape.
There are basically two places in the park where visitors stay: Alto Paraíso and São Jorge. Alto Paraíso is a small city close to the entrance of the Park. It has more infrastructure and choices of places for eating and sleeping than São Jorge. São Jorge in contrast, is a small village with little infrastructure. While some may find it troublesome, others find it to be a better place to truly experience the Chapada. Those that are more adventurous can also gather their supplies and camp by themselves in nature, but the vast majority will prefer to stay in one of these two places, where you can find a comfortable place to sleep, restaurants to eat and tourism guides to hire.
Most tours involve visiting the canyons and waterfalls that abound there. The main river in the park is the Rio Preto, which runs through the Chapada forming beautiful waterfalls along the way. Among these, the most famous ones are the Carioca Falls and the Rio Preto Falls, which impresses visitors as it falls from 120m of height. Another place worth visiting is the Vale da Lua (Moon Valley), a surreal scenery composed of a rock formation full of craters, that give it its name. Among the formations, one will find grottos, waterfalls and natural pools where one can bathe. These are just a few of the park’s attractions, which contains a huge array of waterfalls such as the Poço Encantado (Enchanted Well), Macaquinhos (Little Monkeys), Anjos and Arcanjos (Angels and Archangels) and many more. There are also plenty of hiking trails that will take you through these waterfalls and through the canyons, among the rich fauna and flora that abounds in the park.
If you enjoy spending time in the outdoors and appreciate nature, this is easily one of the best places in Brazil to do so. Whether you want to relax with your family and friends or to have a true adventure in the Cerrado, the Chapada dos Veadeiros is the place for you. So what are you waiting for? Come see for yourself what this hype is all about. I promise you won’t be disappointed.