Chapada dos Veadeiros - A Natural Escape from the Capital
The Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is the best way to escape Brasilia and enjoy some time with nature in the Brazilian Cerrado ecosystem. The high savannah has its own endemic plant, flower, bird and animal life, and the rugged countryside of the park is home to the highest part of the Brazilian Mid-West. With waterfalls, cliffs, canyons, natural swimming pools and vegetation that is home to maned wolves, giant armadillos and anteaters, then a few days in the park is the best ecotourism option in this part of Central Brazil.
There are many excellent trails for day hikes to peaks with expansive views over the cerrado plains or to waterfalls dropping from the flat-topped mountains, which rise to 1,691m at the Serra da Santana peak. Multi-day treks across the park are also possible, as are mountain bike circuits around the escarpment, with camping under the endless starry nights of the interior. The large amount of waterfalls in Chapada dos Veadeiros mean that Canyoning is a growing adventure activity in the area, with new routes being discovered all the time, and canyons only recently visited by humans for the first known occasion!
Humans have been living in the park for centuries though, and a visit to local quilombo communities that were hidden from the world for hundreds of years is another interesting facet of Chapada dos Veadeiros.
You can also enjoy hot-air balloon rides over all of this impressive landscape, while staying in the main towns such as Alto Paraiso de Goias and Sao Jorge, both of which have an alternative feel, and reputedly an area of special energy, with crystal formations found all over Veadeiros. There are also hot springs at Aguas Quentes, all of which bring nature therapists from all over the world to the area, and perhaps even from beyond! Alto Paraiso is renowned throughout Brazil as the place most visited by UFOs and extraterrestrials!
Other residents of the area make Chapada dos Veadeiros an excellent place for cerrado wildlife obseration, with maned wolf, jaguar, marsh deer, giant anteater, capybara, tapir and armadillo all found in the park. Birdlife is of course well represented too, including toucan and seriema.
Chapada dos Veadeiros has a growing reputation as an adventurous national park, with many ways to explore the countryside under your own power, or just to enjoy the energy and ambience.
Suitable Destination For: Ecotourism and hiking lovers
Best Time to Visit: Chapada dos Veadeiros sits high on the central plateau, making it a hot, dry city. Temperatures will top 30˚C most days, especially in the wet season of December to March. Nights are a little cooler than the tropical coast of Brazil, but should only dip below 20˚C during the winter months of June to August.
Essential Sights & Activities: The park escarpments; Waterfalls such as the Rio Preto, Almecegas and Capivara; Cerrado Wildlife; Trails for Hiking & Biking; Canyons for Canyoning!