Are You Ready for Brazil?

The Canyons & Waterfalls of South Brazil

3-7 Nights

This tour of the canyon-lands of Southern Brazil takes you to enjoy some of the finest views in Brazil, with canyons, waterfalls, rainforest, high meadows, lagoons, beach and ocean all making part of panoramas, often from the same spot!

Our Hiking Tours of Brazil are all basic ideas that can be tailor-made to match your requirements. Any tour can include one or more destinations, and can be purely dedicated to hiking, although some mountains may include a little climbing that is still suitable for those without much experience. We can also arrange serious climbing trips. We can also mix them with other activities such as climbing, kayaking or tandem hang-gliding flights, some regular tourism, and some nightlife. We include all that you need during your trip, the accommodation with breakfast; all airport transfers and other road journeys; any activities and excursions with English-speaking guides and relevant entrance fees; plus some popular extras. For our Hiking Tours of Brazil, you only need to bring your favourite hiking boots and regular outdoor clothing and equipment. Any parts where a little climbing is necessary will include ropes, helmets and safety harnesses. All hikes and climbs are undertaken with an experienced, qualified local guide, with activity insurance included. 

This tour of the canyon-lands of Southern Brazil takes you to enjoy some of the finest views in Brazil, with canyons, waterfalls, rainforest, high meadows, lagoons, beach and ocean all making part of panoramas, often from the same spot!

Trails take you upriver to the mouths of canyons, with vertical walls towering hundreds of metres above, or across the high meadows above to the very edge of vertical drops. Some of the highest waterfalls in Brazil drop into the canyons, and close up views of them from above and below make part of every day. Birds, butterflies and dragonflies colour the trails, along with the native vegetation. Monkey and deer are other possible sightings during this tour along the borders of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina states. 

This tour can be tailored to weather and ground conditions, especially considering cloud cover and river levels. Horse-rides, rapelling, climbing and ziplines are also possible inclusions. Multi-day treks and horse-rides can also be organised in the right season, national park rules permitting. 

The twin towns of Canela and Gramado make a convenient final stop in the rolling hills of Rio Grande do Sul, with more waterfall and valley trails, riding of gaucho horses, and wine-tasting possible in the area. 

This area is still rarely visited by foreign tourists, but with so many natural delights then your tour of the canyonlands is sure to open your eyes to the natural wonders of South Brazil. 

  • Destinations: Santa Catarina - Porto Alegre & Rio Grande do Sul
  • Duration: 3-7 Nights
  • Trip Style: Adventure
  • Activities: Hiking & Trekking - Ecotourism

Brazil Adventure Tours provide you with ideas for tours of Brazil and South America, with all being completely flexible with regards to dates, duration or the tours, activities and classes that we can include. Our website tours are our recommendations based on our experience of how to make the very best of your time in South America. We can adjust these details in any way that you wish, with a little advice from us of course. We can combine any of our destinations that you wish to visit into one tour, and for however long you wish to visit them. Any of our Traditional and Adventure tours can also be combined in whichever way you prefer. We are here to organise a tour that suits you after all, not the other way around!

Day 1 : Arrive in the Canyonlands
Porto Alegre to Praia Grande
After flying to Porto Alegre, the southern-most state capital in Brazil, you pick up your hire car at the airport and begin the journey to the canyonlands. A quick look around the historic parts of the city centre is possible before you hit the highway heading north on the coastal plain. After passing various lagoons you reach the border with Santa Catarina, and head inland to the base of the Serra Geral range, the southern reaches of the Serra do Mar, which connect the high plateau with the coastal plain along thousands of kms of Brazilian coastline. The small town of Praia Grande sits below the escarpments of the Aparados da Serra, and will be your base for the next few days of activities.
Day 2 : Malacara & Indios Coroadas Canyons
Praia Grande
Your first hike has you heading out from Praia Grande up the Rio Malacara. Your guide knows the points to enter and cross the river that comes down from the canyon, with parts of the hike in water and parts through the vegetation at the sides. The trail is coloured by butterflies and dragonflies as you make your way up to the mouth of Malacara Canyon. A waterfall swim is the final stop with the canyon walls above. After returning for lunch, a drive up the Serra do Faxinal and a 20min trail across the high meadows take you to the Indios Coroados Canyon, with spectacular views to the waterfall and down over Praia Grande to the ocean 1,000m below.
Day 3 : Rio do Boi Trail Hike
Praia Grande
The most spectacular day hike in the canyons takes the 8km trail up into the Itaimbezinho Canyon, the most famous of the region. The trail begins with a short drive to the park gates with your guide, before you enter the vegetation and hike up to the mouth of the canyon. The River of the Cow must be crossed a few times during this full day hike, with the vertical canyon walls encroaching on either side as you make your way upriver. A picnic lunch after you reach the furthest point comes with a view of the Veu da Noiva falls, tumbling from the plateau some 500m above the canyon base. You return by a different trail, conditions permitting, high above the river.
Day 4 : Itaimbezinho & Fortaleza Canyons
Praia Grande
A day on the top of canyons takes you up to Cambara do Sul and along a dirt road brings a first stop at the Tigre Preto Falls. Here you can stand in the middle of the river and watch the water drop into the huge Fortaleza Canyon. A trail to the Pedra do Segredo gives views all the way down the canyon and even to the sea. Next stop is the entrance to the 5km long canyon, with more vertigo-inducing trails, including the one to the highest point in the area. On the way back, a stop at Itaimbezinho has trails to view the Veu da Noiva and Andorinhas falls dropping into the 600m deep canyon, with the 3km Cotovelo having views to the narrow canyon entrance, and the 1km Vertice trail taking you around both sides.
Day 5 : Pedra Branca & Borges Waterfall
Praia Grande
Exploring a little further along the bottom of the escarpment, a half hour trail through the rainforest arrives at the bottom of Cachoeira dos Borges, with a 70m drop that you can feel for yourselves from the pool below! The trail to the 846m peak of Pedra Branca affords wonderful views for those who can handle the scramble up a tough trail. Alternative options include horse rides, climbing and rapelling, ziplines and even multi-day treks around the edges of the canyons, with camp made along the way. Multi-day horse rides are also a possibility, depending on the season and whether they are permitted at the time by the park authorities.
Day 6 : Gramado & Canela
Praia Grande to Canela
The final day of your stay in southern Brazil involves a three hour drive to the hill towns of Gramado and Canela. The journey can be done on the coastal highway and the Rota do Sol highway to the plateau, or it can be done on the dirt roads above the canyons. Josafa Canyon can make a convenient stop en route. These twin towns are one of the most popular spots in the gaucho state of Rio Grande do Sul, an escape from the big cities nearby. The rolling hills and green valleys are host to vineyards, araucari pine forests and waterfalls, while the towns are famous for the gaucho cowboy culture and a European feel which makes them very popular with Brazilian tourists.
Day 7 : Caracol Waterfall
Canela to Porto Alegre & Away
The final stop can be the Caracol Waterfall close to Canela. The lush surrounds open for wonderful views of this large falls, with steps down to the base, and trails heading up the white-water river as well. Another idea for your final morning is a horse-ride through the pine-forests, finishing with a view of Caracol from high up on a gaucho steed. There only remains a 120km highway drive back to Porto Alegre and the airport for your flight away, with a chance to look around Gramado during the journey. Your time in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina takes in canyons, waterfalls, rivers, rainforest, meadows, lagoons, beaches, ocean, all as part of some of the finest views in Brazil.
PRICES Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Per Adult * On Request On Request On Request On Request
Domestic Flights ** N/A

Suggested Hotels Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Santa Catarina
Porto Alegre & Rio Grande do Sul


* Prices vary depending on travel dates and flight availability. Peak periods in Brazil including Carnaval, public holidays and Christmas/New Year usually require a minimum number of nights, so in these cases itineraries may need to be changes. ** Domestic flight prices are estimated on typical values when reserved 6 months before travel. Prices can never be guaranteed until reservations are made though, and do usually become more expensive closer to the travel period.

Do I require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil and other countries visited during this tour?

Citizens of many countries require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil, organised in advance at your nearest Brazil Consulate.
Please check details for visa requirements for your country on our Brazil Tourist Visa page.
Also, for details of your nearest Brazil Consulate in case you do require a Tourist Visa, please visit our Brazil Consulates page.

Do I need any special vaccinations for the areas visited during this tour?

Visitors to Brazil and South America are advised to always check the latest health information from your local doctors or travel clinic.
You may be advised to take a course of Malaria tablets. Yellow Fever Vaccine is highly recommended/essential for the Pantanal & Amazon region, plus the certificate to prove it, and possibly Hepatitis A and B Vaccines.
Please check our Brazil Vaccinations for further information.

What is the best time of year for this tour?