Chapada Diamantina National Park

Chapada Diamantina Waterfall

Chapada Diamantina National Park was established to preserve the region’s mountainous canyon country, river valleys and vegetation ranging from orchids and bromeliads to cactus. After much community campaigning, the federal government designated the area as a national park in 1985 and eliminated diamond mining within the park’s boundaries. An historic area of diamond deposits, many of the park’s trails are old prospector routes. Established in 1994, the Fundacao Chapada Diamantina, a private foundation, supports the park through conservation activities, research and advocacy.
Named for the highlands and the treasures it once held, the Chapada Diamantina is massive, 587 square miles, located in Bahia’s interior, 250 miles west of Salvador. It’s a trek to get there for visitors on Brazil tours, but once they arrive, what a trek the terrain provides. Adventure vacationers are attracted here during their travel to Brazil by the stark beauty of its mesa landscape that may be traversed on foot, mountain bike or horseback; and verdant valleys that contain a multitude of caves as well as pools and waterfalls that are as scenic as they are relaxing, where swimming, snorkeling and diving are possible. 
Chapada Diamantina Rappel

Trails lead to the highest mesas, including 4,068-ft Morro do Pai Inacio, affording extraordinary views and ethereal photos. Adventurers enjoy the hang gliding here, climbers the opportunity to rappel down its face and photographers, the views, especially at sunset. Thrill seekers who travel to Brazil have other locations in the park to amuse them, such as abseiling and flying fox into Poco do Diabol, an indigo pool that glows when sunshine hits it.
Half-mile long Gruta Lapa Doce is by most opinions the park’s most beautiful cave because of its remarkable dimensions. Gruta Torrinha, the world’s largest quartzite cave, is known for its stalactites. Among the most impressive of the park’s waterfalls, though by no means Brazil’s largest, is Cachoeira da Fumaca (Smoke Waterfall) that appears to generate smoke at the end of its 1,200-ft fall because only mist remains. Swimming opportunities on Brazil tours in the park are exotic. Waterfalls cascade into some of the natural pools, and the experience of swimming in the crystal clear waters of Pratinha, what remains of an ancient sea, will never leave you.
Most visitors on these Brazil tours to Chapada Diamantina also travel a few miles southeast of the park to swim in Poco Azul and to gaze at what sunlight does to the hues of 120-ft deep Poco Encantado.
Chapada Diamantina Cave Pool

On the eastern border of the park lies the small Marimbus Wetlands where a very different experience is possible, traveling through the marsh by canoe where wetland bird species as well as caimans and capybaras may be encountered.
Lencois, a historic diamond mining town, is the closest population center of any size. Several other small mining towns with craft markets are located on the periphery of the park or inside the park itself. 
Because of the park’s size and the nature of its terrain, a guided tour is the best way for visitors to enjoy Chapada Diamantina during their travel to Brazil. Permits are necessary to visit certain areas and to engage in some activities. One of Southern Explorations’ Brazil tours visits Chapada Diamantina National Park, the thirteen-day Bahia Rhythms, Canyons & Beaches trip. This beautiful region can also be added to any custom tour.