The National Park of the Chapada Diamantina is one of the most fascinating natural parks of Brazil. The mountain scenery contains an extraordinary variety of ecosystems, like Cerrado, Mata Atlantica, and Stone fields, Caatinga. The bromeliads and orchids find a privileged ambiance, adapting themselves to the differences in climate and altitude. The mountain tops reach a height of 5,660 feet and they offer shelter to the Jaguatiricas (local breed of feline) pumas, mocós (local rodents), deer’s, teiús (local reptile) and seriemas (local little ostrich) .
The massive quartz pieces, have undergone and resisted erosion, forming towers of minerals known as “TEPUY” by the local Indians of the Maracas and Cariris tribes, who dominated the region before the arrival of the first settlers or bandeirantes, around the year 1750. The most astonishing tepuis reach a height of 4,830 feet and they run across the municipalities of Palmeiras, Lençois e Mucugê .
The cities that border the National park are filled with colonial buildings representing the architecture of the time, a vivid memory of the richness of the time of the diamonds, which made Brazil the first world producer of the mineral. The trails opened by the garimpeiros (searchers of precious minerals) are opened today for the enjoyment of hikers and trekkers from around the world. It is still possible to encounter old garimpeiros in the area, who experienced and lived the diamond rush that made the area famous.
The old diamond capital of Brazil. When mining ceased it left its marks in the architecture and in the tracks left by the diamond miners. Here,the nature is real extravaganza with sierras and mountains such as the wonderful mount of Pai Inácio, with its legends, and a bird’s eye view of the entire region. Lençóis is the heart of Chapada Diamantina, with a complete infrastructure to receive the visitor Who can experience deeply diverse cutural manifestations of the local traditions, especially the São João festivities in june, when everybody gets together to dance around a campfire in the main city square.
The city of caves offers the visitors fascinating scuba-diving in the transparent Waters of the Gruta da Pratinha (cave of Pratinha). It has the Poço Encantado (Magic Well) that is, without a doubt, one of the most fantastic places of the Chapada, with crystal clear waters with visibility up 70 meters deep.
This is where Vale do Capão ( Capon Valley), the Vale do Paty (Paty Valley) and the majestic Fumaça waterfall (Smoke Waterfall), which is 420 meters high, are located. The district of Caeté-Açú, a pretty village, has good infrastructure for the visitor and is the paradise of the so called alternative and mystic communities.
The main rivers of the area begin in the hidden rocks of the Chapada. The Paraguaçu and the de Contas rivers cave deep canyons in the hills and planes, creating a scenery of divine beauty in the Fumaça Waterfall (1,400 feet long, the highest fall in the country), the caves of Iraguara and the Enchanted Cave or Poço Encantado.
The National Park of Chapada Diamantina was established in 1985 and it is currently undergoing the implementation process, administered by the Ibama (Environmental Institute of Brazil -Instituto Brasileriro de Meio Ambiente), headquartered in Palmeiras.