Imagine a land of red-rock mesas and verdant slopes. A land of quartzite cave systems featuring pristine lakes and subterranean rivers. A place where cake-like layers of arid sediment have been carved by water and wind into caverns and canyons. Chapada Diamantina National Park contains all of these amazing landscapes, making it a breathtaking spot for a Brazil family vacation.
Few landscapes contain more diversity and drama than Chapada Diamantina (Diamond Plateau) National Park. Located in the northeast state of Bahia, this 375,000-acre reserve was created in 1985. But before that, it was the heart of Brazil’s diamond trade.
A Love Affair with Diamonds
In the nineteenth century, a huge vein of diamonds was uncovered by two German prospectors wandering through the region’s unusual landscapes. Their find precipitated a diamond boom. Miners known as garimpeiros quickly flooded the area following the allure of the rare jewels.
Today, the diverse landscapes of the Chapada Diamantina represent an ecotourism jewel and a must-see when you visit Brazil. But not so long ago, its rich landscapes rang out with mining activity, evidenced by the ancient mining trails visitors can still explore today.
The cities bordering the park bear witness to the wealth that once flowed from the area with their lovely colonial architecture. In fact, Brazil was the first world producer of diamonds into the early twentieth century.
Gateway to Chapada Diamantina
The garimpeiros built the town of Lençois as a base camp for their outings into the Chapada Diamantina. In its heyday, Lençois was the third most populous city in Brazil. Today, the city remains the gateway for those wishing to see the Chapada Diamantina.
Lençois features quaint, pastel-colored colonial buildings and cobblestoned streets. It boasts ample comfortable lodgings. Restaurants and cantinas abound, too.
There’s no better spot to rub elbows with locals and park-goers while learning more about the area. Fans of Chapada Diamantina love to share their stories about the best caves, swimming holes, and climbing spots.
Highlights of Chapada Diamantina
The waterfalls of Chapada Diamantina deserve special note. Among the most famous is the Cachoeira de Fumaça. The highest waterfall in Brazil, it drops 1,247 feet.
The force of the wind and the length of the fall mean that the water making the drop doesn’t have sufficient volume to reach the bottom before vaporizing. Instead, these currents dissipate into a breathtaking mist that must be seen to be believed. Other noteworthy waterfalls include the spectacular Cachoeira do Sossego and the Cachoeira do Buracão (pictured below.)
Another popular attraction on a trip to Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina is the Poço Encantado (the Enchanted Pool.) Best visited between April and September, a natural phenomenon at the pool makes it a bright blue color during these months.
Brazil Family Vacation
Chapada Diamantina features breathtaking scenery and a rich history of human settlement. From caves to gorges, canyons to waterfalls, and much more, Chapada Diamantina National Park will make your Brazil vacation unforgettable. You’ll gain a greater appreciation for the earth’s hidden treasures. And you’ll see firsthand ecotourism in action.
Interested in learning more about a Brazil family vacation to Chapada Diamantina? Check out our eight-day Chapada Diamantina/Salvador Adventure.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.