National Park Chapada Diamantina

Chapada Diamanta is a national park in Bahia state, located near Lencois, about four hundred kilometers west of Salvador, the capital. While “chapada” means a land of steep cliffs in Portuguese, “diamanta” refers to the diamonds found in the area. Originally inhabited by the indigenous Maracas and Cariris tribes, it is now one of Brazil’s most popular ecological attractions, featuring wind-swept plains, table-top mesas, and spectacular cliffs.

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A Chapada

Chapada Diamantina’s 1520 square kilometers are an ecological paradise for the rugged traveler. There is little tourism infrastructure, but a network of hundreds of kilometers of trails, and camping in or around the parks’ caves is free. Equipment such as sleeping bags, tents, and cookstoves can be rented at a couple of places for reasonable prices.

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Activities and Attractions
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Visitors will enjoy the Cachoeira do Sossego waterfall, which terminates in a deep pool with surrounding rock ledges, offering ample opportunities for diving. Gruta de Lapao is an enormous sandstone cave, located 5 kilometers north of Lencois. Another delightful hike is to the top of Brazil’s largest waterfall, Cachoeira de Fumaca. Although 420 meters tall, the water has evaporated to mist by the time it reaches the bottom. For all of these treks, hiring a guide is highly recommended.

=> To hire a guide, visit the Associacao dos Condutores de Visitantes de Lencois, located at Rua 10 de Novembro 22. Their phone number is 3334 1425.

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Accommodation
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While the park itself has no hotels, there is lodging in the surrounding towns:

Pousada Candomba
Rua das Mangas
3344 1102
www.infochapada.com

Pousada Ecologica
Andarai (located by the riverside)
3335 2176
www.pousadaecologicadeandarai.com.br

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How to get there
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Chapada Waterfall

Buses leave daily from the Salvador bus terminal, as well as flights into the Coronel Horacio de Mattos Airport. Currently only one airline, TRIP Linhas Aereas, offers flights. While there is some bus service for tourists within the park, it is quite limited, so be prepared to walk, or arrange your own transportation.

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=> You can arrange your flight from Salvador through this website: www.voetrip.com.br
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