Striking orange-red sandstone walls – trademarks of Chapada dos Guimaraes – give welcome to tourists that dock in the city, just 50 km from the capital Cuiabá (Mato Grosso). Gateway National Park, the town that bears the same name as the reserve offers comfortable lodgings, cozy restaurants and a small square (where is the bucolic Santana Church) that, on weekends, works as Handicraft Market during the day and meeting point for the visitors when night falls.
11 km from the town center, the park created in the late 80s covers an area of 330 km. The perfect setting combines cerrado, waterfalls and canyons, and cave paintings and rock formations that fill the eyes of ecotourists and esoteric.
The many trails, cleared on foot or by bike, lead to natural viewpoints that arise mountain ranges and, on clear days, may be seen from the Pantanal and Cuiaba capital.
The highways leading to the Chapada postcard: Bridal Gown waterfall, 86 meters fall, panoramic views and beautiful overflights of scandalous scarlet macaws. Downstairs there is a well of crystal clear water, but bathing is prohibited.
Also noteworthy Stone Town, framed by jagged rocks that refer to medieval castles. The formations are spread by canyons that reach 350 meters high amid cliffs also attended by the macaws. The lush and varied vegetation of the cerrado can be enjoyed throughout the ride.
Who is fit have to include in the script trekking towards the hill of St. Jerome, the highest in the region, with 836 meters of altitude. Seven hours of walking and climbing – round trip. The effort is worth taking into account the wide landscape.
It is worth noting that the park has free admission, but all rides require scheduling and tracking guides (except the gazebo Bride ‘s Gown).
Outside the reserve there are many beauties. One of the most charming is the Aroe Jari cave, a giant sandstone cave – 10 meters high by 60 meters wide – with inscriptions. A whole also includes the Blue Lagoon, transparent waters and banned diving. The complex is 46 km from Chapada and also is accessible only with accompanying guides .
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