Waterfall Santa Bárbara
Waterfall Santa Bárbara

The most difficult part of organizing a trip to Chapada dos Veadeiros is to decide on a route. Because there is so much to do, so many beautiful places that it is difficult to choose what you will visit and what you will leave for the next time. A good way to choose from is to find out the difficulty levels of the trails and the distance from the place where you will be staying at.
It is important to know that the Chapada attractions are not just within the National Park area. Moreover, it is also worth remembering that the park is closed on Mondays.

See the main attractions according to the level of access (information taken from the Alto Paraíso and São Jorge Attraction Guide):

Easy access trails (distance of one stretch, from Alto Paraíso)
– Cachoeira dos Cristais (waterfall): Cavalcante Way, 5 km of asphalt and 3 km of sand. 400 m walk.
– Almécegas II: Direction São Jorge, 8 km of asphalt and 5 km of sand. 300 m walk.
– Cachoeira Loquinhas (waterfall): 5 km of sand. 800 m walk.
– Flor d’Ouro: Direction Moinho, 12 km of sand. 400 m walk.
– São Bento Waterfall: Direction São Jorge, with 9 km of asphalt. 300 m walk.
– Vale Dourado: Direction São Jorge, 12 km of asphalt and 8 km of sand. 50 m walk.
– Thermal waters: Direction São Jorge, 50 km of asphalt. 150 m walk.
– Well Encantado: Direction Cavalcante, 52 km of asphalt. 200 m walk.

Vale da Lua (Valley of the Moon)
Vale da Lua (Valley of the Moon)

Middle grade tracks
– Almécegas I: Direction São Jorge, with 8 km of asphalt. 3.36 km of sand. 800 m walk.
– Encontro das Águas (Meeting of the Waters): Direction São Jorge, 50 km of asphalt, 6 km of sand. 2 km of walking.
– Cachoeira Anjos e Arcanjos (Waterfall Angels and Archangels): Direction Moinho, 14 km of sand. 2 km of walking.
– Cataratas dos Couros (Leather Falls): Direction Brasilia, 18 km of asphalt, 35 km of sand. 3 km of walking.
– Vale da Lua (Valley of the Moon): Direction São Jorge, 30 km of asphalt. 600 m walk.
– Waterfall Raizama: Direction São Jorge, 38 km of asphalt, 1 km of sand. 2,2 km walk.
– Morada do Sol: Direction St. George, 39 km of asphalt, 1,5 km of sand. 1,6 km walk.
– Waterfalls Santa Bárbara and Capivara: They are in Cavalcante, 109 km of asphalt, 22 km of sand.

Trail with medium to difficult grade
– National Park Saltos: In São Jorge, 36 km of asphalt, 1 km of sand. 5 km of walking.
– Macaquinho Waterfall: Direction Brasília, 13 km of asphalt, 30 km of sand. 1,8 km of walking.
– National Park Canyons: In São Jorge, 36 km of asphalt, 1 km of sand. 5 km of walking.
– Cachoeira do Macaco (Monkey Waterfall): Direction Brasília, 13 km of asphalt, 40 km of sand in 4×4. 2 km of walking.
– Cachoeira do Segredo (Waterfall of the Secret): Direction São Jorge, 48 km of asphalt, 9 km of sand. 7 km of walking.
– Trail of Mirante da Janela: It is in São Jorge. 4 km of walking.

Our 4-day itinerary

Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park

Day 1
We arrived at the airport around 8 am, we got our rented car and at around 12 pm, we were already in Alto Paraíso. We took advantage of the afternoon to get to know Almécegas I and II Waterfalls and São Bento. The three waterfalls are on the São Bento farm. Admission costs $ 30 per person.

Day 2

On the second day, we did the Trail to Mirante da Janela. As the level is medium to difficult, we prefered to hire a guide. But it isn’t mandatory.
The trail is an 8-km round trip and starts near São Jorge. Admission is $ 10. The guide’s daily rate is $ 150 for a group of up to 5 people.
After that trail, we visit the Vale da Lua (Valley of the Moon). The entrance to the Valley is R $ 20.
On the way back, we made a photo stop at Maitreya Garden, which is inside the National Park. But we took the photos from the outside of the fence.

Day 3
On our third day, we took the opportunity to visit Cavalcante, the Kalunga Historical Site and the Santa Barbara and Capivara Waterfalls.
We hired a Kalunga guide at the Tourist Assistance Center in Cavalcante. The guide’s daily rate is $ 80, leaving the center of Cavalcante and $ 70, from the entrance to the Kalunga site. This value is also for up to 5 people.
At this day, whoever wants to combine it, can also visit Poço Encantado.
Avoid visiting Santa Bárbara on weekends, as it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls, therefore it is always packed with people. We went on Monday, but we were told that the ideal is to go on a Tuesday. As the National Park is closed Mondays, a lot of people end up going to Cavalcante.
To enter the Kalunga site, you pay an additional $ 20 per person.

Day 4

Parrots in Cavalcante
Macaws in Cavalcante

We took advantage of our last day to visit a waterfall in the direction of Brasilia, which would be our next destination. We chose the Cataratas dos Couros (Leather Falls), as an indication of the guide that accompanied us at Mirante da Janela. This waterfall is free and no guide is required. But the access by car is very complicated, as the road signs have been damaged.

During our 4-day itinerary, we didn’t enter the National Park, which we didn’t prioritize as the main tracks have a medium to high level.
We tried to participate in a balloon flight, which leaves Alto Paraíso. But on the days we tried, the company failed to fill up a group for a ride. But anyone who wants information about the balloon ride, you can find them on the company’s Instagram @balonismonachapada.

Written in Portuguese by Karla Larissa

Translation by Juliane Boll