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Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
Brazil is famous for its beautiful coast and for having the wonderful Amazon Forest. But it is much more than that: the singularities of each region, the different landscapes, and the incredibly different range of destinations to visit, they all make it a complex destination, with too many different options. I am Brazilian and I still need to visit so many places there. But there is one special place that many visitors don’t hear about and I need to tell you: if you love being in nature, trekking or hiking, bathing in a waterfall, or experiencing local fruits and food, don’t miss out on Chapada Diamantina! It is a large mountain region in the center of Bahia State, a couple of hours distant from Salvador Airport. You can get there by bus or rent a car and drive about 6 hours to Lençóis, the most touristic city there, which has more structure of hotels and restaurants. I went to Chapada in April 2022 to spend a few weeks, working online and enjoying the free days. And I had been there before also, in 2017.
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You could spend months in Chapada and still don’t visit all the waterfalls and trails there, but I will recommend to you some stunning places that you must visit in 5 days, easier trails that anyone can do. If you go alone, you can hire these tours with any local agency there. If you go in groups, you can still get there by bus and hire the tours, or you can rent a car in Salvador and drive to Lençóis. Day 1 – Mosquito Waterfall and Devil’s Pit The car took us to Mosquito Waterfall, which is located inside a private farm, about 1 hour away from the city. The hike is easy, about 15-20 minutes to get down there, open trail, with flat rocks on the path and stairs to go down the hills. This waterfall is huge and so impressive. What I like the most about it, is that you can actually go under the strong fall and feel that power of the water, and all the canyons around, it is just wow! We spent an hour there. (If you go by yourself, the entrance fee costs about 30 reais). We went back to the car and headed to Devil’s Pit, another 1-hour drive to the other side. You can have lunch, there is cheap and delicious local food at the entrance and a small cafe and store to buy gifts. It is also a short hike, easy path, and very accessible. In 15 minutes you will be at a great waterfall with a huge deep pool to swim in. You can also swim all the way to the fall and bathe there, or just enjoy the sun on the rocks and the view.
Day 2 – Enchanted Pit and Blue Pit This tour takes you to see Caves with beautiful blue water, especially during the period when the Sun hits inside the rocks and you can see a beautiful flashlight. They are both far away from the city, so it’s a long journey by car. The car took us to Enchanted Pit first, there you can’t go inside the water. It is a place of contemplation, beautiful! Then they took us later to Blue Pit, where you can also have local lunch or snacks while waiting for your turn to go down inside the cave (they take turns because you can only let a few people go at each time). We took a shower to clean the body, put a safety vest, and got the snorkeling mask. In this one, you can float inside the water for about 20 minutes. You can see some fish, and how transparent and clear is the water, how deep is the pit. It is beautiful, and a very special experience.
Day 3 – Fumaça Waterfall (view it from up the hill) This is one of the highest waterfalls in Brazil, surrounded by marvelous canyons. You should not miss it! Although you might check with the locals if there is water running on the waterfall when you go, sometimes it can be dry if it hasn’t been raining for long, then I don’t recommend it. This hike to go on top of the waterfall is medium level, it takes 2 hours to get to the edge of the canyon, where you can see the waterfall. It is a 2 km way up, climbing for about an hour (this is the most exhaustive part, but you don’t need to rush, the guide will follow your time). Then the next 1 hour is only a flat easy trail, with a nice landscape to appreciate. Once you get there, you will have time to have a snack enjoy the scenery, and lie on the edge of the cliff (be careful, it can be scary) to have a better view of the fall. We got insane photos and videos looking down the cliff! In this hike, you can’t bathe in the waterfall, you are only on top of the canyon. Once we went down again, we got the car and went to another waterfall on the way back, where you can enjoy a good swim during sunset. It is only a 10-minute hike down, easy after the long hiking, just to refresh.
Day 4 – Muritiba Park This is a municipal park very close to the city, we only walked 20 minutes to get to the park. There is a circuit inside with different trails and many attractions to see, from waterfalls and pits, to colored sand rocks. I recommend that you do it always with a guide. The first attraction when you go inside the park is Serrano Pools, the combination of big unique rock formations with big holes, and running water from the river flowing down the hill, which results in several natural pools that are like hot tubes (but not hot). We followed the path inside the trees to reach Cachoeirinha (little waterfall), which is a pretty shallow pool with a great fall where you can bathe. Then we went uphill to the viewpoint, where you can see the whole town. This is the hardest part, but not too much, just a bit exhaustive to go up. Then we continued to Paradise Pit, where you can swim, and Spring Waterfall, where you just watch and take photos. And then we reached Halley Pit, my favorite one! You have many rocks to walk around, a tiny fall on the flow of the river, and a big pit to swim. Beautiful surrounding! The last attraction was the colored sand saloon, a very old rock formation where the guide showed us different colors of sand from them. We finished the circuit back to the start, it was a very good day!
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
Here go some special recommendations of places to eat in the city, in the evening after your tours: – Quilombola – you can try the local special dish: banana godó (it is mixed with different types of meat and served with rice) – Sabor da Serra – I loved the dry meat and pumpkin risotto, but they have many good options. – Cozinha Aberta – If you are a gastronomic person, this is the place. They have original creations there. – Lampião – traditional northeastern dishes
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
Some more tips: – If you are not alone, then I can recommend you to rent a car – you can save a lot not hiring agency tours, just a single guide to go around with you. – Take cash with you, to pay for entrance fees and local restaurants around the trails (if you are with the agency might not be necessary). – Avoid the rainy season, the best time to go there is between April and September. During June, there are local traditional parties for about 2 weeks, it is a very special time there (also more expensive and crowded, just have it in mind). It is wintertime in Brazil, but still warm during the day. Just take a coat for the night.
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