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"What a place... (Pratinha's Cave) "
The first towns of Chapada were built up by the first prospectors of Brazil. The guys built the towns with stones to barely shelter them and soon they raised temples to pray, as it was the tradition. But some of them were never concluded as "Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Conceição dos Lençóis" that is to be finish since 1856. Now the children of the city plays ball among the ruins or just stay on top of the unfinished walls to talk.
" In "Poço Encantado" (Charmed Well) a light enters inside of the grotto as a laser beam and dips through the crystalline water. The stones that are seen at the bottom of the well are 50 meters of depth in spite of seeming that they are 2 meters far, thanks to the transparency of the water."
Another place that seems a ghost city, is the constructions of Igatu town, located in the municipal district of Andaraí. It has already been a great point of extraction of diamonds, but after its decline, one can only find ghostly ruins there. In fact, in Chapada one will find ruins dispersed on several places but they lack a more detailed study. It is not known if they are works from before Brazil's discover, Portuguese constructions, or even remaining ruins of the pioneers' trips who passed by the area around century XVI.
|"Stalactites and enormous stalagmites were formed inside of the grottos|
Several cities exist around Chapada. The ones that stand out are: Utinga, Jussiape, Rio de Contas, Ituaçu, Mucugê, Lençóis, Andaraí, Boninal, Morro do Chapéu, Ibicoara, Iraquara, Paramirim, Itaetê, Palmeiras and Piatã.
Waterfalls: (click on the names in blue to see the picture)
It is impossible to mention or to describe all of the waterfalls that exist in Chapada, unless it is written a book only on that. I'm going to mention the most important and show pictures of some of them. To arrive to most of them it is necessary a guide that knows the area and a lot of disposition for long walks. The main and most beautiful one is Smoke's Waterfall, with more than 420 meters, it is the tallest of Brazil. It is so high that the water turns into smoke before touching the ground. It is between Palmeiras and Lençóis.
"WOW! This waterfall is so high... "
There are several other waterfalls as: Patrício and Cochó in Piatã; of Piabinha, Siberia, Tibutino and of Matinha, in Mucugê; of Capivari, Mandassaia, Mosquito, in Lençóis; do Agreste, André Mocó, Acaba Seco, Ferro Doido in Morro Chapéu; Conceição dos Gatos, Riachinho, Purificação, Águas Claras, in Palmeiras; Caiçara, Mel, in Iraquara; 3 Barras, Donana, Ramalho, in Andaraí; Raposo, Fraga, in Rio de Contas; do Encantado, in Itaetê; da Moenda, in Ituaçu; do Bucurão, Rio Preto, Santo Antônio, in Ibicoara; do Cantagalo, in Jussiape; dos Índios, Cutia in Boninal; da Mariazinha, in Utinga, besides several others, having in mind that in the winter the number of waterfalls increases significantly thanks to the rains.
"Take a look at this view! "
Except for Encantado and Azul Wells (extraordinary), where the sunshine enters in the Grotto and makes the water phosphorescent blue, in all the others it is allowed to swim. In those two, the diving is prohibited by Ibama because the tourists were dirtying and messing it. The others: Diabo (Devil), Cardoso, Rio Preto and D'areia.
Pratinha is not a well, but a lake of crystalline and blue water as a swimming pool. It is an obligatory visit.
"My god, the waters in Gruta Azul (Blue Grotto) is really blue! "
If you enjoy visiting grottos, Chapada is the right place. There is a lot there. The caves are found everywhere. It is rare to find municipal district that doesn't have them, they are hundreds, dispersed on the area. In Iraquara the number is larger due to the underground that has more limestone. The knownest grottos are the ones of Pratinha and Lapa Doce, in Iraquara. There are also other grottos: Boa Eperança in Utinga, Brejões in Morro Chapéu, Mangabeira in Ituaçu, Bonilha in Jussiape, besides several other less known.
"There is a fabulous view from the top of "Morro do Pai Inácio" (Pai Inácio's Hill)."
The summit of the Northeast of Brazil is located in Chapada Diamantina. The hills and mountains have a very typical format, sometimes reminding the lunar surface. The hills of Chapada are an attraction as any other of the place. Chapada's postcard is Pai Inácio's Hill, a pleasant surprise in the middle of the highway. Besides him, we have the one of the Camel and Tabor also in the municipal district of Palmeiras; "Pico das Almas" (Peak of the Souls) and Barbado's in Rio de Contas, "Pico da Itubira" in Jussiape, "Serra da Tromba" and "do Navio" in Piatã, "Serra do Rio Preto" in Ibicoara, "Serra do Atalaia" in Utinga and "Serra do Sincorá" that, in the past, attracted countless adventurers in search of the mineral wealth existent in that place.
"The view of the Hills is awesome."
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Tips by GUSTAVO VIVACQUA
1. If you want to stay in just one of the cities of the area to know the places, the best option is Lençóis.
2. You'll need a guide. It is always good to walk with someone for not getting lost. A good tip is to catch a young guide that it is cheaper or even for free.
3. If you will go for great walks (3 days), seek a guide or go with somebody that already knows the area. It is easy to get lost there .
4. Bring a tent and all of your camping equipment.
5. Dive mask or even swimming glasses helps a lot there.
6. You can visit the main attractions by car or van rented in travel agencies of Lençóis. The only extraordinary place, that you have to go up a hill for 1:00 or 2:00, walking, is "Cachoeira da Fumaça" (Smoke's Waterfall), a worthwhile effort.
7. It's better to spend more than one week there to get to know the place well.
8. The highway is asphalted despite several holes along it, so avoid travelling for it during the night.
9. Bring repellent.
10. In several attractions it is necessary to spend about R$5 as preservation tax, so get ready to spend a little more than expected.
11. When it begins to rain, avoid to cross the stream of Smoke's Waterfall, there was a guy who fell from there and died. It is a fall of 400 meters! Be also careful for not being very close to the cliffs. Be careful on that area, any kind of help is many hours far.
12. "Haxi, Chapada is wonderful!!!! The walk for Smoke's Waterfall is tiresome, but it is worthwhile. And you can't be afraid of going to the tip of the rock (lowered, of course!) You cannot miss, also, visiting "Casa da geléia" (House of Jams)! The best place to stay is Lençóis! Oh, an important tip: if the walk doesn't include lunch, it is good to take a snack, because you'll certanly be hungry!!! And don't forget to ask for the guide to tell the story of Pai Inácio's hill! "tip from Robertinha
13" Besides Lençóis, it is also worth to spend some time in "Vale do Capão" (Capão's Valley) but to arrive there, only by car. Smoke's Waterfall is nearer there, and you could also climb "Morrão" (Big Hill). It is a tough walk, but it is worthwhile... the view is WONDERFUL!!!!! Chapada is WONDERFUL! "tip from Amanda Lee
14. there is only one bus company operating between Salvador and Lençóis. Prefer the trips during the day, because the highway are in terrible conditions and the buses are being robbed by night. When you arrive in Lençóis, if you're intending do go for some trails, seek a guide registered in the association of local guides, because there are a lot of inexperienced people working without license". tip from Diane Amêndola Itanhaém/SP
15. "If you go to Lençóis, visit "Ribeirão do Meio" (Stream of the middle). It is a fantastic place! There trail is a half hour long, but it is really cool. Arriving there, you will love the natural slide, full of people slipping on it". tip from Clarute
16. My name is Valéria Muniz, I live in the Chapada Diamantina, close to Itaie, where it is located the Charmed Well. I live in a city called Rumo that is a district of Itaite, a very pleasant place, where you find "Cachoeira Encantada" (Charmed Waterfall), Barrigudinha, with natural slides and several other points. The place is not well known, so I invite you to come to visit my place anytime. " tip from Valeira muniz
17. "Chapada Diamantina is certainly one of the most beautiful places of Brazil!! it is worthwhile, besides the walks suggested by Haxi (that are simply extraordinary), also visit "Caldeirões do Serrano" (only 30 minutes from Lençóis), and to do rappel in "Gruta do Lapão" (Lapão's Grotto). Oh, other extraordinary walk is "Cachoeira do Sossego" (Peaceful Waterfall)... it is a difficult walk, but the beauty of the place compensates (it is possible to dive in the waterfall)... On the way back, stop at "Ribeirão do Meio" for a quick swim... Awesome!! " tip from Ana - São Paulo
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