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"I am going to visit the caves."
PETAR is between the cities of Iporanga and Apiaí, which are at "Vale do Alto Ribeira" (High Riverside Valley), at the south of the state of São Paulo, close to the boundary with Paraná.
To arrive there, take Regis Bitencourt highway, starting from São Paulo or Curitiba. Then just follow the sequence: Jacupiranga, Eldorado, Iporanga. To go to "Ouro Grosso" and Santana's nuclei, proceeded for more 14 kilometers on dirt road, heading "Bairro da Serra".
"Gee!!! "Caverna do Morro Preto" (Black Hill's Cave) is huge! "
PETAR was created in 1958 and there are more than 250 caves that makes PETAR the place with largest concentration of caves, grottos and abysses of Brazil.
"Bairro da Serra" (Neighborhood of the Mountain) - it is at 14Km from the central area of Iporanga, it is close to "Ouro Grosso" Nucleus and about 3Km from Santana's Nucleus. It is the favorite place for most visitors.
|"To arrive in the caves it is necessary to cross several rivers."|
Four nuclei exist for visitation:
# Casa de Pedra
# Caboclos (Apiaí)
|"This is "Vale do Alto Ribeira" (High Riverside Valley)."|
Santana's Nucleus - it is located at 3 Km from the "Bairro da Serra", in Iporanga. Close to the entrance there is a kiosk, where the trails that take to the distant caves begin, taking you to "Caverna Água Suja" (Dirt Water Cave), "Cachoeiras das Andorinhas e Betarizinho" (Swallows and Beatarizinho Waterfalls), "Caverna Santana" (Cave Santana), "Caverna Morro Preto" (Black Hill's Cave). Santana Nucleus is the most visited because it has a camping area, with sanitariums, laundry and clinic.
"'Casa de Pedra' (House of Stone) is the largest cave entrance of the world! "
"Caverna Água Suja" (Dirt Water Cave) - it is about 2Km from Santana's Nucleus Kiosk. The whole visit can be made inside of the water, but at no the more than 1,5m of depth. Some of its rooms have more than 20 meters of height. At the visit's end, there is a waterfall of about 2m of fall, at about 500m from the entrance.
"The night at the city is very calm."
"Caverna Santana" (Santana's Cave) - can only be visited accompanied by guides. The total length of its galleries reaches more than 6Km. A part of the cave is totally accessible to the public, with wood stairways and bridges built where the access is more difficult.
"The rivers' waters are crystal clear."
"Caverna Morro Preto" (Black Hill's Cave) - it is at about 500m from the Kiosk. It has the most beautiful entrance, because of an enormous room right at its the mouth. Going down for 3 meters, there is another huge room, where it was found tracks of prehistoric men. There is an internal observatory from where one can see the entrance from the inside.
"Caverna do Couto" (Couto's Cave) - located right under the Black Hill's Cave, it has one of its entrances next to Black Hill's Cave's. Under this entrance, a waterfall is formed, with the water that comes from within from the cave. The entrance is very small with less than 2m of height and 1m of width, but inside it is very big and beautiful.
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Tips by GUSTAVO VIVACQUA
1. The best place to sleep is at the lodgings at "Bairro da Serra" or camped inside of the "Caboclos" Nucleus.
2. Don't forget to bring a flashlight.
3. Allways inform in the guides station to where you're going. They are there to look after you. Some people got lost for up to two days, because they didn't inform the guides
4. You have to pay a tax every day, for each person. Reservations and information for the telefones:(15) 552 1528 (Núcleo Santana)
5. There is some nightlife, during the holidays, at "Bairro da Serra" and also at Iporanga's downtown.
6. Don't go alone in caves, go with at least one more person.
7. Use helmet. It seems silly, but head bangs are inevitable. And it hurts a lot.
8. Don't leave anything inside the caves. Bring back everything you took inside there.
9. Be careful with the stalactites and stalagmites. They are waiting for your visit for thousands of years.
10. Choose a pair of trainers just to wet. You will have to pass inside of several rivers.
11. Don't miss visiting the Grottos Black Hill, Dirty Water, and House of Stone.
12. "In Iporanga, don't miss drinking "Leite de Onça" (jaguar's milk) at JJ's bar at "Bairro do Serra"... "tip from Marcelo Menezes - Curitiba-PR
13. "Every afternoon end, the residents play the guitar at Saturnino's bar - a simple and pleasant place! " tip from Rodrigo Papov - São José dos Pinhais - PR
14. "People... don't miss visiting JJ's bar at Santana's nucleus. Besides very odd drinks, the people are very receptive and nice. " tip from Glauciana Monteiro Nunes - Bauru - SP.
15. "People, the best of Iporanga is to talk to Zaca and Maurice. The guys give all the tips to enjoy the park and the city. They also teach how those caves were formed and about the old people who lived there.... See ya". tip from Luciano Hermes Gonçalo Gonçalo - RJ
16. "Congratulations. I am a protector of the caves. I have been searching the Internet, looking for signs of environmental impact on the pictures of the sites related to the theme. The problem is serious, and we need to stand up for it. Unhappily, in the last times, with the growing number of radical sports practicers, anybody, many without the technical knowledge sensitivity, who think they are speleologists. The adventure of the human spirit, in the search of knowledge, cannot be exercised without Reason and Sensitivity. Sensibility is the key word for the good development of the Speleology not only focused on the exploration, but also committed with the protection of the underground kingdom. I have been observing that the groups that frequent the areas of caves and make sites, most of the times present, at the opening, that old cliché "Don't take anything from the caves, and only leave footprints". This statement is absurd! And what if you leave footprints on a "travertino"? That is worse than those paintings on rocks. The more beautiful the espeleotema is, the more they want to take pictures on it. Take Great Travertino in Grotto of Temimina for exemple, I found several pictures of "speleologist" about that magnificent formation. Many of them wrote about Santana's Cave situation, in PETAR. Well then, last year, I was at Cave of the Dream and right at the entrance, when observing with attention the ground, before stepping, I saw a beautiful formation. ALL!!! the ground of that cave is very beautiful and fragile, and Santana, in some tourist passages, has already been like that. It is impossible to enter into Cave of the Dream without environmental impacts. Then, I didn't enter in Cave of the Dream. Man has always been fascinated by the caves, the Archeology teach us that the occupation of the entrance area of caves is old. If Man from the past hadn't penetrated these caves for lack of illumination technology, or for respect, or taboo, or whatever, the fact is that today find virgin caves. And to enter a virgin cave, is the same as touching it, and that is deeply incoherent, because we say that we loved the caves. I believe that from the caves nothing can be taken away, but our experiences, lived on these Geological Temples, and in the caves nothing should be left, even footprints, because if we walk by the water and sandy passages, without any speleotem species, we won't "Santanize". We need to learn how to dream, because in virgin caves, we can only enter in our dreams... "tip from Steve Johnson.
17. "In Iporanga, there is a hostel called "CAPITÃO CAVERNA", and it is very cozy and cheap! Jana's mother's food is wonderful and the people is very hospitable. Check it out! Kisses "tip from Cíntia Vaz Godinho
18 "Never enter into a cave with company, or with an experienced guide, because the risks of suffering some accident or to get lost are big" tip from Bruno Freitas - Paulo Paulo SP
19. "Hi, people. My name is Ricardo Joaçaba from Santa Catarina. I've been to Santana's nucleus with more or less 40 people last year. It was great! And this year i'm sending a another group.The guide that accompanied us was Mr. Hélio, with 3 more monitors. We made groups of 10 and went into the caves. It's a shame we couldn't visit devil's cave, for lack of time. But this time we will get to know it and enjoy the radical sports of yours. The people who went last year and the ones that are going this year are academics of "tourism and hotel administration" from the west university of saint catarina (unoesc).” tip from Ricardo Pinho
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