With waterfalls, caves and breathtaking panoramas, discover one of the most beautiful natural parks in Brazil.
A true “jewel of nature” the Chapada Diamantina is a stark contrast to the semi-arid landscapes further inland or the tropical beaches lined with palm trees that you find in the rest of Bahia, the “state of joy.” However, it is a must for any nature lover on a vacation in Bahia.
Located inland in the state of Bahia, about 400km from the regional capital, Chapada Diamantina is a wild and preserved place accessible by air from Salvador. Various ecosystems, ranging from savannah and bush to tropical forest, cover the 1520km² of this national park. The landscape is made up of high plateaus and valleys interspersed with hundreds of crystal clear rivers forming networks of cascades and pools. An ideal setting for visitors to refresh themselves in body and mind.
Today, the Chapada Diamantina has become the most important natural park in Bahia. Its rugged mountain areas and rivers divided by waterfalls, and its caves and underground lakes are easily accessible on foot or by vehicle with a local guide. We have chosen tours that will allow you to explore these amazing features relatively comfortably. With a minimum level of physical fitness, all vacationers with no special mobility problems can go on our excursions; from young to old.
A guide is available to ensure you follow the correct route and that you get the most out of this amazing place, rich in animal and plant life. They will also ensure your tour takes place in the best conditions and at your own pace.
On the Chapada Diamantina tour
The small towns of Lençois and Mucugê
The Lapa Doce caves, The Blue well and The Enchanted well
The extraordinary view from the top of the Pai Inácio mountain
The magnificent Smoke and Mosquito waterfalls
Chapada Diamantina Tour – Itinerary at a glance
- 1 private vehicle transfer from the Lençois airport to the hotel
- 3 nights in a double room
- 1 day excursion to the Lapa Doce cave, Devil´s well waterfall and the Pai Inácio mountain with lunch and personal guide included.
- 1 day excursion to the Enchanted well and Mucugê with lunch and private guide
- 1/2 day excursion to the Mosquito waterfall with private guide
- 1 private transfer from your hotel to the Lençois airport
- (Option 4 nights from Sunday to Thursday) 1 day excursion to the Fumaça cascade.
Explore the incredible caves and waterfalls of Chapada Diamantina
Walking is definitely the best way to visit one of the continent’s largest natural parks as the best sites are not accessible by road.
Even if you are not an avid climber or hiker, it is very much possible to see the natural wonders of this region.
Brazil Selection have curated a set of excursions that present the best of the Chapada Diamantina without forcing you to travel long distances. The tours we offer require little physical effort and allow you to follow the ancient tracks of the “garimpeiros“, or gem hunters, accompanied by a local guide.
During these excursions you will come across a large variety of wild species which live in the various habitats (savanna, dry forest, rainforest) contained within the mountainous region and in the local canyons known as “chapadas”. These geological formations are characterized by their appearance; steep sided mountains with flat summits made up of large rocky plateaus and covered in low vegetation. The valleys shelter denser forests and in the most shady, humid areas, the incredible diversity of a tropical forest is found.
A stunning landscape with waterfalls such as the spectacular “Cachoeira da Fumaça,” the second highest in Brazil at 340m ! You can go on a beautiful day trip leaving from the Capão valley, on a descent of about 500m. (It takes around 4hrs walk for the round trip and 2hrs by car). In our 4 day package, we offer an excursion to the highest point of the waterfalls to admire a breathtaking view of the valley and waterfall below.
In our series of spectacular panoramic walks, there is also the excursion to the top of the Morro do Pai Inácio included in the package. This excursion is a good chance to catch the stunning sunset over the valley. From this extraordinary panorama, you can admire the full view of the Chapada in vibrant shades of orange and pink.
The wonders of nature at Chapada Diamantina
Thanks to its rugged landscapes, valleys and its biomass, The Chapada Diamantina collects a large quantity of water during the rainy season from October to April.
With dozens of rivers that flow into the valleys it plays a key role as a reservoir for a large part of Bahia state.
For visitors, the attraction is the multitude of waterfalls, streams, pools and other reservoirs creating lots of amazing places to explore.
Included in our package are some of the must see attaractions. At the Serrano river you will discover the multi – coloured cave formed by the erosion of the surrounding sandstone, and also a small crystalline waterfall and the Spring cascade.
You will also visit the vast Lapa Doce cave where mysterious animals seem to come alive in the immense formations. You will visit the Mucugezinho river that flows into a beautiful 20m high waterfall, the “Devil’s well” (Poço do Diabo) perfect to bathe in. The most surprising and amazing visit has to be the Enchanted Well of Pratinha. You will climb a small ladder to get to an under ground lake of magnificent clear blue water. There is an opening in the rock that lets the sun shine on the water creating an incredible spectacle with the walls decorated with multicoloured arabesques, a breathtaking place !
To finish, you will take a walk to the Mosquito cave. Dominated by the jagged cliffs of the canyons, the rumbling water settles regularly in large natural swimming pools. You can refresh yourself peacefully in these basins whose stones, are of different shades of red.
With this package, you will have seen the essentials of this amazing place and leave with a camera full of impressive pictures and more importantly lots of unforgettable memories of a unique and enchanting wonder of nature.
Lençois: The gateway to the Chapada Diamantina Natural Park
This region was deserted until they discovered gold here, then diamonds in 1844. These finds triggered a rush of gold and diamond diggers trying to make their fortunes.
This is the era when the small village of Lençois was founded and where we recommend that you stay.
Lençois means “bed sheets” in Portuguese and legend says its name comes from the hundreds of tents that appeared in the valley resembling bed sheets drying in the wind. Thanks to the opulence of the local bourgeoisie who were essentially the diamond mine owners, architectural development was very important in Lençois and the other small towns in the region. They still have well preserved, distinctly colonial buildings as well as multicolored houses and small cobbled streets typical of the 18th century that are well worth a visit.
For almost a century, Lençois and the surrounding region existed alongside the sound of pickaxes striking the stone in the diamond mines. It is important to note that the rest of the area was left intact. Apart from some small peasant villages cultivating coffee, the land went unchanged. After the diamond rush, the region was forgotten; victims of economic decline, the people left and nature took over once again.
It was not until 1973 that the heritage institute classified the region as a National heritage site and stopped all mine works. This pushed Lençois into the tourism industry and in 1985, the Chapada Diamantina National park was created. Until the 1990s this destination remained rather secret and the only visitors were hiking enthusiasts who had contributed to developing this activity in the region.
For the last twenty years however, green tourism has developed in and around Lençois and it now has a good tourist infrastructure to welcome travelers from around the world while still retaining its charm and authenticity. There are professional guides and hotels of all categories as well as craft shops and restaurants. Everything you need to enjoy an excellent holiday!
Chapada Diamantina Tours from Salvador
For now there is only the Azul airline company, flying into the Lençois airport from Salvador de Bahia.
There are only 2 flights a week, Sunday and Thursday. So you can choose to stay for either 3, 4 or 6 nights depending on what you want to do during your stay in this fabulous region.
Chapada Diamantina Trip – Detailed Itinerary
All excursions included in this program are private.
A guide is available during the planned excursions in this program as well as a vehicle to take you to the different sites.
Meals are not included except for the buffet breakfasts at the hotel you are staying at, and the lunches on days 2 & 3 of the excursion.
Day 1 : Salvador de Bahia – Lençois
On a Thursday or a Sunday, you will take a 1hr flight from Salvador to Lençois where a vehicle awaits to take you to your chosen pousada or hotel. (It is possible to travel from Salvador by coach but it takes about 7hrs! Contact us regarding this option.)
It takes about 45 minutes to reach Lençois from the airport, during this drive you will take in the local countryside, typical of a semi-arid region where the plants are thick bushes, tropical trees and savannah.
Once in Lençois, the driver will drop you and your luggage off at your hotel or poussada. You will have time to check-in and unpack.
You can either relax or go for a wander in the village and enjoy the calm atmosphere while drinking a local beer “bem gelada” with a few “Petiscos” the local aperitif.
Night at hotel.
Day 2 : Lençois – Grotte de Lapa Doce – Poço do Diabo – Morro do Pai Inácio
After a buffet style breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your guide and set off on various excursions for the day.
In the morning, you will leave by car to the Grotte de Lapa Doce, an hour from Lençois. This immense cave is entered at one end and exited at another with about 900m of underground trails (there is no lighting, everyone has lamps). This cave has some amazing rock formations resembling animals and other natural shapes, formed by the stalactites and stalagmites.
Lunch is at a local restaurant (included in the program).
Then back on the road to the Mucugezinho river. You walk about 15 minutes from the road along the river to the top of a waterfall. It drops for about 22metres into a large pool called the “The devil´s well” a natural pool ideal for bathing in.
After a refreshing swim, you continue by vehicle to Morro do Pai Inácio, as the best time to visit is at dusk when the mountains are glowing orange. A 20 minute climb gets you to the top of a hill where there is an exceptional view of the valley below and other hilltops in the area.
It’s truly the picture postcard view of Chapada Diamantina, with a panoramic view for miles around of canyons and “mesas,” unique characteristics of the landscape .
The whole outing lasts about 8hrs, with 150km done by car and about 6km on foot.
Return to Lençois and night at your hotel.
Day 3 : Lençois – Poço Encantado – Mucugê
Your guide will meet you at reception after your buffet breakfast and you will set off in a vehicle for the day’s outing :
The “Poço Encantado” cave.
Once you are as close as possible by car, you will take a steep track descending into the cave for about 100m. Equipped with a helmet and a lamp you will enter the cave via a hidden entrance where you will descend a ladder (mind your head!). Nothing too difficult. Once at the bottom of the cave, you will be faced with a deep pool of crystal clear water that seems to give off a turquoise light. This is due to the sunlight that enters via a hole in the rock reflecting off the water. This combined with the silence of the cave creates an unreal atmosphere. Simply enjoy for as long as you wish.
Once back on the surface, and back at your vehicle, you will continue on to the little town of Mucugê.
This village is at an altitude of 983m and the road climbs up through a magnificent landscape. Once in this pretty village you can wander the historical town centre. The climate is cooler and more invigorating and there are pretty colonial houses and also a Byzantine style cemetery.
You will then have lunch in a restaurant recommended by your driver which is included in the program.
On the way back you will stop off at the Mucugê National Park to discover the conservation project for a plant called the “Sempre Viva” (always living). This decorative endemic plant is on the brink of extinction and so this association is dedicated to saving it. You will also visit the “Garimpo” Museum that retraces the history of the diamond miners of the 19th century and you can learn about their daily life and see the reconstitution of their habitat.
If there is enough time, you can take a dip in one of the two waterfalls nearby and enjoy the surrounding nature.
The outing lasts all day and you will travel 300km by car and about 3 or 4km on foot. Lunch is included.
After this adventurous day, your guide will take you to your hotel for the night.
Day 4 : Lençois – Cachoiera do Mosquito – Salvador de Bahia
In the morning, after your buffet breakfast you will set off with a guide for your last excursion, a visit to the Mosquito waterfall that will take up the morning.
You will set off by car to reach the Fazenda Santo Antonio, a local farm about 32km away then another 8km of track into the heart of the countryside.
On arrival, a short walk of 5 minutes takes you to the top of the waterfall formed by the Mosquito river.
You will see several waterfalls and natural pools and the panoramic view is spectacular.
After a 10 minute walk you will reach the foot of the waterfall where you can take in the full spectacle of the 50m cascade that falls between two steep cliffs.
This place is absolutely magic, ideal for swimming in the natural pools formed by the falls.
You will return to Lençois at the end of the morning in time to pack your luggage and check out of your hotel.
At about 13h00, a private transfer will take you to the airport for your flight.
End of our services.
Chapada Diamantina – Accommodation
Pousada Canto no Bosque (standard)
Located 1 ½ kms from the centre of Lençois in 12 000m² of garden, the pousada Canto no Bosque is the ideal place if you are looking for calm & quiet during your stay. The pousada offers rooms for up to 6 people and so is ideal for families, and small bungalows with a terrace surrounded by gardens, perfect if you want more privacy. The tree adorned oasis also has a swimming pool to relax in after your walks and a restaurant serving local cuisine that saves you having to go back into town to eat. The tables are nicely set outside. It’s an ideal place to stay for nature lovers. Also perfect for families, with large rooms and a big and beautiful space outside to play in.
Pousada Vila Serrano (standard)
The Pousada Vila Serrano is our favorite place in Lençois. It has 16 rooms and bungalows spread out in a pretty, tree-lined garden. There is a wide choice of lodging, from a single room to bungalows for up to 4 people and rooms with a mezzanine, private terrace or balcony with a hammock. Each room is carefully furnished with taste respecting the Feng-Shui rules of harmony, and in different styles, colonial with a four poster bed or an ecological-design with wooden furniture designed by Zeca Belmonte. A charming lodge offering excellent value for money for all types of travelers.
Hotel Canto das Aguas (superior)
The hotel Canto das Aguas is definitely the highest quality hotel you will find in Lençois. On the bank of the river that flows through the village, it has a refined and sophisticated infrastructure built with local materials. The hotel features a restaurant, a beautiful pool in the form of a stream, a sauna, a spa and massage area, a games room and a solarium on the river bank. We especially recommend the suite rooms which offer extra services and are comfortably 65m ² and 80m ². An excellent choice if you are looking for the top accommodation in the Chapada Diamantina.