After spending a few weeks in nature-less Brasília (the Amazon seemed so far away), we found some waterfalls to visit. Chapada dos Veadeiros national park is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. It’s in the state of Goiás, on top of an ancient plateau that is estimated to be 1.8 BILLION years old! If that didn’t blow your socks of yet, wait until you see some of the waterfalls there are to be found.
So off we went, to Alto Paraíso de Goiás, which is about a 2,5 to 3 hour drive from Brasília. It’s an interesting, small town, famous for being the place where UFOs and aliens have supposedly been spotted. But, we came for the incredible nature instead, haha!
Almécegas I & II waterfalls
We arrived at our accommodation just before lunch, so we quickly ate something and took off so we could squeeze in a visit to a waterfall. The skies were grey and rumbling with thunder, so we hoped it would stay dry (spoiler alert: it didn’t).
We drove to the waterfalls that were closest by, only to find them closed. It had also started raining quite a bit, so we had to get creative and find another one a bit further away that would be open. Which brought us to Almécegas!
After a short walk, we spent quite some time just chilling and walking around Almécegas II waterfall, before heading to Almécegas I. We even had to rush a little bit, as we only had an hour before they would close. In the end we only had enough time for the mirante (outlook point), which was still amazing. It’s difficult to see it from above, but it’s a whopping 50 meters tall!
Mirante da Janela do Abismo
The next day was reserved for one of the best attractions Chapada dos Veadeiros has to offer: the Mirante da Janela! We’ve been wanting to do this hike for some time now, so I was excited to get going. We drove to the town of São Jorge, bought some water and got directions to the parking lot for the mirante. From there we walked to the post on the trail to pay our entrance fees. You don’t need a guide to hike this trail, just make sure you start before 14:00!
The hike is pretty easy in the beginning, but at some point after the first waterfall it’s a steep climb down. Right before you get to the mirante, it’s quite the climb up, where some hand and feet work was needed. But, all in all not too difficult. And, the views were so worth the effort! The waterfall in the front is 120 meters tall, the one in the back 80 meters. Although, hard to see from so far away, but you can hike to the falls and see them up close! Something I’m planning to do during my next visit.
The area was so green! I could have taken in this view for days…
Instagram vs reality
This all looks fantastic, and don’t get me wrong, it totally was! However, we were visiting in the wet season, meaning it can start pouring at any second. Yes, even when you have blue skies and sun. So, we had climbed up to the mirante, and not even 2 minutes later, clouds drifted in and we got rained upon. Hard.
Nothing you can do but wait, so that’s what we did. 20 minutes later, blue skies and sun again. And, one of the positive things of going in the wet season… There’s no one there with you! We had the place to ourselves during the time we were up there. Love it when that happens! 🙂
Cordovil & Encontro waterfalls
We were expecting rain again on our 3rd day in Chapada dos Veadeiros, but out we went. Luis’ cousins had told us about the Cordovil & Encontro waterfalls, so we figured we may as well give them a shot. We got as close to Cachoeira do Cordovil as we could with the car, and then it would be a short walk to the waterfall.
In general an easy walk, but in the end you’re walking on loose stones, so you need to pay close attention the were you put your feet. But once we had the waterfall in sight… it was all worth it again.
Another good thing of wet season is that the waterfalls are at their best. This beauty is 44 meters tall, and the water nice and cold. Luis took a dip, but I was not courageous enough at this point in the hike, haha.
From this waterfall it’s only a short walk back to the next waterfall. Cachoeira do Encontro is quite a bit smaller, but it’s a lot easier to get close to the waterfall itself. The sun had gotten out in the meantime, so I took a dip as well.
So, if you ever find yourself in (or close to) Brasília, be sure to make some time for this beauty of a national park. I can’t wait until I get to go back again!
More natural beauty coming soon, from Ubatuba.