Brazil // Mato Grosso //

Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães

Most of the year it’s not the town itself that brings most people out to Chapada dos Guimarães. The stunning countryside, of which over three hundred square kilometres is protected as the Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães, consists of a grassy plateau – at 800m the highest land in Mato Grosso – scattered with low trees, a marvellous backdrop for photographing the local flora and birdlife. Within walking distance, there are waterfalls, fantastic rock formations and precipitous canyons, as well as some interesting, partially excavated archeological sites. The most spectacular of all the sights around the village is the Véu de Noiva waterfall, which drops over a sheer rock face for over 60m, pounding into the forested basin below. You can take a tour there with most of the operators listed above (from around R$20 a person a day, depending on how big the group is). Alternatively, you can get there by walking or perhaps hitching from the village of Buruti, on the road from Cuiabá, about 12km before Chapada dos Guimarães; Buruti is accessible by bus and only about 6km or an hour and a half’s walk from the falls. Alternatively, the falls lie within a couple of kilometres of the road if you jump off the bus some 6km beyond Salgadeira (ask the driver to show you the track).