Some places in the park you could just about manage without a guide, like the Gruta do Lapão, a remarkable grotto over a kilometre long, with a cathedral-like entrance of layered rock and stalactites. It’s a short drive or a long walk (a full-day round trip) from the centre, but it’s probably better to have someone take you there. The only other place within easy reach is the Cascatas do Serrano, a fifteen-minute walk from town, where the river flows over a rock plate forming a series of small waterfalls and pools good for swimming – very popular with the local children.
Among the most popular destinations is Morro do Pai Inácio, a 300-metre-high mesa formation 27km from Lençóis (don’t be deceived by how near it looks). It is much more easily climbed than seems possible from a distance, and you’re rewarded with quite stunning views across the tablelands and the town once you get to the top, which is covered in highland cacti, trees and shrubs. Thirty kilometres away, but with much easier road access, is Rio Mucugezinho, another series of small waterfalls and pools that are fun to swim in; a closer river beach is the Praia do Rio São José, also called Zaidã. Finally, and most spectacular of all, is the highest waterfall in Brazil, the Cachoeira Glass, a small stream tumbling 400m down over a mesa, becoming little more than a fine mist by the time it reaches the bottom. It’s closer to town than most of the other places, and if you only feel up to one day’s walking it’s the best choice.