Brazil // The Northeast //

Into the park

There are two main places to stay in the park. At the entrance, the Fazenda Sete Cidades (t 86/3276-2222; R$181-260) has a restaurant, pool and regular pick-up shuttles into the park itself, which you can use whether you stay there or not. More convenient for walking, and just as comfortable, is the cheaper Abrigo do Ibama (t 86/3343-1342; from R$25 per person) hostel and campsite in the centre of the park, again with a restaurant and bathing nearby in a natural spring.

Walking in Sete Cidades is not particularly difficult in physical terms, but it’s important to get good local advice, as well as maps and ideally a guide before setting off. Bear in mind that the park does get extremely hot; stout walking shoes, plenty of liquid and a broad-brimmed hat are essential. Staff at the accommodation options listed above can advise you as to decent routes and the campsites dotted around the park. The rock formations themselves make very good landmarks and their different shapes have lent them their names: the “Map of Brazil”, the “Tortoise”, the “Roman Soldier”, the “Three Kings”, the “Elephant” and so on. Watch out for rattlesnakes.

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