Have you ever thought about a place into the nature where you can relax but in the same time have extremely adventures? So, this is for you. I am talking about Chapada Diamantina, a pearl on the heart of Bahia.
426 km far from Salvador is Lençóis, the main door of the Natural Park of Chapada and the most truistic city of all the others, with more options of hotels, restaurants and travel agencies.
HOW TO ARRIVE
The options are:
By bus – on the bus terminal station of Salvador, called “Rodoviária” you can buy your ticket and take the bus directly to Lençóis. The better thing to do is to book it before on the website of the company to not have problems, specially during the high season. If your idea is to go to Andaraí or Mucugê the “Águia Branca” is the company which travels the route. It’s important to have at least a pullover with you during the trip, during the 5 hours inside the bus with the aircon working hard, it will be essential!!!!! If you suffer with the curves, be medicated for that, some parts are really full of them. Mostly of the people talk about to take the nocturne bus, that arrives in Lençóis around 5am, but, consider that, if you want to start the tours soon, you will be probably destroyed.
By car – the conditions of the road, comparing with other parts of Brazil, is good, but full of trucks and curves. So, if you are not practical, be aware about it. Leaving from Salvador you take the BR 324 until Feira de Santana, there the BR 116 until the meeting with the BR 242 until Lençóis. The good thing of to go by car is, once in Chapada you are free of the groups to do the tours, you will only need to have a private guide. For the rest you will not need it, walk is the key!
By plane – the Azul offers the flight some days per week from Salvador to Lençóis. Once in the airport you can book your transfer with the hotel or take a taxi.
WHERE TO STAY
Mostly of the tours around the park leaves from Lençóis, so, in general this is the best city you can choose during your stay.
I’ve been in some different hotels every time i went there, but, the best one was the Casa da Geléia. The rooms, the food, the owners, the price… Everything was good! The others don’t deserve that I nominate them.
WHAT TO DO
This is the main part of this post and probably the reason that bring someone to this place. On the park there are a lot of options of places to go, but, basically you will need to walk, to climb, walk a bit more, climb a bit more, so be ready for using a lot your legs, specially your knees. Everybody who arrive here must take a guide to explore the area. They know the place so good, and for all the risks it’s much better to be safe! I did it with different agencies and guides, and all of them were amazing, so, i’ll not give you a name. But, once in the city, there are many agencies on the center where you can ask for the tours and negotiate them. Those tours can be in 1 day, 2 days, 3 and more depending of how long you can stay and which level you are.
This is one of the most done circuits for who has not so much time. The Pai Inácio is one of the most famous mountains of the Chapada. The climb is not so hard, if i was able to do it with my destroyed knees, it will be easy for you who are prepared. The car leaves Lençóis and in some minutes we arrive on the base of the mountain where we hop off and start to climb. Just some parts are more difficult, but the sight from the top will certainly worth it!
In this farm you can see the Blue Cave, with an amazing water and do snorkel into the cave with the same name of the farm, into a dark corridor that will conduce you to the pond. It seems more a beach with clear and calm water. The entrance is already included on the tour but if You want to do the snorkel, for example, you pay for the equipments and the internal guide.
The most famous cave in Chapada, the Lapa Doce was founded in 1986, in that period, the cave was thought to be the largest in Brazil. The cave is in the region of Iraquara and is different from many of the other caves as it airy and mostly flat.
The Gruta Lapa Doce covers an area of 20 km, with an area of 850m open to the public. The biggest space within the cave is 60m wide and the entrance to the Lapa Doce is 72m high. Entrance to the Gruta da Lapa Doce is allowed in small groups, with a maximum of 12 people, and to get to the cave you go via the BA-122.
I didn’t bring my camera into this cave, so I just post a picture from internet to let you guys see how amazing is inside there.
POÇO DO DIABO – PIT OF HELL
This part of the tour, like the Pai Inácio, is more hard to anyone who has heart or muscular problems or joints. For all the others ready for this, the view is just wow! The black water of the pit, the vegetation around, the stones, the energy… everything conspires for a blast of emotions. It’s important to have good shoes to not slip, water and a cap.
The points cited above are part of the tour for a day around Lençóis and it’s considered the lightest of all. Others require more fitness, and some of them much more time, the case of CAPÃO. Other option for a day tour is the CACHOEIRA DA FUMAÇA. With 340m meters high, the second biggest of the country. Depending on the season you can find it incredibly full of water or totally dry. Be ready for a full day of hard walk. Wearing a hat is essencial!!! The agency where we book this tour prepared our food pack with juice, fruit, lunch… but it’s important to have an extra water with you. After 2 hours walking up the sight from the top is just surreal! All the efforts will worth it!
As I had also my parents on a trip to this place, we tried to do not so intense things too. A beautiful option is to visit the Park of Orchids. Many exemplars of this stunning flower can be seen in a small area close to Pai Inácio Mountain. Another important detail of the history of this place is also available to visitors, the equipments and photographies of the men who tried the lucky on the hunt for diamonds.
And after all those activities, nothing better than eat a delicious meal and relax on the center of the charming Lençóis. There are many good small and cozy restaurants, with a mix of local and international food. In the small market they sell handmade crafts and sometimes there is some shows of capoeira, for example.
If after all your tours and relax time there is still time to explore something, go for a walk around the city. You can discover interesting places and people. The energy in this place is fantastic. The natives teach us every moment that we don’t need too much to live and be happy. It’s a good way to purify ourselves spending a time on the Chapada.
WHEN TO GO
The most beautiful landscapes on the Chapada will be more amazing if full of green and water, so, the best moment to visit this place is during, or soon after, the winter time (from april to july). They also have the Winter Festival in Lençóis with good music, a lot of nice people, it will for sure worth it!
For those who want to explore more this stunning park, book days enough to visit the Vale do Capão, Mucugê, Vale do Pati, and fall in love for this amazing part of Brazil! If you guys have any doubt don’t hesitate in contact me or comment this post with all your questions. I’ll try my best to clarify them all! Thank you for reading!!