The most representative fauna group is that of insects. It is estimated there are 5 thousand species in the Itatiaia area, near 90 of which are exclusively from the higher region of the park.
The lower region is richer in mammals, for the shrubs provide a better refuge for the mammals. The bird diversity include the black and white Humming birds, toucans, sparrow-hawks, pigeons and Peach-fronted Conure (Aratinga aurea aurea)
64 toad, frog and tree frog species are known in the park, 24 of which are distributed along the valleys, ponds and vegetation areas of the high plateau. The most notable is the Maldonado Redbelly Toad toad (Melanophryniscus moreirae) with a black back and a red belly.
The southern hemisphere's winter is rough in the high plateau region, where temperatures can descent down to 15 grades below zero thus freezing streams and small lagoons.
January is considered the hottest month with an average temperature of 13 grades, and July the coldest with an average of 8 grades. Temperatures below zero are often registered in the higher regions. The rainy season takes place in the month of January and there are intensive rains from October to April.
Pico das Agulhas Negras Mountain - It is the highest point in the park and in the State of Rio de Janeiro as well with its 2787 metres altitude. Optimum for mountaineering and trekking.
Museum of the Visitors' Centre - Located in the lower part of the park, it has a collection of great scientific significance with flora, fauna and geological samples, mostly typical of the region.
Beautiful Cascade (Cachoeira Poranga) - Poranga means beauty in the Tupi language. The cascade is 10 metres high and has a 30 metre diameter natural pool ideal for swimming.
Blue Lake - A natural lake formed by the Campo Bello River. It is a safe place for a river bathe.
Maromba's Natural Pool - You will gain vigour to continue the hike after a freezing bathe in here.
Velo de Novia Cascade (Cachoeira Véu de Noiva)
- A delicious view of the waters falling from a 40 metre height.
It is one of the emblematic sights of the park.
Three Peaks - At 1662 metres of altitude, Three Peaks offers a marvellous view of the Paraiba Valley and the pre-cordilleran hills of the Sierra of Mantiqueira. The return trip can be crowned with a bathe at the Bonito River's cascade.
Massif of Prateleiras - At 2548 metres above sea level, it is formed by huge blocks of rock and offers a beautiful vista of the Paraiba valley.
How to get there
Take the Dutra road up to Itatiaia if coming from Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Continue for five more kilometres up to the park's entrance through an asphalted road. The access for Estanterías or Agujas Negras will be through Ingeniero Passos, continuing for 48 kilometres through the BR-354 road bound to Itamonte, and then another 17 kilometres through dirt roads.