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SERRA DA CANASTRA

NATIONAL PARKS

BRAZIL

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NATIONAL PARK

SERRA DA CANASTRA

Seen from afar, this huge massif of the Serra da Canastra (Sierra of the Basket) resembles a coffer or a basket, therefore its curious name.

It is located in the south-western region of the state of Minas Gerais and encompasses the municipalities of Sao Roque de Minas, Sacramento and Delfinópolis.

The park holds two important massifs which unfold over an area of 71525 hectares: the Sierra of the Seven Turns and the Serra da Canastra, with altitudes varying between 900 and 1496 metres high.

The objective of the creation of the Serra da Canastra National Park, the 3rd of April of 1972, was to preserve the source of the Säo Francisco River, also known as the Old Boy.

Numerous water courses are born in this area, tributaries of the Sao Francisco, which form natural pools attracting many tourists in the higher part of the park.

It is possible to find endangered species, such as the Maned wolf and the Giant anteater, along the roads with relative ease. The park's fauna constitutes a major tourist attraction for visitors have the chance of watching it in its natural habitat in the upper zones; be it at first light in the morning or at dusk.

The weather

The month of July is the coldest with average temperatures of 17° C, while during the months of January and February, the hottest ones, heat tops around 23° C. The levels of rain show a variation of between 13000 and 17000 mm a year, with a rainy season during the southern hemisphere's summer and a dry season in winter. Many tourists rather visit the area during the period of April to October.

SPANISH VERSION
AMAZON - BRAZIL RAIN FOREST
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Attractions

Source of the Sao Francisco River:

At only 6.5 kilometres from the entrance of the park spouts the source of the Sao Francisco River, a magnificent rush of water that sustains the assorted flora and fauna in one of the driest areas of Brazil. It flows into the Atlantic Ocean after cleaving 3161 kilometres of land. It leaves a trail of greenness and life at its pace benefiting millions of people in this region where water is so meagre. That is why the river is also known as the Brazilian Nile.

Cachoeira Casca D'Anta

It is the most important waterfall of the region. It is located a few kilometres away from the source of the Sao Francisco River. There are waterfalls and natural pools.

Hikes and horseback rides

By riding and exploring the park on horse or mule back, or simply by foot, you get the chance of enjoying rare landscapes and watching some animal species such as the white and the Maned wolf, the deer and the Giant anteater, amongst others.

How to get there

You have to take the MG-050 road bound to Ribeirao Preto up to the connection leading to Piumhi, if coming from Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais. From here follow the dirt road leading to Sao Roque de Minas, 8 kilometres away from the main entrance of the park.

The access road is in good conditions and tourists may arrive on tour buses.
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