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SERRA DO CAPARAO

NATIONAL PARKS

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NATIONAL PARK

SERRA DO CAPARAO

In here, eco-tourists, and trekking and mountaineering lovers, have perhaps the best chance of exercising their abilities climbing the Peak of the Flag, the third highest mountain in Brazil with 2897 metres above sea level.

Wait a minute, do not be discouraged dear traveller, for climbing the Peak of the Flag is not a very hard task. The secret consists in going slow and steady and taking a break every 30 minutes. In this fashion the hike turns into an extremely pleasant occasion to watch the scenery and each and every detail on the horizon, with every shade of light and colour making the adventure more agreeable.

The Peak of the Flag raises in the territory of the Serra do Caparaó National Park, a natural reserve located between the states of Minas Gerais and Espíritu Santo, in the Sierra of Mantiqueira; it has an extension of 31 thousand hectares. It takes about four hours to reach the summit.

Created in May of 1961, the Caparaó National Park shows a very dissimilar geography and the most uneven grounds in all the territory of Brazil. At only 250 kilometres from the seashore, the rocky skirts of the Peak of the Flag ascend up to about 3000 metres of altitude.

The uneven terrain has an extensive fluvial net with various sources forming gullies, streams, lakes and natural pools with crystalline waters. The main rivers are the Jose Pedro, the Caparó and the Sao Domingo. It is one of the most sought after destinations for advocates of adventure tourism, trekking and other activities related to mountaineering.

The park contains two other pretty high peaks as well. The Crystal Peak at 2798 metres above sea level, and the Footwear Peak at 2766 metres above sea level.

SPANISH VERSION
AMAZON - BRAZIL RAIN FOREST
Chapada Diamantina National Park
Serra da Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
Das Emas National Park
Serra dos Orgãos National Park
Iguazu National Park
Itatiaia National Park
Lencois Maranhenses National Park
Grande Sertão Veredas National Park
Serra da Bocaina National Park
Serra da Canastra National Park
Serra da Capivara National Park
Serra do Caparao National Park
Superagüi National Park
Trims of Serra and Serra General National Park
Praia do Sul Ecological Reserve
Flora and fauna

As is usual in most of the sierra regions, vegetation also varies according to the altitude at Caparó. Vegetation is almost 100% of secondary type and well diversified. It shows Atlantic shrubs in the lower parts which gradually concede space to the open grasslands as the altitude increases.

Diverse endangered species, such as the Maned wolf, the Pampas deer, the cuíca, wild dogs, black beak toucans, tailed swallows, land canaries and the muriqui, the biggest monkey in America, are protected by the park. Likewise, the park is refuge for the conservations of mountain birds.

Weather

Influenced by its closeness to the Atlantic shrub, the park has a high tropical weather with annual average temperatures of between 15° and 24° C.

Fog and a thin rain caused by the humid winds coming from the ocean are common in the upper areas. The rainwater fills the rivers during the southern hemisphere's summer.

Attractions

Vale Verde - The Caparaó river forms cascades and natural pools ideal for taking a cold bathe. The place has dressing rooms, toilets and even grills where you can roast a beef.

Tronqueira - The zone has a camping area with kiosks, tables, rest rooms, showers, dishwashers and a panoramic view of all the valley of the Caparaó river.

Bonita Cascade - It has an 80 metres high waterfall. It is one of the most beautiful spots in the park. The route leading to it is through a dirt road. The cascade is in the Jose Pedro river, in the limit of the states of Minas Gerais and Espíritu Santo.

Cascade of the Swallows - It is in private property with various natural pools and opened to tourists willing to pay for the experience. It is located 13 kilometres away from the park, at the Jose Pedro river.

Recommendations
  • It is indispensable to be accompanied by a guide to take a hike to any point of the park. Do not forget to carry a flashlight with a good beam for the night, and a good supply of batteries for the cold weather exhaust them more rapidly than under normal conditions.
  • Carry light and dehydrated food, brown bread, white cheese, raisins or dry fruits, chocolate, chestnuts, biscuits and other energizers.
  • Cloths need to be wrapped up with plastic material to avoid getting wet with the rains.
  • Excessive noise scares the animals and can disturb other tourist groups seeking peace and quiet.
  • Carry enough water for the hike.
  • In spite of the cold temperatures, open fires are not recommended.
  • Eco-tourists must also avoid smoking during the hike.
  • Remember that the park is destined to preserve all of its environment, so it is important to pick all your garbage and to bring it back with you.
How to get there

From Minas Gerais: Take the BR-116 highway up to Fervedouro, then the BR-482 up to Carangola. Then the MG-111 up to Alto Jequitibá, and lastly another 11 kilometres until reaching Alto Caparó.

From Espírito Santo: Take the BR-101 highway up to Cosecha. From Cosecha follow towards Cachoeiro through the BR-482, then Alegre, Guacuí and Dolores de Rio Preto.
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