Pico do Calçado is another great mountain of Serra do Caparaó, this is the 4th highest mountain in Brazil, with 2821m. This is an unnoted peak, because it is a passage of Pico da Bandeira – 2894m to Pico do Cristal - 2798 and the people do not know the importance of this mountain. From the summit, as possible to see one of the most beautiful sights of Caparaó, looking to the impressive south wall of Pico da Bandeira, Pedra Roxa group to the north Caparaó and the trail to Pico do Cristal. Pico do Calçado has a rounded form, without climbing routes and, at the top, only rocks and little plants, signs of the high tropical altitude. This is an easy-going mountain, with a medium walkup and clear trails till the top. There aren’t any water point at the trail, just on Terreirão-2400m at the Minas Gerais trail and at Casa Queimada-2160m at Espirito Santo trail. The mountain can be reached by both sides of Caparaó National Park, being the easy and nearest by the Espirito Santo trail.
There are two options to climb Pico do Calçado. From west ( MG side ) or south ( ES side ).
The west option:
How to Arrive to the west entrance:
From Belo Horizonte - The Caparaó National Park is 330 km from Belo Horizonte (MG). The access from Belo Horizonte (MG) to Alto Caparaó (MG) is done integrally in asphalted highways. Leave Belo Horizonte (MG), by the highway BR-262, towards Vitória (ES), until the city of Manhuaçu (MG) (280 km from Belo Horizonte). After the entrance of Manhuaçu (MG), in BR-262, take, to the right, the highway for Manhumirim (MG) and Presidente Soares (MG). In Presidente Soares (MG), take, to the left, the highway for Alto Caparaó (MG).
From Rio de Janeiro - The Caparão National Park is 430 km from Rio de Janeiro (RJ). The access from Rio de Janeiro (RJ) to Alto Caparaó (MG) is done integrally in asphalted highways. Leave Rio de Janeiro (RJ), by the highway BR-040, towards Belo Horizonte (MG), until the city of Três Rios (RJ) (123 km from Rio de Janeiro). Take, to the right, the highway BR-116, towards Salvador (BA), until the city of Fervedouro (MG). In Fervedouro (MG), take, to the right, the highway for Carangola (MG). In Carangola (MG), take, to the left, the highway for Presidente Soares (MG). In Presidente Soares (MG), take, to the right, the highway for Alto Caparaó (MG).
From São Paulo - The Caparaó National Park is 910 km from São Paulo (SP). The access from São Paulo (SP) to Alto Caparaó (MG) is done integrally in asphalted highways. Leave São Paulo (SP), by the highway BR-381, until Belo Horizonte (MG) (586 km from São Paulo). Take, to the right, the highway BR-262, towards Vitória (ES), until the city of Manhuaçu (MG) (280 km from Belo Horizonte). After the entrance of Manhuaçu (MG), in BR-262, take, to the right, the highway for Manhumirim (MG) and Presidente Soares (MG). In Presidente Soares (MG), take, to the left, the highway to Alto Caparaó (MG).
From Vitória - The Caparaó National Park is 255 km from Vitória (ES). The access from Vitória (ES) to Alto Caparaó (MG) is done integrally in asphalted highways. Leave Vitória (ES), byr the highway BR-262, towards Belo Horizonte (MG). 15 km after the boundary of Espírito Santo and of Minas Gerais states, in BR-262, take, to the left, the highway to Manhumirim (MG) and Presidente Soares (MG). In Presidente Soares (MG), take, to the left, the highway to Alto Caparaó (MG).
To the south entrance, you should to search for the town called Pedra Menina, on the south border of Minas gerais and Espirito Santo states.
From the entrance of Caparaó National Park to Tronqueira ( The first campsite and the last parking car,6 km of highway in renovation), you can do with your own car or a rented jeep (rented in the city).
To get the trail to Pico do Calçado, follow the way to Pico da Bandeira, and at the last col, turn to the right to Espírito Santo trail and, walk by the crest of the mountains to reach the first top until Pico do Cristal. It’s very easy. From south, walk by the demarcate trail from Casa Queimada, ascends by the only trail to the summits and, the first mountain is Pico do Calçado. Getting there, you can reach Pico da bandeira at the right side or, walk on the crests to get Pico do Cristal.
MSN MapPoint – Caparaó National Park
The Caparaó National Park has hard rules.
Don't bring drinks; Inflamable fuel; Knives, Fire arms and if you do not have apropriates equipments to camp, the guards advise you of some danger.
There is no electric power nor snack bars inside of the park. Therefore, take the whole equipment that is needed, like flashlights, lanterns, stoves and food.
Only do the longest trails (mainly the one Bandeira) with an experienced guide. The trails are relatively easy, but for the unexperienced mountaineer it can become tricky, mainly after Terreirão ( 2400m ) and Casa Queimada ( 2160m ).
Taxes to visit and to climb Caparaó mountains
US$ 3 person per day;
There is a parking car at the trailheads: Tronqueira (West) and Macieira(South).
When To Climb
The best month in year to visit the Caparaó National Park and hike on the high trails is in September. This is the month most dry. But at Spring is good, Winter excellent and Fall, I don't recommend.
Arriving in Caparaó National Park, you can choose where to camp.
Minas Gerais side :
Tronqueira – 2000m
The first campsite by Minas Gerais side on the route to the summit is called Tronqueira, and is 8km from the park entrance – uphill all the way, a hike that takes about three hours, or two if you’re a seasoned walker. You’re rewarded by stunning views, as the road winds its way out of forest into the alpine zone, with panoramic views of the Caparaó valley below. The trail culminates at Tronqueira itself, where a viewing platform has been built to allow you to appreciate one of the finest views in the country, as the hills far below recede to the jagged horizon. Just before you get to Tronqueira, a fork to the left takes you to Cachoeira Bonita, where the José Pedro stream, which forms the state border between Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, plunges eighty metres down a rockface into a thickly forested gorge; another viewing platform allows full appreciation of the Nature’s spectacle. The campsite area accepts around 50 tents.
Terreirão – 2400m
Halfway to the summit you come to Terreirão – 2400m, the second official campsite and a good spot for lunch. A path to the right leads to a point overlooking a valley dominated by two mountains, the rocky crags of Pico do Calçado – 2821m to the left, and Pico do Cristal – 2766m to the right, both only a few metres shorter than Pico da Bandeira, and with trails leading up them if you felt so inclined – though only to be attempted if you are camping at Terreirão, or you will find yourself still on the mountain at nightfall. Fill your water bottle at Terreirão, as there is no drinking water between here and the summit. This is the best campsite on the trail by this side, wild views, security, protected by the National Park guards. 4 hours from Pico do Calçado.
Espírito Santo side
Macieira campsite – 1800m
After 3km of Pedra Menina entrance, beside of São Domingos river, has a plain and big area for many tents, hot showers, sanitary and bathrooms. The acces is by asphalted road. From this camp as possible to see Pico do Calçado and another great mountains of Caparaó.
Casa Queimada – 2160m
8 km after Pedra Menina’s entrance. The access is by land road. A good choice to camp to climb Pico do Calçado by night. There are drinking water, bathrooms and hot shower with solar heating. 2 hours from Pico do Calçado.
If you are an expert mountaineer, you can bivouac at the top of the range, choosing a protected place to sleep. If the weather is rainy, stay on the oficial campsites.
Example of a windy day on the top of Pico do Calçado.
Current conditions for Pico da Bandeira and Pico do Calçado.
Pico da Bandeira and Pico do Calçado forecast.
When to climb and hike
The best season of the year to visit the park is in the winter. The clear and cloudless days and the cold climate contribute to the walk. At the top of Caparaó Range, the wind blows very hard, take care.