Really nice view of 300° from the summit of Selado Peak.
Monte Verde is well known as the “brazilian Switzerland” since the city is actually a small village with one main street and around 20 others crossing that one, with a number 20.000 people living there. The houses and hotels and restaurants at the main street look like european. It is so small that is considered to be part of a bigger city called Camanducaia. The altitude of the city is 1.560 m. Monstly, tourists are looking for some ice in the woods, which can be found in winter since the temperature can easily drop to –5°C and of course, there’s the humidity typical of the brazilian rainforests. In 2008, Monte Verde won the title of best winter destination in Brazil. In 2009, the title of most romantic city in the poll held by the site Viajeaqui http://viajeaqui.abril.com.br/especiais/cidades-romanticas-2009
and Quatro Rodas magazine, published by Editora Abril. If it were a city, it would be the second highest city of Brazil, the first one is Campos de Jordão, at 1.628 m high. Also a touristic winter place. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Monte Verde was: –14°C! Pretty cold!
I consider Monte Verde a brazilian paradise for mountaineering. Easy access to the mountains, good food, cold weather, fantastic views, 6 summits to reach, most of them quite easy. And above all that, the sunset and the sunrise, just the best.
Summit of Selado Peak, highest peak of the area.
250° of summit view from Plateau summit.
Here we go: If you go by car: Whether coming from São Paulo, Rio, or another place from Minas Gerais State (MG) you have to take "Fernão Dias" highway (BR-381) up to the town of Camanducaia (at km 135) where you'll take the road that will allow you to get to Monte Verde. Then, you just follow the signs and drive 30 kilometres up to the village. This asphalted narrow road is rather bumpy in its last 14 kilometres due to truck traffic damaging it. However, the landscape along the road is worth seeing.
If you go by bus, from São Paulo or Rio take a bus to Camanducaia, south of Minas Gerais. From there 4 buses depart to the village daily. It is really cheap. If you lose the last bus, it’s better to spend the night at Camanducaia and leave in the morning.
Once you get in the city look for the street that has a bank at the corner, BRADESCO BANK. Take that street and keep going up until you reach a huge water deposit to some hikes. At your right there will be a sign telling you the distance and altitude to the peaks.
DEPARTURE TIME (Subject to alteration) São Paulo - Camanducaia Daily departures: 08:30 - 09:45 - 12:00 - 13:30 - 15:00 - 16:45 - 18:00 - 19:30 - 20:30
Camanducaia - São Paulo Daily departures: 04:50 - 07:20 - 09:20 - 12:20 - 14:50 - 16:50
Camanducaia - Monte Verde Mondays thru Saturdays: 08:00 - 11:40 - 14:30 - 16:00 - 17:30
Sundays and Holidays: 08:00 - 13:20 - 17:30
Monte Verde - Camanducaia Mondays thru Saturdays: 05:45 - 08:00 - 10:15 - 14:00 - 18:00
Sundays and Holidays: 10:15 - 15:00 - 19:00
From São Paulo to Camanducaia: R$ 21,00 (about US$ 13.00)
From Camanducaia to Monte Verde: R$ 5,55 (about US$ 3.00)
Wildlife, Fauna and Flora
The mountains are heavily forested. Much of the woodland is still native Atlantic rainforest while other areas are planted with pine and eucalyptus for the pulp and paper trade. The altitude means that there are few examples of palm or banana and the vegetation and scenery is more European-looking than the humid steamy jungle normally associated with Brazil. Despite this, the forests are filled with colorful flowers like brinco de princesa and bromelias which, in turn, attract bees and humming birds.
There is a rich variety of bird life, including the big vultures known as urubu which are so graceful as they soar above the mountains and rocks yet so ugly at close range. There are also hawks, tree creepers, woodpeckers, owls, herons, migrant swifts and martins and more common species such as the thrush-like bem-te-vi and sabiá, the tico-tico finch and the homely little sparrow you will see anywhere in Europe. Although the vegetation goes right to the summit of the mountains there are several rocky points which are accessible and provide superb all-round views degrees. These climbs through Tolkienseque woodland, with twisted roots and branches, steep falls and hidden banks, can be a bit tough and require some stamina but everyone agrees they are worth the effort.
The Chapéu do Bispo (Bishop's Hat) is probably the most interesting and easiest. From this peak you can cross over to an area known as the Platô which is a large rock plateau, where hardy plants, algae and lichen grow and horses graze on the tough grass, which can withstand the wind.
Mountains of Monte Verde 1: Selado Peak - 2.083m
Selado Peak is the far highpoint on the left.
Selado Peak stands as the highest point on that area.
To access the mountain page here at SP: SELADO PEAK
Mountains of Monte Verde 2: Pedra Partida - 2.050m
Pedra Partida is the highest point reaching out the mist.
Pedra Partida stands as the second highest point on that area.
To access the mountain page here at SP: PEDRA PARTIDA
Mountains of Monte Verde 3: Pico das 3 Pedras - 2.045m
The boulder area on its summit.
Pico das 3 Pedras is the third highest point on that area. It is not a mountain, but a secondary summit of Selado Peak.
To access the mountain page here at SP: PICO DAS 3 PEDRAS
Mountains of Monte Verde 4: Chapéu do Bispo - 2.030m
The mountain marked on the labels.
Chapéu do Bispo is the fourth highest point on that area.
To access the mountain page here at SP: CHAPÉU DO BISPO PEAK
Mountains of Monte Verde 5: Pedra Redonda (Brazilian Half Dome) - 1.990m
The mountain marked on the labels.
Pedra Redonda is the fifth highest point on that area. Very popular for photos.
To access the mountain page here at SP: PEDRA REDONDA (BRAZILIAN HALF DOME)
Mountains of Monte Verde 6: Platô de Monte Verde - 1.948m
Me standing on the summit of Platô.
Platô de Monte Verde is the easiest mountain of the area, and way up to Selado Peak. The most popular hike in town.
To access the mountain page here at SP: PLATÔ DE MONTE VERDE
You can hike this mountain in all seasons, but in summer there are rains every day. In winter is cold, but the days are clearer. The temperatures going from -10°C to 15°C.
Best time to climb: April to September.
To hike/ climb is a dangerous activity and requires proper equipment and clothing, the owner of this page cannot be blamed by injuries caused to anyone who read this page for its info about the mountain, and eventually got hurt by doing so with reckless behaviour or bad weather conditions.
Paulo Roberto Felipe Schmidt – AKA: PAROFES
External LinksA brazilian website to get mountains info, including gps files to download:http://www.rumos.net.br/rumos/
My youtube channel: www.youtube.com/parofes - Now with 250+ videos online!
The biggest brazilian website about climbing and mountaineering, for which I'm a columnist: