The Serra do Caparaó
raises in the territory of the Serra do Caparaó National Park, a natural reserve located between the states of Minas Gerais
and Espírito Santo
, in the Mantiqueira Range
. It has an extension of 31 thousand hectares. It takes about four hours to reach the summit from the last camping areas, by both sides..
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 Pico da Bandeira 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 Caparaó and the São Domingo. It is one of the most sought after destinations for advocates of adventure tourism, trekking and other activities related to mountaineering.
The Caparaó National Park contains other pretty high peaks as well. The Pico do Cristal at 2798m
, Pico do Calçado 2821m
, Pedra Roxa 2650m
and Pico da Cruz do Negro, with 2680m
The highest points of Caparaó
Getting ThereFrom Minas Gerais
: From Belo Horizonte - 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:
: From Vitória - Take the BR-101 highway up to Cosecha. From Cosecha follow towards Cachoeiro through the BR-482, then Alegre, Guacuí and Dores do Rio Preto.
MSN Mappoint - Caparaó
Trails of Caparaó
· 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
Flora and Fauna
As is usual in most of the Caparaó regions, vegetation also varies according to the altitude in the mountains. 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 Caparaó National Park. Likewise, the park is refuge for the conservations of mountain birds.
Attractions and Camping AreasVale Verde ( Green Valley )
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Espírito 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.
Pico da Bandeira
– The 3rd highest peak in Brazil territory, the main attraction in Caparaó National Park, with 2894m.
Pico da Bandeira
Pico do Calçado
– A beautiful peak beside Pico da Bandeira, with a particular view to the highest point – Pico da Bandeira.
Pico do Calçado
Pico do Cristal
– the hardest challenge for the trekkers in Caparaó. This mountain is far from everything and it’s necessary to walk some hours to get the summit ( 2798m ) of Cristal.
Pico do Cristal
Pedra Roxa and Cruz do Negro Peak
- Two wild mountains without any trail to climb them. But great views from up there.
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. Record low temperature in July and August ( - 10°C
) and record high temperatures in January ( 40°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.
Current conditions for Pico da Bandeira and Pico do Calçado
Pico da Bandeira and Pico do Calçado forecast
External LinksTrip to Caparaó
Caparaó in Google Earth