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On Brazil's Diamond Trails
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Salvador walking tour
We spend today exploring Brazil’s colonial capital, Salvador. We start this morning with the old town, Pelourinho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of the black movement in Bahia. We explore some of the areas main sites, churches and houses, but also have the chance to learn about the local art movement as it is a popular spot for Brazilian artists’ studios and galleries. After lunch we take the Elevador Lacerda (a lift which connects the uptown and downtown). From the top we get panoramic views of All Saints Bay and the Mercado Modelo (the local craft market). This market is our next stop where we can find crafts but also religious artefacts from the city’s two main religions: Catholicism and Candomble. Finally we head for the Ribeira District to enjoy ice cream at the renowned Sorveteria de Ribeira (Ribeira Ice Cream Shop) established in 1931.
Lencois, Chapada Diamantina
This morning is free to relax after yesterday’s long journey. Around lunch time you'll head out to the airport to catch a domestic flight to Lencois in the heart of Chapada Diamantina. Please note that airlines in Brazil are notorious for schedule changes. Whilst changing the day of the flight is unlikely, if it does happen we may have to go overland to Lencois.
Chapada Diamantina is one of Brazil’s most beautiful regions with its flat-top mountains, small villages, clear streams, waterfalls and more. As an introduction to this stunning region you'll head out to Pai Inacio Hill, one of the region’s most spectacular view-points, in the late afternoon to catch the sunset over the outstretched flat-top mountains. It is an easy 25-minute walk to the top of the hill but bring a torch/flash light as you'll walk back after the sun has set.
Full day hike to Capao Valley
After a short transfer to the base of Pai Inacio Hill you'll start the hike to the Capao Valley (13kms). You'll follow trails past some of the areas famous flat-top mountains and waterfalls. Along the way, enjoy views of Morrao, the tallest of the flat-top mountains in this sector of the Chapada Diamantina (at 1,418m); the Aguas Claras valley and waterfall and the mountains of Serra dos Cristais, Morro do Camelo (so named because of its resemblance to the silhouette of a camel) and Serra da Cravada. You should arrive at Campina at the end of the 5-6hrs walk and will then have a short transfer to Pousada in Capao Valley where you'll stay the night. There will be opportunity to go for a dip in the Aguas Claras pool so bring swimwear.
Cachoeira da Fumaca hike and Riachinho
Today’s hike takes you to the Cachoeira da Fumaca (Smoke Falls). The trailhead is just a short transfer from the village. From here, the hike to the falls is 12kms, a 6 hour round trip. This is the tallest waterfall in Brazil at 340m. The small stream of water is spread by the wind, sometimes even lifting it upwards (forming a curtain of droplets which has given the falls their name of ‘smoke’). The first 2kms are uphill followed by 4kms along the high plain with great views. The return journey is along the same path. Later, visit Riachinho, a series of small falls and pools, great for a refreshing dip before returning to the Pousada.
Full day hike to Guine, transfer to Mucuge
The hike today takes you onto mountain plateaus (at about 1000m) in the western part of the Chapada Diamantina Park. Most of the day will be spend making your way through the fields of Gerais do Vieira and Gerais do Rio Preto which are criss-crossed with clear streams and off great views of the Pati Valley, considered one of the most beautiful in Brazil. You should hopefully to reach your destination of Guine after some 7 or 8 hours. From here, transfer to Mucugue where you'll spend night.
Poco Encantado and Poco Azul
Today, visit two of Chapada Diamantina’s most beautiful underground pools – Poco Azul (Blue Well) and Poco Encatado (Enchanted Pool). The flooded cave of Poco Azul’s waters are an unnatural hue of blue, especially when the sun comes in through a crevice and shines onto the pool. Spend about 20mins in the incredibly clear waters here exploring the ethereal décor. Nearby Poco Encantado is another surreal flooded cavern of incredible blues. This is particularly highlighted during the months of April-August when sun comes in through a natural window and hits the water. Later, you'll transfer to the village of Ibicoara for the night.
Fumacinha Waterfall hike
Today is, without a doubt, the most challenging trek of the trip but probably also the biggest highlight. The first 2kms are easy enough along flat terrain but the next 5 get more demanding. The trail follows a river and there is a considerable amount of scrambling and walking on uneven rocks, and possibly having to skip from one rock to another. The destination of our trek is the Fumacinha Waterfall, a 300m waterfall located at the end of a deep canyon. There is only one way in and out so you'll return the same way you came. The whole day should take between 6 and 8 hours depending on the group’s capabilities. Tonight, return to Mucuge for the night.
Encantadas Waterfall hike
Today is the last day hiking, and the last waterfall, named Cachoeira Encantadas (meaning Enchanted Waterfall). After 1.5 hour transfer we start our hike which should take approximately 3 hours in each direction. Along the way we can stop to rest and take refreshing dips. We follow the river most of the way and pass along forest trails as well as some rocky terrain. We later return to Lencois for our last night in Chapada Diamantina.
To Salvador, end
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