Itatiaia National Park – RJ


This week’s travel tip is the Itatiaia National Park located on the border between São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states. It’s the oldest park in Brazil, established in 1937 with 30,000 hectares and very good infrastructure.

Why you should you visit the park?
– Contact with nature is good and does not cost anything
– Gather family and friends in a place where there is no TV
– The best time to visit is in winter (June to August)
– The city of Itatiaia is 8 km from the park and has great hotels.

Photo: Bruno Dias

Photo: Bruno Dias

What you can do in the park?
– Waterfall baths
– Birdwatching and butterfly watching
– Hiking
– Cycling
– Rock climbing
– Mountaineering
– Overnight authorized in shelters
– Picnic

In addition, you will have the opportunity to see Brazil from it’s third highest mountain.

– BR-485, which runs through the park, peaks at 2460m above sea level and is considered the highest road in Brazil.
– Here are some of the highest peaks in Brazil: Agulhas Negras (2,787 m) and Prateleiras (2540 m).

Natural aspects

The park is surrounded by the Mantiqueira Mountain Environmental Protection Area which provides an ecological buffer zone. The park is divided into two areas:

The lower part is much closer to the city, covered by the Atlantic Forest, where you can find many old trees, trumpet trees and ornamental plants. There are waterfalls like Véu da Noiva with 45 meters, Poranga and Itaporami. Visit the natural pools as Maromba and Blue Lagoon. The park also has the Natural History Museum and the Regional Museum of Fauna and Flora.

The high area is 35 km from the main entrance and dominated by rock formations with cliffs and slopes that form the plateau of the Serra da Mantiqueira where are the Pico das Agulhas Negras, Maciço das Prateleiras, Vale do Aiuruoca Valley and Pedra do Altar.

Take trips with local guides and have a backpack with water, always have something to eat (nuts, fruits, cheese, sandwiches), sunscreen and first aid kit. The park is open daily and a fee (£6) is charged to enter.

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