The Chapada Diamantina National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina) is a national park in the Chapada Diamantina region of the State of Bahia, Brazil. The terrain is rugged, and mainly covered by flora of the Caatinga biome. It covers 152,142 hectares (375,950 acres).
The park is in the Chapada Diamantina, a plateau bounded by cliffs of 41,751 km² (16,120 square miles) in central Bahia. Altitudes in the plateau typically vary from 500 - 1,000 m (1,640 - 3,300 ft). In the more mountainous parts there are several peaks of 1,600 - 1,800 m (5,250 - 5,910 ft), and a few over 2,000 m (6,600 ft). The plateau forms a watershed, draining on one side into the São Francisco River and on the other into the De Contas River and Paraguaçu River.
In the 19th and early 20th century, diamonds were found in this area. The whole area was dug up and turned over in search of diamonds. Most of it actually twice. The first time black diamonds were discarded as worthless. When they became valuable as industrial diamonds, the mining dumps were searched again for the black diamonds.
View of Lençóis over the creek bed. (1100k) View of the creek bed over Lençóis. (1044k) Brook above Lençóis. (1017k) Brook with water colored by tannin. (1105k) Whirlpool in the creek bed. (1420k) Primavera Waterfall near Lençóis. (1261k) Ribeirão do Meio water slide. (1063k) Pool at the bottom of the Ribeirão do Meio water slide with tannin colored water. (1355k) Rock formation. (1080k) Rock formation. The soft rock is easily eroded. (971k) Quartz vein in rock. (968k) Sandstone cliffs near Lençóis. (1164k) Sedimentary rock with large tumbled rocks in a very soft matrix. (984k) Close-up of the sedimentary rock. (1059k) Some of the local rocks make fine coloring. (1259k)
Morro do Pai Inácio
Morro do Pai Inácio. (501k) View of the Cercado Valley from Morro do Pai Inácio. (1040k) View of the Três Irmãos (Three Brothers) from Morro do Pai Inácio. (687k) Três Irmãos (Three Brothers) in the evening sun. (447k) Rock formation on Morro do Pai Inácio. (1160k) Plant on top of Morro do Pai Inácio. (1268k) Plants on top of Morro do Pai Inácio. (1143k) Plant on top of Morro do Pai Inácio. There is hardly any soil to support the little tree. (1220k)
Caves in the Chapada Diamantina National Park
Gruta da Lapa Doce (Lapa Doce Cave) is a large cave. It is easy to walk through, no narrow passages or low ceilings. It has lots of beautiful limestone formations.
The Pratinha is an underground river coming out of a cave. It is easy to get to.
The Gruta Azul or Blue Cave actually a pool in a cave. It is a 10 minute walk from parking, with a descend down some stairs at the end.
Entrance area of the Lapa Doce Cave viewed from above. (973k) Entrance area of the Lapa Doce Cave. (1073k) Entrance area of the Lapa Doce Cave. (720k) Huge limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (643k) Colorful limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (787k) Colorful limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (777k) Limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (811k) Limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (674k) "Frozen waterfall" of limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (797k) Huge limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (764k) Huge limestone deposits in the Lapa Doce Cave. (758k) Massive stalactite in the Lapa Doce Cave. (787k) Stalactite in the Lapa Doce Cave. (571k) Stalactite in the Lapa Doce Cave. (594k) Straw-like stalactite in the Lapa Doce Cave. (562k) Joined stalagmite/stalactite in the Lapa Doce Cave. (726k) Limestone umbrella in the Lapa Doce Cave. (635k) Pratinha Cave. (1117k) Pratinha Cave. (1262k)
Vale do Capão and Cachoeira da Fumaça
Vale do Capão (Valley of Capão) is a scenic valley in the Chapada Diamantinapark. The village of Caeté-Açu in the valey is the starting point of the hike to the Cachoeira da Fumaça (Fumaça Waterfall). The hike is very nice, about 2 km (1.2 miles) uphill and then about 4 km (2.5 miles) on flat terrain. The waterfall is the second highest in Brazil. Unfortunately, it was the dry season, so there was no water falling over the waterfall.
First part of the trail, going up the mountain. Caeté-Açu is on the right. (853k) Cliffs next to the waterfall. (1066k) Valley below the waterfall. (887k)