My memory is still reeling from the highlights of our tour in Brazil. The week long vacation I spent there with my wife was so memorable that I always share anecdotes about our trip to the novels I wrote. After publication of my finished book that summer of 2012, I brought my wife to my tour of the Vale da Lua in Brazil. In this warm climate, people lead an outdoor life. They fill the beaches, enjoy lively street parties at carnival time, and turn out in the thousands to watch soccer, the favorite national game. It is with pride that I narrate here my personal encounter of the sights, culture, and charm of the largest country in South America – Brazil.
We were off to a good start when I maneuver our rented Nissan car on the roads of Alto Paraiso de Goias city to get to the Vale da Lua (Valley of the Moon). This scenic valley is outside the National Park. The rock formations resemble the lunar surface where there are small swirls and funnels. They charge a small fee at the entrance. The place is very beautiful; a piece of its trail is on the river bed. The point of swimming is also good. We enjoyed the tranquil waterfall and the view of the stones and nice pool that forms. Looking very much like the surface of the moon, the only thing missing is the presence of zero gravity. On a clear weather the stones glow in different colors. It is a place that deserves to be seen and photographed because it impresses the visitor. One should not go unaccompanied by a guide and will never overcome the safety of the ropes because the undertow and the holes are treacherous, especially during rainy season and downpours. It is very different from any other attractions, rock formations with smooth stones and holes through which the river passes. Gorgeous scenery, full of stones and crystal clear waters, not to be missed!
The next day we were in awe of the wonders we saw at the Almecegas Waterfalls. It is composed of two large waterfalls Almecegas I and II. Located within the city the first waterfall can be reached by a twenty minute hike along an up and down trail of stones. It is very beautiful but has very cold water. The trail path to Almecegas I have mid-level track with steep grades. This waterfall has an observation deck and pools which has a spectacular view of the skyline or pit formed by the waterfall. The trail to Almecegas II is more easy and a good location for swimming. We took a dip and enjoyed having a water massage on its natural whirlpool jets. It is more visited by tourist groups, people with mobility problems and families with children. While the first waterfalls can be accessed by a rappel, the second one is trailed with caution as the flagstones are very slippery and there are no strings or support professionals to guide a visitor. Both waterfalls can be seen from different angles. Fantastic place and a good swim, that’s what I enjoyed the most! I highly recommend a visit.
We started early the next day to visit the Loquinhas Waterfalls. I was amazed to find several water pools that were amazingly transparent and clear, I can see all the way to the bottom of the river. In addition, the trail is very easy and has a wooden walkway that goes up to the water in each of the wells. It is a nice place with good structure and can accommodate children and older people, very different from all other waterfalls that have difficult access, slippery trails and unsafe walkways. We felt secure as we held on to the hand rails and ropes. The whole track is made of wooden decks and almost all wells for bath have a wooden bench. Along the trail there are seven wells where one can bathe and admire the crystal clear waters. The pool we cherish the most is the well of the sun, the last well and the most crystalline of all. The monkeys on the plateau are not afraid of tourists anymore, they move up next to us. We spend the rest of the day people watching and just admiring the scenic falls. This is a tour that the whole family can enjoy.
Our fourth day in the city was spent exploring the wildlife trails of Jardim de Maytreia. This park is a divine place within Brazil that boasts of a wonderful scenery and easy access after treading the asphalt road. It is a simple and beautiful landscape where the trees indicate the path of the water. Situated directly on the connecting road between Alto Paraiso and Sao Jorge, the lookout offers a beautiful view of the garden from Maytreia. We did not take any guides and had a great time watching and taking photographs of the parrots that are common on this area. Then we took an hour trail to get to the waters of the Raizama Waterfall. It is worth knowing but the wooden slides are a bit dangerous. The canyons were breathtaking but the place lacks maintenance and care. The second point of the trail is very beautiful, with big waterfalls between rock walls and crystalline waters. The last point of the trail is the best place where we have a good swim and tanning. It has a river that passes between rock walls which is very ideal and pleasant. However the hike is not that long and strenuous. After our tour of this rustic landscape we watched a Brazilian artist perform a live musical concert at the acoustically impressive halls of the Gota Kaliandra – Espaco de Musica e Silencio.
The next day we visited the Sao Bento Waterfalls. It is located about 300 meters away from the headquarters of Sao Bento. This small waterfall with a small pool does not stand out much but it is still worth seeing. It has a larger drop and a natural pool. I enjoyed swimming on its cold waters but got more cautious as the pool gets deep quickly when the falls are plenty of water. Still it was possible to swim quietly and feed the minnows (saltwater fish) some small bits of bread. Within the area we also visited the scenes at the Vale do Rio Macaco Waterfall. The tracks to reach this place are so quiet, requiring only attention for local wildlife. The beauty and power of the water is amazing. Afterwards we checked out the views of the Macaquinho Waterfalls. The waterfalls were good and ideal for swimming. The waters are not that cold and it has great water wells. The place is ideal for camping and overnight stay. Very nice view, beautiful waters and serene atmosphere, it is a must see attraction of the city.
Our last day was spent bathing and swimming at the enchanting waters of Poco Encantado. It is a very cute falls with very cold water, but really deep and not advisable for kids to swim to. In my opinion it is one of the nicest falls we have been to in that city. We had enough time to relax and enjoy our sunbathing. Tourists here also frequent this place because of an authentic Brazilian restaurant that serves a spicy blend of European, African, and Asian cooking. Having diverse flavors in one place clearly reflects the traditions of their varied ancestry.
The magical feel of the place as we experienced the rustic waterfalls was a perfect vacation spot we ever had. It was fun to sink ourselves in a country that has a mix of traditions from all kinds of people. We would come back any time.