Between the massive wetlands of the Pantanal and the even more massive Amazon Rainforest lie the scrub-grass plateaus of Chapada dos Guimaraes. The national park is located in Mata Grosso near the small city of Cuiaba and is known for an abundance of quartz in the largely sandstone edifices that are rumored to have magnetic properties. Beyond this, the appeal is in the plateau hikes and waterfalls found here in abundance.
Our favorite waterfall is also most accessible, a 250 foot cascade within a few minutes’ walk of the park entrance. For those interested in a day hike, the trek to the peak of Morro Sao Jeronimo (under 3,000 feet) is worth it for the views of the verdant valley below. Also of interest is the Caverna Aroe Jari, a huge sandstone cave that is known for its cave paintings. The assistance of a local guide is prudent, for the cave is quite a hike from a local dirt road.