Chapada dos Guimarães is a friendly town to stay and a good place to organise day trips or longer excursions that include activities such as hiking and wildlife spotting.
Chapada dos Guimarães is located in the state of Mato Grosso, in west Brazil. It is a tourist town with a pleasant ambience, and suitable to arrange day trips to the surrounding areas. Another popular option is to make a multiple-day excursion to the Pantanal.
Day Trips in Chapada dos Guimarães National Park
About fifteen kilometres west of the town lies Chapada dos Guimarães National Park. Some parts of the park can be visited independently, others require a guide. Independent visits can be made to the 86 meters’ high Veu do Noiva Waterfall, the park’s highest point of “São Jerônimo”, and the viewpoint [called “mirante”] on the east side of town.
A recommended day trip to Chapada dos Guimarães National Park is the six kilometres’ trail to waterfalls and brooks [Caminha das Aguas] and subsequently watching the sunset at Cidade de Pedras [guide is mandatory].
Day Excursion to the Aroe Jari Cavern and Lagoa Azul
Forty kilometres east of Chapada dos Guimarães lie the spectacular Aroe Jari Cavern, Lagoa Azul and a waterfall. It is a fabulous day trip where guides take travellers over well-maintained trails through dry cerrado savannah and lush tropical jungle. Depending on the guide’s knowledge he will point out the medicinal or nutritious use of cerrado plants. It has been calculated that up to seventy percent of all cerrado plants can be used for one or both purposes.
The Aroe Jari Cavern is a 1100 metres’ long cavern and the largest in Brazil. During the dry season it can be entered on one side and exited on the other. Further down the trail lies the Lagoa Azul – a beautiful Blue Lake [no swimming allowed]. After this four-hour, relaxed walk it is possible to have lunch at the restaurant atop a hill that offers views of the cerrado. After lunch one can visit a nearby waterfall for a refreshing dip.
The entrance fee is 15 reais per person and includes visits to the Aroe Jari Cavern, Lagoa Azul and the waterfall. Like this day trip, the lunch is good value for money; 15 reais for a large, tasteful meal of rice, beans, meat and a salad.
Tips for Day Trips to Bom Jardim and Nobres
Day trips to Bom Jardim and Nobres may include activities such as watching blue-gold macaws, snorkelling and diving, visiting waterfalls or exploring caves. Instead of returning to Chapada do Guimarães there is an option to spend the night in Bom Jardim. The town has several pousadas and is located nearby the town of Nobres.
Excursions to the Wetlands of the Pantanal for Wildlife Spotting
The Pantanal can be visited on a one-day trip from Cuiabá but this means many hours of driving for relatively little time in the Pantanal. The Pantanal is too far from Chapada dos Guimarães for a one-day trip. A multiple-day excursion to the Pantanal is recommended.
A one or two-night stay at one of the fazendas along the Transpantaneira – the main, unpaved road into the wetlands – provides the opportunity to watch wildlife and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, boating or fishing.