Parque Nacional Sete Cidades
Parque Nacional Sete Cidades information
Sete Cidades is a small national park (62 sq km/24sq mi) with bizarre rock formations that some have claimed are sete cidades (seven cities) left behind by a mysterious long-departed, possibly alien, culture. But the place doesn't need such fantasies to make it worth visiting. The rock formations are indeed fantastic - some look like giant turtle shells, others resemble a castle, an elephant, a map of Brazil or the head of Emperor Dom Pedro II.
There are also superb vistas over a landscape which combines caatinga and cerrado vegetation, some 1500 intriguing rock paintings between 3000 and 5000 years old, wildlife that includes marmosets, small rodents called mocós that like to pose for photos, tarantulas and (we're told) rattlesnakes, and two delectable natural bathing pools.
Start your day early and bring snacks, water and protection from the unrelenting sun. Follow your tour with a swim in a pond or stunning waterfall (Dec-Jul only).