Good for: bird watching, waterfalls, Extreme sport freaks, Bird watchers, animals
- Taquaruçú Area
Lonely Planet review for Waterfalls
There are 80 identified waterfalls, caves and pools in the area, of which ten to fifteen are open and accessible to the public during most of the year. The tourist office encourages visitors to use guides for all the sites, though several of the most popular ones are perfectly easy to visit on your own.
Cachoeria de Roncadeira is the tallest in the area (70m), and Cachoiera Escorrega Macaco, just a hundred meters away, is nearly as tall (60m). Both tumble picturesquely down sheer rust-brown cliffs, fringed by green vegetation and moss-covered stones. Both have small pools for wading and swimming, while Roncadeira is sometimes used for rappelling.
The falls are located 1.5km down a leafy well-marked trail; follow signs toward Hotel Fazenda Encantada and look for a large turnoff and parking area as the road ascends just out of town. Cachoiera Taquaruçú is a beefy cascade with a choppy swimming hole that can get crowded on hot summer weekends. (There's even a restaurant here.) Look for the large roadside parking area along the highway from Palmas, about 4.5km before reaching Taquaruçú; the falls are 150m walk from there. A R$3 per person trail fee applies if you come without a guide.
Other popular spots that are best visited with a guide include the Cachoeira do Rappel, on the Fazenda Encantada grounds and used for rappelling (naturally), and Vale do Vai-Quem-Quer, a broad valley with a series of falls and good swimming spots. Before setting out, discuss with your guide what type of falls you'd like to see, how much hiking and driving you want, and whether the car you have is adequate for all sites (some require 4WD, especially in the rainy season).