Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the room prices paid by overnight guests at the Pousada Santuário do Caraça. Non-guests can also purchase lunch in the sanctuary's dining hall; the all-you-can-eat buffet (noon to 2pm) costs R$28 for adults, R$20 for children under 12. A few snack items are also available at the sanctuary's gift shop.

The Maned Wolves of Caraça

The maned wolf – lobo guará in Portuguese – is South America’s largest wild canine, native to the cerrado (savanna) environment protected within the Parque Natural do Caraça. A few years back, one of Caraça’s priests had the idea of befriending the wolves, St Francis style. After two years of patient work gradually tempting them toward the church with offerings of food, he gained the wolves’ trust.

Nowadays the feeding has become a nightly ritual, open to overnight guests at the Pousada Santuário do Caraça. After dinner in the monastery’s old stone refectory, people drift out to the patio. The ceremonial tray of scraps for the wolves is placed on the flagstones just past sunset, while popcorn, herb tea and cachaça (sugarcane alcohol) are provided for the humans. Then the waiting begins.

Even on nights when a wolf never comes, the meditative pleasure of sitting under the stars, trading conversation and soaking up Caraça's tranquility is a magical experience. But wait patiently enough and you may be rewarded…with the patter of feet, the sudden hush rippling through the crowd, the scamper up the steps, and the wild eyes of this beautiful creature come to steal a quick meal and then vanish again into the night.