Parque Estadual Serra do Intendente

Top choice in Minas Gerais

This remote state park, 19km west of Conceição do Mato Dentro at the end of a rugged dirt road, preserves a 13,500-hectare chunk of backcountry within Unesco's Serra do Espinhaço Biosphere Reserve. The park's centerpiece is Cachoeira Tabuleiro, Brazil's third-highest waterfall (273m). From the park entrance, it's a 1½-hour hike, with steep staircases and a sustained spell of boulder-hopping along the river, to reach the natural swimming pool at the base of the falls.

For a less strenuous perspective on the falls, take the 15-minute trail from the park entrance to the mirante (viewpoint).

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