Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina

Top choice in Lençóis

Spanning over 1520 sq km and containing within it innumerable species of plants and animals, deafening waterfalls and vast, rugged plains, Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina is a natural wonder that has drawn hikers and naturalists since even before it was officially designated a national park in 1985. Within its boundaries are hundreds and hundreds of miles of hiking trails ranging from afternoon-length jaunts to multiday treks that have the power to astonish even the most seasoned outdoors person.

There is little infrastructure in the park itself and nothing in the way of an official entrance (there's no fee to enter the borders of the park) or a central information center, so it's advisable to hire a guide, even for shorter hikes, as it can be quite easy to get lost if you aren't sure where you're going. They’re affordable (plan on around R$200–300 per day for groups of up to six people), and guides are incredibly knowledgeable about local flora and fauna, and they can find the best swimming holes – all priceless in a park with few signs or official trails. In addition some individual sites in the park may have an entry fee, which is typically covered with your guide fee should you use one. For multi-day treks, guides also arrange basic lodging and meals in local homes for the bargain price of around R$100 per person, per day.

Guides are plentiful in Lençois and can be arranged through your hotel or directly by keeping your eyes out for people in blue shirts. The Associação dos Condutores de Visitantes de Lençóis has listings of reputable guides and is good resource if you're booking one on your own.