Centro de Visitantes

Rio de Janeiro State

Revamped to celebrate Itatiaia's 80th anniversary in 2017, this visitors center, 5km uphill from the lower entrance, houses exhibits about the biology and natural history of Brazil's oldest national park. A Portuguese-language video with English subtitles introduces Itatiaia's many ecosystems, waterfalls, trails and shelters. Other attractions include a huge scale model of the park, a one-room display on the history of local mountaineering and a natural history museum with dioramas featuring Itatiaia's wealth of mammals, birds, butterflies and insects.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rio de Janeiro State attractions

1. Lago Azul

0.23 MILES

From park headquarters, a 500m trail descends to this natural pool in the Rio Campo Belo, a popular spot for swimming.

2. Mirante Último Adeus

0.65 MILES

Accessible via a short flight of steps off the main road, about 2.5 miles above the lower park entrance, this viewpoint commands sweeping views of…

4. Cachoeira do Maromba

1.59 MILES

Just below the point where the lower park road dead-ends, Maromba's waters surge through a rocky gorge into a sun-dappled natural swimming hole.

5. Véu de Noiva Waterfall

1.69 MILES

Reached by a 500m trail through the forest, a few kilometers up the road from park headquarters, this 40m-high waterfall tumbles down a cliff face into a…

6. Itaporani Waterfall

1.86 MILES

Accessible via a 750m trail a few kilometers up the road from park headquarters, this broad series of falls tumbles over rocky shelves into a deep emerald…

7. Cachoeira de Deus

4.65 MILES

This waterfall is about a 20-minute walk uphill from the bus turnaround in Alto do Penedo. Ask locally for directions, as signs are intermittent.

8. Três Cachoeiras

5.08 MILES

This waterfall and its popular adjacent swimming hole are 2km west of downtown Penedo along the main road just before it starts climbing to Alto do Penedo.