“The Smoke Waterfall is spectacular but it is not my favourite spot in the Chadapa. For (most visitors) I think that the Poço Encantado / Igatú is a better, funkier option. Getting into the cave at Poço Encantado is a little tough, and a certain amount of care has to be taken. There is one difficult section where you have to climb down on a ladder (10 steps or) but the effect once in the cave is literally breathtaking. Keen hikers would think this easy as the proverbial, but would be overawed by the spectacle. Swimming is not allowed in this cave. There is another Poço Azul nearby where punters can swim, we often go there after the Encantado. I love the town of Igatú, a diamond mining ghost town high in the hills, the setting something of a mix between a good spaghetti western and Bedrock city.
I would suggest the above tour instead of the Smoke Waterfall tour. Also people with fear of heights should not go to Smoke and folks with claustrophobia could feel uncomfortable at Poço Encantado. For the keen hikers I suggest the Pai Inacio – Lençois walk This is a hike on of which most is on a slight decline so is not too difficult, It takes about 6 hours at a relaxed pace, through the valleys. Those with an interest in natural history would love this tour.
There is something for everybody in the Chapada Diamantina. It is for this reason that we offer different options on each day in the region. It is very much a question of clients’ physique, interests, hip-ness and fitness.
The geological structure of the area is one of acidic sandstones and conglomerates dating from the Pre-Cambrian age, creating dramatic landscapes of heavily weathered cliffs, valleys and canyons.
The climate is moderate sub-tropical, the winter months being similar to the fall in the US or Europe. The best time for orchids and flowering plants is Feb – Mar. Weather patterns have changed over recent years but trips are viable throughout the year.
There is abundant birdlife in the region. Commonly seen are the Sayaca Tanager, Striated Heron, White Browed Blackbird, Golden Oriel, Ruby topaz, Jacana, Masked Water Tyrant and Gallinule. the beautiful Hooded Visorbearer and Yellow faced Siskin are some of the rarer species seen in the region.
There are many places of interest involving half-day or full-day excursions that are included in our programs. a list of these now follows:
Serrano River and sand caves. The conglomerate river bed forms natural hydromassage pools while nearby are the sand caves where the Pre-Cambrian rock is disintergrating into fine, coloured sands. a short walk from the town.
Pai Inacio. 1250 metres above sea level, a 20 minute climb to the top for the most spectacular, 360 degree view of the whole Chapada Diamantina with its wide valleys and craggy cliff faces.
Glass Waterfall. The tallest free-fall waterfall in Brazil ( the fifth in the world ) with a sheer drop of 420 metres. Also known as the Smoke Fall as the water often evaporates before reaching the ground .
Poço Encantado. In the months of April through August, sunlight beams in through the entrance to this mountain side cave, lighting up this pure, crystal clear, aquamarine blue water lake. The depth of water is over 60 metres and the bed of the lake can be clearly seen. The dramatic photo of the sun beam entering the water and then dispersing into the colours of the spectrum begins to tell the tale. Known locally as the 8th wonder of the world.
Lapa Doce. A 30 minute climb down to the mouth of the cave and then a gentle 40 minute walk through this immense cave with it’s stunning stalagmites and stalagtites.
Pratinha subterranean pool. Nearby the Lapa Doce is this clear, silver water subteranean pool. A refreshing swim in it’s cool water after the walk in the Lapa Doce.
Xique – Xique de Igatú. A stone road laid in the last century leads to this diamond mining ghost town that was once the centre of one of the richest diamond deposits in the Chapada Diamantina. The miners built their houses in the rocks and caves, the remains of which are still to be seen.
The above trips all require transport ( except Serrano and sand caves ) and the distances/times from Lençois are:
Times and distances from Lençois to:
Pai Inacio: A 20 minute drive to the base of climb, which is in turn 20 minutes climb on foot, steep in parts but not difficult.
Glass (Smoke) Waterfall: I hour drive to Palmeiras (70 kms) and then a further 18 kms of dirt road to the base of the climb. Climb time is 2 hours. The first hour is steep climbing which requires a certain amount of physical fitness. The second hour is along the plateau to the falls offering wonderful views of the region
Poço Encantado: 2 hour drive ( last 30 minutes is on a dirt road) and then a short climb to the entrance to the cave and the lake.
Xique Xique de Igatú: 2 hour drive on asphalt road, last 15 minutes on dirt road or alternatively along the old stone road to this once properous mining town.
NB: A visit to Poço encantado can be easily combined with a visit to Xique -Xique de Igatú.
Lapa Doce / Pratinha: 2 hour drive to either site. Lapa Doce involves a 30 minutes descent to the mouth of the cave and a 40 minute walk through to the other side. Nearby is the Pratinha cavern and pool. Access to this is by a short 10 minute easy walk.