Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike Brazil's Lost World

Trek among ancient monoliths and plunging waterfalls in Chapada Diamantina National Park, a rugged and isolated hiking paradise

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Trip Ref #10539

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike Brazil's Lost World

Trek among ancient monoliths and plunging waterfalls in Chapada Diamantina National Park, a rugged and isolated hiking paradise

DURATION

9 nights

LOCATION

Brazil

ANNUAL LEAVE

6 days off work

SEASON

Jan-Dec

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Salvador Airport, Bahia

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Homestay

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

A steady hike, but with some steep ascents, scrambles and rough terrain. You'll carry your own pack, so you'll need a good level of fitness.

Traverse Brazil’s ‘Diamond Highlands’ on remote trails, surrounded by striking mountain plateaus in the Vale do Pati

Clamber up the 300m canyon of Cachoeirão Falls, and up 200 steps to Mosquito Waterfall

Explore the quartz cavern of Gruta do Castelo and take a dip in Poço Azul - a subterranean pool with a blue glow

Immerse yourself in the rural communities of this sparsely populated region, hiking between village homestays

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Local, English-speaking tour leader and guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a hotel, 3 nights in a historic pousada and 4 nights in local homestays

Meals

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Permits

All permits, tickets and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Salvador International Airport (Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães), Bahia

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Salvador International Airport (Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães), Bahia

Any time on Day 10

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Salvador International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city. On Day 10, your host will transfer you back to Salvador International Airport in time for your onward flight.

Airport transfers are included in the price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 10. If you wish to arrive before the trip start date or stay longer at the end, your host can arrange private airport transfers - see Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

There are indirect international flights to Salvador from the UK and major European hubs, which commonly consist of an outbound flight connection via Lisbon.

From the US, there are indirect flights from various major hubs which most commonly transit via São Paulo.

For those arriving early or wanting to stay on, extra nights accommodation can be arranged with your host at an additional cost. Please see Optional Extras for more information.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 6

Homestay · Same sex dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

The cuisine in the Brazilian state of Bahia has a blended heritage of Portuguese dishes with African flavours, herbs, spices and cooking techniques. You’ll experience different variations of meals from Salvador to Lençóis and at each local house on the hike. For breakfast you can expect fresh bread, porridge, fruit, eggs, cassava and beijú (a tapioca flour crêpe), with coffee and juices. For lunch, sandwiches, cake and fresh tropical fruits will mainly be the order of the day. For your evening meal, you could be served rice, beans, braised palm tree heart and squash cortado, chicken or farofa (toasted cassava crumbs), together with rice and beans.

Vegetarians and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Salvador

In Salvador you'll bed down at the Bahiacafé Hotel, located in Praça da Se, the gateway to the historic centre. This cosy hotel has a boutique feel and blends local art with African-inspired decor. You’ll stay in twin-share rooms with private bathrooms. The sights of the city, including Rio Branco Palace Museum and Terreiro de Jesus Plaza, are only a short walk away.

Lençóis

In Lençóis you’ll stay at Pouso da Trilha, a centrally located pousada in this small, well-preserved colonial town. The pousada is a comfortable historic house, and its garden makes a great place to relax after hiking with fruit trees, hammocks and decking. You’ll stay in twin-share rooms with private bathrooms.

Pati Valley

During your 5-day hike across Chapada Diamantina National Park, you’ll stay with local people along the way. A fantastic opportunity to experience life in rural communities, you’ll stay in shared same-sex dorms with bedding and shared bathrooms provided. You'll dine together at each of these homestays, which are rustic, comfortable and warmed by wood-burning stoves.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge at Salvador and Lençois accommodation, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability). Please note, it is not possible to have a private room at the Pati Valley homestays.

Day 1

Welcome to Brazil

Welcome to Salvador - the colourful capital city of the state of Bahia. You’ll be picked at the airport and taken to your hotel in the historic part of town. Home to a fusion of cultural influences, Brazil’s third-largest city hums with life and basks in a tropical climate. Explore the sights if you have time, or catch up on sleep in preparation for the adventure which begins tomorrow.

Day 2

Westward to Lençóis

Driving

5-6hrs · 420km

Meet your guide and your fellow travellers for breakfast and to chat through the adventure ahead. Hop in the van for a road trip westwards through the Bahia countryside, to Lençóis. This compact and characterful colonial town is the gateway to Chapada Diamantina National Park. Explore your new surroundings, before going for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3

Chapada Diamantina National Park

Hiking

5hrs · 9km · 409m up · 592m down

Journey by van to the trailhead in the village of Guiné - you'll travel over paved and dirt roads. Begin hiking up Beco Hill, where you'll take in the first of many great views of the Serra do Esbarrancado. Walk down into the valley, cross the Rio Preto and push on up the other side to reach a lookout point over to the remote Pati Valley. Begin the craggy downhill scramble that leads onto the trail and into the open valley, pressing onwards to your first homestay.

Day 4

Funis Falls and Gruta do Castelo

Hiking

6hrs · 7km · 450m up · 556m down

Set off this morning following the path of the Funis River, past tumbling waterfalls and deep pools, until you reach Funis Falls. Take a breather, enjoy a refreshing dip in the pools and tuck into lunch, before heading up the Serra da Lapinha trail to reach the Gruta do Castelo. Here, a cavernous quartz cave glistens and leads to a stunning view of the valley's far side. Steadily make your way down the muddy trail to your next homestay.

Day 5

Cachoeirão Waterfall

Hiking

7hrs · 17km · 795m up · 726m down

Fuel up on breakfast - you're going to need it, today's hike is a big one. Lace up your boots, grab your pack and head up a steep section of the trail leading to the spectacular Cachoeirão Waterfall. The towering 300m walls of the canyon spring several waterfalls, with more cascades appearing in the rainy season. Take a dip in a nearby pool, explore the canyon and get a unique view of the Pati Valley. Then follow the trail, winding downwards and on to your next homestay - and a very well deserved dinner.

Day 6

Pati Valley

Hiking

5hrs · 9km · 163m up · 414m down

Head into the valley to traverse the lowland Pati de Baixo, hopping over rocks as you follow the Pati River. Today is a less arduous day where you can take in the mountain views, stop for wild swims in the river and soak up the remote beauty of the national park. After a spot of lunch, continue the trail onwards to your homestay for the night. Kick back and relax ahead of the final hike day tomorrow.

Day 7

The Império Mountains

Hiking

5hrs · 10km · 498m up · 773m down

Driving

4hrs · 171km

Hit the trail, which wind upwards on an ascent through the Império mountain range, with views of the Pati Valley getting more sublime with each step. Appreciate nature at its best whilst tucking into lunch, then continue over the crest to hike the long and steady descent into the town of Andaraí. Jump in the van for your undulating, dirt road journey back to Lençóis, stopping en route at the stunning Poço Azul - a cave with a subterranean pool of luminescent blue water, where you can take a dip and soak up the natural beauty.

Day 8

Mosquito Waterfall and Morro do Pai Inácio

Hiking

1.5hr · 2km · 150m up · 150m down

Driving

3hrs · 120km

Travel to Mosquito Waterfall, where the water cascades from a height of 60m and has carved a towering cleft in the vegetation-draped rock. There are 200 steps up (and back down), but this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Brazil to swim in.

Back in Lençóis, set off on a short sunset hike up to Morro do Pai Inácio. Take in the picture postcard views and admire the contoured curves of the Serra do Espinhaço mountain range.

Day 9

Salvador

Driving

5-6hrs · 420km

Bid farewell to Lençóis and take a road trip back to Salvador. Wander the charming, historic streets of this UNESCO World Heritage city and savour the flavours of the Afro-Brazilian culture in one of the many local restaurants.

Day 10

Goodbye Brazil

Enjoy breakfast in Salvador and explore some more of the sights before your host takes you to the airport in time for your onward flight.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Main baggage rucksack or soft overnight duffel bag
  • Large daypack (minimum 50 litres) for kit on the multi-day hike
  • Waterproof liner for large daypack and drybags

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Warm hat
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals/light shoes

SLEEPING

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional)
  • Travel pillow or pillowcase

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream (high factor)
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle(s) x2 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system

Pre/post trip accommodation in Salvador Hotel

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Salvador Hotel

Per Night

Optional private room upgrade Salvador and Lençóis (Single/Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Optional private room upgrade Salvador and Lençóis (Single/Twin/Double)

Private Transfer from Salvador Airport to Salvador Hotel (per vehicle)

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer from Salvador Airport to Salvador Hotel (per vehicle)

Private Transfer from Salvador Hotel to Salvador Airport (per vehicle)

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer from Salvador Hotel to Salvador Airport (per vehicle)

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 191kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Whilst there are no technical sections on this trip, the ground can be rugged with up and downhill walking, as well as the level terrain on the valley floor. You will need a good level of fitness - you'll be hiking for five days, for between 5 and 7 hours in duration and carrying all you need for those five days in your backpack. Your hike to Cachoeirão Waterfall on Day 5 is a hefty one at around 17km.

You'll be hiking north to south through the Pati Valley of Chapada Diamantina National Park. There will be rocky ascents and descents, with slippery conditions underfoot at times and sections of scrambling, as well as shallow river crossings. You will be hiking at approximately 700m to 1500m above sea level.

For the five main hiking days in Chapada Diamantina, you'll need to have a large daypack of at least 50 litres, suitable for carrying all the belongings that you will need whilst hiking each day and overnight at the local homestays, including personal items and water. Pack your gear into dry bags inside your daypack in case of rain.

Your main baggage, in which you can leave all items that you won't specifically need on the hike, can be securely stored at the pousada in Lençóis whilst you are hiking in Chapada Diamantina National Park. Any excess luggage can be stored in the hotel in Salvador before you head west and collected on your return.

Brazil is a large country with a huge variety of climates across different environments. Chapada Diamantina National Park, located in Bahia state, is semi-arid with a tropical climate and fairly stable temperatures across the year, but the weather can be changeable. It’s generally warm and sunny in the daytime with a cool breeze at night, making this a year-round destination. There are two seasons, the dry and cooler months are between May and October and the warmer and wetter months are between November and April.

Between May and October, the daytime temperatures are generally between 17°C / 62°F to 26°C / 79°F, and down to between 10°C / 50°F and 14°C / 57°F at night.

Between November and April, the daytime temperatures are generally between 22°C / 68°F to 30°C / 86°F, and down to between 13°C / 55°F and 15°C / 59°F at night.

Tap water in Brazil is not safe to drink. You will be able to refill your water bottle using filtered water available at the accommodation. Please pack your own reusable bottle, it will be well used.

Water bottles with inbuilt filters are becoming increasingly popular for travellers to use in countries without clean tap water. Please see our guide for advice on the best water filters for adventurers if you wish to bring your own filtration bottle on this trip

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion and not expected in Brazil. If you wish to tip the tour leader and local guides, we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

£4 / $5 USD / R26 BRL per person, per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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