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Hike Brazil’s Ancient Gold Trail

Explore this historic trading route and the unspoilt wilderness of the Serra da Bocaina National Park. 4 days, 3 nights.

  • Brazil
  • May, October—December
  • Rio Galeão – Tom Jobim International Airport, Rio De Janeiro (GIG) or Guarulhos - Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport, Sao Paulo (GRU)

Trek through the Atlantic rainforest and experience the mountains and rainforest of this lush, emerald green area of Brazil, swimming beneath waterfalls and spotting hummingbirds along the way.

  • 3 days of trekking
  • 1 night in a local guesthouse, 2 nights in simple homestays
  • Breakfast, lunches and dinners of home-cooked Brazilian food
  • Transfers to and from São José do Barreiro
  • Local, certified guide

Perfect for:
Those who want to get back to nature and learn about the fascinating and eye-opening story of slavery in colonial Brazil.

Need To Know

Onward transportation to Paraty or Ilha Grande (both one hour away) can be arranged for you if you want to add on some rest and relaxation to your trip.

Alternatively, we can arrange a transfer directly back to either Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo (at an additional cost) directly from the end point of the trek – we’ll also arrange for any larger luggage stored with us at our office while you’re trekking to be transferred with you.

The days are usually hot and sunny with the nights a little cooler and more refreshing. June, July and August are the cooler months, although daytime temperatures rarely dip much below 25°C. April is the end of the rainy season and so may be a little wetter, but there can be rain showers all year round.

Homemade Brazilian food is cooked from scratch on wood stoves. Common ingredients are rice, beans, potatoes, vegetables, chicken and pasta - expect it to be hearty and filling.

  • Hiking boots
  • A small backpack
  • A towel
  • A fleece or warm jumper for evenings
  • A waterproof coat (just in case!)
  • Hiking trousers and shorts
  • A walking pole (optional but recommended)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Several t-shirts
  • Swimming costume
  • Any personal items required - toiletries and medication

A good level of fitness is required for this trip. We recommend that you have had some experience trail hiking before and own good pair of walking boots (well broken in – no blisters here!), along with appropriate hiking clothes. You’ll be walking up to 25 kilometres each day, although there will be plenty of breaks to recharge.

Absolutely! Lot’s of people choose to join one of our trips and meet like-minded people. However, on this trip though it’s not possible to have a single room - the accommodation in the National Park is bunk bed, dorm accommodation.

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to and from Brazil
  • Travel to and from São José do Barreiro, where the trip starts and finishes
  • Travel insurance
  • Cash for personal spending, for example for drinks
  • Hiking boots and clothing

Unfortunately most dietary requirements are not able to be catered for on this trip due to the remote nature of the area you will be trekking in.

Both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are well served with flights from the UK and Europe, direct on British Airways and LATAM, or indirect on a wide choice or airlines.

Transfers can be arranged for you from either city or airport to São José do Barreiro, or also can be arranged from Paraty or Ilha Grande.

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Location

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Located halfway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and far from the tourist hot-spots along the coast, the Serra da Bocaina National Park is an unspoilt slice of Brazil’s legendary rainforest, home to tropical palms, towering pines and waterfalls that tumble out of the forest. Cutting right through the middle of this untouched wilderness is the ancient cobbled trail of the ‘Caminho do Ouro’ – the Gold Trail, built by an army of slaves and now a unique trekking experience.

Start Point?

Your adventure starts in São José do Barreiro, a small town located in the Paraiba Valley, where you’ll be meeting your guides at 15:00. Transfers (around three hours) can be arranged from both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro if required.

Finish Point?

If you choose to take the included transfer back to São José do Barreiro, you’ll arrive back around 20:00 on the final day of the trek.

Onward transportation to Paraty or Ilha Grande (both one hour away) can be arranged for you if you want to add on some rest and relaxation to your trip.

Alternatively, we can arrange a transfer directly back to either Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo (at an additional cost) directly from the end point of the trek – we’ll also arrange for any larger luggage stored with us at our office while you’re trekking to be transferred with you.

Getting there and away?

Both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are well served with flights from the UK and Europe, direct on British Airways and LATAM, or indirect on a wide choice or airlines.

Transfers can be arranged for you from either city or airport to São José do Barreiro, or also can be arranged from Paraty or Ilha Grande.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrive and Travel Into the Rainforest

Meet your local guides at the trekking office in São José do Barreiro.

Travel with your fellow hikers by car for around one hour to your accommodation for the night, a ‘pousada’, or local guesthouse.

Enjoy a tasty home cooked Brazilian meal, prepared in a traditional wooden stove and relax before the start of tomorrow’s adventure.

Day 2: Trek into the Bocaina National Park and Swim Beneath Waterfalls

Get up early for breakfast and depart on foot for the nearby Serra da Bocaina National Park, a vast reserve filled with tumbling rivers, forested mountains and wildlife.

Head into the waiting forest and trek through the Bonito Valley, surrounded by towering pines and ancient cedars.

Take a picnic at Posses waterfall and cool off with a swim.

Continue on foot, before arriving at your homestay accommodation (no wi-fi here!) just in time for a well-deserved meal.

25km of walking

Day 3: Continue hiking the Gold Trail

After breakfast continue following the cobbles of the Trilha do Ouro

Keep an eye out for termite mounds, hovering hummingbirds and spider monkeys along the way, before eating lunch at your next homestay.

After some time to relax, set off for the short walk to the Cachoeira do Veado waterfall, plunging down from 200 metres into the pool below.

Relax, swim or sunbathe before returning for another delicious Brazilian dinner.

10km of walking

Day 4: Hike the Final Section of the Trail and Swim in Rivers

Up early (it’ll be worth it!), for your last day on the historic Gold Trail.

Trek for the morning before enjoying a well-earned picnic by the Maitaca River to rest and refuel.

Continue on for the last few kilometres of your adventure, stopping for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Santo Antonio river.

Reach the end of the hike and take a final dip in the Mambucaba river to celebrate, before travelling by car back to São José do Barreiro (around four hours drive).

18km of walking

Accommodation

On your first night you’ll stay at Pousada Recanto da Floresta, a local guesthouse with a hammock-strewn garden, a small swimming pool and a backdrop of forested mountains. Rooms here are en-suite doubles or twins and Wi-Fi is available.

For the following two nights you’ll stay within the National Park itself where a local family will host you. Accommodation here is simple, yet clean, with dorm rooms. It’s a real back to nature experience, so no Wi-Fi or phone signal.

Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Transfers to the Start of the hike Payable In Resort
From São Paulo city or Airport (based on 4 people) BRL250.00 Per Person
From Rio de Janeiro city or Airport (up to 4 people) BRL250.00 Per Person
Transfers from the end of the hike Payable In Resort
Bus to Angra dos Reis (ilha grande) BRL10.00 Per Person
Bus to Paraty BRL5.00 Per Person
Private Transfer to Rio de Janeiro (based on 4 people sharing) BRL270.00 Per Person
Private Transfer to São Paulo (based on 4 people sharing) BRL270.00 Per Person

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