Adventures / Epic Treks

Trek, Raft and Camp in Brazil’s Jalapão State Park

Hike up mountains, raft white water rapids and visit local communities far from the tourist trail. 8 days.

  • Brazil
  • June, November
  • Brigadeiro Lysias Rodrigues Airport, Palmas. Check flights

Explore Jalapão State Park in central Brazil, a wild landscape of open savannah, high mountains and roaring waterfalls. Watch the sunset from the top of a mountain ridge, swim in a bubbling river spring and meet local villagers in this little-known part of the country.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • Experienced, English speaking guide
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners, snacks and drinking water
  • Local transportation
  • Whitewater rafting equipment

Perfect for: Travellers looking for a real expedition and a range of activities, in a corner of Brazil that’s untouched by mass tourism.

Need To Know

The only extra costs are:

  • Travel to and from Palmas
  • Meals on day one in Palmas
  • Soft drinks or alcoholic drinks (water is provided)
  • Personal expenses

You should have a good general level of fitness and be used to walking up to 15km in one day. No previous rafting experience is required - all safety equipment and a briefing will be provided.

Absolutely! The trip runs with a minimum group of 3 people and a maximum of 12, so you’ll be hiking and rafting with other like-minded travellers. Lot’s of people book our trips as a solo traveller - it’s a great way to meet people.

You’ll need to pack:

  • Sleeping bag
  • A lightweight, quick drying towel or sarong
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Light clothing
  • Suitable clothing for rafting (quick drying shorts and t-shirt)
  • Shoes for rafting (plimsolls or trekking sandals)
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Headtorch or flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Baseball cap or hat
  • Small backpack to use during the days
  • Sunglasses
  • Any personal spending money for drinks or handicrafts from the villages

All rafting equipment, including lifejackets, is included. All camping equipment is provided, except for sleeping bags.

The weather in this part of Brazil is hot and sunny, with temperatures reaching up to 38°C during the day, and dropping to 15°C at night. Dry season is from April to November, and the rainy season is December to March.

You’ll eat home-cooked typical Brazilian food. Breakfast usually consists of bread with eggs and cheese, tropical fruits, plus tea, coffee and juice. For lunch and dinner you’ll eat hearty food like rice and beans or pasta, with meat or fish, potatoes and salad.

Dietary requirements can be catered to - please let us know at the time of booking.

You can book flights that arrive into Palmas at anytime on day one - you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the city. Likewise, on day eight you can book flights that depart at any time in the afternoon or evening- you’ll be transferred back to the airport after breakfast, arriving at around midday.

Direct flights to Palmas operate from São Paulo, Brasilia and Goiânia. If you’re travelling from anywhere else in Brazil then you’ll need to take an indirect flight with a short stopover – very common when travelling internally in Brazil. The main domestic airlines are GOL, Azul and LATAM, all comfortable and with good safety records.

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Location

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Located in central Brazil, Jalapão State Park covers 34,000 square kilometres of remote wilderness and cerrado or Brazilian savannah. Known for ecotourism and the range of adventure activities available, this region is relatively untouched by mass tourism, with a varied landscape of golden sand dunes, table mountains, canyons full of unusual rock formations, rivers, bubbling springs and isolated waterfalls.

Start point?

You’ll be met at Palmas airport and transferred to your hotel in the city. Check-in is from 12:00.

Finish point?

You’ll return to Palmas airport at around midday on day eight.

Getting there and away?

Direct flights to Palmas operate from Brasilia, São Paulo and Goiânia. If you’re travelling from anywhere else in Brazil then you’ll need to take an indirect flight with a short stopover – very common when travelling internally in Brazil. The main domestic airlines are GOL, Azul and LATAM, all comfortable and with good safety records.

Travelling from the UK, British Airways operates direct flights to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo or LATAM flies direct to São Paulo. There is a wide choice of airlines offering indirect flights via Europe, or Avianca fly from London via Bogota, Colombia, to all the main cities in Brazil.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrive in Palmas

Fly into Palmas, the closest airport to Jalapão State Park, where you’ll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

Check in and explore this newly built city, only founded in 1990.

Day 2: Off-Road Driving and Sunset

After breakfast set off by 4x4 towards the park, stopping at Morro Vermelho, a unique collection of red sandstone rock formations surrounded by trees.

Arrive at Jalapão Ecolodge for lunch and take a break from the midday sun.

After plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery, hike to the top of Morro da Catedral for a sunset view over the park.

Drive the final 35km to your accommodation for the night in São Felix do Tocantins, arriving in time for dinner and a briefing about the next six days.

Total driving time - 5 hours Total distance walked – 4,5km

Day 3: Trek the Quilombolas Trail

Rise early for breakfast and then set off for a full days hike.

Trek the Quilombolas Trail, guided by a local from Boa Esperança village and learn about life in the small communities who still reside in the park.

Stop for lunch on the banks of the Soninho river, with plenty of time to rest and relax.

As it starts to cool down, set off once again on the final stretch to Mumbuca village, your home for the evening.

Total distance walked – 27km / 7 hours

Day 4: Hike to River Springs

After breakfast in the village, set off on foot for Fervedouro Encontro dos Rios and Fervedouro Buritizinho springs, a series of emerald green natural pools that constantly bubble - giving you the sensation of floating effortlessly.

Continue on to the Formiga Waterfall, where emerald green waters tumble over the smooth rocks and into a shady pool that’s perfect for swimming.

Drive to Mateiros and your pousada, or local guesthouse, for the night and a home-cooked meal and time to recharge.

Total distance walked – 12km / 10 hours including three swimming stops

Day 5: Sand Dunes and River Beaches

Rise bright and early to watch the sunrise from Espírito Santo Hill.

Eat breakfast at a local restaurant, and then hike the Dunes Trail as it descends from the top of golden sand dunes to the sandy beaches of the Rio Novo.

After lunch, take the afternoon to relax – swim in the river, sunbathe, or just enjoy a cold drink.

Following a briefing from your guide on tomorrow’s whitewater rafting, enjoy dinner in the campsite followed by a good nights sleep.

Total distance walked 15km

Day 6: Rafting

After a big breakfast to set you up for the day, climb into your raft and prepare yourself for today’s adrenalin-fuelled activity.

Descend 25 km along the Rio Novo river, paddling through class IV rapids, with plenty of breaks for snacks and to rest.

Arrive at Buriti Pelado beach, your base for the night, where dinner will be waiting for you.

Day 7: Raft and Hike

Raft down the wildest section of rapids on the Rio Novo, stopping at Cachoeira da Velha waterfall for a swim, before paddling the final 5km along the river surrounded by ancient forest.

After a snack and time to rest, hike the final stretch back to Jalapão Ecolodge along Garcês trail for dinner and the chance to relax on a hammock in the gardens.

Total distance walked – 15km

Day 8: Return to Palmas

Enjoy a final breakfast in the surroundings of Jalapão State Park, before setting off by road back to Palmas airport where your trip will end.

Accommodation

On day one you’ll stay at Hotel 10 In Palmas, a smart modern hotel with double or twin en-suite rooms, a bright reception and lounge area and in-room amenities such as a fridge and TV.

For your first night in the park (day two), you’ll stay at Bela Vista Hostel in twin or double rooms. There is also a spring right by the guesthouse where you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

On days three, five and six you’ll be camping in different places around Jalapão State Park. All camping equipment will be provided and the campsites are perfectly located to make the most of your time in the park, far from other tourists.

On day four you’ll stay in Pousada Beira da Mata in Mateiros, a local guesthouse with individual chalets set in the gardens. All rooms are en-suite twins or doubles.

For your final night, you’ll stay at Jalapão Ecolodge in the heart of the State Park. Wooden cabins are scattered amongst tree-filled gardens, with mountain views and terraces where you can relax with a cold drink. All rooms are en-suite twins or doubles.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

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

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