Serra da Canastra National Park is located in the southeastern part of Brazil. The national park covers an area of 763.75 square miles (1,978.10 sq km).
The park is located in the Canastra Mountains situated between the Sao Francisco and Parana rivers. Collectively, the mountains feed Araguari River, the Parana River, Paranaiba River, and the Sao Francisco River.
The park is comprised of rocky fields in the higher elevations with highlands, and cliffs creating stunning landscapes with the dense high forest savannahs. Elevations vary from 2,460 to 4,890 feet (750 to 1,490 m).
The rugged landscape and cliffs create some astounding waterfalls. Casca D'anta features a drop of 610 feet (186 m) and serves as the first waterfall on the Sao Francisco River. Rriparian forests in the valleys and lower elevations. Within the vegetation, there are 45 different endemic species.
The terrain serves as a tremendous home to a variety of wildlife species. Some of the most popular include the cougar, maned wolf, giant anteater, giant armadillo, bush dog, and the pampas dear. The king vulture, toco toucan, and crested caracara are some of the more popular species of birds. There are over 350 species of birds nesting or migrating through the national park.
The striking landscapes created by the rocky cliffs and dense savanna forests clinging to the sides are a highlight for many people. The terrain beckons photographers and those who love remarkable valley landscapes. The cliffs and various rivers create an abundance of beautiful waterfalls.
Casca D'Anta Waterfall
Casca D'Anta Waterfall is the first waterfall on the mighty Sao Francisco River. The waterfall plunges 610 feet (186 m) down the face of the mountain. The waterfall is located in the central part of the park and is visible from a variety of view points. The trail to the bottom of the falls is easy and takes about 30 minutes.
You can adventure to the top of the falls with an elevation gain of about 1,246.7 feet (380 m). This trek takes about 2 hours to complete.serra da
Cachoeira Rasga Canga
The Cachoeira Rasga Canga is not as a dramatic waterfall as the Casca D'Anta, however the scenery and cascading falls are worth the adventure. The trek is longer at 6.0 miles (9.65 km) with anr elevation gain of 875 feet ( 266.7 m).
Serra da Canastra National Park Trails
There is an abundance of hiking opportunities within the national park with over 60 trails available. Because of the elevation gain and rocky terrain, many of the trails are rated hard.
Cachoeira do Cerradao
This 1.9 mile (3.06 km) trail is rated easy. It takes about an hour to complete. Hikers will meander along the river and view a stunning cascading waterfall. There is an elevation gain of 406 feet (123.75 m).
Cachoeira do Fundao Trail
This 17.2 mile (27.68 km) trek is rated hard with an elevation gain of 3,323 feet (1,013 m).
Serra da Canastra National Park was created to protect the ecosystem which serves as the habitat for an abundance of wildlife. In particular, the park protects vulnerable species like the maned wolf, the giant anteater, the cougar, the cock-tailed tyrant, the Brazilian merganser, and several others.
Apart from astounding landscapes and beautiful terrain, the Brazilian governement recognized the significance of the area as the habitat for these species to survive.
Serra da Canastra Highlights
- Casca D'Anta Waterfall
- Cachoeira Rasga Canga
- All Trails, Best Trails in Parque Nacional Serra da Canastra, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/brazil/minas-gerais/parque-nacional-da-serra-da-canastra, retrieved November 2022.
- LACGEO, Serra Canastra Mountain Range and National Park, https://lacgeo.com/serra-canastra-mountain-range-national-park, retrieved November 2022.
- Street Smart Brazil, Visiting Brazil: Serra da Canastra, https://streetsmartbrazil.com/visiting-brazil-serra-da-canastra/, retrieved November 2022.
- Summit Post, Serra da Canastra, https://www.summitpost.org/serra-da-canastra/305818, retrieved November 2022.
- UNESCO, Serra da Canastra National Park, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/1123/, retrieved November 2022.