The park is divided into the lower part and the higher part.At the lower part of the park you have some waterfalls that can be accessed by (shorter) trails.It might be hard to do it with little kids as they are not paved, but it's nothing hard for the older ones.You also get to see a nice view and some wild life. Behind the visitor center you might be able to spot monkeys having fun on the tree tops.If you pay in advance for the entrance for more than one day you will save yourself some money. One day is enough time for the lower partHarder access if you don't have a car, but it could be done.The higher part of the park mainly offers longer trails and mountain climbing on different levels of difficulty, and gorgeous breathtaking views. You need certified guides for the trails so make sure you take that into consideration and have an early start so you can catch the guides. Depending on what you want to do at this part, you might want to spend more than a day here.
This beautiful place about 3 hours away from Rio de Janeiro, is a wonderful example of fauna and flora of Brazil, with beautiful waterfalls and trails to explore and hike. The views are spectacular, and it's worth a visit. Be sure to find out about it when you're in the state of Rio de Janeiro and take a trip to this beautiful location.
Created in 1937 and inspired by Yellowstone, this is Brazil's first national park. It protects endangered Atlantic Rainforest and also the unique flora of the high altitude plains. The park basically has 2 parts : the rainforest part in the lower part the park and the high mountain plains around the beautiful Pico das Agulhas Negras (at 2.700 meters once thought to be Brazil's highest peak).There are many short trails to waterfalls and also some nice circular ones and longer ones to scenic spots and long distance trails (with camping). There are some very spectacular viewpoints.Very good for birding (there is a birdlist available) and you will also see animals like howler monkeys, coatimundis and others. Also lots of orchids and bromeliads.There is a worthwhile visitor's centre. There are hotels inside the park (lower part, the only place to stay in the top part closed). The park also trains and register guides and there are maps of trails available. It is slowly being upgraded.Ideally stay for 2 nights and visit both lower and upper part.The ride to Itatiaia from Rio (or Sao Paulo) will take you through the Vale de Paraiba between the Serra do Mar and Serra de Mantiqueira. This was once all rainforest, but was burned to plant coffee (which didn't last).
Brazil is a verdant, thriving, massive country with so many exciting cities and gorgeous natural wonders to visit that it is hard to decide where to start.Let me give you a tip about a little-visited gem called Parque Nacional do Itatiaia in the state of Rio de Janeiro.This is a park you should not miss. Though small, it is a perfect slice of mata Atlantica--the dense, dripping Atlantic rainforest that blesses the eastern coast of Brazil from the state of Rio Grande do Norte to Rio Grande do Sul. Driving up into the jungle-covered mountains from the highway is like re-discovering a forgotten world pulsing with life. You leave the roar of cars and trucks behind and immerse yourself in the sounds of waterfalls and the wind in the trees.The Atlantic Rainforest has been designated as a World Biosphere Reserve which holds various endangered and endemic species like the woolly spider monkey and lion tamarins. In Parque Nacional do Itatiaia, you, too will be close to nature.Itatiaia means "many-pointed rock" in the Tupi language. And for good reason. The Agulhas Negras or Black Needles (2787 meters at the highest peak) are a challenge for any hiker. Other activities in the park can include a visit to Lago Azul, the Blue Lake; Veu da Noiva, Bridal Veil Falls; Itaporani Falls and a guided walk through the jungle to learn about local plants and animals.If you are looking for a quiet retreat into a lush and lively jungle in Brazil, then Parque Nacional do Itatiaia is the place for you! For even more stunning natural attractions, the nearby town of Maringa has loads more rivers and waterfalls.Here are some helpful links to get you there:1. Blog with helpful info: http://kolinstravels.blogspot.com/2013/10/brazils-little-gem-parque-nacional-do.html2. Park's Official Site: http://www.icmbio.gov.br/parnaitatiaia/en/3. Lonely Planet's tips on things to see and do: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/brazil/the-southeast/parque-nacional-de-itatiaia4. Great hotel where I stayed in the park: http://www.hoteldoype.com.br/
Excellent park in Brazil. Very rustic as it is suposed to be. Lots of animals and trees. Wonderful landscapes.
This park offers many incredible opportunities for hikers, botanists and birders alike. Camping is perhaps the only way to truly appreciate nature here as you can gaze upon the stars at night and wake up to magnificent sunrises. There are no lodges on the plateau (above the treeline, 2400 metres and above), so everything must be carried on your back. The only other option is to stay at the few hotels inside the park at the other end at around 1000 metre elevation, and take day trips as I did. I stayed at Hotel Do Ype and the drive was around 2 hrs, so take that into consideration, as it will eat up around 4 hours roundtrip.I also recommend arranging English speaking guides with a knowledge of the flora and fauna, as that will make your stay much more interesting as they will connect you with the flora and fauna with knowledge you would otherwise miss. I had two days here with two different guides, and I was very pleased with their services. I prearranged this with Hotel Do Ype through a Brazilian tour operator prior to my arrival. If you do not speak Portuguese you will not be able to make this happen on site, as they do not speak a single word of English, nor do they seem to want to learn.On the way to the Itatiaia park entrance (in the montane forest), you’ll find the only sturdy man-made construction – a bridge painted in white. From here you have great views of the montane forest, the land below and the shrubs and small trees in the gully below in particular. Here you can hear and see lots of birds.However, there is yet another location higher up that is even more spectacular, as the very steep mountain sides here have little room for a road. This short stretch of road reminds me of the death roads from the Bolivian lowlands up to La Paz. The very last couple of kilometres of road to the plateau of Itatiaia National Park is blocked by the park entrance, and even though you can drive to the camping site by the small dam, it’s not worth it! You’ll miss all the magnificent flora and fauna alongside the dirt road.In the rainy season you will be grateful there is a road, as the landscape is soaked and becomes soggy like a marsh or bog. Rubber boots is the way to go at this time as Goretex and other breathables will simply be soaked and clogged with mud.The rainy season is also the time for the park’s mascot the Maldonada Redbelly Toad (Melanophryniscus moreirae) to reproduce, and it inundates the road and landscape alongside it. Thus, no motorized vehicles are allowed during this time in order to protect them, and you have to walk from the parking lot closest to the park entrance. This is only one of several species of toad, and there is a larger one her I was unable to see, but it’s deep croak certainly made me curious.In addition to the toads you’ll find several species of bird and plants endemic to the park – the magnificent Buddleja speciosissima bush with its orange trumpets and the bird Itatiaia Spinetail (Asthenes moreirae).I visited last week of November, and I was alone! Most people visit in the sunny and dry season to see the views, but then there are no toads and no plants in bloom!
We had the opportunity to visit Itatiaia National Park (Parque Nacional do Itatiaia) last year with an experienced bird photographer for lunch at the Vista Linda Hotel, located inside the park. The park itself was established in 1937, and was the first National Park in the country. One interesting fact: there are still private property owners inside the park today, apparently grandfathered in from its founding. According to our friend, it presents some interesting "tensions" with park supporters.The park itself is heavily wooded, and covers two areas, high and low. The higher level is where the Vista Linda is located, and where we visited. It looks like a nice place to stay, with great views of the park and surrounding mountains. When we arrived, there were about 20 birders all around the terrace of the hotel. According to sources, there are about 350 species of birds in the park, making it a popular attraction for birdwatchers. You can visit the WikiAves site (dedicated to the birds of Brazil) to see photos of birds in the park.When we arrived, we walked to a terrace that sits around the outside of the restaurant, and to our utter delight, were surrounded by hummingbirds! The facility has several feeders hanging out near the terraces, and these feathered wonders flit around feeding on an almost continuous basis. Two very surprising things: the variety of species of hummingbirds that were there, and how aggressive the little fellows were! There was a constant battle over the feeding stations, with plenty of dive-bombs and loud chirps from the combatants (hummingbirds chirp!). No one appeared to be hurt in the fray, and it was the experience of a lifetime to have the occasional bird fly up and buzz around our heads. The restaurant's fare was tasty, and served buffet style. In evidence to the attraction to photographers, there was even a table near the door piled high with cameras, waiting to snap the next amazing photo.
Great place to spend a day or two. If you're ore adventurous go to the high end of the park and find out about the trails. It is sure worth the trip!
Is a great park with many waterfalls and trekking to walking. Atraction for one day full, but is recomended to go with car, because the park is uphill, but if will want walking, too is possible, but will take longer.
The park offers a rare opportunity to hike in some of the only remaining primary rainforest in Mata Atlantica. Beautiful. The oldest national park in this part of Brazil.