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Chapada Diamantina National Park (Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina)




Location: Bahia State  Map

Area: 1,520 km²



Description of  Chapada Diamantina National Park

Chapada Diamantina National Park is a protected biosphere in Bahia State in Brazil. It covers an area of 1,520 km². Chapada Diamantina is a region of mountains, protected in the category of national park, located in the center of the Brazilian state of Bahia, where almost all the rivers of the Paraguaçu, Jacuípe and Rio de Contas basins are born. These streams of water spring up into the ridges and slide across the relief in beautiful streams, plummet into bubbling waterfalls and form transparent natural pools. The national park is managed by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).

In the region are located the highest altitudes of the Northeast of Brazil: Pico do Barbado, with 2033 meters, Pico do Itobira and Pico das Almas. The geographical formation is part of the set of mountains and plateaus of the East and Southeast of the Brazilian relief and constitutes an extension of the Serra do Espinhaço, so it is a crystalline shield formed in the Precambrian.

The vegetation is exuberant, composed of species of the semi-arid caatinga and mountainous flora, with emphasis on bromeliads, orchids and evergreens. Its estimated total population in 2014 was 395,620 inhabitants. Being Seabra, Morro do Chapéu and Iraquara the three most populous cities, according to IBGE data.

Chapada Diamantina is made up of 24 municipalities: Abaíra (together with its Catolés district and its Ouro Verde settlement), Andaraí, Barra da Estiva, Ibitiara, Iramaia, Itaetê, Marcionílio Souza, Morro do Chapéu, Novo Horizonte, Palmeiras, Rio de Accounts and its districts Arapiranga and Marcolino Moura, Seabra, Souto Soares, Tapiramutá, Utinga, Wagner, Boninal, Bonito, Ibicoara and its district Cascavel, Iraquara and its district Iraporanga, Jussiape and its district Caraguataí, Lençóis, Mucugê, Nova Redenção and Piatã and its districts Cabrália and Inúbia.




Chapada Diamantina is a 41,751-square-kilometer cliff-bound plateau located in central Bahia. The Chapada Diamantina rocks are part of the geological unit known as Espinhaço Supergroup, which took its name because it occurs in the Espinhaço mountain range, in the state of Minas Gerais. It is generally presented as an extensive highland, with an average altitude between 800 and 1,200m above sea level.

The highest mountains in the Brazilian northeast are in Chapada Diamantina: the 2,033-meter Pico do Barbado, the 1,970-meter Pico do Itobira and the 1,958-meter Pico das Almas. The mountains that make up the Chapada Diamantina are the watersheds between the São Francisco river basin (S. Onofre, Paramirim rivers) and the rivers that flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean, such as the Contas River and the Paraguaçu River.

The park is located in Serra do Sincorá, in the east of the plateau, an area of ​​heavily eroded structures. The mountain range extends north-south and has an average width of 25 kilometers. Gold and diamonds were found in the mountain range.

Moist air currents moving westward from the sea make precipitation levels higher, especially in the east. There are many cave systems formed by the rivers of the region. The 24-kilometer Lapa Doce Cave is the fifth largest cave in Brazil. Some caves feature rock paintings that are still poorly studied.

Chapada Diamantina was not always an imposing chain of saws. About 1 billion and 700 million years ago, the formation of the Espinhaço sedimentary basin began, from a series of extensive depressions that were filled with materials expelled from volcanoes, windblown sands and gravels falling from its edges. On these depressions sediments were deposited in a basin-shaped region, influenced by rivers, winds and seas. Subsequently, a phenomenon called uplift occurred, which raised the sediment layers above sea level, under pressure from the epirogenetic force, and slowly eroded over millions of years.

The numerous layers of sandstones, conglomerates, and limestones, today exposed in the Chapada Diamantina, represent the primitive sedimentary deposits; The current landscape is the product of the activities of these agents over geological time. In the streets and sidewalks of the cities of Chapada, slabs of undulating surfaces reveal the action of winds and waters that passed over ancient sands.

There are few large mammals, but many species of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects. The protection of birds in the reserve include the little hawk-dove (Buteogallus lacernulatus), the gray eagle (Buteogallus coronatus), the Bahian butterfly (Phylloscartes beckeri), the Great Tiribara (Pyrrhura cruentata) and the Brazilian john (Synallaxis whitneyi). Other protected species include the large-bellied (Callicebus barbarabrownae), puma (Puma concolor), jaguar (Panthera onca), guinea fowl (Leopardus tigrinus), armadillo (Priodontes maximus) and giant anteater (Myrmecophaga). tridactyla).

Vegetation Typical caatinga plants, such as xerophytes at altitudes of about 500 to 900 meters, Atlantic Forest vegetation along the watercourses, as well as meadows and rupestrian fields above. Endemic flora include Adamantinia miltonioides, Cattleya elongata, Cattleya tenuis, Cattleya x tenuata, Cleites libonni and Cleistes metallina. The Hummingbird Augastes lumachellus is endemic.


National park
The national park was created on September 16, 1985 through a federal decree, with an area of ​​152 thousand hectares in the Chapada Diamantina region, distributed by the municipalities of Andaraí, Ibicoara, Iramaia, Itaetê, Lençóis, Mucugê and Palmeiras. It is administered by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) and is located between the geographic coordinates 41º35'-41º15 'of West Longitude and 12º25'-13º20' of south latitude.

Conscious eco-tourism gives Chapada the best features of a nature-preserving leisure hub. Access is by multiple entries without accurate visit records. Still, ICMBio states that the Cachoeira da Fumaça and the Aleixo Trail, where there is access control, exceed 25,000 and 15,000 annual visitors, respectively. Also noteworthy is the visitation through the Pati Trail and towards Cachoeira do Sossego.

The park is classified as a protected area category II (national park) of IUCN and aims to preserve natural ecosystems of great ecological relevance and scenic beauty, enabling scientific research, environmental education, outdoor leisure and ecotourism. The main problems of park management are forest fires, land regularization and visitor control, as they endanger Salvador's biological diversity, tourist attraction and water supply through the Paraguaçu River.





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