Description of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is a Brazilian protected nature
conservation unit located in the Midwest region of the state of
Goiás, in Chapada dos Veadeiros. Until the end of May 2017, the park
covered an area of 65,514 ha of savannah, of which approximately 60%
are in Cavalcante and the remaining 40% in Alto Paraíso de Goiás.
The park was created by Decree No. 49,875, issued by the then
President of the Republic, Juscelino Kubitschek, on January 11,
In December 2001 the park was included in the UNESCO
World Heritage List. Its administration is currently under the
responsibility of the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity
Conservation (ICMBio). Although it was created with 625 thousand
hectares, it was reduced in size to 65 thousand hectares. In 2017,
however, the park was expanded by a decree on World Environment Day
to the current 240,000 hectares.
History The settlement of the region began
around 1750, with the establishment of the property of Mr. Francisco
de Almeida, called Veadeiros Farm, where livestock activities and
the cultivation of wheat and coffee clustered on a small scale.
In 1892, the Exploring Commission of the Central Plateau, led by
astronomer Luis Cruls, expeditioned through the plateau and region,
with the purpose of delimiting and surveying the area that should
receive the future capital of Brazil.
20th century Prior
to this, in 1912, the region's first rock crystal deposit was
discovered, leading to an outbreak of gold mining activity,
including the founding of the São Jorge settlement. Such activity
became less interesting throughout the second half of the twentieth
century, especially after the creation of the national park.
In 1931, in the service of national airmail, Brigadier Lysias
Rodrigues passes through Veadeiros, coming from São Paulo to Belém.
His diaries were published in the book O script do Tocantins. In
1926, the plateau was crossed by the Prestes Column.
November 11, 1961, the then President of the Republic, Juscelino
Kubitschek, through Decree No. 49875, created the park, named
Tocantins National Park. Its original area was 625 thousand ha. Over
time, part of the land was lost through legal disputes. In 1972,
losing its lands on the Tocantins River, the park adopted its
XXI century From June 2017, with the signing
of the Decree of June 5, 2017, World Environment Day, by the Process
No. 02070.000116 / 2011-10 of the Chico Mendes Institute for
Biodiversity Conservation - Chico Mendes Institute, the UC started
to protect 240,000 hectares. According to ICMBio technical notes, an
agency linked to the Ministry of the Environment, the expansion will
protect 17 species of flora and 32 endangered fauna species, such as
the maned wolf, jaguar and guillemot. Also 466 springs would be
protected in the region, which is known as the "Planalto Central
water tank", with influence on watersheds such as the Amazon and São
Fire in 2017 On October 18, 2017, a fire
destroyed about 35,000 hectares of savannah vegetation in the park.
The fire began on the bank of the GO-239 highway, which connects the
city of Alto Paraíso de Goiás to the village of São Jorge. Fires
occur naturally in the cerrado in the rainy season as a result of
lightning, not in the dry season, when fires occur only by human
The fire lasted about eight days and was of criminal
origin. The fire has extrapolated the park area and is currently
also reaching farms, villages and private environmental reserves
around. It is speculated that the fire was a counteroffensive by
farmers due to the expansion of the park area in July of that year.
Geography Hydrography Chapada dos Veadeiros is an
important dispersing drainage center, with most of its rivers
digging "V" shaped valleys. The main one is the Rio Preto, a
tributary of the Tocantins River, which forms several waterfalls
along its course, highlighting two jumps respectively 80 and 120 m
Fauna and Flora Among the fauna species that
inhabit the park, about 50 are classified as rare, endemic or
endangered in the area. Regarding flora, 1,476 plant species have
already been identified in the park, out of 6,429 in the Cerrado
In the open cerrado, the most prominent plant species
are the redwood tree (Qualea multiflora), the wild cashew tree
(Curatella americana), the rutee murici (Byrsonima cocaldsifolia),
the cashew nut. cerrado (Anacardium humile) and cassava trees
(Qualea spp). In the gallery forests, we highlight the purple ipe
(Handroanthus impetiginosus), copaiba, mastic and palm
(Stryphnodendron sp). There is also the occurrence of jerivá and
widow (Jacaranda brasiliana) and, in the shoals, buriti and babassu.
Among mammals, we can highlight four endangered species: the
marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus), the pampas deer (Ozotocerus
bezoarticus), its natural predator, jaguar, and the largest American
canid, the maned wolf. The most prominent birds are rhea, king
vulture, and hawk.
Economy Tourism Access to the park is
through São Jorge Village, which is connected to the city of Alto
Paraíso de Goiás by a 36 km paved road. Guides for accompanying park
visitors can be found in the village near the park entrance at the
São Jorge Tourist Center (CAT). Visiting the park, accompanied by
guides is, however, optional. Among the park's main attractions are
the two Black River jumps, with 80 and 120 m high respectively, the
Black River canyons, waterfalls on rocky walls of a river narrowing,
and the Carioquinhas waterfalls, a formation of Natural pools ideal
for light baths and whirlpool.
In addition to the park's own
trails, there are several tourist attractions on private land
surrounding the park. They include:
Valley of the Moon: Gray
rock formations carved by the São Miguel River that have a "lunar"
aspect. Waterfalls Almécegas: Two waterfalls, one of 50 and
another of 15 meters, where the water runs down steep rocks. Near
the center of Alto Paraíso. Raizama: set of waterfalls ideal for
canyoning and abseiling. Thermal waters: natural pools with water
at about 38 degrees temperature. Abismo Waterfall and Mirante da
Janela: Waterfall overlooking a valley and a rock-shaped gazebo that
resembles a window, overlooking Saltos I and II.
culture Mysticism Chapada dos Veadeiros, especially in the
Alto Paraíso region has a strong mystical tourism. Among the
reasons, one can cite the lush landscapes, the abundance of quartz
outcrops (which makes the plateau to be seen as a center of energy
concentration) and the fact that it is cut by the Parallel 14 S, the
same that goes by by Machu Picchu.
The mystical occupation of
the region began shortly before the creation of the park. In 1957, a
spiritual mission from Recife arrives that founds Bona Espero Farm,
a philanthropic institution that teaches Esperanto.