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Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park





Location: Chapada dos Veadeiros plateau  Map

Area: 655 sq km





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, 1961.

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.





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.

On 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 current name.

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 Francisco.

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 action.

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.

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 in height.

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 biome.

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.


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.

Popular culture
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.





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