8 Beautiful National Parks in Brazil
Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world and is full of awe inspiring natural beauty. There are some 57 national parks in Brazil dedicated to preserving the great natural beauty in this South American country. Presented in this article are eight of the most beautiful national parks in Brazil.
Iguacu Falls National Park
Iguacu Falls is probably the most spectacular powerful waterfall on planet earth as the Iguacu River drops over 270 falls spread out over 1 1/2 miles along the southwestern border of Brazil and Argentina right near where they both also border with Paraguay. So like Niagara Falls which is shared by the United States and Canada Iguacu Falls is another magnificent waterfall so large it is shared by two countries with Argentina having the much larger share.
The only waterfalls that can really compare to Iguacu Falls are Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls in Africa. Niagara Falls has the heaviest flow of any waterfall on earth while Victoria Falls has the largest curtain of water falling since Iguacu Falls is broken into over 270 falls so its curtain is not as large. However Iguacu Falls is far more stunning than Niagara Falls and affords far better views and a better tourist experience than does Victoria Falls. For anyone who wants to be considered a world traveler Iguacu Falls is a must tourist destination and most travelers who have been to Iguacu consider it one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
Lencois Maranheneses National Park
Lencois Maranheneses National Park is simply an amazing place consisting of beautiful blue lagoons set amongst large white sweeping sand dunes. The lagoons form between the dunes every year during the rainy season and actually contain many fish as birds from the sea bring fish eggs with them into the lagoons. Most of the people who live in the park make a living fishing in the lagoons each rainy season. Lencois Maranheneses National Park is located in northeastern Brazil in the state of Maranhao just a short way inland from the coastline and Atlantic Ocean.
Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park
Chapada means steep cliffs at the edge of a plateau and Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park in the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso contains the long Chapada dos Guimaraes cliff edge. The steep cliffs of Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park are beautiful in their own right but simply spectacular with a waterfall flowing over them.
Serra dos Orgaos National Park near Rio de Janeiro
Serra dos Orgaos National Park is located about 1 hour north of Rio de Janiero and contains a number of rock formations which looked something like organ pipes to early Portuguese settlers. Serra dos Orgaos means "Range of the Organs" in Portuguese hence the name. The most famous of the rock formations is the beautiful Dedo de Dues or God's Finger which resembles an index finger pointed to the sky with an elevation of 5,551 feet. Serra dos Orgaos National Park was created in 1939 and due to its location near Rio de Janiero is a popular tourist attraction in Brazil.
Aparados da Serra National Park
Aparados da Serra National Park is located in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sol and contains an amazing array of rock cliffs that look like they were sheared with a cutting tool. Aparados means "cut or pruned or pared" and Serra means "mountain range or ridge" so the name is quite appropriate for this beautiful majestic national park in Brazil.
Chapada das Mesas National Park
Chapada das Mesas National Park is located in the southern part of the Brazilian state of Maranhao and is filled with beautiful waterfalls that drop over the table like cliff edges abundant in the park. Mesas means "table" and chapada means "cliffs edge" hence the name of the park. Morro do Chapeau pictured below is a prime example of a chapada das mesas and is the most notable landmark in the area of Chapada das Mesas though it is not located inside the parks boundaries.
Fernando de Noronha Maritime National Park
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the state of Pernambuco in eastern Brazil. In 1988 70% of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago was declared a maritime national park and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is a tremendous ecological site home to a vast array of marine animal life including the magical acrobatic spinner dolphins. Fernando de Noronha is a great ecotourist destination off the coast of Brazil.
Chapada Diamantina National Park
Chapada Diamantina National Park is located in northeastern Brazil in the state of Bahia. Established in 1985 Chapada Diamantina National Park is full of lush beautiful valleys set amongst steep rocky cliffs and mountains and also contains a number of very pretty waterfalls. The park is a popular tourist attraction in Brazil especially with the growing number of ecotourism travelers and the park was established specifically for ecotourism. In the 1800's diamonds were found and mined in the area and diamantina means diamond in Portuguese hence the name of the park.
For more great tourist sites see The 7 Natural Wonders of Costa Rica