In the past few months, I’ve visited Chapada dos Veadeiros twice – and I cannot wait to plan my next trip to this beautiful area. Are you travelling to Brazil and haven’t you really planned your route yet? Let me convince you to take a little detour and include the Cerrado in your trip! Just take a look here and here.
Going to Chapada for the second time, I wanted to do something new that I hadn’t done the first time. We choose for a place that you really shouldn’t miss when you travel to Chapada. Make sure you include this one in your trip, too!
Vale da Lua
Or in English: Moon Valley. It has its name for a reason. When you descent from the path leading towards the river, large rocks appear that make for a futuristic, lunar-like landscape. Water from the river has eroded the volcanic rocks for thousands of years, shaping the rocks and creating small pools of water.
Moon-like landscapes like these are not unique in the world, I’ve seen them before in volcanic areas. But what made Vale da Lua so beautiful to me, were the rocks contrasted against the lush, green canyons in the back. Rainy season definitely has its perks!
Getting to Vale da Lua
It’s not difficult to get there if you travel by car. My suggestion would be to include Vale da Lua on your way back from São Jorge to Brasilia; it’s only a 5 minute drive from São Jorge (heading back on the highway to Alto Paraiso/Brasilia) to get to the entrance of the dirt road leading to the valley. If you stay in Alto Paraiso, it will take you a bit longer, around 25 minutes; but that means you’re heading away from Brasilia, so it might be wise to do this separately or on your way back from the National Park of Chapada dos Veadeiros. It’s very easy to find.
Once you’ve found the entrance on the highway, you’ll need take the sand road to the valley, but this is pretty easy as well. It takes about 10 minutes. You can park your car at the entrance of Vale da Lua.
As Vale da Lua is located on private property, they charge 20 reais per person (bring cash!). I think this is a little bit excessive – especially as the official national park is free of charge – but in the end Vale da Lua is worth the fee. From the entrance, you’ll need to walk for about 10 minutes to get to the valley. I used my Teva’s, but I saw others on flip-flops as well: it’s not a difficult hike, although it can be slippery after rain showers. You can walk on the rocks and there are some great lookout points to take good photos.
You can walk all the way down to the river, where you can swim – so do bring your bathing suit!
Be careful in rainy season (October-April), as the valley can quickly flood and create dangerous situations.
Have you been to Vale da Lua before? What did you think?