Venture into this park in northern Brazil, where exuberant nature with waterfalls and plateaus gives way to adventure sports and relaxing natural pools.

In central Brazil, in the state of Tocantis is a natural paradise of unique beauty: the jalapão, one of the main routes for practitioners of ecotourism and adventure tourism. The region is a place of permanent discoveries, in the middle of the transition forest of the cerrado and the caatinga, waterfalls, rivers with crystal clear waters, rapids, plateaus and rock formations of different colors appear.

In this scenario, golden sand dunes stand out, with up to 30 meters high, which led to the place being called jalapan desert. The difficulty of access is largely responsible for the preservation of the sanctuary, these conditions have made the diversity of animals and plants fully adapted to the region.

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THE jalapão is a set of conservation areas located almost 200km from Palmas, capital of the State of Tocantins. In total, there are 34 thousand km² and the public can get to know beautiful waterfalls with crystalline waters, natural pools, dunes, fervedouros and chapadões, in addition to having the opportunity to practice sports such as canoeing, rafting, abseiling, cycling and hiking along trails. As the roads are sandy and poorly signposted, access must be made with 4×4 cars or jeeps hired by tourism agencies in the region.

Access to the state park is made difficult by dirt roads, so many people choose to hire a travel package that includes a 4×4 transport there. The closest cities for accommodation and with more structure are High Bridge of Tocantins and woodsmen.

Tourists can walk through the rock formations of the Sussuapara Canyon, with its 12 meters in height, and watch the sunset from Pedra Furada, or venture along trails in Serra do Espírito Santo, Serra da Catedral and the orange dunes. But all the heat felt on the climbs will be forgotten when you dive into the crystal clear waters of the fervedouros, rivers and waterfalls that permeate the entire park.

It is common to find several handicrafts made with golden grass and buriti silk throughout the region. This type of handicraft has become a source of income for local communities and has been the subject of studies and actions to ensure its sustainable use, strengthening the local economy.

Things to do in Jalapão

Photo: Filipe Gonzaga Ferreira / Wikimedia Commons


There are about 80 natural pools cataloged in the park and only a few are open for visitation. The most sought after are Bela Vista, Encontro das Águas, Buriti, Buritizinho, Ceiça, Rio do Sono and Alecrim.

Formiga Waterfall

This is the most famous waterfall in Jalapão, visitors arriving at the attraction are faced with an emerald green water spring. Despite being small, the fall has a large volume of water and forms a crystalline well in the midst of trees and palm trees.

Old Waterfall

The most popular waterfall in Jalapão is 15 meters high and 100 meters wide, making the water fall in a horseshoe shape.

Jalapão Dunes

They are found in many parts of the state park and the orange sand can reach up to 40 meters in height.

Mumbuca and Prata villages

Both are remaining quilombola communities open to the public, allowing for a dip in the local culture.

Canyon Susuapara

Located in the city of Ponte Alta do Tocantins, this 12-meter high rock formation allows visitors to stroll through the gaps and come across crystalline springs.

Serra do Espírito Santo

With sandy formations caused by the action of winds and rains, the Serra do Espirito Santo, has a viewpoint, where it is possible to have a panoramic view of the entire region.

Other places to visit in Jalapão:

  • Holed stone
  • Praia do Rio Novo
  • Rosemary Beach
  • Cathedral Mountain
  • Sao Felix do Tocantins
  • New deal
  • High Bridge of Tocantins
  • woodsmen

How to get to Jalapão

Photo: Rodrigo José Fernandes / Wikimedia Commons

The closest city with its own airport is the state capital, Palmas. From there, the traveler must take the TO-050 to Porto Nacional and then take the TO-255 to Ponto Alta do Tocantins (195km from Palmas).

Another way to Jalapão is to enter through Mateiros, where many of the main attractions of the region are. To get there, the driver must continue along the TO-255 after Ponte Alta do Tocantins for another 160km.

It is important to note that it is not recommended to do the route without a guide.

Best time to visit Jalapão

Photo: Flávio André / MTUR

Temperatures are high throughout the year (between 30°C and 40°C), but the most suitable period is between May and September because rains are rarer.

Between the months of May and September it hardly rains in the region and the sky is always blue. To see the Capim Dourado fields, visit the national park in September. During this time the days are warmer and the nights are cooler. In the season with the most rain between October and March, the days are cooler, but in compensation the nights are not so cold.

» Tocantins: see photos of the most beautiful fervedouros in Jalapão
» 5 waterfalls with incredibly blue waters for you to discover in Brazil
» Places to visit in Palmas
» 10 routes to backpack through Brazil

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