THE Itatiaia National Park it was the first national park created in Brazil. Its foundation dates from June 1937. Located in Serra da Mantiqueira, the park covers the municipalities of Itatiaia and Resende, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and Bocaina de Minas and Itamonte, in Minas Gerais, where approximately 60% of its territory are located. The unit is located between the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, close to the Presidente Dutra Highway, with the city of Resende as the economic hub. It has a relief characterized by mountains and rocky elevations, with altitudes ranging from 540 to 2,791 m, at its highest point, the Pico das Agulhas Negras.

In the plateau region of Itatiaia, also known as the high part, are the high altitude fields and the suspended valleys where several rivers are born. The Park's area encompasses springs of 12 important regional watersheds, which drain into two main basins: the Rio Grande, a tributary of the Paraná River, and the Paraíba do Sul River, the most important in Rio de Janeiro.


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Photo: Thiago Sieiro Cunha / Wikimedia Commons

The lower part is mainly characterized by its exuberant vegetation and generous watercourses, with several areas suitable for bathing. It has easy access from Via Dutra and receives the largest flow of tourists in the Park, concentrating most of the visitation structure, especially the Visitors Center, revitalized for the 70th anniversary of the park.

How to get

itatiaia national park

Photo: Gabrielrvallim / Wikimedia Commons

The Itatiaia National Park is located on the border between the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and São Paulo, in Serra da Mantiqueira. It is located in the southwest of the State of Rio de Janeiro, in the municipalities of Itatiaia and Resende, and in the southwest of the State of Minas Gerais, covering the municipalities of Itamonte and Bocaina de Minas.


itatiaia national park (3)

Photo: Julcilene moreira paiva / Wikimedia Commons

The individual ticket price is R$ 25.00. The Brazilian visitor has a discount of 50%, that is, he pays R$ 12.50.

Residents of the municipalities covered by the Park (Resende-RJ, Itatiaia-RJ, Itamonte-MG and Bocaina de Minas-MG) are entitled to a discount of around 90%, except on long holidays, with proof of address.

If the visitor intends to stay in Itatiaia National Park for more than one day, he will be entitled to a discount of 50% (weekends and holidays) to 90% (weekdays) on the individual full ticket prices.

For example (for the Brazilian visitor):

  • Weekend – (Saturday and Sunday) = R$ 11.00 + R$ 5.50 = R$ 16.50 of individual value.
  • Weekend + 1 weekday – (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) = R$ 11.00 + R$ 5.50 + R$ 1.10 = R$ 17.60 of individual value.
  • Weekend and holiday – (Saturday, Sunday, Monday – holiday) = R$ 11.00 + R$ 5.50 + R$ 5.50 = R$ 22.00 of individual value.
  • Weekdays (two consecutive days) – R$ 11.00 + R$ 1.10 = R$ 12.10


Minors under 12 years of age and adults over 60 years of age are exempt from fees. Parking fees will not be charged temporarily.


Low part

The Blue Lake is the closest natural attraction to the Visitors Center, being about 500 meters from it. The trail is very accessible for the whole family, except for its staircase with approximately 120 steps, which requires care on the part of the elderly. The route leads to the natural pool of the Campo Belo river, a highly recommended place for bathing. Nearby there are kiosks, which can be used with an extra payment made at the main gate of the park. There is a second option of trail, longer and without steps, which allows a lighter and safer walk for the elderly and people with limited mobility.

The Maromba Complex is 4km uphill from the Visitors Center. It comprises the Maromba Natural Pool, the Itaporani Waterfall and the Véu de Noiva Waterfall. Parking after the bridge, the visitor has access to these three attractions.

The Três Picos is another attraction that can be accessed through a steep trail of 6 km through the Atlantic Forest. The challenge requires almost all day of walking. The place offers a good view of the Paraíba River valley, the park and the foothills of Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Mar. To access this attraction, it is necessary to fill out a Term of Responsibility at the Park entrance, at the Visitors Center or at the Maromba Complex.

high part

Pico das Agulhas Negras is the main elevation in the plateau, its peak reaches 2,791.55 m, the highest point in the Park and fifth highest in the country according to IBGE data from December 2004 (IBGE, 2011). The visitor has the option of walking only to the base or continuing to the summit, with these options being chosen at the Marcão Post, where visitors are now controlled.

Access is made from Abrigo Rebouças, walking through areas of Campos de Altitude. It is 1,300 m to the base of Agulhas Negras, which can be covered in approximately 45 minutes. The ascent time varies according to the route to be used, as the massif has more than 20 climbing routes with different degrees of difficulty.

From the top of the Agulhas Negras massif it is possible to have a panoramic view of the region – Vale do Paraíba, Prateleiras massif and Minas Gerais plateau. It has climbing of different levels of difficulty, serving different audiences. And access to the base is easy, without many uneven terrain. Partnerships with institutions such as AMAN can bring benefits to public visitation areas, such as cleaning septic tanks, maintaining roads, donating materials for the renovation of structures, and also providing assistance in case of fire. The pit cleaning is done once a year by AMAN.

Facing Minas Gerais, the Aiuruoca Valley has the freezing cold Aiuruoca Waterfall and the Ovos da Galinha rock formation. To get there, the visitor will have to take a moderate walk, starting from Abrigo Rebouças. On the way, you can see the Asa do Hermes and Pedra do Altar formations.

Pedra do Altar, with 2,665 meters of altitude, is a rock formation accessible by walking through a trail. There are several climbing routes on its west face.]

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