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Chapada Diamantina Trek

Brazil Trek DEMANDING
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About the Challenge

This trek takes us to the state of Bahia, Northeast Brazil, and the Chapada Diamantina National Park – an area of spectacular natural beauty, with its dramatic flat-topped mountains, or morrãos, high waterfalls plunging down cliff-sides, azure blue pools, dense forest and grassy plains.

We follow the remote trails that wind through these beautiful valleys, climbing to viewpoints with breath-taking panoramas over these magnificent surroundings. As perfect contrast to our trek, we spend time in charming colonial Lençois and Salvador, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a vibrant culture.


Chapada Diamantina Trek

10 DAYS
  • Arrive in Salvador and transfer to hotel. Night hotel.

  • Refreshed, we spend the morning exploring the colourful, historic streets of Salvador, enjoying its Portuguese colonial architecture and energetic street scenes. Salvador is one of the oldest cities in the Americas and known for its Afro-Brazilian culture, with distinctive cuisine and music. Its party atmosphere is as famous as its beaches and beautiful architecture. In the afternoon an hour’s flight takes us to Lençois, an old mining town and now the gateway to Chapada Diamantina National Park. After a drive and a short uphill walk (20-30 mins) we reach Morro do Pai Inácio (Father Ignacio’s Hill) – a flat-topped hill which towers over the town. At 1240m, it’s the perfect vantage-point for an introduction to the National Park, and we can enjoy incredible views of the morrãos and valleys that we’ll be trekking through. After watching the sun set over this wonderful landscape, we head to our hotel for dinner and a detailed trip briefing. Night hotel.

  • After an energising breakfast, we set off on our first day’s trek! Today’s route takes us into the Capão Valley, in the heart of the National Park. Chapada Diamantina is an old diamond-mining region; many prospectors flocked to the area in the 1840s when diamonds were first discovered here, and it soon became a centre of mining activity. Gems are occasionally still found, though large-scale mining is banned. The path we follow is an old prospectors’ mule-trail, which winds its way into the deep valley towards a large flat-topped mountain. We are surrounded by lush vegetation including bromeliads and orchids, which cloaks the steep valley walls. We pass quiet pools and streams, many of which are orange-hued from the natural tannins, and have almost-constant views of the large monolith ahead of us. Night guesthouse.

  • The scenery becomes even more beautiful today as we head deeper into this spectacular region. We continue through the Capão Valley, crossing the Capão River and other smaller streams, walking much of the time on paths that undulate through the grassy highland plains of Gerais do Vieira and Gerais do Rio Preto. Cattle used to roam here, and many of the paths were created to drive them to new pastures. Today’s walk is long, and fairly hilly, but the views continue to impress; we are surrounded by valley walls, swathed in green Atlantic forest which gives way to sheer rock face higher up. Waterfalls tumble down the steep sides. In the distance we see more of the long series of morrãos that tower up from the valley floor; these sandstone mountains date back a billion years, to a time when the Americas and Africa were joined. We continue into the Pati Valley. Night homestay.


    Trek approx. 7-8 hours (22km)

     

  • Pati Valley is the jewel of Chapada Diamantina, with high waterfalls that plunge dramatically down sheer ravines and escarpments. Today is a shorter day, taking us to Cachoeirão Falls – a trek which takes us steadily uphill to start with, then levels out. At a height of almost 280m, Cachoeirão is one of the highest waterfalls in the National Park, and an incredible sight to see. We head back to our homestay, finishing the day with a long section of downhill walking. Night homestay.


    Trek approx. 5-6 hours (16km)

  • More waterfalls today, as we continue through Pati Valley and head for the Funil and Lejado waterfalls. Not as dramatically high, they are wide, and tumble photogenically down a series of rock ledges. The pool below is perfect for swimming, and we have plenty of time to enjoy this tranquil spot. We continue trekking, over fairly flat terrain, to our homestay, which we should reach in time for lunch. This afternoon we walk to Castelo Morrão, so called because of its fortress-like rocky ridges. The walk takes us gradually uphill to the base; we return the same way. Night homestay.


    Trek approx. 5 hours (10km)

  • Another day takes us further along the Pati Valley, enjoying the changing landscapes around us. The weathered rock has created fascinating formations and there is always something new to look at. We discover deep hidden canyons, and caves hidden among the cleft rock, many of which were used for shelter by the prospectors. We pass more waterfalls and pools, and should have time for a swim or a paddle en-route to our accommodation. Night homestay.


    Trek approx. 5-6 hours (12km)

  • An early start for our trek out of the Pati Valley, a long zig-zagging ascent of the valley walls. The views that open up are absolutely breath-taking. Our vehicles await to drive us to Poço Azul (Blue Pool), a submerged cave where crystal-clear water forms a range of dazzling colours depending on the light. Swimming here is an incredible experience – or just soak up the beauty. We then drive back to Lençois and celebrate our achievements. Night hotel.

     

    (Dinner not included)


    Trek approx 6-7 hours (16km); drive approx 3 hours

  • We are free to explore the cobbled streets and characterful buildings of Lençois, before an afternoon flight to Salvador, connecting to our international flight home.

     

    (Lunch not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,500 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,500 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,000 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Salvador / Rio return
    • All food (other than five or six meals) and accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides & drivers
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to National Park and any other sites included in the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,600 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,600 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,050 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Salvador / Rio return
    • All food (other than five or six meals) and accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides & drivers
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to National Park and any other sites included in the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,600 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,600 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,050 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Salvador / Rio return
    • All food (other than five or six meals) and accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides & drivers
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to National Park and any other sites included in the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local guides and support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Some accommodation (in hotels or camp) will be twin-share. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller.

    On some nights we are likely to sleep in more communal accommodation such as dormitories, huts, local homestays or monasteries, depending on the trip, and you may be sharing with a larger number of participants or the whole group; this type of accommodation cannot always be single-sex.

  • We sleep in shared rooms in traditional home-stays and guesthouses in the National Park, and hotels when in the cities. The guesthouses are remote and very rustic, but characterful and a real highlight of our trek. Expect plenty of variation!

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

Extension

Iguassu Falls

The largest sequence of waterfalls in the world, the mighty Iguassu Falls lie on the border of Brazil and Argentina, and are simply breath-taking. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Iguassu Falls are also listed among the New Wonders of the World.

Set among lush green rainforest, the horseshoe-shaped falls are at points 82m tall and stretch 2.7km wide – twice that of Niagara. As the force of the water plunges down into the long chasm of Devil’s Throat, it’s impossible not to be awed by the beauty and sheer power of nature. We discover the spectacle of Iguassu from both countries, exploring this natural wonder by a series of walkways which bring you very close to some of the cascades.

The lush tropical rainforest around Iguassu is home to a great diversity of wildlife, including the raccoon-like coati, toucans and other birdlife, and an amazing array of butterflies and other insects. Additional boat trips are available to heighten your Iguassu experience; you can book and pay for these locally if you wish.

This is a great adventure, and an unforgettable way to round off your experience in Brazil! 

Extension

Discover Rio

Rio de Janeiro is arguably the most iconic city in South America. Home to Carnival, it’s a city with a larger-than-life party atmosphere, as well as a magnificent cityscape dominated by striking green hills and calm harbours. If you were inspired by the backdrop of 2016’s Olympics, don’t miss your opportunity to visit!

Kick off with a trip to the famous Sugarloaf Mountain, one of Rio’s highlights. The cable-car ride up is famous for its views, and its James Bond associations! You’re then free to explore – relax at one of the many beaches with a caipirinha, the national cocktail, or watch the locals taking part in beach volleyball or capoeira, a graceful and fascinating blend of dance and martial arts which is a real symbol of Brazilian culture. Our hotel is located close to famous Copacabana beach.

After Sugarloaf Mountain, this extension does not have an organised itinerary. You are free to spend your time as you wish.

Trek Training Weekend

Snowdon_Training_Trekking

£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | demandING (2)

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

DEMANDING trips ramp up the challenge with some long days over tough terrain, and require good stamina, fitness and determination.

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