Mato Grosso is best known for the Pantanal, which stretches across Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil to Paraguay and Bolivia and is the largest floodplain on the planet. However, equally magical in a different way is the cerrado/savannah region of Chapada dos Guimaraes national park, located about an hour north of the city of Cuiabá. Here are Alison’s 10 surprises:
1. Quantity of amazing animals and birds, like wolves, foxes, toucans, araras, eagles hawks
2. Different types of vegetation, not just Savannah like in the US, but scrubland and south atlantic rainforest
3. Spectacular rock formations even outside the Cidade de Pedras, which is temporarily closed
4. Gold is still being mined here!
5. Views of the national park from the road as you are arriving from Cuiabá and the deep rose colours of the escarpments/ cliffs
6. Trails of white sand to the Veu de Novia waterfall which take you back millions of years to when the whole area was under water
7. The amazing Veu de Noiva waterfall itself and crystal waters of Rio Claro
8. Fossils are still easily found dating from millions of years ago
9. The panoramic views from the Mirante do Centro Geodesica, which marks the mid point between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
10. The extent to which this really IS paradise!
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