Right in the heart of Brazil, Jalapao is an off the beatten track destination that blows anyone’s mind filled with exquisite sights to explore. When I say exquisite I do mean it. You will find sights you can hardly relate to anywhere in the world. For starters, Jalapao is a national park located in Tocatins two times bigger than New York City made out of thin white beach-style sand.
The reserve is packed with places that will make you have trouble when choosing the sights to visit, which is linked directly to the company you choose to buy the tour. Yes, you have to get a tour with a company unless you are experienced in driving a 4×4 jeep on sand roads and using analogic GPS (there is no network whatsoever). However, this detail will not make your trip any less amazing. Prices vary between R$ 2.000,00 and R$ 3.000,oo for a 7 day trip all inclusive (2 days in the city of Palmas + 5 days inside the park).
- Access to the park is made through Palmas city, the capital of Tocatins.
- Buy a package with one of the few companies available. Access is really difficult and only made with only 4×4 jeeps
- Be prepared for bumpy roads and several hours spent inside of the truck/jeep (there is no other way).
- Best option is camping inside of the park with the company of your choice. When deciding between companies you will have to choose between comfort in the camping or shorter time in the car. Sights are far from each other, either you have a fixed located camping or a moving camping
- This is not a place for trekking. Most of sights you will drop off the jeep right at the spot.
Usually the companies sell a combination of tours and camping experience as accommodation, given that the distance between the sights are huge and would make any hostel/hotel a waste of time and patience.
I bought a tour with a company called Korubo, which is the first agency ever exploring the local after it got managed by the gouvernment and that makes them one of the most experienced agencies around and the company with the best camping structure. The downside is that they do not go to one of the most iconic sight named “Pedra Furada” given the camping location.
I got mylself the 7 seven days tour package with 2 nights in Palmas and 5 nights in the camping inside of the park, including tours, guides, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.
The thing is that they offer an unique experience by having a fixed luxury-ish camping site (sort of a glamping) while other companies have a moving camping experience depending where the tour takes you. The tents are huge fitting 2 single beds (with actual beds), private toillets and no need to crawl , being possible to walk inside.
The camping site is located by the river, giving you options of entertainment in case something goes wrong (in my case some sort of nature bio problem with the fishes did not allow us to take a rafting tour). That’s when the location came in handy and provided us something to do, filling up the spare time for the day.
Find below some shots of the sights:
Dunes surrounded by forest
Fervedouro: a lagoon-like sight 15 meter deep that is impossible to draw
Espirito Santo trekking: 200m trekking up the hill plus 3 km walk on the plateau