Aparados Da Serra National Park

Posted in South America | March 22, 2011 | Comment Now

Literally meaning the rocky evolution for forming the grasslands, the Aparados Da Serra national park stretches on the eastern frontier in southern Brazil between the Santa Catarina States and Rio Grande do Sul. Engulfing a variety of protected landscapes such as cliff foliage, forests, canyons, slopes, rivers, and other ecosystems, the park features majestic scenery, geological wonders, and adventurous activities. Above all, the main highlight is the grand Itaimbezinho Canyon naturally adorned with the blossoming biodiversity, green foliage, and plunging waterfalls.

Frankly speaking, Aparados Da Serra expands alongside the southern Atlantic coast and with the widest canyons of Brazil, which stretch into the neighboring Serra Geral national park. Talking about the Itaimbezinho Canyon that itself means sharp stone, it is among the state’s largest canyons with the width of 2000 meters as well as its majestic rock walls of 720 meters in height. Featuring native pine trees and low vegetation, the canyon’s rock formations are over 100 millions years old and for those who are coming here for the first time, the experience is just not describable in words.

Within Aparados De Serra, you can follow any of the three trails with different features. With a guide for $3, the Elbow and Vertex trails are simple to explore. The Elbow trail is for those who want to enjoy the incredible vistas of the canyon cliffs. This is the journey of 6.3 km and 2.5 hours, which takes you on an easy walk until you reach a viewpoint. This track is open for walk only up to 3:00 pm.

From the Visitors Center starts the Apex Trail of 1.4 km that for an hour takes you on a tour of canyon edges. You also get to marvel at the Waterfall of the Swallows that is the outcome of the big water volume via the Partridge River falls. Falling from 700 meters height, this waterfall plunges towards the canyon’s bottom before which it converts into mist. While trekking here, you also get to see the Bridal Veil waterfall that is fed by Prea stream.

If you are interested in something more challenging, try out the River Trail Boi that passes within the chasm. Here, you get an exciting chance to stroll inside the canyon walls and then up to the Rio do Boi bed. This is the trail of 4 km and with a round trip; you need 7 hours in total. So, this is a long trail and is also quite tiresome, which means you need to be physically fit for this adventure featuring several rocks as well as river crossings along with the cool pools for bath too. Sometimes, the level of the water here is so high that it might reach above your knee.


9 am to 5 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.

Entry fee

$6.00 per adult.
Free for children under seven as well as seniors above 70.

Parking fee

$5 per car.
$3 to $10 per bike or bus.

Nearby attractions
  • Rio Tainhas plunging as a waterfall and allowing camping as well as swimming along with trekking and car crossing when it is at the normal level.

  • Step Island formed by several splitting rapids and facilitating camping with water, light, toilets, BBQs, and canteen at 32 km from Cambará for $5.00.
  • Waterfall Venancio for swimming and camping for $3 and $5.
  • Paved Daisy with river making small pools at 10 miles from Cambara.

Trek in the morning and carry water, snacks, and rain gear.

Best time to go

Any time, but January is the hottest month with temperatures around 30 and that June to August feature chilly atmosphere and sharp landscapes. Summers can mean some sudden rains. Just do not come here in August and September due to poor visibility.

Duration of stay

Minimum 2 days recommended.


This is currently not allowed in the Aparados De Serra, except for some wild sites that are recommended only if you are in a group and know the park thoroughly.

Otherwise, stay in Cambara South where you have many hotels and lodges. Some famous ones are Hostel Hill, Outback Lodge, Sunset Inn, Parador Casa da Montanha near the canyon, and Cambara Eco Hotel on the path that takes one to the canyon.

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