A Time Out in the Green: Lençóis
Lençóis and its unique surroundings
Take a little break from the chaos of the big city of Salvador and enjoy peace and nature? Lençóis is located in the interior of the federal state of Bahia, just a few hours away from Salvador. The old colonial city has kept its charm and the typical relaxed atmosphere of rural Brazil is still intact here. Colorful little houses around the cobbled square, which is often still crossed on horseback. Everywhere you can find small stores and inviting restaurants. In the evening the tables of the street bars fill up on the square and in the small alleys, music resounds from all corners and tourists and locals let the day end cozily. Not to forget the unique natural attractions in the immediate vicinity of Lençóis, such as waterfalls, natural pools and table mountains. A stay in Lençóis is a perfect time out in nature during a trip to Brazil.
Lençóis, not to be confused with Lençóis Maranhenses, is located in the middle of the Chapada Diamantina National Park and can be easily reached by bus from Salvador in about 7 hours. The city of Lençóis got its name from the garimpeiros, in English "gemstone seekers", who played a great historical role in this area. They came from Minas Gerais to Lençóis to set up their camps with large white sheets. From a distance, however, the camps were perceived as a single large sheet, "lençol", therefore the name Lençóis. Even today, traces of the garimpeiros can be found here and in the surrounding area, such as old camps and work sites.
Lençóis not only has a lot to offer culturally and historically. An excursion to this natural paradise is a must for nature lovers and adventurers. Enjoy the wonderful view from one of the table mountains or hike along the rivers and take a refreshing bath in one of the numerous waterfalls or natural pools. The landscape is diverse and ranges from rainforest to savannah. Therefore, the area can be explored in different ways: on foot, by bike, on horseback or on a canoe tour.
Only 10 minutes walking distance from the city center you will find the first bathing area, the Piscinas Naturais do Serrano. There you can enjoy a refreshing bath after the journey, without having to walk many kilometers. After another 15 minutes, you will reach a small waterfall called Cachoeirinha. There it is quieter than at the Serrano.
The Ribeirão do Meio is about 40 minutes walking distance from Lençóis and is suitable as a tour for all ages and all kinds of travelers - even children. Ribeirão do Meio consists of a series of natural pools formed by the Ribeirão River. If the river carries enough water, it even creates a natural water slide, which is especially popular with children.
About 22 kilometers from Lençóis is Poço do Diabo, the Devil's Puddle. After a 15-minute walk along the riverbed of the Rio Mucugezinho, you can take a refreshing dip in the natural pool or just enjoy the view of the beautiful waterfall. The brave ones can also slide directly into the water with the rope slide or rappel down from the very top.
The red color of the water may seem a bit unusual at the beginning, but it is no reason to worry. The natural iron content of the surrounding springs is exceptionally high. Be careful when bathing in the natural pools, because the reddish coloration of the water makes it not always clear to perceive how deep the water is.
The Chapada Diamantina National Park
The Chapada Diamantina National Park, founded in 1985 to protect and preserve the landscape, is located in the heart of Bahia and covers approximately 150,000 hectares. Chapada Diamantina became famous in the 19th century through numerous diamond and gold discoveries. Hence the name Chapada Diamantina, "Diamond Plateau". After the diamond discoveries became rarer and rarer towards the middle of the 20th century, an alternative source of income had to be found, and what was better suited for such a landscape than tourism?
Lençóis, thanks to its geographical location, is the perfect starting point for day trips or hikes lasting several days. There are many attractions nearby, such as the Morro do Pai Inácio. After a short ascent, you can enjoy a wonderful 360-degree view. Especially at sunset, when the whole landscape is glowing in red, you can enjoy a great spectacle. You should also plan an excursion to one of the many caves, such as the Gruta Pratinha or the Gruta Azul. Take a refreshing bath and enjoy the impressive play of water and light. Another highlight is the Cachoeira da Fumaça, which is the second-largest waterfall in Brazil with its 380 meters. Already during the approximately 2.5-hour ascent you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama. Upwind coming from the valley atomizes the jet, so that it looks like smoke. This is where the name "waterfall of smoke" comes from. Depending on the season, however, it can also happen that the waterfall is completely dry. If you prefer to enjoy more adventure and nature, then a trip to Vale do Pati for several days is worthwhile. During the several-day hike, you will be rewarded for the challenging ascents with unique views and impressive nature.
In the Chapada Diamantina National Park, there are many natural attractions to discover. You can also recharge your batteries and relax in a wonderful environment with refreshing natural pools and waterfalls. A stay during your Brazil vacation is definitely worthwhile. The safest way is to do the excursions with a guide. Then you can enjoy the time to the full and don't have to worry about the right way.
Sources: www.guiachapadadiamantina.com.br, www.lonelyplanet.com, www.melhoresdestinos.com.br