Fodor's Expert Review Parque Nacional Chapada Diamantina
Established in 1985, the 1,520-square-km (593-square-mile) national park is one of the most scenic places in Brazil. Here you can find crystal clear creeks, rivers with abundant rapids and waterfalls, and more than 70 grottos and caverns. There are also the tall peaks of the Sincorá Range; the highest point is Barbados Peak (2,080 meters/7,000 feet). The flora and fauna of the area, which include many varieties of cactus, orchids, and bromeliads, and more than 200 bird species, have been the subject of two extensive studies by the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in England. The best time to visit the park is in the dry season, from March to October, but expect high temperatures during the day (rarely above 36°C/100°F). From May to July, temperatures might drop to near 10°C (45°F). The park does not have a visitor center, but there's a small ranger headquarters in the town of Palmeiras.