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A recommended suggestion is to include the Itatiaia National Park and Itamonte Tours to the Paraty tour. Leaving Paraty and crossing the Bocaina National Park, then to meet the Rio-São Paulo highway on the way to Itamonte is an unique experience along part of the "Estrada Real" , the "Golden Trail"

One of the best areas for Birdwatchers is the lower part of Itataiaia National Park close to the Rio São Paulo highway.

Try it!


Itatiaia National Park and Itamonte

     This tour leaves Rio or São Paulo by car with an overnight at Itamonte, our base for touring. Itamonte, which is at an elevation of 906 m in southern Minas Gerais State, is about 250 km from both Rio and São Paulo. Local tours are operated by Outside Safari are in a Jeep or a special Pick-up with 4 seats providing unrestricted vision for great photographs and true feeling for the environment.  At least two overnights are recommended in order to see and enjoy the major attractions of Itatiaia National Park. The following tours are recommended: (1) The "Prateleiras" (2548 m), (2) "Pico do Couto" (2590 m), (3) Mini Rafting which is suitable for beginners and teenagers. For those who have more time, (4) The "Agulhas Negras" (Black Needles - 2787m), and of course (5) horseback riding are recommended as well. Itamonte has many trout breeding farms. Trout is one of the delicacies available in most area restaurants. Itamonte was part of the 18th century "Golden Trail" that was used by the Portuguese to send gold from Ouro Preto to Paraty, from there to Rio and finally to Portugal.  

     A nice, quiet village not far away from Caxambu and São Lourenço, two famous hydrothermal cities, with plenty of options for hiking, climbing, trekking, kayaking, rafting, horseback riding and resting as well. Dairy products, eggs and trout are the main local production. The area has plenty of waterfalls of clear water, ideal for a minirafting.

              Itatiaia National Park                     One of the most spectacular landscapes of Brazil. The unique "Black Needles" Peak is composed by "Nephline Syenite", found also in Kola (Norway) and here. One easy hiking is the "Pico do Couto". The "Prateleiras" (Shelves) is a more difficult one and the most difficult is Black Needles itself. Temperature can drop to minus 5 C at these elevations during winter!
                    Pico do Couto   
   This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the upper part of the Itatiaia National Park. In about one and half hours, you can have a spectacular 360 degree view including the whole Paraíba River Valley. Sometimes you may be above the clouds.
     This is another popular hiking trail with some difficult passages. It takes about 2 hours to reach the top, from there you can see the Black Needles about 4 km to the NE. The use of ropes may be necessary for safety. This trail should not be attempted without an experienced guide. Fog often reduces visibility to zero.
     One of the best (and safest) options, is the 'Mini-Rafting" done with a special patented buoy developed by OutsideSafari for that activity. Lots of fun for the whole Family! You do not need to have any experience, just start and that's it ! And do it again! We depart with a Jeep from Itamonte to the rafting area appropriate for that season and group. An exciting Full Day option.
     Itamonte and its surroundings are located in a valley that contains many creeks and rivers. They are originated in the upper part of the Itatiaia National Park which ends up in beautiful waterfalls of all kinds and types. The combination of the Rain Forest and waterfalls sometimes are of unbelievable beauty. Many of them are almost inaccessible making them hidden treasures!.
            Adventure with adrenalin
      This option is an alternative to the Miini-rafting where adequate conditions are available with water temperatures up to 25 Centigrade in Summer. The areas which will be visited have a different and impressive landscape and makes you remember its wildness and beauty for a lifetime.
                  Rapel and Tyroleans
    This is also a good option, but mainly for those who have experience. Good physical conditioning  is  required.  Some  waterfalls increases adrenaline during short periods. Only a fortunate minority ever get to experience this world below the rims.
Pedro Novak -  Private Tours -  Rio de Janeiro

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