National Parks of Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral

Marked by its impressive canyons, the neighbors Aparados da Serra National Park and Serra Geral National Park, are located in the States of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina and together are home to more than 60 canyons. Trained for over 130 million years ago, the canyons are great breaks on Earth resulting fromtectonic movement and the tireless work of the rivers, over the ages. These features, which divide the Gaucho of the plain of Santa Catarina, appear to have beentrimmed thoroughly. Hence the name aparados da serra.


The best known Canyon in the Trimmed is the Itaimbezinho, whose name comes from the TupiGuarani (ita means stone, and cut off a sharp aimbe). With 5,700meters long, almost 2 km away and 720 metres high in your highest point, is covered by Atlantic forest in your lower part and Mata de Araucária at the top. Currently the Itaimbezinho can only be known by three different tracks: two on top, the edges of the Canyon; and a bottom, upriver of the ox, the Valley.

The Trimmed is pretty organized: the places of visitation are well signposted andtypically easy accesses. In the visitor center, next to the main entrance of the Park, a scale model shows the canyons, waterfalls and all around the Park. Trained staff provide information about history, fauna, flora and the trails that lead to lookouts. There is also a cultural space with photos and auditorium for 50 people, in addition to the cafeteria, toilets, craft shop, clinic and parking.


From there depart two trails. The vertex is the most easy and short to be travelled. With 1.5 km (roundtrip), surrounding the mouth of the Itaimbezinho, providing a nice visual. It is possible to see two falls: a waterfall of Andorinhas, with 700meters high, and the Veil of the bride. Already the Elbow has 6.3 km long, round trip, and along the right edge of the Canyon. Allows an insider’s view of the entire Canyon, above. It is important to remember that the access to the Park is quitecontrolled and is only allowed to start this trail to the 3:00 pm.


But for those who already have experience in hiking and like adventure, worth knowing the Itaimbezinho inside him scouring the ox River. They are approximately 8 km away (roundtrip) between walls of up to 700 meters high from the Valley of Itaimbezinho. Much of the trail is within of the River, with many stones in theway, and depending on the level of the water she can stand above the knee. Theaccess is made by another entrance to the Park, via Big Beach (SC). The natural pools of the path are worth the effort. However, it is important to find out if there was rain in the days leading up to the walk, because the level of the river can rise rapidly. It is mandatory to the accompaniment of a local guide, which can be hired in Praia Grande.


In the Serra Geral National Park, also in the town of Cambará do Sul, the most famous canyons are the Uglyface and the Fortress, which is what most surprises the visitors for your magnitude. A walk of approximately 30 minutes leads to the highest point and better observation of the Fortress. Of his 1,117 metres high it ispossible to see most of the seven kilometers of the Canyon, and if the day is clear to the coast of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. The trail gives access tothis lot starts at the end of the road that bisects the Park. In the middle of the hike, you can see the Fortress Falls. Is considered one of the biggest canyons of Latin America.


Following a trail of approximately 800 meters easy, the black tiger falls, locatedon the south wall of the Canyon Fortaleza. Crossing the River over stones, and followed by more 250 metres of track, it is possible to have a beautiful view of the fall. More 30-minute trail along the rim of the Canyon and is the stone of the secret, a huge block of five meters high, standing on an area of 50 square centimetres. The impression it gives is that at any moment the stone will tip over and fall.The origin of the name lies in the fact that the stone is seen from this specific point, becoming a secret to those who have not the sight of other sites.


For those who want to know the Malacara Canyon, the walk is much more arduous. As camp in the Park is prohibited, it is necessary to go back and forth on the same day. Are 22 km (roundtrip) from the Canyon Fortaleza. It is advisable to the accompaniment of a guide, because if the trick that‘s the rise of the clouds because of the temperature and pressure difference between the coast and the Sierra, it is very easy to get lost. You can also meet Me underneath. In this case, the trail begins in Praia Grande, in Vila Rosa, and just up the river bed and face your stones. Are approximately 3 hours (round trip), with many baths on the way.
In winter, the cold, dry climate, in addition to the altitude, is the determining factor for the atmospheric phenomenon more expected in the region: the snow. Every year the temperature drops precipitously from the month of July, already having descended to -8° c. This intense cold accompanies strong frosts and formation of ice crystals, magnificent natural sculptures compounding. And when the snow embellishes the fields, the scenery is stunning. That’s why the best time to visit is Winter Park (especially June and July), when the landscapes are sharper, therisk of fog is lower and the amount of rain less intense.
Unlike other places in the world where the canyons appear almost always in extremely arid regions, grassland and vegetation of pines at the top, and Atlantic forest on the bottom, mark the region as one of the most beautiful on this planet.
How to get there
The entrance to Aparados da Serra National Park is located 18 km from the cityGaucho Cambará do Sul, and 22 km from Praia Grande, town located at the foot of the canyons in Santa Catarina. To get there, by one side or another, it is necessary to face dirt road. Have access to the Serra Geral National Park is made by Cambará do Sul, in 21 km of dirt road.
Coming from Porto Alegre by the BR 116, it follows to New Hamburg, then in the direction of the Taquara, San Francisco de Paula, Mullets and finally Cambará do Sul (RS). The coast must take the BR 101 to Torres (RS), then move on to theSaint John South clover and go to Praia Grande (SC). The Faxinal linking Praia Grande to Cambará do Sul, has a beautiful, but being 40 km of dirt road too steepto be avoided in days of very strong fog.
Useful tips
The Aparados da Serra National Park is open for visitation from Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 at 5:00 pm. On holidays, usually open on Mondays and Tuesdays, but it is advisable to confirm before. Already the Serra geral National Park works every day, from 8:00 to 6:00 pm.
The Serra Geral Park does not have any infrastructure. There is no visitor center, cafeteria and even toilets. Take everything you need, including your stirrer.
The weather in the region is very unstable. In addition, there is the phenomenon of light wind, which causes the clouds to rise inside the Canyon because of the temperature and pressure difference between the coast and the Sierra. The very light wind hampers visibility.
As the region has its own characteristics, it is recommended to always be with a guide on hiking further afield.
Between the months of May and August the visibility is better and the sky is bluer. In the summer (between December and March) the baths
are nicer, less cold, despite being a time of a lot of fog. Avoid the month of September, when it rains a lot and the visibility is terrible.
Canyons with hiking trails & Directions
To withstand the wind and the cold, so common in the region, we suggest the Parkha Klima Shelter, which consists of two parts: an internal coat of polar fibre and, outside, an anorak. Have the option to dismember in two, in the hottest moments. Has proofing to 1,200 mm of water column, and reinforcement in exposed to friction points (shoulders and elbows).
For the more cautious, in any season is always good to have in the back of the bag a anokak, as for example the Anorak Storm Shelter, which has resistance to 10,000 mm waterproofing water column and sealed seams. It also has built-in hood in collar, with the ventilation system that prevents condensation and made inbreathable fabric.
About clothing, to withstand unexpected winds suggest Windbreak Minuano, which is very light and compact. Another good option is the shirt Tracks Pro, which can be used alone or in conjunction with coats. Revolutionary fabric is made,which decreases the points in contact with the skin by micro-almofadas.
To load the stuff for the trails and hiking South parks, a good tip is the mochilaAlpina 43. Has design that facilitates the offset in dense forest, good ventilation on the back and spacious central compartment. The cover has a pocket in the rear compartment where one finds a raincoat to protect the bag, and another on the inside, and protected screen, ideal for taking documents and small objects, being easily accessible. Ripstop fabric is made, reinforced bottom. Supports hydration system.