The Serra da Capivara National Park holds the title of largest concentration of archaeological sites of Brazil. Is no small feat. This Park is a real trip back in time. Historical and Cultural patrimony of humanity by Unesco in 1991, it is located 530km from Teresina, the capital of Piaui. It is worth devoting some three or four days to meet him.
The city of São Raimundo Nonato serves as base for visitors and houses the Museum of the American male, with collection assembled from parts found in the archaeological explorations carried out in the area of the Park. Since 1994 the Parkis run by the Museum of man (Fumdham), which signed a co-management agreement with the federal Government.
This was the first National Park to protect the caatinga. Caatinga in tupi means“white forest“ and this name comes from the color of the trunks of plants that, in this way, protect themselves from the intense sun of the Northeast. Protect it is to protect an important and Rico ecosystem of our country. The location is stunning. There was once ocean bottom and dense tropical forest, today transformed in the hot desert of caatinga, but with niches of the old forest, present in humid and narrow canyons (boqueirões, in local parlance).
The rock is a testament to the ancient ocean that existed, with reddish sandstones and conglomerates yellowish white, carved by the action of time. Life develops in this place thanks to a peculiar formation: potholes, natural deposits of rainwater, carved by erosion. A walk here is a lesson in archaeology.
The Park is home to a dense concentration of archaeological sites, most with paintings and rock engravings, which are extremely ancient traces of man’s presence (100,000 years before present). Currently 912 sites are registered, among which, 657 feature cave paintings and other outdoor sites (camps or villages) of hunter-gatherers, are villages of potters-farmers, squatters in caves or shelters, burialsites and archaeo–palaeontological sites.
Their archaeological significance is undeniable. Studies carried out in the area have shown that, contrary to what claimed the classical theory, the man penetratedin the Americas long before 30,000 years. This discovery sparked an international scientific controversy. Excavations made at site of Boqueirão Holed stone led to the discovery of traces that were dated by carbon 14 technique, reaching up to48,000 years ago. Remains of paintings were found in layers as old, representingthe first manifestations of prehistoric American art. The excavations, surveys andsurface collections have provided abundant material on the activities of peoplewho occupied the area about 50,000 years before the arrival of white settlers.
But not always that Rico was protected heritage. The Park is surrounded by very poor communities, some of which explored plantations within the current boundaries of the Park. These populations are unlikely to understand the need to protect animal and plant species since humans only succeed in surviving. Thus, the local population depredava the biological communities and the cultural heritageof the National Park and surrounding areas, hunting, deforestation, destruction of wild beehives and the exploitation of limestone outcrops, rich in archaeological and paleontological sites.
Today the Park is very well structured to the visitation and has more than ten circuits composed of several hiking trails access the archaeological sites and placesof natural interest to visit geological monuments, landscape, vegetable formations, birds and other animals, without danger to the paintings and for visitors. Certain tracks were used by man in prehistory, being common to find shelters painted on both sides. The park visitors center provides guidance on how to make the tracks, as well as indicate the specialized guides, which necessarily accompany tourists on hiking.
In the vicinity of the park there is pousada, student hostel and camping area. The nearest is in Place of the rock Cavy, a community that is on the edges of the Park, from where you can walk to some attractions of the capybara, as some canyons and the postcard of the region, the Pedra Furada, a gap of 15 meters in diameter on a wall with more than 60 metres high that impresses every visitor. São Raimundo Nonato also offers other options of Inns. The restaurants of the regionare simple, but they offer regional dishes like goat meat preparations, delicacy almost unknown in the rest of the country, but widely used in the sertão.
In addition to your archaeological richness, the Park also offers various trails prepared for visitation, presenting different degrees of difficulty. Some are long and cross plots that are difficult to access. Toca do Boqueirão Holed stone features entries from various prehistoric periods in a wall with 70 m wide. In the Middle, in addition to the paintings, the archaeologists found traces of instruments used by ancient inhabitants, as stone age objects and potsherds. Also worth mentioning the Low of the swallows, where towards the end of the evening there is a flock of swallows, and the Gorge of the Capybara, which was used as passage by the ancient local people.
How to get there
The main point of reference for access is Petrolina, Pernambuco town which lies350 Km from the Park. The city has an airport which operates regular flights linking the region with Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia.
Of Petrolina and Teresina leave buses to São Raimundo Nonato. Travel agency specialized in ecotourism usually offer complete packages for visiting the Serra da Capivara.
Serra da Capivara with Trails & Directions
For trails that do not require overnight stay, a good tip is to get to the Serra da Capivara a backpack that has size versatile enough to be used in daily activities.One suggestion is 38 aCrampon, that has front pocket and bottom access, plus side pockets for water bottles and smaller barrigueira the little pocket for small things. Another good option for short walks is oEstojo Acqua, pouch with inside pocket for documents and support for two clutches of water.
In fact, hydration is an item that cannot be forgotten in a region of arid Sun as in the Caatinga. The Trail has several options of Courses & canteens, Canteen Hidrat 2, comprising Flexible two liters of water and is adaptable to various models of bags. The water outlet is made by a hose that connected to the canteen, reaches the mouth of the user and allows him to drink even in motion.
For those who are going camping, tent Bivak 1 is recommended. It accommodates a comfortably, with your personal baggage, and has only 1.7 Kg! For two people the best alternative is Quota 2 tent, which weighs 3.3 Kg with your igloo format model has two entries and frames marked with color system to facilitate mounting.