Itatiaia National Park is located in the Mantiqueira Mountains along the coastline of southeastern Brazil. The national park encompasses an area of 593.75 square miles (1,537.8 sq km). The park runs 43 miles (70 km) along the coastline.
The park has the recognition of being Brazil's first and oldest national park. The rocky and mountain terrain varies in elevation ranging from 1,772 to 9,442 feet (540 to 2,878 m). The highest elevation is accounted for by Black Needles Peak known locally as Pico das Agulhas Negras.
The Itatiaia plateau, the lower region, and the Visconde de Maua region account for the different areas of the park. The mountainous region features grasslands amongst the towering peaks. Along with Agulhas Negras, the area features the popular Shelves Massif, Altar Stone, Bell Stone, Seated Stone, Couto Stone, and Hermes Wing.
The dense Atlantic forest is the prevailing vegetation blanketing the landscape. Trekking through the forest leads to a number of striking waterfalls. Bridal Veil Waterfall is one of the most popular.
The Visconde de Maua Region features hotels and restaurants that draw visitors into the park. The area also provides access to the Escorrega and Santa Clara waterfalls which are two of the park's most popularly visited falls.
Featuring the country's third-tallest mountain and featuring a striking rocky mountainous region, the landscapes, and picturesque terrain are easy highlights. There are numerous waterfalls that add to the aesthetics.
The Escorrega and Santa Clara waterfalls located in the Visconde de Maua Region are easily some of the most popular highlights.
Bridal Veil Waterfall
The Bridal Veil Waterfall features a drop of 131.2 feet (40 m). The plunge creates an aesthetically pleasing mist at the base of the falls.
Things To Do:
There are several ways for visitors to engage and experience the national park. Hiking, climbing, and trekking through the Atlantic Forest or up the glorious mountains. Swimming in the pools created by the waterfalls or taking in a picnic.
Itatiaia National Park Trails
There are several trails that trek through the dense Atlantic forest of the lower region. The Three Peaks trail is one of the most popular and rewarding treks. Whether trekking up the mountains, through the forests, or out to a waterfall, there are at least 46 different trails to engage.
Three Peaks Trails
The trail treks through the Atlantic forest taking hikers an elevation of 5,321.5 feet (1,622 m). The trek leads to a highlight view out over the Paraiba River Valley.
Blue Lake Trail
The trail is located in the Lower Region and treks through the Atlantic Forest. It is rated easy and accessible except for the 120 steps. An alternate route is easier and safer but covers a little more distance.
The trail leads hikers to the Blue Lake which is a natural pool along the Campo Belo River.
Agulhas Negras Trail
This trail is rated moderate and it features an elevation gain of 1,315 feet ( m) while traveling a distance of 2.9 miles ( km). The trail is rocky and features views of wildflowers, a river, and possible wildlife. It is the fifth-highest mountain in Brazil.
Itatiaia National Park was created in 1937 to protect the Atlantic Forest Biome of the region. The protected areas include the Itatiaia plateau, the lower regions, and the Visconde de Maua Region.
- Black Neeles Peak at 9,442 feet (2,872 m)
- The third-highest mountain in Brazil
- Bridal Veil Waterfall
- All Trails, Best Trails in Parque Nacional Itatiaia, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/brazil/minas-gerais/parque-nacional-do-itatiaia, retrieved November 2022.
- Britannica, Itatiaia National Park, https://www.britannica.com/place/Itatiaia-National-Park, retrieved November 2022
- ICMBIO, Parque Nacionals Itatiaia, https://www.icmbio.gov.br/parnaitatiaia/en/guia-do-visitante.html, retrieved November 2022.
- LACGEO, Itatiaia National Park, https://lacgeo.com/itatiaia-national-park-brazil, retrieved November, 2022.
- Travel Triangle, Itatiaia National Park: Explore this Wildlife Haven in the Heart of Brazil, https://traveltriangle.com/blog/itatiaia-national-park/, retrieved November 2022.