Brasil: Chapada Diamantina
Created in 1985 to protect, preserve, and promote its spectacular scenery and rich ecosystems, Chapada Diamantina National Park lies in the northeast of Brazil in the centre of the state of Bahia. Chapada Diamantina means 'plateau of diamonds' or 'diamond highlands' since diamonds were discovered here in 1844. Popular among nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, the park encompasses everything from dramatic mountain ranges and sweeping valleys to teeming rivers and towering waterfalls.
As it is set atop of a plateau, the park is very mountainous, with its tallest peaks reaching more than 2,000 metres. Crumbling, rugged cliffs line the plateau, as do lots of epic waterfalls; the awe-inspiring 340-metre-high Cachoeira da Fumaca is the tallest in Brazil. Cavernous caves also punctuate its rugged terrain, with Lapa Doce and Pratinha two of the largest.
Thanks to its diverse landscapes and gorgeous scenery, Chapada Diamantina National Park is an increasingly popular tourist destination. Visitors can choose to either camp or stay in one of the small towns, such as Lencois and Vale de Capao. Horseback riding and hiking are popular pastimes, as is swimming in the rivers and pools of the area.
The months of March to October are the best for walking as it is dry, though the other times of the year are by no means bad and are also suitable for an adventure.