This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Chapada Diamantina. To help you make friends with Chapada Diamantina before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Chapada Diamantina, or Diamond Plateau, is situated in the middle of the state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil. It is a vast region of diverse landscapes, with imposing canyons and rock walls, mystical grottos and caves, flowing rivers and waterfalls, green forests and grasslands, as well as dry fields and caatinga. Trekkers will enjoy the numerous trails which used to lead miners to their treasures. In 1710, gold was discovered in the area, while in 1844, the first diamonds were found there. The latter discovery gave the region its name, which then became the Chapada Diamantina National Park in 1985. It encompasses several cities, with its headquarters located in the city of Palmeiras.
Tourists on a tight budget have many options available among the many pousadas and hostels in Chapada Diamantina. Whether sleeping in a dormitory, on a camp site, or in a private room shared with several other travelers, there are many ways to ensure an inexpensive stay in this spectacular park.
The average Chapada Diamantina hostel or pousada provides a clean and quiet environment. They tend to be small locales with an intimate vibe and caring hosts. Complimentary amenities usually include wifi connection and a savory breakfast. While many hostels provide bedding and towels, it is always a good idea to bring along sheets, towels and toiletries.
Once you have stored away your luggage at the hostel of your choice, you will be ready to take on the varying landscape of the 152,000-hectare national park. Your itinerary might include the Morro do Pai Inácio. The 3,675-foot (1,120-meter) climb up the hill requires sturdy shoes and an intermediate fitness level. Be sure to get there before the park closes in the evening. Ideally, you arrive around three o’clock in the afternoon, when the temperature begins to drop. You should reach the top just before sunset. Catch your breath as you take in the view, wonder at the beauty, and snap tons of pictures for your memories. The panoramic view of Chapada Diamantina is a spectacle worth every step along the way. Be sure to head back down before night begins to set in; the precarious descent is much more difficult in the darkness.
Another attraction is Morro do Chapéu, a hill which gets its name from its resemblance to a hat. Climbing this natural beauty, you surely will come across orchids growing in masses. A beautiful and rare humming bird, the Colibri Dourado, is certain to cross your path along the hill as well.
Once your hiking adventure has come to an end and your body is aching for a cozy bed to rest your head on, you will be happy to return to your hostel right there in Chapada Diamantina.
Written by local enthusiast for Chapada Diamantina hostelsJakob Lombardi