The climate in the area is moderate and always humid. The annual average temperature ranges around 21ºC — with maximum temperature ranging between 24ºC and 27ºC and lows between 9ºC and 15ºC. The fog, present basically all year long, also known by the name of “Nothing” appears all of a sudden and, very quickly, makes everything disappear, so one can’t see even a step away; the fog turns deep valleys invisible, then, back to visible again. It is amid this climate that we have the most famous of the canyons in the Aparados da Serra National Park, the Itaimbezinho — 5.8 km long, 720 m deep and 200 m wide — is the largest canyon in South America. From its top, one can contemplate an immensity that seems to be endless and is surrounded by gold fields. Itaimbé in Tupi-Guarani (the language of the Guarani Indians), means “cut stone”, a word which describes its landscape very well.
All along the journey taken by the Expedition Aparados da Serra the landscape shows beautiful wavy fields, extending to hundreds of meters in height, suddenly interrupted by impressive rocky cliffs, up to 900 meters deep, and forming a corridor of crags ranging from the gaucho Northeast up to Santa Catarina.
The Expedition follow these roads until reaching the Serra do Rio do Rastro in Santa Catarina, a place of a rare beauty, displaying sceneries that are typical to the fields from the top of the mountain, emphasizing the greatness of forests and fields spreading about the plateau. Before arriving at the top, it is already possible to have one of the more beautiful sights from high up in the mountain, vision which is formed by an enormous cliff, dark green, spanning the horizon. In this path we will find point vistas where we can appreciate gorges, nature and the Sierra and Plateau’s relief; which will reminds us of the movement of a serpent. Aparados da Serra – a surprising Brazil with a cold weather accent and the legitimate gauchos’ traditions; an expedition for peaceful adventurers and an opportunity to live a unique experience.
Day 1: Imagine yourself arriving in a remote place in lands south of Brazil, and finding a charming hotel ready to offer the best in comfort and gastronomy. Yes, it is from a special place like this that our expedition begins and will be traveling the mountain range between Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Situated between Cambara do Sul and the Itaimbezinho Canyon within the Aparados da Serra National Park, the Hotel Parador Casa da Montanha is a hotel of a unique rustic style in Brazil (similar hotels are only found in Africa and Australia), with “thermal huts” developed especially for this region and installed at the banks of the Rio Camarinhas; fully equipped, combining the rural of the country houses with the charm and the best of the hotel industry offered by the Casa da Montanha de Gramado.
Day 2: We will not departure on horseback this time, but in a Land Rover 4x4 that will take us to the Aparados da Serra National Park (where horses are not allowed). The Park is considered one of Brazil’s wonders, with extraordinary walks. During the entire day we will be traveling its trails, which will takes us to vista points, allowing a good view of the Cascata da Andorinha (Swallow’s Waterfall) and Véu de Noiva (Bridal Veil Waterfall) and a nice sight of the Pass of Itaimbezinho; the most famous pass of the Park and also the largest in South America, being 5.8 km long, 720 m deep and 200 m wide.
Day 3: We start the day at dawn, proceeding our trip on horseback heading to the Serra do Rio do Rastro in Sta Catarina, traveling through an area of unique beauty, with typical sceneries that match those of the Fields from the Mountain top, displaying the greatness of the Atlantic Forest found in the low lands of the passes; fields that spread throughout the plateau, where you also see ferns, lilies and bromeliads that sprout in the rich hillsides. During the itinerary, the diverse fauna shows its wealth through the blue-crow, parrot-of-the-purple-chest, skunks, cutias and monkeys, all animals that can be seen with relative ease, adding a certain charm to the cavalcade.
Day 4: A special moment in the fourth day of our Expedition in this area of exuberant vegetation is the crossing of the Pico do Monte Negro (Black Mountain Peak), with its 1.403 meter high is the highest place of the Rio Grande do Sul. At this height, with majestic landscapes spreading through its skyline, one cannot avoid being overwhelmed by a unique feeling of freedom.
Day 5: We continue our journey trailing the scarps of the Aparados da Serra where the monumentality of nature, with which we will be sharing, provides us with an experience that goes beyond the cavalcade itself by adding all these moments of accomplishment.
Day 6: After horseback riding for four days, at the end of the sixth day of Expedition, we will have crossed the border of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, entered in the lands belonging to the stated of Sta Catarina and arrived at the Rio Rastro Resort; another place combining charm to the rusticity and beauty, and is located at the top of the Serra do Rio do Rastro, at an altitude of 1500ms.
However, until we get to the final point of the experience which we call, “expedition for adventurers with class and style”, all of the “lodging” and meals will take place in the fields, close to the canyons, providing the opportunity to live the atmosphere of such restricted places which are as remote as sublime. This will be made possible thanks to environmentalists adventurers of the Overland team, our partner in outdoors logistics who developed a special project for Brazil Cavalcades with our technical camps using state of the art imported equipment (huts of the bungalow type) which will provide comfort and safety, besides a structure of lodging and feeding services, amid the natural environment and has no precedent in Brazil.
Day 7: In the morning there are several programming options at the Rio Rastro Resort – trout fishing (right in front of one’s hut), spa, heated swimming pool, etc. After lunch (which might include one’s own trout) there will be the closing of the Expedition where Certificates will be awarded.
Itinerary – 7 days and 6 nights
Note: suggested route may be changed as necessary and if the group wants (number of days, programming etc).
- Horsemanship: the walk, trot and gallop
- Race of the horses: Creole
- Saddle type: Australian
- Weight limitation: 100 kg (220lbs)
- Groups – minimum of 8 and maximum of 12 people
- Climate: moderate in the summer and cold in the winter
- Circuit: fields, forests and scarps
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