I started traveling when I was young. My passion for travel is ingrained in my genes. Mom was a great inspiration to me. When I was a kid she would tell me stories about her backpacking trips around the world. At the time, being a woman traveling alone was a bigger adventure than today.
My endless search for adventure was what made me want to travel to Jalapao. This state park is located in the north of Brazil and was only created by state law in 2001. As the park was just recently introduced to the world there are not many people who know about this beautiful place.
This is changing fast because people are realising that Jalapao is one of the most spectacular places on earth. One special thing about Jalapao are the huge numbers of “fervedouro”. These are springs which come from underground rivers. They form little pools with blue water.
A phenomenon like this only happens in certain regions of the world. Jalapao is one of the few places where water sprouts out with so much pressure that it’s almost impossible to dive in. Some people say that floating in a fervedouro is like floating in the Dead Sea but with fresh water.
Visiting Jalapao State Park for 4 Days
Jalapao is known by locals as a rugged place. Indeed, Jalapao is a gem but not a polished one. The cities surrounding the park and the park itself doesn’t have much infrastructure. I had the pleasure of visiting for 4 days and had a wonderful time. One week would be the perfect amount of time.
When I travel I don’t like using tourist guides because I prefer to take my time and discover the place by myself. In Jalapao that isn’t really an option as the roads are unpaved, there are no traffic signs anywhere and GPS signals also don’t work in this region. So I hired a travel agency for this trip.
They had a new 4×4 vehicle and a guide that knew all the trails in the park by heart. We started in the city of Palmas and for the next 4 days we did a circle tour through the park sleeping in villas, stopping at the springs and waterfalls, and checking out the viewpoints and various landscapes.
Favourite Place in Jalapao: Fervedouro Springs
There is no doubt that the fervedouro springs are the main attraction of Jalapao. I have never seen something quite like this in all of my travels. I would describe the springs as the blue ocean of the Philippines lost in the middle of the Brazilian desert. It’s definitely a special thing to see.
Best Places to Visit in Jalapao for First-Timers
So, if you are traveling through Brazil and find yourself near Jalapao State Park then take note of these unmissable places for your visit. If you go with a travel agency then I’m sure they will take you to these amazing spots.
Lagoa do Japones
This stunning emerald green lagoon is full of fish. It also has an incredible cave that is worth visiting too which makes for quite the adventure. I recommend going inside and exploring the cave. You will enjoy it!
Dunas do Jalapao
Jalapao Dunes may not be as majestic as the Sahara Desert but they are close enough to a magical desert. Going there at sunset is perfect. Picture the landscape: orange sands, a low burning sunset, birds flying, exotic species of plants and a small river crossing by the dunes. Amazing right?
Cachoeira da Formiga
This was one of the greatest waterfalls I have ever seen. It’s not big but it’s incredible how the water of this waterfall can be so blue. The best thing is that the water is not cold. It’s simply an amazing place in nature.
Buriti and Buritizinho Springs
These are the two springs that I loved the most. If you had to choose only two then I would recommend Buriti and Buritizinho. They are smaller than the other ones and so they feel more exclusive and private. The banana trees surrounding the springs make these spots even more beautiful.
Best Accommodation Options in Jalapao
Most people go to Jalapao as backpackers so they don’t care much about where they sleep. It’s common for people who live in villas to open their houses to tourists and rent some of their rooms for a small price. This is especially true in the high season when most of the hotels are booked.
It makes for a great opportunity to make contact with the locals of this region. Be sure that you will be welcomed and will have an incredible breakfast and will be treated as part of their family, even if just for a day.
Those who are looking for comfort can stay at Pousada de Charme Formiga Ecolodge. It’s a nice hotel in the area. Or you can try Jalapao Ecolodge which is an inn with bungalows made of thatched masonry and bamboo. This makes it sustainable in terms of saving water and energy.
Another option is the Korubo – Safari Camp. They have great facilities and are famous in the area. It makes for a cool experience to camp there.
Food Scene of Jalapao – Where to Eat
Food in Jalapao is traditional Brazilian. The truth is that there aren’t many restaurants. So everyone tends to go to the same places. Most of the restaurants are on farms close to a main attraction. Plates normally include rice, beans, vegetables and chicken. Everything fresh and homemade.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
My travel tips for those going to Jalapao are firstly, disconnect. You will be without 4G and only have access to poor Wi-Fi. It’s important to embrace the experience. Secondly, avoid going during national or state holidays as the park will be full of crowds at this time of year.
Apart from that just enjoy your time and make sure you see the sunset at the Jalapao Dunes. The sunset I saw was so magical. Being in the desert and seeing this unique landscape was amazing. I felt so lucky to be there.