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How to plan a sustainable trip to Serra da Capivara National Park

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Serra da Capivara National Park is a stunning UNESCO natural marvel that gives visitors an extraordinary opportunity to discover the beauty and diversity of our world. 

With its diverse landscapes and endless hidden wonders, Serra da Capivara National Park is the perfect destination for those seeking a sustainable travel experience. Whether you venture deep into this remarkable landscape on foot or explore from the comfort of your car, there are endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. 

So if you are looking for an enriching travel experience that will leave you feeling connected to nature, consider planning a trip to Serra da Capivara National Park. Read on for our top tips on how to make your visit sustainable and responsible.

Where Is Serra da Capivara National Park

Serra da Capivara National Park is located in Piaui, in northeastern Brazil. This remarkable park spans over 1300 square kilometers. It is home to more than 40 000 rock paintings (some dating back 25 000 years), ancient cave dwellings, and other fascinating cultural treasures. 

The park was created to protect the world's largest concentration of rock art. These paintings provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who once inhabited this region. 

In addition to its incredible rock art, Serra da Capivara National Park is also home to various unique landscapes. This park has towering mountains and impressive rock formations to meandering rivers.

Why Visit Serra da Capivara National Park

The Serra da Capivara National Park has a rich history and is also home to archaeological wonders. The site plays a vital role in helping us better understand the early settlement of the Americas and contains one of the most important archaeological sites in America. 

This park has forced us to reevaluate our traditional theories about where and when humans first came to the continent, thanks to abundant evidence and artifacts. There is no doubt that a visit to Serra da Capivara National Park is a must for anyone with interest in history or archaeology.

What To Do in the Park

There is no shortage of things to do while you are in Serra da Capivara National Park. Here are a few top activities and attractions not to be missed: 

1. Visit the Archaeological Sites
This park is home to more than 360 notable archaeological sites, with Pedra Furada being the most popular. It's a rock art shelter containing 1,150 images and thousands of artifacts.

2. Hunt for Ancient Rock Art
You'll find plenty of exciting depictions of animals and people, often engaged in activities like hunting, fighting, dancing, or interacting with supernatural beings. Some scenes also include sexual content (including portrayals of humans having sex with animals).

3. Hike to the Caves 
The park holds more than 500 caves and rock shelters that are worth your time exploring. Many of these shelters have beautiful rock paintings on their walls. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight with you when you go exploring.

4. Visit the Museum 
The Museum of the American man is an excellent way to learn more about the history and culture of the region. The Museum is located in São Raimundo Nonato and houses various artifacts found in the park.

5. Take a Nature Walk 
There are several nature trails located throughout the park. These walks are a great way to see the diverse landscapes and wildlife that call this park home. Keep your eyes peeled for animals like armadillos, jaguars, and howler monkeys.

What To Bring on Your Trip

Now that you know how to plan a sustainable trip to Serra da Capivara National Park, it is time to start packing! Here are a few essential items to bring with you on your adventure:

Good Pair of Hiking Shoes -  You will be doing a lot of walking, so be sure to pack comfortable shoes for hiking.
Hat or Eco-Friendly Sunscreen - The sun can be powerful in this region, so it is crucial to pack hats or sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.
Reusable Water Bottle - Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and reduce plastic waste.
Eco-Friendly Bug Spray -  Be sure to pack eco-friendly bug spray to keep mosquitoes and other pesky insects away. The mosquitos in the park are relentless!
First-Aid Kit - It is always a good idea to pack a first-aid kit when traveling, just in case. Camera -  Don't forget to bring a camera to capture all the incredible sights of Serra da Capivara National Park!

How To Get To the Park

Located in Piauí state in northeast Brazil, the park stretches across three municipalities: São Raimundo Nonato, São João do Piauí, and Canto do Buriti. The best way to get there is by car.  São Raimundo Nonato Airport is the closest airport to the park and is less than an hour's drive away. When you arrive at the airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to your final destination. 

Once you are in the area, several tour companies offer day trips to the park. These tours typically include transportation, guides, and entrance fees, making them a convenient option for those who want to explore the park without having to worry about logistics.

How To Get a Guide

When planning a trip to Serra da Capivara National Park, it is essential to understand that a local guide is mandatory to visit the park. A local guide costs around R$150 per day for up to 8 people. It can usually be arranged through your accommodation or at the park's entrance. 

For transportation options, you can choose between a moto-taxi and taxis. Although a moto-taxi will generally be less expensive at R$80, those with limited mobility may prefer the convenience of a taxi for R$200. Some guides also offer transportation services, which may allow you to negotiate a discount. 

If you are looking for an English-speaking guide in town, be prepared to pay slightly more than the standard rate. Regardless of how you choose to get there, you must plan ahead and provide plenty of time to explore this incredible national park!

Where To Stay Near the Park

There is no accommodation in the park, so you will need to find a place to stay nearby. Here are a few recommendations for eco-friendly lodges and hotels in the area:

Apartments of the Socio-Environmental Center
The apartments of the Socio-Environmental Center are a popular choice for visitors to the Serra da Capivara National Park. These apartments are located next to the park and offer easy access to the main gate. Plus, they are within walking distance of groceries, restaurants, and other amenities, making them ideal for those who want to experience the park without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Pedra Furada
Pedra Furada is a popular choice among travelers in the Jurubeba area. It is located just steps from the edge of the rainforest. This property combines comfortable accommodations with excellent service and convenient amenities. 
Guests can enjoy the on-site bar and restaurant, lounge in the garden or barbeque area, or relax on the terrace with views over the surrounding jungle. With free WiFi throughout the property, Pedra Furada makes it easy for guests to stay connected while enjoying everything this charming region offers.

Best Time to Visit Serra da Capivara National Park

June to September are the best times to visit Serra da Capivara National Park. This period offers the coolest weather conditions for exploring the park and its many attractions.  The average temperature is around 18°C (65°F), with little rainfall. However, it is still a good idea to pack rain gear and comfortable shoes, as the terrain can be slippery when wet.

Bottom Line

Serra da Capivara National Park is a must-see for any Eco-friendly traveler to Brazil. The park offers stunning scenery and rich cultural history, making it the perfect destination for anyone exploring a new place.  When planning your trip, give yourself enough time to wander around and take everything in. And don't forget your camera to remember this special place forever!

Lonely Planet: Parque Nacional da Serra da Capivara
UNESCO: Serra da Capivara National Park
Art and Culture: Serra da Capivara National Park
Bradshaw Foundation: Rock Art of Pedra Furada
Bradshaw Foundation: The Rock Art of Pedra Furada
America's Oldest Art History Hit: Serra da Capivara National Park     

This article was last updated on October 20, 2022.