• Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Camera: NIKON D4
  • Taken: 6 December, 2014 08:22
  • Focal length: 15mm
  • ISO: 80
  • Shutter speed: 1/5 s

The park is a tiny fraction of this plateau, which is a rainmaker responsible for one of the natural wonders of the world – the Pantanal! It is a geological formation easily seen from space – chose “satellite” on the map here and you’ll see what I mean.

If this plateau did not exist, the annual rainfall would have been significantly less, and Pantanal would most likely have been Cerrado – a savanna.

On the plains below the Chapada plateau, you will every year know exactly when the rivers will grow – the thunderstorms over the plateau that build up more and more frequently is the sign that yet again the Pantanal will have the precious water.

Unfortunately there are powerful corporations that want to create a huge canal drenching all the water out of Pantanal. If this happens, the rainmaker will produce an annual flood in vain, as the water will not reach Pantanal due to the canal. The canal will be super efficient for transporting huge quantities of commercial goods, but at what cost?

Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park

When you visit the few protected areas of the park you are struck by the incredibly beautiful geology, and all the waterfalls. This waterfall is just one of the very small ones, but no less beautiful.

Unfortunately the park authorities are running this park like no other I have ever visited. They can change the visitation rules on the hour, and they do not allow any visitors during the most important and beautiful hours of the day – sunset and sunrise!

I was not allowed to photograph or stay inside the parks after 16:00! They have closed down all services inside, like kiosks, restaurants, or any service-like operation. In fact I realized only after I visited these magnificent locations that they have been closed for some 4 years! This has had a very negative impact for the local economy, which relies heavily on eco-tourism.

Perhaps in a twisted way this is better for the environment, and a true protection of the landscape, as the tear and wear is not occurring anymore. Before closure Brazilians partied and polluted with garbage and food like it was a city park. This was perhaps the only reason why the park was locked down – Brazilians, not foreign tourists.

In any case I am really grateful I was allowed in, and I will never forget the immensely diverse flora here. It is truly a garden of Eden!