Chapada Diamantina – Summary
The Chapada Diamantina offers stunning landscapes of hills and valleys, waterfalls and caves around the town of Lençois, in the mountain range west of Salvador.
Lençois, (pronounced len-soiz) and Mucuge, the main villages in the Chapada Diamantina (Diamond Plateau), lie 250 miles west of Salvador. The Chapada Diamantina mountain range runs north and south through the state of Bahia. The average altitude is over 3000 feet. Lençois grew up around the huge diamond boom in the region in the mid-1800′s. At one stage it had a population of 30,000 but as a result of the discovery of diamonds in South Africa, the town began to go into decline.
The town has been designated a National Monument for it’s important examples of residential architecture from the 19th century. The Chapada Diamantina region has been the subject of two extensive studies by the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in England for its unusual and very varied flora, from cacti to bromeliads and wild orchids.
The dramatic table topped mountains provide stunning views of the region. There are innumerable rivers, caves and waterfalls, amongst them the famous Smoke Waterfall, the tallest in Brazil, with a fall of 1350 feet, so-called because of the fact that the water from the falls evaporates before reaching the ground.