Vale da Lua: A Stunning Lunar-Like Rock Formation in Brazil

Vale da Lua, or Moon Valley, is a stunning rock formation located in the state of Goias, Brazil. The valley is situated at the end of a breathtaking hike through the cerrado, a type of savanna, on private property near Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park. It’s a nature’s own water park with dazzling cascades, pools, and water slides, and popular for swimming and hiking.

The valley got its name from the rocks smoothened by the river and lava flows over millennia, giving it a unique lunar-like appearance. The smooth rocks that give Vale da Lua its signature look feel as if stepping out on alien terrain. It took millions of years for the waters of Rio Sao Miguel to sculpt these rocks into the gorgeous formations we see today. The greyish blackish hue of the stones contrasts vividly with the valley’s lush green.

The river itself brims with rock containing an abundance of quartz that splits the sunlight into a rainbow and makes the experience that much more bedazzling. Adventurers often cite feelings of mystery and adventure upon gazing at the smoothness of the rocks and the emerald waters. These incredible sights are what make the trek to Moon Valley feel like a journey into space.

Located in the Brazilian Highlands, it is considered one of the oldest rock formations on the planet. The peculiar rock formations have been formed by millions of years of weathering and erosion by the river, San Miguel. Gradually, the water has rubbed particles of sand across the surface of these huge rocks. The constant friction has caused huge craters to erupt across the landscape and thus giving it its signature Moon Valley appearance.

The shallow pools have been carved into the volcanic rock over millions of years. These natural swimming pools offer a cool refuge from the sweltering sun. The river San Miguel waters these pools and keeps them fresh all year round. Visitors often enjoy taking a dip or just lounging in these pools to ward off the sun’s intense heat.

Due to safety and preservation concerns, only three percent of the park is open to tourists. The park offers various hiking trails that allow visitors to gaze at several endangered species such as maned wolves, pampas deer, and giant armadillos. The trails also showcase the impressive 25 different types of Orchids unique to that area. Tourists can hike up to 1,315 foot Serra de Santana Peak, which is the park’s highest point.

Besides gazing upon the unique landscape and admiring the dazzling waterfalls, visitors often trek to Vale da Lua to get away from the mundane. The smooth stones make for a perfect sunbathing mat, and the cool waters are just a couple of steps away to submerge in in case the weather gets too hot. Adventurers will love the tranquility of the place, the scenic waterfalls, the spectacular view of the stones the perfect ambience to take a lazy swim across the pools and lie on a flat rock to dry. The entire experience is otherworldly. Visitors can spend time strolling around the landscape, admiring the scenic falls, sunbathing on the rocks, or swimming in the pools.

For visitors looking for a place to eat, there are various local restaurants and eateries near Vale da Lua, Brazil. Some of the most famous ones are, Lua de Sao Jorge, Restaurante Buritis, Santo Cerrado Risoteria Café, and Luar da Vila among many others. These restaurants cater to many different types of food and cater to vegetarian options.

When it comes to accommodation, there are numerous hotels located near Vale de Lua, with most of them offering comfortable stays and good food. One of them is the Pousada Meu Talento.

Getting there

The most popular way to access Vale da Lua is through Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park. One of the options to reach Vale da Lua is by car. Visitors can drive to the nearby town of Alto Paraiso de Goias and then take a dirt road to the valley. Keep in mind that during the rainy season the road can be closed or impassable.

Location: Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goias, Brazil.

Sources: vbenedetti/Flickr, ana_cotta/Flickr, soldon/Flickr, RicardoPipo/Flickr, piresss/Flickr, eliezersanchez/Flickr, visitbrasil/Flickr.

One Response
  1. November 2, 2015

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