Alto Paraíso de Goiás
Goiás : Alto Paraíso de Goiás
It´s located 230 km north of Brasília, you can leave by car going to satelite city Sobradinho and turn left after Planaltina. There are lots of road signs.
The city itself is very small and easy, a Main Avenue (Avenida Ary Valadão Filho) starts on the road and cuts through the whole of it. The Bus Station is two blocks to the right of Main Avenue and all the "buy", "eat", "drink", "stay safe" and half "sleep" options are either at Main Avenue, (at most) two blocks away of it, or close to Bus Station. It´s that simple.
There are a lot of waterfall options around Alto Paraiso (Loquinhas are the closest and coziest, Crystal River is close too, there is a hiking trail to Sertão Zen, a little harder, Couros and Macaco rivers require a 4WD vehicle), but the best ones are around Vila São Jorge (St. George Village) 36 km west, the gateway to the National Park. There are vans and little difficulty to hitchhike. The road is very scenic, half of it is paved already, but the dirt part can get a little annoying during the rainy season (October-April).
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is a must, its waterfalls are like cathedrals consecrated to Mother Nature. Vale da Lua (Moon Valley) is unbelievable. Morada do Sol (Sun´s Home) is less scenic but easier to small children. São Bento and Almécegas are closer to Alto Paraiso than to São Jorge, in private property with rooms, chalets and camping facilities, ideal for families and romantic couples. There are A LOT more waterfalls, local people will be happy to talk about them.
There is a New Age quality about Alto Paraiso, lots of people come there looking for Positive Vibration and alternative stuff. As a rule of thumb, "quiet" people stay here and "party" people stay at São Jorge.
Crystal souvenirs, hippie clothing and pinga de arnica (pinga: strong liquor, arnica: spicy vegetable with medicinal properties)
APG has some options, two pizzarias (Oca Lila and Pizzaria 2000, both are at Main Avenue) and some self-servers too. Oca Lila is delicious self-serve vegetarian fare with wireless internet access. São Jorge has good food as well.
Bar do Pelé and Bar do Bodinho. Both are in São Jorge, have pool tables and cold beer.
If you don´t enter Alto Paraiso and keep on the road going north, you´ll end at Cavalcante with another hundred waterfalls (try looking for Rei do Prata). If you go through Main Avenue all the way, you´ll end at Vila do Moinho (Mill Village), home to Anjos e Arcanjos (Angels & Archangels waterfall). Both are worth the trip and both trips have very beautiful landscapes.