Abelha hails from Rio de Contas, a beautiful old mining town on the edge of the Chapada Diamantina. Both the town and the wider area are very popular eco-tourist destinations; you can even stay in one of the fazenda’s (farm) very own tree-houses should you make the trip. Here’s a quick view of why you might want to include us on an itinerary in northeast Brasil! Definitely something for those seeking relaxation, tranquillity and nature.
Rio de Contas absorbs you into its timelessness via wonderful cobbled streets, old baroque churches and a relaxed spiritual feel. It was built in the 18th century and is considered one of the most important colonial towns in Bahia. At 1200 metres above sea level amidst a rolling mountain scape, the countless trails, waterfalls and pools make it a wonderful place for the eco-tourist, holiday-maker and weekender. Sites include the beautiful Fraga Waterfall; the Colonel’s Bridge and the Estrada Real that leads to Livramento. This stone pathway was built 300 years ago by slaves and is definitely a trip through time as well as space.
The Chapada Diamantina itself is also a world of it’s own; over a thousand different species of plants, flower fields and plateaus of an endless green divide the landscape between stretches of caatinga. Huge rock walls, canyons, grottos, caves, rivers and waterfalls make it perfect for walkers, climbers, trekkers and adventurers. Lençóis, also an important colonial outpost during mining times, is an excellent base.
The one snag is getting here, as we’ve found in reverse trying to get Abelha out (see Abelha story!)…. it’s a long long way, the roads are diabolical and you face an outright dangerous ride contending with the odd juggernaut or two on the wrong side of the road! All this just makes everything more special once you get here.. It is totally worth it!
Brazil has some sublime and diverse escapes of which Rio de Contas is just one hidden gem. The Latin American summer months run from January to March; perfect to feel the sun’s revitalising warmth on miles of wonderful beaches, in glorious mountains or at any number of this vast country’s exciting destinations. Bahia definitely has it’s fair share of these and, bias though we are, we would recommend paying this northeasterly state a visit!
Tourist information for Rio de Contas can be found here:http://bahia.com.br/en/cidades/rio-de-contas/
And for the Chapada Diamantina here:http://bahia.com.br/en/destinos/chapada-diamantina/
And if you do include it on an itinerary, please drop us a line; we’ll be waiting!