Cavalcante is a city in Goiás. It includes part of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park. It is an area with some tremendous hiking trails and waterfalls. Cavalcante also surrounds the Kalunga Historical Site, where descendents of African slaves, called Kalunga, live with little contact with the modern world.
With around 10,000 inhabitants (2007), Cavalcante lies 320 km north of Brasilia, on the north side of the national park Chapada dos Veadeiros.
Cavalcante has a much more "typical rural Goiás" climate than Alto Paraíso or São Jorge , but it does have a basic tourism structure. Its economy is diversifying; tourism, mining and power generation are prominent activities, but livestock has been supporting its residents for years. In culture, the main activities are pilgrimages and revelry, the queen's hunt, dances such as lundu and sussa, in August the Festival of Instrumental Music and in December the Ethnographic Film Festival.
Founded in 1737 by Diogo Teles Cavalcante, it is the oldest municipality in Chapada dos Veadeiros. Its altitude ranges from 360 m to more than 1,600 m, and it is surrounded by waterfalls, canyons, mountains and paths. It includes more than 60% of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park area. In the middle of the last century, it was the largest wheat exporter in the country.
The gold miner Julião Cavalcante and his companions in 1736 passed through the town in search of new gold mines. The news of the discovery of an immense gold mine of great depth, on the banks of the Lava Pés stream in the Serra da Cavalhada, attracted many adventurers from the most distant corners, starting the town. Cavalcante is honored as the founder and colonizer of the town.
In Brasilia, Empresa Santo Antonio (ESA) provides two daily buses to Cavalcante. They leave at 07:15 and 15:15 from Rodoferroviaria station. Tickets at R$ 45,15. ☏or ☏ . It's a slow 6-hour ride.
To get to Cavalcante you need to go first to Brasilia. From there, take road BR-020 and drive 34 km, turn left at DF-345 to ride 10.5 km more, continue on BR-010 for 225 km. Finally, turn left at GO-241 for the last 21 km.
Cavalcante is a small town and you can easily get around on foot or by bike. But the best way to the waterfalls is by car.
A guide is highly recommended to visit the attractions listed here because most of them are in remote locations and without mobile phone network coverage. Use your discretion! Guides are available at the Tourist Information Center. ☏. The guides are also available to provide camping support like helping with tents and cooking.
- 1 Santa Bárbara Waterfall, Engenho II settlement. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area. It's reached by going into the Kalunga settlement Engenho II, 25 km from the city center. From there, it's an easy 5 km trail through flat dirt terrain, hills and flower fields. You can hire guides directly at the settlement. For the best swimming and photographing experience, you should go early in the morning and stay until 15:00.
- 2 Cachoeiras do Prata (Waterfalls of the Prata river), Estrada Cavalcante-Minaçu, km 60 (take the road to Minaçu and follow the signs. Watch out for the dirt road and the heavy trucks.). The entrance to these waterfalls is 63 km from the town center. It's actually a place where you can see 9 waterfalls. The biggest (and furthest) ones are the Rei do Prata (King of Prata) and the Urubu Rei (King Vulture), right after the former. The King is about 7 km away from the property entrance and it can be reached through a fairly easy trail. You just need time and patience to get there. If you have a 4WD car, you can drive to a bit more than 1/3 of the distance to the waterfall. You can also camp nearby the waterfalls and at the entrance. For the best experience, you should spend 2 days there: 1 day for the King and the second one to get back and enjoy the other waterfalls. R$ 5.
Most of the waterfalls will provide you a hiking experience with easy, moderate or difficult trails. Some of them can also be visited by mountain bike.
- Visit the Kalunga communities - The Kalunga People are the descendents of escaped slaves from Africa who took refuge among the mountains during and after the colonial era in Brazil. They lived in isolated communities without contact with the outside world until the 1960s. They have interesting traditions that they have carried on for centuries. They are noted for their festivals and their hospitality.
There's a small selection of local handcrafted products. Nothing special. Ask the guides at the information center.
- Pizza Roots, Rua Eujácio de Souza Qd 20 (Near the exit road to Colinas do Sul), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Th-M 19:00-00:00. Great pizza made on wood oven. Big selection of toppings and good ambience.
- Amor a Gaia Bistro, Road to Colinas do Sul, km 0, ☏ . only by request/reservation. Vegetarian menu.
- Max Restaurante, Rua do Dendê, 49, Centro, ☏ . Open everyday for lunch and dinner.
- Flor do Cerrado, Praça Diogo Teles Cavalcante, Qd. 11, Lt 88, ☏ . 08:00-22:00.
- Aluar Café, Rua Pedro Pinto 87 - centro, ☏ . only on holidays.
- Creperia Pouso de Folia, Praça Diogo Teles, Centro, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dona Joana, Rua do Dendê n 68 Centro, ☏ . Lunch and dinner.
- Restaurante Kalunga, Rua José Paulino da Silva Qd. 26 Lt. 211, ☏ . by reservation only.
- Restaurante da Rosa, Avenida Tiradentes Quadra 29 lt 264 (Rosa Maria), ☏ . Lunch and dinner.
- Pizzaria do Guia, Avenida Tiradentes, Centro, ☏ .
- 1 Cervejaria Artesanal Aracê (Craft brewer Aracê), Rua do Rosario Qd 23 Lt 182, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Aracê is a lager craft beer brewed by Monolo and Soledad, a Chilean couple who happens to live in Cavalcante. Production is limited but is usually available bottled in the restaurants or directly in the brewery on tap.
- 1 Camping Estância Solar, Estrada Colinas do Sul km 1, ☏ . 3 rooms and camping space (capac. 50 tents - 80 persons) with showers, lighting, power outlets and tent rentals. TV room, parking and leisure area.
- Camping Toca do Katitu, r. 219, Q 25, L 04 Vila Morro Encantado, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Inside an agroforest, has lots of shade for tents, communitary kitchen, and showers. R$10,00.
- Camping Soluar (8 km from Cavalcante, after Rio Almas), ☏ . lots of shade, parking and a stream going nearby.
- Hotel Casa Verde, Rua 3, Qd 43- Lt 482 Centro, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 7 rooms with tv and fan, 10 rooms with fan, and shared bathrooms. TV and video room, parking and laundry facilities.
- Hotel Pioneiro, Praça Diogo Teles Cavalcante nº 84 Centro, ☏ . Urban hotel with 12 apartments in the city's central square, breakfast, some rooms have a fan and TV.
- Hotel FM, Rua Lourenço Costa Ferreira Q.06 L.66 Nº 196 Centro, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. It has 10 bedrooms, TV / video room and restaurant.
- Casa Temporada, rua 19, Qd.86, Lt.994 Centro, ☏ . Nice houses, on grounds close to running water, for rent. Consult.
- 2 [dead link] Pousada Chalés do Lago, Rua José Paulino Silva, Qd 26- Lt 211 Centro, ☏ , . The manager is a Kalunga woman and also a guide.
- 3 Pousada Morro Encantado, Rua João Guilhermino Magalhães, Qd. 27, Lt. 230, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. At city center. 16 rooms with fridge, ceiling fan, TV and quality towels and sheets.
- 4 Pousada Vale das Araras, Cavalcante - Colinas do Sul road, km 3, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14h, check-out: meio dia. Nice country lodge, close to St. Bart river. A partir de R$ 110,00.
- 5 [dead link] Pousada Caiana, Estrada para Colinas do Sul Km 4, ☏ , , . Offers bungalows made of typical Kalunga craftsmanship, adobe and straw. Located in a beautiful site, at the São Bartolomeu riverbank. singles from R$ 80,00.
- 6 Pousada Manacás, Travessa 4- Qd 27- Lt 222 Centro, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 2 cottages and 3 rooms. Cottages have TV and frigobar. The pousada has bar, restaurant and souvenir shop.
- Pousada Veredas, road to Colinas do Sul, Km 5, ☏ . 17rooms with fan, frigobar and tv, 4 room house available for rent,camping space (capac. 50 tents - 200 persons) with toilets and showers. Bar, restaurant, tv / vídeo room, games room, pool and grill. 7 waterfalls, treks, jeep for rent, horses and rappelling canyon inside the property.
- 7 Pousada Recanto da Mata, Rodovia GO-242- km 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 4 cottages and 2 rooms with fan and TV.
- 8 Pousada Aruana, R. Marcia Cristina s/n, ☏ . 12 suites in 3 cottages. Organic breakfast. Library, fireplace, small shop, camping space, outdoor showers, campfire space, WiFi and rocky landscapes.
- 9 [dead link] Pousada Sol da Chapada, rua Borba Gato Qd. 26 Lt 218, ☏ . Inside city.
- Pousada Reserva Renascer, Estrada Cavalcante - Colinas do Sul, km 09, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 4 rooms, parking, pool, leisure area
- Fazenda Hotel Bananal, Rodovia Cavalcante-Minaçu, Km 9, ☏ , fax: . 3 cottages, 2 apartments, 2 rooms and camping space (capac. 50 tents - 150 persons) with toilets and showers. TV/Video room, laundry, parking, restaurant, coal grill and leisure area. Horsew riding, river and waterfalls.
- 10 Pousada Vila dos Ipês, Rua 19 Qd. 86 lt. 991-992 Cavalcantinho, ☏ . Away from center. 4 rooms with tv, frigobar and fan.
- Pousada Ecotents, ☏ .
- 11 Tapuio Park Hotel, Rodovia Cavalcante/Colinas km 2, ☏ . Hotel Fazenda. Six suites, each with approx. 60 m2, enclosed furniture, plasma TVs, split air-con. External gardens, walking track, nice views to notable landmarks: Morro da Cruz, Serra Boa Vista and Serra Santana. Walking distance to Cachoeira de S.Bartolomeu; Pomar; Terrain has 45,000 m² at only 1.8 km from center, optional breakfast.