Fumaça is a small village in Brazil, on the outskirts of Resende, a city in Rio de Janeiro state, about 190km from downtown Rio de Janeiro (city) and 32km from Resende itself. Its main attraction is the waterfall that gives the village its name.
If you enjoy adventures and are travelling to Rio de Janeiro, it is worth paying a visit to Fumuça--not only because of Fumuça itself, but because you can also visit Penedo with its lovely atmosphere, panoramic view of the Itatiaia park and waterfalls where you'll be able to enjoy the cool waters.
If you are going from Rio de Janeiro, you should take Avenida Brasil and then Via Dutra (going towards São Paulo). You will drive for about 160km until you reach Resende. You must get off the interstate at AMAN (a Military Base) and take the road to Fumaça.
Once you have taken the road toward Fumaça, you will drive for about 12km on tarmac. After that, you will drive for another 20km offroad. Along the way, you will see some other waterfalls and the breathtaking railway track that also crosses above the Fumaça Waterfall (see pictures below).
Since there are no road signs, you should pay careful attention so you do not get lost and run out of gas. There are no gas stations in that area, and the nearest place would be Resende.
The city is located in the middle of a rain forest and, by the time you reach Fumaça Waterfall, it is unlikely you will see any locals around. Given that many people are farmers, you should not be surprised to find cows and other animals when driving to the main waterfall. The road is pretty bad with only 12km of tarmac from Resende. The last 20km is really tortuous with a top speed of 15km/h unless you are driving an offroad. This means a long trip of at least 1h 30min before you reach the Fumaça Waterfall.
If you plan to visit the top part of the waterfall, you should be extra careful, given the lack of safeguards there. You should also go accompanied in case something goes wrong with your car or with you since you will not easily find people around that area.
The whole point of going to Fumaça is to visit the waterfall from which this city (it is more like a village) takes its name.
Getting there is pretty much an adventure, but the view and the place is simply breathtaking. Not only because of the waterfall, its main "attraction" but also because of the nature around. The place is virtually unspoiled and maintains its full natural beauty and will be worth every single shot you take with your camera.
Once you reach the top of the hill at the side of the waterfall, there is a narrow passage which takes you to the top part of the falls. Here, there is no barrier between you and the waterfall, and you should be extremely careful if you want to reach the top part! If the rocks are wet, DO NOT try to go to the top part of the falls as the rocks are EXTREMELY slippery!
Rainy days should also be avoided because of the bad condition of the road leading to the waterfall. If it has been raining heavily, the waterfall is prone to flash floods, and, as a result, even if the previous night has not experienced heavy rains, you should avoid the top part of the falls in case of flash floods.
At the Fumaça Waterfall itself, you cannot bathe (at the top of the fall you can, but it is very risky); but at the bottom of the fall, where the water slows down, it forms a natural "beach" with sandy banks. Here, you can bathe yourself without much risk except being taken down river and having to swim back to the banks. If you're not a good swimmer, however, it is not advisable that you swim too far from the sand bank.
You will only find a restaurant in Resende; but if you wish to venture, you may stop at the village and try a snack at a local bar. Otherwise, you may wish to take your own stuff and enjoy a picnic, but DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TRASH BEHIND! DO NOT SPOIL THE PLACE!
You can drink mineral water from the waterfall itself. There are many natural fountains from where you can drink. The water is perfectly safe, but drinking too much may cause a mild diarrhea due to its mineral content.
There are no places to sleep at the falls, so plan either to camp or to drive back to Resende to spend the night.
If you decide to camp, make sure you have insect repellent for the mosquitoes and other insects you will certainly come across.
Go with another person, preferably in two separate cars. Given the road conditions, if your car breaks down you may be in serious trouble getting out.
There are no signs guiding you in or out, so make sure you have a map that shows you how to get in and out. If you cannot find a map, you will need basic Portuguese to get by with locals and find your way around.
Don't forget to visit Penedo.