Located on the border between the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, in the Aparados da Serra National Park, the Itaimbezinho Canyon is the most famous of the region.
With a maximum depth of 700 meters (765 yards) and 5.8 km (3.6 miles) in length, vertical walls and narrow crevice, it is one of the largest canyons in the Americas.
The Itaimbezinho Canyon is formed by Atlantic and Araucaria Forest, fields and cliffs. There, you can find purple-breasted parrots, raccoons, ocelots and many other animals.
Its name originates in the Tupi-Guarani (native Brazilians language) – “ita”: stone and “aimbé”: sharp. Given its geological formation, which impresses with its steep walls that appear to have been cut by a knife.
In the park, there are three trails open to the public. The “Trilha do Vértice” (Vertex’s Trail), and “Cotovelo” (Elbow) are the main ones, crossing the upper part of the canyon. The “Rio do Boi” (Ox River) Trail, on the other hand, is the only one made at the bottom part of the Itaimbezinho Canyon. This trail’s entrance is done at the Information and Control Station of the Rio do Boi, in Praia Grande. Soon we will have a post about this trail.
Among the waterfalls of the canyon are the “Véu da Noiva” (Bride’s Veil) and the “Andorinhas” (Swallows), that makes the canyon even more impressive.
Inside the park, it is not allowed to camp, go with animals or to make use of fire.
The season with the best visibility of the canyon is the winter (from May to August). But during that time, the temperature can get pretty cold, like 9 Celsius (48 Fahrenheit). You can also check the visibility by the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter (@pnas_pnsg) or even Skype (pn.aparadosserrageral). They provide daily information on the conditions of visitation. Therefore, being helpful for you.
Other attractions nearby the Itaimbezinho Canyon are the Fortaleza Canyon (soon we will also have a post about it), Faxinalzin Canyon, Malacara Canyon and Churriado Canyon. You can visit the latter two from the top or inside them, at the bottom. The region also allows activities such as rappelling in waterfalls, boat trips and visits to beekeepers and organic producers, for example.
How to get to the Itaimbezinho Canyon
The Canyon is located 18 km (11 miles) away from Cambará do Sul, a city that often serves as a base for visiting the Aparados da Serra National Park and the whole region.
Going from Santa Catarina by the BR 101, take the entrance access to São João do Sul – Praia Grande (21 km, or 13 miles by SC290 – the old SC450 – until Praia Grande). After that, another 23 km, or 14 miles by dirt road to the entrance of the park, climbing the Serra do Faxinal (SC290, then Rs 427). Praia Grande is about 300 km (186 miles) from the capital Florianopolis and 210 km (130 miles) from the capital Porto Alegre, through BR 101.
Going from Rio Grande do Sul, access the roundabout to Cambará do Sul (at the Rota do Sol or RS-020). In Cambará, turn right on Estrada do Itaimbezinho (RS427), and from there continue for 18km (11 miles) by dirt road to the entrance of the park. Cambara do Sul is located about 190 km (118 miles) from the capital Porto Alegre.
Address: Rodovia RS 429, KM 18
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More information about the Itaimbezinho Canyon
Brazilian: R$ 8.00.
Foreigner: R$ 15,00.
Children under 12 years and over 60 years: Free of charge.
Cars – R$ 5,00
Buses – R$ 10,00
Motorcycles – R$ 3.00
The Park opens throughout the year to visitation, but only from Tuesday to Sunday (opens on Mondays of national holidays, Carnival, Christmas and New Year). Visiting hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm to entry and you may remain in the park until 6:00 pm. For the “Rio do Boi” (Ox River) trail, the entrance is until 1 pm and for the “Cotovelo” (Elbow) Trail, 3 pm.
For the upper part of the canyon (“Vértice” and “Cotovelo” trails and “Gralha Azul” entrance), there is no mandatory guide, but it is necessary to have a guide for the Rio do Boi trail. If you want the contact of the guide who accompanied us, just ask by email.