Chapada dos Veadeiros - Santa Barbara Waterfall



See what to do, how to get there, better times and distances to the Santa Barbara waterfall, one of the most beautiful in Brazil! Just read the post to the end.

If you are thinking of going or going to Chapada dos Veadeiros this is the right post. In my opinion the Santa Bárbara waterfall is a must. No matter how many days you stay, one day needs to be booked to go there to Cavalcante and enjoy the beauty of the crystal clear waters of one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Brazil.

Before you ask, it’s very easy to arrive alone, so you don’t need to hire a guide. Only where the Santa Bárbara waterfall is, even though it is mandatory, but we still saw how to get there. For now you just need to wake up early (very early, around 7 am), get your car and leave for Cavalcante!

How to get to Santa Barbara Waterfall

Starting at the beginning, understand the distance you will travel:

  • Alto Paraíso de Goiás - Cavalcante: 87 km
  • São Jorge - Cavalcante: 125 km

It must have taken me between 30 and 40 minutes to get to Cavalcante from Alto Paraíso de Goiás. There's not much mystery, just take the BR-010 to Teresina de Goiás. Arriving in this small town, you take a left (GO-241) until you reach the city of Santa Bárbara waterfall.

Now, you have to keep in mind that, after arriving in Cavalcante, you will still take about 35 km of dirt road, which takes another 40 minutes. As it is not that simple to find the dirt road and the signs are not 100% easy to find, stop by CAT (Tourist Assistance Center) which is in front of the beginning of the climb to Santa Bárbara waterfall.

There I was attended by a very nice guy who:

  • He spoke exactly the way we needed to follow (there are signs)
  • He suggested that we buy a snack at a house nearby
  • He made it clear that it is good to have more than half a tank of gas in the car

All the tips were very good and I recommend the same for you. With food in the car and enough gas we started the 35 km of dirt road towards the Santa Bárbara waterfall. I will tell you that this dirt road is much better than many others that I have already taken, but it is still a dirt road, so be careful.

Following the tips we had no problems and, along the way we passed some signs, bridges, rivers (yes, you pass by rivers with rocky bottoms - no risk of getting stuck here) through a very beautiful lookout. If you ask me, my tip is for you to leave the viewpoint for the return time, so you can be one of the first at Santa Bárbara waterfall.

Santa Barbara Waterfall

What time to arrive

Cachoeira Santa Bárbara is one of the few waterfalls in Chapada dos Veadeiros that has limited visitation capacity, so I said it was important to arrive early. To make things even more complicated, in addition to having a limited audience, you also have an appointment after you enter (around 1:30 am).

That is, schedule to arrive early and enjoy the waterfall to the fullest and at the best time, which is between 11 am and 1 pm, when the sun is right over the waterfall and makes the water even clearer.

The Kalunga Community and Guides

I hadn't addressed the topic until now, but the Santa Bárbara waterfall is in a Kalunga community. Before you think it's dangerous or anything, let me clarify: in this region there was Quilombo Kalunga, one of the most populous in Brazil.

Currently all tourist activity in the place is organized and (poorly) controlled by the local population, who provides guides for anyone who wants to. Once there, you will see a kind of CAT:

There will be people attending and you need to pay a fee between R $ 50 and R $ 70 to have a guide. If you have already hired one, you do not need to pay that amount. The price is valid for groups of up to 8 people, so if you are alone or just as a couple, look for a group to save money.

First to Santa Barbara

As I already said, the whole objective is to enjoy the Santa Bárbara waterfall, so go there first. Then, in plenty of time, you can enjoy the Capivara waterfall.

Here is a detail, after all this effort you will need to do 6 km of trail from the moment you park your car. If you want, you can pay R $ 10 per person to take a “transfer” that saves you 5 km of walking. Go for me, they are the best invested R $ 10 of your life. From where the “macaw stick” leaves you, you will have another 800m very quiet walk along this path:

Arriving at the waterfall site, you have two options, again you will choose to go through Barbarinha and go straight to Santa Bárbara. When you get there, you realize that all the effort was worth it, because it looks something like this:

The natural pool formed by the Santa Bárbara waterfall is very large and nice to swim in and take advantage of the shower formed by the waterfall. As it gets crowded, try to arrive early and enjoy a more intimate atmosphere before the crowd of people arrive (as long as you will be there on a holiday like me). They say that on weekdays or even on weekends without a holiday it is calmer.

After taking advantage of Barbarinha

After enjoying the waterfall, it is worth relaxing a little in Barbarinha. This is a miniature version of Santa Bárbara and is very tasty to enjoy before leaving.

As everything good ends, at some point you will have to go back. My recommendation is that you have lunch at the Kalunga Community (you can book lunch at R $ 20 per person) before leaving for the Capivara waterfall.

Other Waterfalls to Enjoy Later

Capivara Waterfall

This is another waterfall alternative. If by any chance at destination you are late and, when you arrive, the Santa Bárbara waterfall is already full, you will probably only be able to enter around 2pm. In that case, take advantage of your free time to visit the Capivara waterfall. Leaving the CAT, in about 1 km you park the car and walk a little more until you reach the trail that leads to the waterfall.

As soon as you arrive you are a little disappointed, thinking that this waterfall is here:

But just continue a little more and go down that you are faced with a beautiful waterfall. This one has no time limit or people, so you can enjoy it.

Poço Encantado Waterfall

After enjoying everything you can, if you still have time, on the way back you pass in front of Cachoeira Poço Encantado. If you are a maniac for visiting new places and enjoying every second, it is worth the visit. If you are one of those who do not enjoy the rush, it is better to leave Poço for another day or another trip.

Just for you to be located, Poço Encantado is more or less 40 km or 50 km from reaching Alto Paraíso again, more or less halfway.

Rafa's tricks

It's such an intense day that you end up having a lot of tricks to tell you. I'll put it by topic to make it easier:

  • Refuel your car before going up the dirt road to Santa Bárbara waterfall
  • Get there early. Very early. To avoid pictures like this:
  • Best time to enjoy the waterfall is between 11am and 1pm, which is when the sun is passing over it
  • Don't skimp on the “transfer” from the beginning of the trail to near the entrance to the waterfall




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Comments (13)

Rafa, beauty ?! One thing I didn't understand until now! Everyone talks to get there as early as possible. But then they say that the best time is 11:30. One option contradicts the other. In other words, do we have to choose whether we want emptiness or if we want sun? It cost! (I go on holiday also like you leaving Alto Paraiso)….
 2016-05-23  Rafael
@Ariel. Ariel speaks, but the point is that even if you leave very early, if you are in Alto Paraíso or São Jorge, it will take you a long time to arrive. After arriving, you still have to schedule the visit and you
 2016-09-13  Ananda Rope
Hi Rafa. How are you? Do you think it's okay to go with a small child? Very good your post !!
 2016-09-14  Rafaelù
@Ananda Rope. Hi Ananda, how are you? I think it will depend on the child's age and whether there will be a “transfer” on the 6km path from the place you park to the part closest to the Santa Bárbara waterfall. If you have a transfer, the path is very short and the trail you take to the waterfall is not a mystery. Now, walking 6 km with a child can be tiring for him and for you. It is worth contacting CAT de Cavalcante to try to obtain this information. I don't know if the Kalunga community has any contact phone numbers at the visitors' center (that's where the transport leaves). PS - this 6km route can be done by yourself if you are in a car, but there is a risk of getting bogged down, so I only recommend it if you have an SUV, pickup or 4-wheel drive car
 2017-01-27  Aluísio Cardoso Silva
Is hiring a guide mandatory to arrive at Cachoeira Santa Bárbara? How is this 1: 30h control done at the waterfall? And to go only on the others, can I go without a guide? If it is mandatory to go with a guide in Santa Bárbara, going to the others then will the guide also follow us?
 2017-01-31  Rafael
@ Aluísio Cardoso Silva. Hi Aluísio, how are you? It is mandatory to have a guide, but it can be hired at the entrance of the Kalunga community. When I went, the guide there cost about R $ 70 and could take up to 8 people, that is, an average of R $ 10 / person. If you go with a guide from Cavalcante or Alto Paraíso de Goiás, there is no need to do this hiring at the entrance to the Kalunga community. I thought it was very easy to get to and from there, the only care is with the fuel, since there are about 35km to go and the same thing back. Having a dry break in the middle of the road is not the best =]
 2017-01-31  Aluísio Cardoso Silva
@Rafael. Good! Thanks for the tip! Even to go to Capivara and Barbarinha is the guide mandatory? If I go to Santa Bárbara first and then go to the others, is there a time limit in the other places? Does the guide stay with us at the other waterfalls?
 2017-02-08  Rafael
@ Aluísio Cardoso Silva. Oops Aluísio, Now I don't remember with 100% certainty whether it is necessary for these others as well. It is worth contacting the CAT of Cavalcante (serving tourists). This is the link - http://turismocavalcante.com.br/ If I'm not mistaken, the time is more for Santa Bárbara, and the guide is with you at the waterfalls, yes, but it is worth confirming.
 2017-02-21  Ellen Acorci
Rafael, excellent your posts about Chapada, are being useful for me to program myself, I'm leaving Brasília early in the morning, straight to Cavalcante, is there a time for opening for CAT? Did you say that the ideal is to arrive early, do you think about 9 am in the community is ok or too early? Am I at risk of not getting the top Santa Barbara schedule? (11-13h) Do you have a limited visitation time?
 2017-02-22  Rafael
@Ellen Acorci. Hi Ellen, I don't remember the exact time of the CAT, but almost certainly it is earlier than 9 am. I would kick 7 or 8, but I recommend that you get in touch to find out. I saw that their website is undergoing maintenance, but the Face page seems active - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cat-Centro-De-Atendimento-Ao-Turista/402642133205174 (there's their tel there too) . If I remember correctly, I arrived around 9 am and the exit to Santa Bárbara was already full, so I had to go to Capivara first to kill time, but it is worth asking the CAT staff for the ideal time. About limited time, no one is watching, but I think it's around 1:30 am in Santa Bárbara (again, my memory doesn't help me haha, it's worth asking at CAT). From what I realized, unfortunately, people didn't respect that very much.
 2017-09-09  Ander Son
Hello Rafael, about the quality of the dirt road, I am afraid of damaging the car and I am thinking of getting to know the place now in the middle of September. Is the dirt road in good condition?
 2017-09-11  Rafael
@Ander Son. Speaks Ander, in general I wouldn't worry if I were you. I had no problem when I went. I've been there for a while, but the dirt road was very quiet. It wasn't that bumpy, so you could even walk at a reasonable speed. A precaution that you can take if it is in the rainy season is to analyze if the road is muddy (a suggestion is to ask the CAT for these conditions).
 2017-09-11  Ander Son
@Rafael. Thanks for the feedback, in the middle of the month I will be there.

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