Aparados da Serra National Park is situated within the Serra Geral in the south of Brazil, the southern portion of the greater Serra do Mar system. Created in 1959 to protect the Itaimbezinho Canyon, today, the main goal is to conserve the grasslands, forests, and cliff vegetation ecosystems.
Aparados da Serra National Park
"Aparados da Serra" means the rugged transition between the high plateau region and the litoral plain region in which grasslands form.
Aparados da Serra National Park is located along the Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina border and extends over 10,250 ha (25,328 acres).
It was created in 1959 as one of Brazil's first national parks to protect the Itaimbezinho Canyon. Today, the main goal of the protected area is to conserve the grasslands, forests, and cliff vegetation ecosystems.
The National Park contains rich biodiversity due to its diverse relief and being situated at the intersection between coastal forests, grasslands, and Araucaria moist forests.
The main entrance to the park, the Portaria Gralha Azul, is located 20 km (13 mi) southeast of the town of Cambará do Sul.
The main ecotourism attractions of the National Park are the trekking (hiking) and mountain bike trails to the canyon areas.
The Itaimbezinho Canyon is purported to be the largest canyon in Brazil. It is approximately 8 km (5 mi) long and 720 m (2,362 ft) deep, and 200 m (656 ft) wide.
The canyon is both spectacularly beautiful and treacherous. "Itaimbe" in Tupi-Guarani means "cut rock." It is characterized by vertical rocky cliffs and little vegetation on its slopes.
Flora and Fauna
Aparados da Serra National Park contains rich biodiversity due to its diverse relief and being situated at the intersection between coastal forests, grasslands and Araucaria moist forests.
At least 143 birds, 48 mammals, and 39 amphibian species have been documented in the Aparados da Serra National Park.
Endangered fauna on the plateaus of the National Park includes the red-spectacled Amazon parrot, the maned wolf, and the cougar. In addition, the neotropical otter, ocelot, and brown howler monkey be found on the slopes.