The magnificent Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, located in the west-central state of Goias, showcases the unique vegetation of the hilly Cerrado region, 771 mi/1,242 km northwest of Rio de Janeiro. In the spring (September-November), the region is particularly stunning when hundreds of rare species of orchids and bromeliads flower. Ecotourists can hike through the dramatic quartz-based landscape year-round, stopping for refreshing dips in waterfalls and natural pools.
The crystal has turned the area's towns—particularly those of Alto Paraiso de Goias, where basic accomodation is available, and, to a lesser extent, the pretty little village of Sao Jorge—into magnets for New Age groupies. Both towns make great bases for visiting the park, and you can hire guides there as well. The best time to visit is April-October. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1035.
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