PEDRA AZUL PARK AND NATURAL POOLS

PEDRA AZUL PARK AND NATURAL POOLS

South America

We in Espírito Santo have 6 state parks. And without a shadow of a doubt one of the most visited is the Pedra Azul State Park located in Domingos Martins in the mountainous region.

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The main attraction is the large stone that gives the park its name, one of Espírito Santo's postcards. But in addition to the scenic beauty, the rock has cavities that form natural pools that are reached by trail, attracting many people.

And this post is about the park, the trail and how to get to the natural pools.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools

Imagine that someone had the idea of ​​destroying the blue stone, a symbol of the park and Brazilian geological heritage, to use its material in the construction of BR 262, which is 2km from the park.

So, before that happened, in 1960 the area was transformed into the Pedra Azul Forest Reserve protecting not only the stone, but also local biodiversity.

>> Learn more about the Holy Spirit.

But the blue stone is big, beautiful, it stands out in the landscape, attracting attention. But as a Reserve, the stone could only be seen from afar. Then, in 1991 the Reserve became Pedra Azul State Park allowing the place to receive visitors.

The park has an area of ​​1240 hectares with a wide variety of plants such as orchids and bromeliads, some representatives of fauna and the rocky complex that includes the blue stone. But we only have access to 5% of the park area.

THE BLUE STONE

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools

The symbol of the park is a large stone 1822m high known as the blue stone. But the blue stone is not blue!!! I've heard that a lot.

She is blue. Or it's also blue depending on the moment. The lichens on the surface give it a bluish tinge most of the time, especially when viewed from a distance. But depending on the time and the incidence of sunlight, other colors predominate.

>> Learn more about the Holy Spirit.

A popular version of the stone's name says that when immigrants arrived in the region and looked at the horizon, the blue tone predominated. And when it came time to choose where to go, they pointed to the stone that stood out due to its size and said “let’s go to the blue stone”.

Attached to the blue stone is a smaller stone called the lizard stone because it resembles the animal. And it's as if they were climbing the biggest rock.

WHAT TO DO IN PEDRA AZUL STATE PARK?

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools
Visitor Support Center.

You can take two trails, one of which goes to the natural pools that are attracting more and more people. There is no other way to get to the pools if not via the trail.

If you are not going to do the trails, but want to know a little about the park, you can go to the Visitor Support Center which is in a very pleasant and beautiful place. And to get there you have to walk 800m up a hill with a beautiful landscape that acts as a walkway.

It is also permitted to climb the Pedra Azul peak. To do this, there are different opening hours, make an appointment via email and follow the park conditions.

THE TRAILS

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools

The starting point of the trails is the visitor support center. In other words, you will have to walk the 800m first.

There are bathrooms, water and rangers on site who provide information about the park and guidance on hiking the trails. They are signposted and self-guided.

The trails are circular, start out quiet and become difficult due to the natural terrain, but nothing too difficult.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools
Evolution of the natural pools trail.

For a good part of the route, the two trails are one. Until the moment comes when you can continue along it or follow another route going to the natural pools. Both end on the other side of the visitor center.

If you continue through basic trail You will walk approximately 1km. It is quieter and gives access to the base of the blue stone and two viewpoints. If you change path you will have access to all viewpoints.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools
View from one of the viewpoints.

To the natural pools makes it a little more complicated. The trail ends at the base of the rock and in addition to the relief and terrain becoming more difficult, to get to the pools, it is necessary to climb 90m up the rock with the help of a rope. It's not impossible, and when you stop to rest, enjoy the view.

But the effort is very worth it. The pools are at an altitude of 1450m and in addition to being an invigorating swim, the place offers an incredible view of the region.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools
Climb the rock to reach the natural pools.

The descent is otherwise without a rope and with the help of wooden steps fixed to the rock. And the path to the Visitor Center is shorter, but just as beautiful as the other. The route is approximately 3.5km.

In the past, you could climb the rope or the steps. Now you can't. Maybe this will come back one day.

The steps are a little further away, but a little easier.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools
Viewpoint on the way down to the natural pools.

I've done the natural pools trail twice and I'm going to do more. And if you're in doubt about whether you can do the trail, I'll put my characteristics here to serve as a reference.

I'm 51 years old, 1.80m tall, 115kg and sedentary. I walk well on the flat, but on the climbs I get very out of breath. I slowly go up and stop a few times.

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From the visitor center to the pools, using the rope, I do it between 1h and 1:20h, taking advantage of the path and stopping at the viewpoints. I stay at the top for as long as possible, and the return trip takes about 40 minutes.

Take the walk calmly, enjoying the journey, enjoying the park.

NATURAL POOLS

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools

Pools are cavities in the rock formed by the action of water over time. Some are larger than others and have varying depths. Another characteristic is that the water is almost always cold.

In rainy weather they become fuller, water overflowing from one to the other. The pool below has an infinity edge.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools

The pools are wonderful and they are worth the climb. But their location allows for incredible views, so be sure to enjoy the landscape.

And if you're lucky enough to find an empty seat (which is almost impossible) the place will be special.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools

VISITATION

>> The park is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 4pm. Free visitation.

>> Due to high demand and to reduce the impact on nature and promote a good experience, Pedra Azul State Park limits 150 people per day to the trails.

>> Due to the pandemic, 30 people enter per time. At 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am and 1pm. But ATTENTION: The tokens are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis first thing in the morning. Even if you want to go at 1pm you have to go early because the chips run out quickly.

>> You need at least 2.5 hours from the Visitor Center. Anyone who wants to stay longer in the pools has to enter early.

>> Demand increases a lot on weekends, holidays and winter. The chance of getting it is greater during the week.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools

This control system is horrible! It harms people who live far away. You have to go back to the schedule and make it work.

Previously, appointments were made, but they stopped. The explanation was that many did not show up, preventing visits from people who arrived without an appointment. Just schedule a time and if the person doesn't arrive on time, the space will be released.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools
The lizard rock seen from below.

>> Wear light clothing, closed shoes, repellent, sunscreen, water, cap or hat.

>> Do not take pets, speakers, drones or alcohol.

>> Follow the guidelines for Conscientious Behavior in Natural Environments.

  • >> Bring your trash back.
  • >> Do not collect.
  • >> Don't make graffiti.
  • >> Don't make a fire.
  • >> Don't go off the main trail.
  • >> Do not use vegetation as a bathroom.

LOCATION

90km from Vitória, the Pedra Azul State Park is in the municipality of Domingos Martins in the mountainous region of Espírito Santo. Telephone: (27) 3248-1156.

Access is via Rota do Lagarto just after KM 88 of BR 262. The park entrance is 2km from the beginning of Rota do Lagarto. From the entrance onwards, you can only enter by walking. There is parking on site.

DISCOVER THE OTHER STATE PARKS IN ESPÍRITO SANTO:

Cachoeira da Fumaça State Park, Itaúnas State Park, Forno Grande State Park, Mata das Flores State Park and Paulo Cesar Vinha State Park.

Pedra Azul Park and Natural Pools


FOR YOUR TRIP:

Tour Guide: Discover Espírito Santo with a guide. Make contact with me.

Accommodation: Make your reservations on Booking.com and travel with peace of mind.

Car rental: Are you going to rent a car? Get quotes from several companies on rentcars.com.

Airline ticket: You can buy it at Passagens Promo.