Adventure tourism, recreational fishing and water sports are a good option for the holidays

20/04/2016 - Daniela Oliveira / Government of Tocantins

The long holiday can be a great opportunity to change your routine and visit new places. And to fully enjoy the holiday without taking long trips, right here in Tocantins you can find perfect destinations for lovers of ecotourism and adventure, recreational fishing and water sports, as well as sites with rich history and culture.    

For people who love the outdoors, some good options are Jalapão and Cantão: these preservation areas hold numerous pristine natural wonders and rare species. In Cantão, it is possible to go trekking in water and bird watching. In Jalapão, the visitor can bathe in the boiling wells, visit the dunes surrounded by vegetation and, if the traveler is more adventurous, they can go rafting or trekking to the top of Serra do Espírito Santo.

Located in the most central region of the state, Lajeado and the district of Taquaruçu are also great destinations that mix ecotourism and adventure. In Serra do Lajeado, a local mountain range, there are tracks that take the visitor to a lookout from which one can see the whole city, the lake and the surrounding landscape of Cerrado vegetation. It is also possible to find pre-historical rock paintings and waterfalls in the region. Taquaruçu also offers extreme sports options such as zip-line (aerial ropeslide) and good regional cuisine. 

The rivers and lakes in the region provide a great location to practice water sports such as standup paddle, jet-skiing, kayak, canoeing, swimming and rafting. In Miracema do Tocantins, Lajeado, Palmas, Porto Nacional, Brejinho de Nazaré and Ipueiras, the cities surrounding the lake created by the hydroelectric power plant, it is possible to practice several water sports modalities and contemplate the natural scenery.

The region of Serras Gerais, a mountain range in the southeast, is full of unexplored natural wonders that are well worth the effort of the visitors who adventure through the region. In the city of Almas, tourists can go trekking, visit local aquifers, bathe in waterfalls and delight themselves in the wonderful view provided by Canion Encantado. In Serra Negra, there is a ‘city of rocks’, a place with interesting rock formations and 32 known waterfalls.

For people who enjoy learning about local history and culture through the artistic and architectonic heritage, local cultural expressions and traditional cuisine, the cities of Porto Nacional, Natividade and Arraias are a ‘must see’. In Porto Nacional, the highlights are the well-preserved old streets and traditional colonial houses that reveal the history of the city, influenced by the navigation of river Tocantins and the gold mining period. The architecture of Catedral de Nossa Senhora das Mercês, the local cathedral, is heavily influenced by French architecture.

In Natividade, colonial architecture and local cuisine reveal the influence of religion in local culture.  The ruins of Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos is a symbol of the gold rush and slavery in the 18th century.  Tourists can also have a relaxing moment in Cachoeira Paraíso, a waterfall complex formed by many smaller falls and rock formations that create natural swimming pools along the way, with crystal clear green waters.

In the city of Arraias, another city that dates back to the gold rush, there is a large hand painted ceramic tile panel of great historical importance.  Chapada dos Negros is a historical site formed by ruins of houses, stone walls and stormwater harvesting systems. Another attraction in the city is the famous paçoca de carne de sol, a traditional dish made with cassava flour, dried beef and spices, crushed together in a wooden mortar and pestle. The dish, first created by the local Indigenous populations, was later incorporated by the Portuguese settles, mainly because it is highly nutritious and preserves for long periods of time without the need of refrigeration.

Recreational Fishing

More than 300 species of fish have been identified in the basin of rivers Araguaia and Tocantins and this has attracted an increasing number of people who enjoy recreational fishing. Palmas is one of the main cities for practicing this sport, because it brings together the joys of fishing and the comforts that only the Capital city can offer, such as good hotels and restaurants. The lake of Palmas is a perfect spot for fishing. Another great location for fishing is the village of Peixe, where there is a lake formed by the Hydroelectric Power Plant Peixe Angelical. There, in addition to the many species of fish, tourists can enjoy the local touristic infrastructure or go camping