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Brazil Travel & Tours

Atlantic Forest Discovery Coast Reserves

Brazil Travel / Ecotourism – 112.000 ha of the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve, between 16° 09' - 16° 51' S und 39° 19' - 39° 21' W, were declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1999. The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves in the states of Bahia and Espírito Santo contain some of the best and largest remaining examples of Atlantic Rainforest in Northeast Brazil.

The 8 protected areas that make up the site display the biological richness and evolutionary history of the remaining areas of Atlantic rainforest of northeast Brazil. The Discovery Coast shelters still - untouched landscapes that have witnessed the birth of a great nation, it has immeasurable symbolic value.

The rainforests of Brazil's Atlantic coast are the world's richest in terms of biodiversity. This outstanding travel destination contains a distinct range of species with a high level of endemism and reveals a pattern of evolution that is not only of great scientific interest but is also of importance for conservation.

The nominated World Heritage site includes three distinct geomorphologic units, each one corresponding to different geological phases: (a) Pre-Cambrian metamorphic and magma gneiss outcrops forming round-shaped hills, the most famous being Monte Pascoal (535 m); (b) Tertiary sedimentary limestone plateau and tabular hills or "sierras", 100m in height, which are interrupted by river and stream valleys. (c) Quaternary mobile sediments and sands from river and sea deposits. The main rivers in the nominated site are Jequitinhonha, João de Tiba, Rio do Frade, Caraiva, Corumbau, Caí and Jucuruçú.

The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves comprise a series of cultural features, which represent outstanding examples of first European occupation of the New World and a unique testimony of this period in modern history. Some of the most outstanding features are the historic centres of Porto Seguro, Vale Verde, Trancoso and Santa Cruz de Cabrália. The ruins of Brazil's first church lay at the top of a cliff to the north of Porto Seguro. An old Tupi civilisation town has recently been unearthed.

Similar to the South-East Reserves, the rainforests of southern Bahia and northern Espirito Santo are considered as the world's richest in terms of the number of species of trees per hectare. A world record in tree species per hectare (476) has been reported in October 1996 by Luciana Dias Thomaz on a plot in northern Espírito Santo. The area contains perhaps the largest number of trees of brazilwood left on earth. Also the Fauna is extremely diverse. The golden-headed lion tamarin and the capuchin "ringtail monkey" are among the most popular endangered species – Brazil Tours / Trekking.

The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves include the following protected areas:

    • National Parks: Monte Pascoal, Pau Brasil and Descobrimento.

    • Biological Reserves: Una and Sooretama

    • Private Reserves of Natural Protection (RPPN): Linhares, Pau Brasil and Vera Cruz.

See also: Tour Porto Seguro - Salvador