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Brazil Tours

Serra da Cantareira

Travel to Brazil / State Parks – The Cantareira State Park is an integral protection conservation unit of the São Paulo City Green Belt Biosphere Reserve in the State of São Paulo. The park is located 10 km north of downtown São Paulo and together with the Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro, one of the largest urban forests in the world (see map).

The park covers part of the Cantareira mountain range which is underlain by a large batholith (320 sqkm). It is the largest of the 6 granites (Cantareira, São Roque, Itaqui, São Francisco, Sorocaba, Itu) that form the so - called São Roque group. They are emplaced along the Taxaquara shear zone, in the central section of the Ribeira Belt.

These crustal, calc - alcaline and rapakivi granites intruded the earth's crust during the syn - collisional stages (620 Ma) of the Neoproterozoic Brasiliano - Pan African orogenic cycle which led to the formation of West Gondwana. They most probably represent the roots of very old and nowadays eroded volcanoes.

Cantareira was the name given by the famous muleteers (tropeiros) who frequented the region in the 16th and 17th century. At that time, water was stored in jars (cantarão) which were piled on shelves (cantareira). Nowadays, Cantareira State Park protects the springs, streams and reservoirs (Cabuçu, Engordador and Barrocada) that provide fresh water for northern São Paulo. It is also home to one of the largest howler monkey colonies in Brazil.

The park is divided into 4, partly interconnected sections - Pedra Grande, Águas Claras, Engordador and Cabuçu - each one offering many hiking trails of different length. From a large granitic rock (Pedra Grande) there is a wonderful view on the sykline of São Paulo and at Núcleo Engordador you can visit the historical "Casa da Bomba", a pump station built by german engineers in the 19th century – Brazil Travel / São Paulo.

See also: Trails / Tours / Map / Climate / Photos

Creation Date:



 S 23º 20’ /  W 46º 41’


 7.916 ha


 800 - 1.200 m


 Atlantic Rainforest / (Mata Atlântica)

Ecosystems / Vegetation:

  Tropical / Seasonal Rainforest

Altitudinal Zones:

  Montane / High Montane