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Hiking on the highlands of Santa Catarina: Crossing São Joaquim National Park

A 5 days trip to Serra Geral Catarinense including a 3 days hike across São Joaquim National Park, in the highlands of Santa Catarina

Hike across Serra Geral - Sao Joaquim National Park - photo by Juan Rivas
Camping during Sao Joaquim National Park Crossing - photo by Juan Rivas
Hiking in the National Park of São  Joaquim - photo by Juan Rivas
Mountain Rivers at Sao Joaquim National Park - photo by Juan Rivas
Araucaria trees in Sao Joaquim National Park - photo by Juan Rivas
Hike across Serra Geral - Sao Joaquim National Park - photo by Juan Rivas

Price Includes:
  • Transfers from Florianopolis to Urubici with English-speaking guide
  • 2 nights accommodation at the Rio Canoas lodge
  • 2 nights camping
  • Breakfast and dinner at the lodge
  • Breakfast, snack lunch(fruits and cereal bars), and dinner during hike
  • Specialist guide for the hike: please note that only basic English is spoken by the local guides. We can arrange for an interpreter at extra cost if required
  • Camping equipment: Sleeping bag, tent, thermal mats, backpack

Price does not include flights to/from Florianopolis, porters, travel insurance.

-> Additional Info
  • This is the coldest part of Brazil and as such the temperature can be low even in summer. Good clothing for rain and cold must be brought
  • Please request personal equipment list



São Joaquim National Park is an area of preservation of almost 50 thousand hectares in the southern Part of Santa Catarina State. It is located in the Serra Geral mountain range and has two distinct regions: the lower mountain range and the highlands with altitudes varying from 300m to 1822m above sea level.

The Park has very interesting geological formations and is the source of many rivers including the Pelotas River, which is one of the major tributaries of the Uruguay River and the River Plate Estuary. One of the highlights of the Park is its Araucaria Forests, almost logged to extinction in the last century. This area is also one of the last refuges for the endangered puma, the largest predator in South America. This shy feline is difficult to spot, but traces of it can be found around the Park.

The hike crosses the National Park, from Southwest to Northeast, allowing for a variety of sceneries besides the Araucaria Forests: mountain rivers, high altitude fields, jagged peaks and the hugely impressive walls of the Serra Geral range.

The complete trip is of 5days/4 nights: a night before in the region is necessary for briefing and preparations and one afterwards is included for convenience and relaxation at the cosy Rio Canoas lodge.


Day 1: Transfer from Florianopolis airport or hotel to Rio Canoas Lodge in Urubici (approximately 4 hours). Rest of the day free for a light walk in the surroundings of the lodge. Evening briefing about the hike and preparation of equipment. Dinner at the lodge.

Day 2: Transfer by vehicle 4x4 to the National Park. Start the crossing near the town of Vacas Gordas. Full day hiking.  Overnight camping.

Day 3: Full-day hiking. Overnight camping.

Day 4: Hiking to Morro da Igreja, the highest point the Park. You will be met by the rescue vehicle to take you back to the lodge. Arrival in the lodge estimated to mid to late afternoon. Dinner at the lodge.

Day 5: Transfer to Florianopolis airport or hotel.


Please note
• You will hike approximately 8- 9 hours a day. The terrain can be wet and steep in parts, so we recommend this crossing for experienced hikers.
• You will need to carry your own equipment (approximately 12kg).


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