Cidade de Pedra, Goiás, Brazil

A City of Stone. Precious.

View of Cerrado
the stone city
Buritis in Sauces II
Buritis in Sauces
Opportunist Buritizeiro
Santa Maria Waterfall
Sudden Gallop
Vegetable Triumph
Canyon Cactus
Stone City inside
Cactus with a View
Quartzite vs Cerrado
Chuveirinho and Semper-Viva
Erosive Caprice II
Handful of Buritis
Erosive Caprice
Lázaro Waterfall
Cloud above Stone
Cerrado Flower
A lithic vastness emerges from the cerrado around Pirenópolis and the heart of the Brazilian state of Goiás. With almost 600 hectares and even more millions of years old, it brings together countless capricious and labyrinthine ruiniform formations. Anyone who visits it will be lost in wonder.

The Dragões road remains so rough and irregular that, behind the wheel of the jeep, Eduardo drives at around 30km/h, almost never faster than that.

We took the opportunity to enjoy the Cerrado scenery.

The isolated farms, the bright ipês trees, the buritis trees that signal water, even if it is underground, and the cattle scattered in the surrounding meadows.

There are plenty of streams and waterfalls.

We have advanced, in fact, among several.

On the verge of the Dragons, the road turns towards the destination that earned it its name. We almost gave in to temptation. We resist.

Lacking streams or permanent watercourses – the closest would be the Maneta stream that runs some distance away – in the middle of the dry season in the region, the unusual place we were aiming for would quickly heat up and become abrasive. Cristiano Costa, Eduardo and Jorginho knew it.

The Geological Amazement of Stone Town

About 50km from Pirenópolis, 140km west of BrasiliaFinally, we come across the geological eccentricity that moved us, the Cidade de Pedra, located well above 1000 meters of altitude, instead of the almost 800 from which we had started.

Cristiano Costa invites us to follow him. From the meadow lining, of rough bushes and scattered trees, emerges a profusion of pinnacles of stratified rock, grey, brown, here and there, darkened, with a dominant ocher or stained with lichens.

Some pinnacles are over 40 meters high. Cidade de Pedra occupies well over 6km2. It is almost entirely made of quartzite, with origins estimated in the Neoproterozoic period of the Earth, somewhere between 1000 million and 540 million years ago.

From then on, worn and eroded without respite.

Its highest point and that of the Serra de São Gonçalo of which it forms part is Pico do Maneta. It is at the top of one of these rock formations, at 1305 meters.

The Largest of Several Stone Towns in Brazil

We must emphasize that there are, in the state of Goiás and, above all, in central Brazil, other landscapes defined as Cidade de Pedra, with comparable geology, fauna and flora. There are, for example, the Sete Cidades in the state of Piaui.

E Vila Velha, the main tourist attraction in Ponta Grossa, in the interior of Paraná. In the vicinity of Goiás (Old), land of Cora CoralineAt Serra Dourada neighbor, we had the opportunity to explore one of the closest counterparts.

After a few kilometers following Cris's footsteps, we already concluded that the two we knew were falling short. Several measurements had, in fact, proven that Cidade da Pedra da Serra de São Gonçalo was the largest in immense Brazil.

Moments later, we realized why it remained so labyrinthine, inhospitable and wild.

Stone Town is not a place anyone can go without getting lost. Among the rocks, the telephone signal also disappears.

What appears frequently, especially in the hotter and drier months, are snakes, several of which are venomous: rattlesnakes, spotted pit vipers, coral snakes and many more.

During study expeditions, footprints of deer and also of a large feline, possibly a puma, were identified. Cristiano confirms that jaguars and even a black one also patrol the region.

Stone City and its Ruiniform and Labyrinthine Formations

Cris has been exploring Cidade de Pedra since 2003.

Keep in memory your elusive trails and whims. He has become accustomed to associating the trails with peculiar ruiniform formations, when the area is lithic, there are always them.

Cris reveals to us a clear case of “elephant” pareidolia.

We passed through an “orangutan” formation, a “witch”, a “dolphin” and an “Indian”.

Some, we identify them straight away. Others require your time for contemplation and imaginative effort.

Without disregarding the successive erosive sculptures, we are, above all, dazzled by the immensity and strangeness of the Stone City as a whole.

The different agglomerations unfold into streets, avenues (gorges), squares and neighborhoods that the Cerrado seeks, in vain, to supplant.

The Cerrado that has long decorated the Stone Town

Different types of plants make up the local biome:

veloziaceas of which the predominant and prehistoric vellozia, locally known as canela-d'ema, which can reach six meters in height, with an exuberant blue, lilac and yellow flower, which produces therapeutic teas and is said to be even edible.

They also abound eriocaulaceas e bromeliads. In terms of color, several bromeliads overshadow the others.

A type of eriocaulacea, Standing out more for its shape than its color and which has become the plant symbol of the Cerrado, it appears frequently.

This is the evergreen (paepalanthus), also called shower head due to the obvious similarity.

As expected, in Brazil, it is also referred to by a series of other exotic terms: pepalanto, palipalan and capipoatinga.

Between canelas d'ema, chuveirinhos, cacti and ruiniform monuments, we covered the more than 9 km of the route that crossed the heart of the Stone City. With successive stops for photographs and explanations, we do it in four hours.

Until the water we were carrying was almost gone and the sun and dryness started to dehydrate us.

A City Shrouded in Mystery and Controversy

We no longer needed confirmation, but we felt on our skin and in our lungs the harshness and inclemency of that summer and tropical version of the Stone City, which is why, despite the name, throughout time, it never welcomed anyone, not even a human structure that were.

And yet, even though it was declared a geosite and, on paper, protected, until twenty or so years ago, Cidade de Pedra was part of a registered farm.

From time to time, heads of cattle grazing, belonging to farmers in the region, are still seen in its arteries and rock gardens.

No matter how amazing and grand it may have been, the Stone City hardly remained hidden for long.

Des Genettes and his Untenable Alleged Discovery

Testimonies and records abound on the Internet that a Frenchman who became Brazilian, Francisco Henrique Raimundo Trigant Des Genettes, a doctor, prospector, naturalist, politician, revolutionary, among other talents and occupations, discovered it.

After his widowhood, he also became a priest.

An author named Paulo Bertran, in particular, has disclosed that des Genettes was the discoverer of the City of Stones and the author of the manuscript “Description of the Lost City of the Pyrenees Mountains of the Goyaz Province”, supposedly sent, in 1871, to the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute (IHGB) and even to the Emperor D. Pedro II.

D. Pedro II, was a serious fan of archeology. That same year, he had traveled to Egypt and dedicated himself to exploring the country of the Pharaohs.

Still according to Paulo Bertran, des Genettes stated, in his writing, “having discovered in the Pyrenean Mountains the Lost City of the Atlanteans, covering a large expanse of land, with walls for fortifications, wide streets and squares, along which he observed “very eroded” ruins of statues, gigantic temples, theaters, palaces, residences and tombs…"

Such a description makes no sense and we classify it as such to remain diplomatic.

If Des Genettes was as studious and erudite as he became in History and as Paulo Bertran describes him – even giving due allowance to the chronological and geographical lag of the Brazilian interior – when he came across rock formations, devoid of archaeological remains, it was only out of delirium malaria patient would conclude that they were ruins of human constructions.

Worse still, of a “lost city of the Atlanteans”.

On the other hand, the IHGB has already clarified that it does not have such a writing by Des Genettes, nor any relating to Cidade das Pedras de Goiás.

The Gold and Bandeirante Genesis of “neighboring” Pirenópolis

We add facts and logic that prevent the City of Stones from only being discovered in 1871.

The precursor village of Pirenópolis It was the mining camp of Meia Ponte, founded in 1727 by Manoel Rodrigues de Tomás, in connection with the famous bandeirante Anhanguera.

Based on this camp, the bandeirantes sought new deposits of gold, which were abundant in the region. Now, Cidade das Pedras is less than 50km away from where Meia Ponte emerged.

How can it be explained that, for almost 150 years and even in the years before the arraial - in a context of obsessive search for the precious metal, no Portuguese colonist, no miner, bandeirante, servants and even the natives with whom they interacted, came across a extraterrestrial landscape measuring 6 to 12 km2 extension?

As far as we were concerned, after 4 hours of exploration, we were exhausted and satisfied.

We agreed to shorten our return, so that we still passed by Morro do Cabeludo, another famous elevation in the area, the most graphic in the Serra dos Pireneus, in the image of Cidade das Pedras, made of quartzite.

In the following days, as a form of therapy, we enjoyed bathing in some of the waterfalls and immaculate lagoons around Piri.

That of Lázaro, that of Santa Maria, and others.

How to go:

Book the Lisbon – Brasília flight with TAP: for from €820. From Brasília, you can travel by rental car or bus to Pirenópolis, 2h30 by car, up to 4h by bus.

Organize your expedition to Cidade das Pedras with the most experienced guide, Cristiano Costa, from Pirenópolis,

WhatsApp: +55 62 991 887 789.

Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
Manaus, Brazil

The Jumps and Starts of the former World Rubber Capital

From 1879 to 1912, only the Amazon River basin generated the latex that, from one moment to another, the world needed and, out of nowhere, Manaus became one of the most advanced cities on the face of the Earth. But an English explorer took the tree to Southeast Asia and ruined pioneer production. Manaus once again proved its elasticity. It is the largest city in the Amazon and the seventh in Brazil.
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Curitiba, Brazil

The High-Quality Life of Curitiba

It is not only the altitude of almost 1000 meters at which the city is located. Cosmopolitan and multicultural, the capital of Paraná has a quality of life and human development rating that make it a unique case in Brazil.

Florianopolis, Brazil

The South Atlantic Azorean Legacy

During the XNUMXth century, thousands of Portuguese islanders pursued better lives in the southern confines of Brazil. In the villages they founded, traces of affinity with the origins abound.

Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

The Swampy Freedom of Quilombo do Remanso

Runaway slaves have survived for centuries around a wetland in Chapada Diamantina. Today, the quilombo of Remanso is a symbol of their union and resistance, but also of the exclusion to which they were voted.
Ilhabela, Brazil

Ilhabela: After Horror, the Atlantic Beauty

Ninety percent of the preserved Atlantic Forest, idyllic waterfalls and gentle, wild beaches live up to the name. But, if we go back in time, we also reveal the horrific historical facet of Ilhabela.
Ilhabela, Brazil

In Ilhabela, on the way to Bonete

A community of caiçaras descendants of pirates founded a village in a corner of Ilhabela. Despite the difficult access, Bonete was discovered and considered one of the ten best beaches in Brazil.
Goiás Velho, Brazil

A Gold Rush Legacy

Two centuries after the heyday of prospecting, lost in time and in the vastness of the Central Plateau, Goiás esteems its admirable colonial architecture, the surprising wealth that remains to be discovered there.
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Power Plant, Brazil

Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Power Plant: Watt Fever

In 1974, thousands of Brazilians and Paraguayans flocked to the construction zone of the then largest dam in the world. 30 years after completion, Itaipu generates 90% of Paraguay's energy and 20% of Brazil's.
Marajó Island, Brazil

The Buffalo Island

A vessel that transported buffaloes from the India it will have sunk at the mouth of the Amazon River. Today, the island of Marajó that hosted them has one of the largest herds in the world and Brazil is no longer without these bovine animals.
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

Gem-stone Bahia

Until the end of the century. In the XNUMXth century, Chapada Diamantina was a land of immeasurable prospecting and ambitions. Now that diamonds are rare, outsiders are eager to discover its plateaus and underground galleries
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Pirenópolis, Brazil

Brazilian Crusades

Christian armies expelled Muslim forces from the Iberian Peninsula in the XNUMXth century. XV but, in Pirenópolis, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, the South American subjects of Carlos Magno continue to triumph.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Manaus, Brazil

Meeting the Meeting of the Waters

The phenomenon is not unique, but in Manaus it has a special beauty and solemnity. At a certain point, the Negro and Solimões rivers converge on the same Amazonas bed, but instead of immediately mixing, both flows continue side by side. As we explore these parts of the Amazon, we witness the unusual confrontation of the Encontro das Águas.
The Zambezi River, PN Mana Pools
Kanga Pan, Mana Pools NP, Zimbabwe

A Perennial Source of Wildlife

A depression located 15km southeast of the Zambezi River retains water and minerals throughout Zimbabwe's dry season. Kanga Pan, as it is known, nurtures one of the most prolific ecosystems in the immense and stunning Mana Pools National Park.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Architecture & Design
luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Ceremonies and Festivities
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Christmas in the Caribbean, nativity scene in Bridgetown
Bridgetown, Barbados e Grenada

A Caribbean Christmas

Traveling, from top to bottom, across the Lesser Antilles, the Christmas period catches us in Barbados and Grenada. With families across the ocean, we adjusted to the heat and beach festivities of the Caribbean.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia
Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

The Red Center is home to some of Australia's must-see natural landmarks. We are impressed by the grandeur of the scenarios but also by the renewed incompatibility of its two civilizations.
Camel Racing, Desert Festival, Sam Sam Dunes, Rajasthan, India
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Bridgetown, City of Bridge and capital of Barbados, beach
Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados' "The City" of the Bridge

Originally founded and named "Indian Bridge" beside a foul-smelling swamp, the capital of Barbados has evolved into the capital of the British Windward Isles. Barbadians call it “The City”. It is the hometown of the far more famous Rihanna.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Praslin Island, Cocos from the Sea, Seychelles, Eden Cove

Praslin, Seychelles


The Eden of the Enigmatic Coco-de-Mer

For centuries, Arab and European sailors believed that the largest seed in the world, which they found on the coasts of the Indian Ocean in the shape of a woman's voluptuous hips, came from a mythical tree at the bottom of the oceans. The sensual island that always generated them left us ecstatic.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
PN Timanfaya, Mountains of Fire, Lanzarote, Caldera del Corazoncillo
Natural Parks
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
Vairocana Buddha, Todai ji Temple, Nara, Japan
UNESCO World Heritage
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Djerba Island of Tunisia, Amazigh and its camels
Djerba, Tunisia

The Tunisian Island of Conviviality

The largest island in North Africa has long welcomed people who could not resist it. Over time, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs called it home. Today, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities continue an unusual sharing of Djerba with its native Berbers.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.