Vale da Lua – Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Brazil - Atlas Obscura

Vale da Lua

Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Brazil

After millennia of erosion by sand and churning water this Brazilian valley now looks like a lunar fantasy. 


Located just near the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Goiás, Brazil the otherworldly rock formation known as the Vale da Lua is a mesmerizing landscape of undulating pits and hollows that look like nothing so much as the surface of the moon, just don’t visit on a rainy day.

Thanks to the roaring Rio São Miguel, the rocky grey landscape has been carved by eons of sand and water into a landscape like no where else on Earth. Countless pots and bulbous craters have been created as the water ebbed and flowed in irregular surges. The smoothed rock were once lave floes that cooled to create the sculpt-able geology that makes the area so stunning. Small pools and eddys collect in the spherical cutouts but the river iself has largely receded to leave its creations exposed. 

Of course the river is not always so visitor friendly. During heavy rains, the valley floods quickly and violently, making it off limits whenever the skies cloud over.

The Vale da Lua is located on private property near to national forest, however it is still open to visitors. However since it is not a part of the park, a guide is generally required to locate the spot. To exacerbate this requirement, rumor has it that local guides routinely remove signs that would otherwise lead to the valley. 

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