Paraná, August 2013 – Access / permission to most of Brazil´s Mata Atlântica conservation units is still a little complicated. One reason is that park authorities, different from other countries, still feel responsable for the life of their visitors. I mean, one tragic accident is normally enough to shut down a park for years, as happened in PETAR where some years ago, some people drowned inside a cave (Casa da Pedra) because it started raining outside and the river swell very quickly.
On the other hand, close to 1.000 people die on average every year in the European alps and nobody is really surprised about these numbers and never anybody would have the idea to shut down the alps or a park because of this. There is a common natural understanding, that when set your feet into nature, start mountain climbing, these things, you do this on your own risk and might get hurt or even lose your life.
Pico do Marumbi State Park in Paraná has a more modern / flexible approach. The visitor just leaves his name at the park entrance, signs a paper that he is aware of the risks and is ready to leave for the many trails in this park. The most popular ones are the tree steep routes to Pico do Marumbi, with Olimpo (1.539 m) its highest summit, a shorter trail to the Macaco waterfall and a long historical trail, called Itupava, which descends from the the Serra do Mar highland, at Borda do Campo to sea level.
There is one trail that is not authorized, because pretty difficult to access, which leads to Rosário, the largest fall of the Nhundiaquara river and probably the most impressive one in this region. It start from a hydro plant where Dieter and me stood around 20 minutes in front of the main steel entrance door wondering where might be the trail head. Dieter already wanted to leave because he thought this was a bad joke, but I was sure that there must have been some kind of access. Finally I figured out that you have to walk around the fence of the hyro plant until reaching the river which you have to cross. With a little bit of good sense and searching you will find a kind of trailhead on the other side of the river.
The rail leads for an hour or so through undefined but beautiful lowland rainforest until it reaches the shores of the Nhundiaquara river. From there on the trail vanishes serveral times, a knife is highly recommended, but in reality when you stay close to the western shore of the river, you can´t miss the fall. It is one of the tipical trails that are difficult the first time because you don´t know the direction.