Natural Freshwater Pools At 5,000 Feet Are Pedra Azul's Main Attractions

State park on Espírito Santo's hills is surrounded by bed and breakfasts, restaurants, shops and cafes

The Pedra Azul rock formation as seen from a distance Divulgação

Alessandra Kianek
Domingos Martins e Venda Nova do Imigrante (ES) 

A rock around 6,000 feet high standing in the middle of a stretch of Atlantic Forest gives the village of Pedra Azul (Blue Rock) its name. The A district of Domingo Martins, Espírito Santo, which is 56 miles away from the capital Vitória.

One can see the rock while still on the way to the village, and check out how it changes colors according to the incidence of sunlight; it can seem to be blue, greenish or orange-tinted.

Pedra Azul's village, in turn, is a known spot for travelers looking for charming bed and breakfasts, nature and gastronomy.

The main attraction is the Pedra Azul state park, and, of course, the rock that gives the park its name. Besides the color variations, it has a protrusion shaped like a lizard.

It's possible to explore the park with the help of a self-guided trail that leads to belvederes and natural freshwater pools. The course is 3 miles long, with the first mile from the parking lot to the entrance, and two within the park.

The path has steps carved in wood and stone, and an uphill leg, featuring handrails and ropes.
There is another trail option, in which the uphill leg is longer. The visitors climb the rock, with the help of a rope. The course is recommended for visitors who like adventures.

In a slow walk with plenty of pauses, the tour takes, on average, three hours. The natural swimming pools alone are worth the hike.

The park is located in the so-called Rota do Lagarto (Lizard Route), a narrow road that starts at km 90 of the BR-262 interstate. Along the path, tall trees form tunnels. Travelers will also find along the way good options for lodging, eating, and shopping, as well as many points where they can stop and photograph Pedra Azul from different angles.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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