12º 48′ 26″ S – 41º 19′ 51″ W
Andaraí, word from Andirahy, that in the Tupi-Guarani language means “River of the Bats”. Andira: bat, Y: water, river. Name probably inspired in the caves of the region.
I first visited Andaraí in 2003 – a tiring two day trip of 1500kms by car from Rio – my chosen gateway to the fascinating Chapada Diamantina.
The history of the region was marked by the rush for gold and diamonds that practically surfaced the ground, attracting thousands of prospectors and adventurers from all over. Although the tale of fortunes is over, the activity is kept alive by a small of group of enthusiasts.
Today, Andaraí is a peaceful tourist destination with many awesome attractions such as Povoado do Paty, Marimbus and Paraguaçu river. Over the years I have returned few times always enjoying the majestic scenery, the fauna & flora, the food and the reigning peace. I recommend staying at the Pousada Ecológica.
In 2003 I found new bromeliad species in Andaraí: Sincoraea heleniceae (Leme, 2004) and Hohenbergia igatuensis (Leme, 2010).
Happy New Year!