We were less sore than expected from the 14K hike the day before, so we decided to really go for it again during our second day at Chapada. We worked with our guides and with the keepers of the pousada where we stayed to figure out how to pack in as many beautiful things as possible into one day - which is pretty easy in Chapada because EVERYTHING there is beautiful.
The day involved a lot of driving from place to place and a bit less hiking/walking. We were out from 7am to 7pm.
First, we stopped at another waterfall (there are around 200 waterfalls in Chapada). We jumped in right away - it was already very hot outside - and swam. What a nice way to wake up! I also met a little crew of tiny monkeys who were likewise hanging out at the fall. This was the closest I've ever been to a monkey in the wilderness and it was awesome.
We hiked away, hopped in the car, and drove to a cave. As with waterfalls, there are an inordinate number of caves in Chapada - 180 or so. The cave itself was massive, but of course we saw only a small portion of it for safety reasons. I found the area surrounding the cave really beautiful as well. Kind of like a desert/rainforest/farm environment.
After the cave, we went to a place with some of the bluest water I've ever seen - Poco Azul. It was truly, purely blue. The pool of water serves as evidence that the entire area was once an ocean. We had the option of snorkeling in the area of the pool that went further into a different cave, but the water was soon cold so instead we went over to a sunlit area and had a relaxing swim for an hour or two.
After drying off and getting some delicious natural juice at a stand by the water, we hiked over to yet another cave/pool/blue water area. The photos do this part no justice. We only stayed a moment as we weren't allowed to go into the water in this area. It was really other worldly.
Between this cave and our next stop, we stopped in at a small hut where a local artist sells his wares. He did some really beautiful, intricate leather carvings and had the cutest dog.
As if that's not enough in one day, we hopped in the car yet again and drove over to a giant plateau with a breathtaking view. We took a steep, swift hike up to catch the sunset. It was the highlight of the day - some of the most vast, open views I've ever seen. The plateau was covered in really beautiful, interesting vegetation as well. I was obsessed with the dried orchids which looked like bright red bamboo.
Thank you for this day, Chapada!