Salto do Itiquira & the Beautiful Goiás Countryside

The water drops 168 meters, creating a constant wind and spray.  It is exhilarating to walk toward the falls, surrounded by sound and mist. You soon get soaked.

The facilities were more primitive when I visited here twenty-six years ago and there were no rules.  For example, you could swim in the pool right under the falls.  I suppose if you were dumb enough to actually swim under the falls, you would get hurt or maybe killed, which is why it is now illegal to swim I the upper pool at all.   It would be hard to get there anyway.   The current pushing out from the falls is very strong and I remember being unable to swim against it – and that was back when I was strong.

Today there is a decent restaurant at the gate to the falls and a paved road that leads all the way there.  The biggest challenge getting there is going through the town of Formosa.  It is not a bad little city, but it is no longer a little city.  The signs directing you to the falls are fairly good.  I would never have found my way through that warren of streets w/o them. 

IMO the drive from Formosa to the falls was worth the trip just by itself.   The Goiás landscape, as I have mentioned in other posts, is very pleasant, especially this time of the year.  Everything is intensely green with beautiful hills in the background.  

This is mostly ranch country with lots of those white, humped Nelore and zebu cattle. This breed came originally from India, but today breeding to adapt them to local conditions has made them essentially a Brazilian breed.  India has the world’s largest cattle herd, but Brazil has the world’s largest COMMERCIAL cattle herd, i.e. they use the cattle for meat.  It is a little ironic, IMO, given the status of these cows in their country of origin.