Things to do in São João d'aliança
Things to do in São João d'aliança

Things to do in São João D’Aliança: Discover the Chapada dos Veadeiros Portal

Tucked away 150 km from Brasília and just 70 km before Alto Paraíso, São João D’Aliança, in the State of Goiás, emerges as a largely undiscovered tourist treasure, boasting indescribable natural beauty. Its strategic location positions it as a gateway to the famed Chapada dos Veadeiros, making it a must-visit for anyone eager to explore the wonders of this region. Dive into this article to find out what São João D’Aliança has in store and its 12 can’t-miss tourist attractions.

Infrastructure in São João D’Aliança

Although still in its infancy, the tourism infrastructure in São João D’Aliança has seen significant improvement in recent years. Initially recognized as a waypoint for visitors heading towards Chapada dos Veadeiros, the municipality has witnessed growing investment in enhancing its facilities to welcome tourists. Despite the limited availability of accommodations, restaurants, and qualified guides, the town is blossoming in collaboration with local entrepreneurs to establish itself as a tourist hub in its own right.

Things to Do in São João D’Aliança – 12 Must-See Tourist Attractions

1. Bocaina do Farias

O que fazer em São João da Aliança: Bocaina do Farias.
Bocaina do Farias. Photo: Disclosure.

Stretching approximately 2624 ft / 800 meters, this stunning canyon hides waterfalls, incredible rock formations, and natural pools. The 7 km trail (4,34 miles), of medium difficulty, unveils a unique landscape, highlighted by the light filtering through the rocks, creating an environment of incredible colors.

2. Waterfall Label (Cachoeira do Label)

Cachoeira do Label em São João d'Aliança.
Cachoeira do Label. Foto: @leoguiadachapada

Standing as the tallest waterfall in Goiás at 187 meters (613 ft), it offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The 2.5 km trail (1,55 miles), of medium difficulty, showcases the majesty of the waterfall, accompanying visitors throughout the journey.

3. Veadeiros Complex (Complexo Veadeiros)

Things to do in São João d'Aliança: Veadeiros Complex
Complexo Veadeiros. Photo: Geraldo Bertelli.

Just 12 km (7,45 miles) from the city, this complex features three waterfalls measuring 8, 33, and 55 meters (26,24 ft, 108,26 ft and 180,44 ft) , along with flat rocks and swimming holes. The easy trail does require some effort to climb the 304 steps leading to the last waterfall. Entry, at R$30, includes coffee and homemade cookies.

4. Dragon Waterfall (Cachoeira do Dragão)

Things to do in São João d'Aliança: Dragon Waterfall.
Dragon Waterfall. Photo: Habitat Aventura

One of Chapada’s most incredible attractions requires a 4×4 vehicle and a guide. The 1-hour trail, with swimming sections, leads to a breathtaking waterfall, providing a unique experience with life jackets and helmets provided.

5. Bonito Waterfall (Cachoeira do Bonito)

Cachoeira do Bonito.
Cachoeira do Bonito. Foto:

Located 2 km ( 1,24 miles) from São João, this waterfall impresses with its greenish, crystal-clear water. The short 700-meter trail (2296 ft) , of medium difficulty, guides visitors to a stunning setting, perfect for those seeking a more relaxed activity.

6. Swallows Waterfall – Andorinhas Waterfall (Cachoeira das Andorinhas)

Cachoeira das Andorinhas.
Cachoeira das Andorinhas. Foto: Geraldo Bertelli

Situated in the Serra Geral do Paranã, 26 km ( 16,15 miles) from São João d’Aliança, with 10 km paved and 12 km (7,45 miles) unpaved, plus a 4 km trail (2,48 miles) . The medium-difficulty walk, taking about an hour, reveals an impressive waterfall. At certain times, swallows fly through the waterfall, giving it its name. A pool at the top provides an ideal bathing spot, offering a panoramic view at 997 meters (3270 ft) above sea level.

7. Monkey Waterfalls Complex (Complexo Cachoeiras do Macaco)

Things to do in São João d'Aliança: Monkey Waterfalls Complex.
Things to do in São João d’Aliança: Monkey Waterfalls Complex. Photo: @gonthiagon

Hard to reach, this little-explored complex is a hidden gem. Getting there requires a 4×4 or a 2-day hike, rewarding visitors with incredible views, waterfalls, and stunning water holes. The complex is located on a farm that offers bungalows, a camping area, and a shared kitchen.

8. Dominguinhos Waterfalls (Cascatas do Dominguinhos)

Things to do in São João d'Aliança: Cascatas do Dominguinhos.
Dominguinhos Waterfalls. Photo: Geraldo Bertelli

Small waterfalls and natural pools formed by the Carestia River offer a relaxing experience. With easy-access trails, this spot is perfect for a peaceful day.

9. Cantinho Waterfall (Cachoeira do Cantinho)

Things to do in São João d'Aliança, Chapada dos Veadeiros: Cantinho Waterfall.
Things to do in São João d’Aliança: Cantinho Waterfall. Photo: Disclosure.

With a 30-meter (98 ft) drop and one of the deepest pools in the area, this waterfall requires a 1-hour hike on a trail of medium difficulty, offering a natural retreat 45 km (27,96 miles) from the city.

10. São Cristóvão Waterfall (Cachoeira São Cristóvão)

Also known as Pastor Waterfall, this attraction features two waterfalls with heights of 33 m (108 ft) and 55 m (180,44 ft). Access via an unpaved road, 14 km ( 8,69 miles) from São João D’Aliança, includes an 800 m (2624 ft) trail of medium difficulty.

11. Good Hope Farm – Boa Esperança Farm (Fazenda Boa Esperança)

Located in the Serra Geral do Paranã, this farm requires a roughly 6-hour horseback ride to reach three spectacular waterfalls: Good Hope, Backyard Waterfall, and Bride’s Veil, each with its unique beauty.

12. Capetinga River Rafting (Rafting no Rio Capetinga)

Things to do in São João d'Aliança: Capetinga River Rafting on Chapada dos Veadeiros.
Things to do in São João d’Aliança: Capetinga River Rafting. Photo: Disclosure.

In São João d’Aliança, the municipality is nourished by two main rivers: the White River, known as Capetinga, marking the western boundary of the region. This river stands out as Brazil’s longest course for rafting, offering thrilling 73 km (45,36 miles) filled with rapids. Access to this unique experience is through the Capetinga Natural Heritage Private Reserve (RPPN).

The History of São João D’Aliança

From the days of the bandeirantes to the present, São João D’Aliança is an open book of fascinating stories. Founded in 1953, the municipality retains traces of its past at every corner. Colonial houses and cobblestone streets narrate the saga of those who ventured into this region, creating a legacy that lives on in the essence of the town.

In the heart of the city, historic churches like the Church of São João Batista whisper the murmurs of time. Built with architectural mastery, these buildings are silent witnesses to events that have shaped the community. Furthermore, local museums offer a visual journey through the rich history of São João D’Aliança, displaying artifacts and narratives that link the past to the present.

Local Culture and Cuisine in São João D’Aliança

Local Culture

Immersed in a rich culture, São João D’Aliança celebrates traditions passed down from generation to generation. Cultural events, festivals, and artistic expressions reflect the unique identity of this welcoming community. The locals, known for their hospitality, proudly share the legends and customs that define the singular character of this municipality.

Typical Cuisine

The local cuisine is a true delight for visitors eager for new culinary experiences. Authentic flavors come to life in dishes like the famous pequi, with its unique texture and distinctive taste. Corn-based pamonha, with its blend of corn and irresistible fillings, and expertly prepared chicken dishes, are true expressions of regional cuisine.

How to Get to São João D’Aliança

Exploring the Routes to Paradise in Chapada dos Veadeiros

With an estimated population of 12,643 inhabitants, the main access to São João D’Aliança is via BR-020 from Brasília, heading towards Planaltina. The turnoff for Formosa leads travelers to DF-345, which, upon crossing the border into Goiás, becomes GO-118 or BR-010 (Belém-Brasília Highway).

Transportation Options:

  1. Car: For those who value the freedom to explore the region at their own pace, driving to São João D’Aliança is an excellent option. The city is connected by well-maintained roads, ensuring a smooth and scenic journey.
  2. Plane + Car: The closest airports are in Brasília and Goiânia. Renting a car after landing is a convenient choice for travelers seeking flexibility and independence.
  3. Bus: For those who prefer the comfort of public transport, regular buses connect São João D’Aliança to neighboring cities. Check available schedules and routes.
  4. Hitchhiking: The countryside’s hospitality often extends to the practice of hitchhiking. If you enjoy interacting with locals and are open to this unique experience, hitchhiking can be an interesting option. In the Facebook group Conexão Chapada Transporte Solidário, you can find people who use hitchhiking as their mode of transportation through Chapada dos Veadeiros.

Distances from Brasília and Goiânia:

  • Approximately 154 km (95,69 miles) from Brasília, the journey to São João D’Aliança offers an opportunity to enjoy the unfolding landscape along the way.
  • Starting from Goiânia, the 356 km (221,20 miles) to São João D’Aliança provides a picturesque journey, filled with scenes reflecting the natural diversity of the region.

RentCars is recommended for car rentals, facilitating the search for rental companies, availability, and prices, with direct bookings through the website. For bus travel, consider QuerroPassagem.

Best Time to Visit São João D’Aliança

The best time to explore São João D’Aliança and its surroundings is generally during the dry season, which extends from May to September. During this period, weather conditions are more stable, offering sunny days and cool nights. This season is ideal for outdoor activities, hiking, and visiting the stunning waterfalls in the region.

Where to Stay in São João D’Aliança

According to, there are 4 establishments registered. Check out the Establishments and the rates for 2 people.

  • Atos Hotel: R$ 250
  • Espaço Ecológico e Pousada Terra Betania: R$ 360
  • Ferronato’s Hotel: R$ 330
  • Casa na Chapada – São João: R$ 168


Exploring the wonders of São João D’Aliança, it becomes clear that this municipality is much more than a strategic waypoint for tourists wishing to enter Chapada dos Veadeiros. With its rich history, impressive variety of natural attractions, and vibrant local culture, São João D’Aliança stands out as a must-visit destination for those seeking authentic experiences and direct contact with the exuberance of nature.


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