PETAR Caves (Alto do Ribeiro State and Tourist Park)

Alto do Ribeiro State and Tourist Park, known for the Caves, PETAR is an environmental protection area very rich in rocks and minerals that form enchanting caves and waterfalls.

In this publication I talk about my experience in the park and below I’ll write the prices ​​to visit the PETAR caves.

>> Leia em Português

I got to know part of the Santana núcleo (it is the main tourist point in PETAR), which has access by Iporanga, actually by the Ouro Grosso district, which is like a village in that city.

Ouro Grosso is very small and cozy by the way, but slightly rustic as it has only one restaurant option, the Pousada e Restaurante do Abílio (free traduction – Abílio’s in and restaurant), with a few more snack bars around the region (when open).

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Caves-access
Caves access

Close to the city of São Paulo

So close to São Paulo and I didn’t go there for so long, the PETAR Caves are surprising due to their magnitude

I went to the Santana Núcleo (Santana core), but there are other “núcleo” – centers, core – you can see on this site.

Tourist Guide to visit the Caves of PETAR

To visit PETAR you need a Tourist Guide because, in addition to being dangerous, it is very easy to get lost inside the caves as they do not have lighting and are very big.

River-in-the-Santana-Núcleo-in-PETAR
River in the Santana Núcleo in PETAR

Besides that, the guides are essential to tell a little of the history of the formation of the region over its thousands of years, some curiosities such as colors and types of rocks also make the tour more interesting.

My Guide was Sandra, I recommend her and if you want her contact, you can ask me. Below I talk about values.

She took me to Santana’s Cave (Caverna Santana)

The main one in the region, it is between 8 km and 10 km long, with tight internal paths.

Its interior is well structured because of the tourism, there are walkways that avoid contact with the river in most of the lower layers of the cave. There are stairs to go up the galleries and arrow directions.

It’s wonderful and that’s why it’s the main one. There are stalagmites and stalactites all along the route.

A little bit about the formation of the Alto do Ribeiro State and Tourist Park

Some stalactites that formed (not the real ceiling) turn into beautiful curtains. In a high gallery Sandra even managed to make music by playing with her fingers on these rock formations. It’s amazing and something you really get to know only  from inside.

Santana´s-cave_-_Santana-Cave
Santana´s cave – Santana Cave

dirty water cave (Caverna Água Suja)

The river water that runs through this cave is very clean, with a beautiful blue color. Maybe it has this name because the water is not drinkable due to the amount of ores.

It’s a beautiful cave too, different from the first one because in addition to the river being therefor the 800 meters we walk there, it is huge, to try to illustrate it a little better, it’s as if it had a triple ceiling height of a convencional house, Santana is a bit lower.

Waterfall-Dirty-Water-Cave
Waterfall Dirty Water Cave

In this cave, we walk almost all the time through the water, which in some places reaches our waist.

We arrived at the first waterfall, this one is inside the cave. The idea was to go to the second waterfall, but because of the rain forecast  at the time we would get there, it was not possible.

In the region, everyone tells many stories of waterspouts that ended up tragically in the PETAR Caves.

The third and last cave was black hill (Morro Preto)

This cave was reopened to the public this year, in addition to other two caves. According to what they said, administrators work hard to inaugurate new caves.

Morro-Preto-Cave-in-PETAR
Morro Preto Cave in PETAR

This one was even taller in its first gallery, even containing a mezzanine.

On this tour, besides Sandra, another Guide with an American biologist who was exploring the region were there. As each guide had to wait about 20 minutes until the other guide leaves, we group to enjoy the momentum.

a little more history

With two guides, we heard more about the history. Some (about 30) years ago, this cave was used as a center for events, they had  parties inside, and even official parties, with political mayors and the city population. Today, science is more clear that this is absurd because of the rock formations and the life that exists in the caves, but at the time they didn’t even think about it.

It is not known for sure if the cave served as a home for our ancestors, what is certain is that at least as a shelter it worked. In the cave portal, on the left side when you leave, there are a lot of snail shells, a food considered a delicacy at the time.

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Historians say the shells were hidden inside the cave to prevent other tribes from fighting for food, but nothing is proven.

I continued the trip

I knew a little bit about it. Sandra was very upset that I was only there for one day because I visited a small part of everything the region offers and she really likes what she does, being a guide, teaching and showing a little of what she can pass on to people.

>> How much did it all cost –  PETAR

Where I stayed to visit the PETAR caves

I stayed at Camping Moria

The daily rate for camping was R$ 20.00 (about $3,3) without breakfast and R$ 25.00 ($ 4,5) with breakfast (prices of 2019).

I stayed in some chalets there, but they are very rustic and without a bathroom, the daily rate is R$ 50.00 ($9 in 2019) per person with breakfast.

seu-silverio-camping-moria-
Mr Silverio – Camping Moria

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The entry price was R$ 15.00 ($3 in 2019) – I negotiated with the guia and this price was already included in her package.

>> Guide to the PETAR caves

I paid R$ 150.00 ($27 in 2019) a day for Sandra, I liked her a lot and she understands the region well and has a lot of stories to tell, but there are 200 approved guides so if you go straight there even in the busiest period, you can get pay less for the tour. I recommend Sandra.

eat in PETAR

On the first night I ate next to Camping Moria, it was R$12.00 ($2) an X-sandwich with fries.

On the second night I had dinner with a friend I made at the Pousada e Restaurante do Abílio. It was very tasty and simple with rice, beans, farofa, chicken, and salad for R$17.00 ($3).

If you’re going there, you must try the drink with a secret recipe kept under 7 keys: PETAR jaguar milk (leite de onça do PETAR)

This drink is like a Brazilian Amarula, it’s tasty and you can see peanuts and cinnamon.

Visit PETAR soon, there are rumors that it may be privatized soon, it’s worth knowing.

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