How we came to Discovering Rio Silveiras on an Indian Reserve
After our trip to the north of Brazil, we planned to spend the Christmas break in Boraceai. Our brother in law Facondo has a condo approximately 5 kilometers from the beach. One day between Christmas and New year’s he came up with one of his unusual adventure ideas. He asked us if we wanted to visit an Indian reserve. We had many questions for him but he didn’t have any answers. He knew the reserve existed but had never been. That’s when our imagination started wandering. I think we all made-up a fictitious chief like character in our minds, evaluating our application to enter the grounds. Then we thought, what if they turned us away? The curiosity was greater than us, we just wanted to see what the reserve was like. Even if we could be turned away.
If you're fans of the beach, be sure to check our our Free Beaches blog. Actually Rio Silveiros reserve is really close to Boraceia beach.
That being said, the beach life is good, but we can only take so many days of sand, salt water and sunburns. We discovered the Indian reserve of Rio Silveira because we craved a new adventure. For those interested to visit, it is located between the Boraceia and Barra do Una beach. It’s hard to find on Google maps, we found it under ‘Terras Indigenas Do Rio Silveira’.
There are buses that ride along the main road but we strongly recommend going by car. Head down the main road SP-055 (which is the main highway leading the way to Serra do Mar). If you know your way around Boraceia beach and Serra do Mar, you should easily find it just after Boraceia and before Barra do Una. Otherwise, if you are new in this area try using Google maps and type ‘Terras Indegenas do Rio Silveira’.
- From the main road SP-055, turn on Alameda Mauá (it’s a crescent so there should be two entrances)
- Once on Alameda Mauá, head all the way north to a street called Av Toupi Guarani (should be the 4th intersection)
- Once on Av Toupi Guarani head all the way down until you reach the main entrance (brown signs and gate)
What is there to see
It’s not a huge community, so don’t expect to run into many people. We’ve only been once and that was between Christmas and New Year’s. Perhaps there are more people at other times during the year. For the most part you will drive past their community, schools and homes. We later read online how the home structure was made using the wood on the reserve. The roofs were made from traditional Brazilian ceramic tiles. Once you reach the end of the road, you can trek towards the waterfalls. There are some unique flowers and plants that even Brazilians had never seen before.
Apparently there are two waterfalls. Our young guide Eric helped us find the first waterfall. The second one is still a mystery. We didn’t have a guide, so we weren’t sure about our orientation. We hiked for a good 40 minutes on what seemed to be a trail but ended up at a series of rocks.
The first waterfall is quite peaceful and it’s a great place to swim. Bear in mind, the water is quite cold but it’s well worth it. It looks more like rapids than a waterfall.
What to look out for.
- The roads aren’t in the best of conditions. Better think twice if your car is low to the ground. We drove in a Fiat crossover SUV and found it hard at times.
- Bring some money, at least 10 Reais per person. They may ask you before letting you enter to see the waterfalls. There is also a small place to purchase artisanal gifts.
- The road to the furthest waterfall is practically a one way. There are only few instances where two cars can pass.
- Careful if going with a new or rental car. There are narrow passages on the way to the second and furthest waterfall. The tree branches sticking out may scratch your car.
- The locals speak Tupi Guarani. They understand very little Portuguese except for the basics.
What to bring
- Comfortable Shoes and sandals or a hybrid model for hiking (there is a mixture of creeks and rivers)
- Sunscreen and bug repellant
- Drinking water and food (there are no stores for snacks nor restaurants)
- Bathing suit and possible change of clothes
- Camera equipment
- A plastic bag (for your left-over trash)
It was truly a unique experience that we were all proud to have accomplished. We were quite content with our trip, even though we never made it to the second waterfall. We recommend going with a guide to ensure total satisfaction.
Very important to keep in mind
In the Rio Silveira reserve, the Guarani Indigenous culture have been maintained and passed down through generations. This said, please respect the place and the Indians. They speak Tupi-Guarani, so do not expect them to understand 100% of your language, even if it is Portuguese. Remember that they were the owners of everything before and now only have this small reserve of 948.40 hectares, so respect their space.
We at Discovering Destinations like the self-guided tours, as much as possible. Should you want to visit the reserve but not on your own, there is information on the website below to visit the reserve in groups that do ecotourism in the region.
www.litoralmaisverde.com.br (know more about the destination)
www.entreaspas.blog.br/aldeia-rio-silveiras/ (Blog in Portuguese)
Discovering Destinations completed yet another adventure by visiting the Guarani Indigenous reserve of Rio Silveira. Happy to share another blessed day full of beautiful landscapes and great memories.
Thank you Eric !
Feel free to visit our Flickr account to view the rest of the Indigenous reserve in Rio Silveiras album.