Nature & Parks
People have been asking me about my trip to the underground, so I thought maybe it's a good thing to give some sort of guide here about that time I tried to get closer to the depths of hell (still better than living with my ex though).
As can be judged from the title, the place I'm talking about is called Terra Ronca (translating literally - The Earth that snorts). Official name is Parque Estadual de Terra Ronca. About five hours ride from Brasilia, but trust me, it's well worth it.
Personally I stayed at the Pousada Alto Da Lapa. The good thing about this place is that it has everything you need - food, drinks, place to sleep, all in all pretty clean and a very sweet administrator, who treats every guest like you are her child (which is cute). It is also 5 min walk from the entrance to the underground part of the park, so well worth the price.
All excursions (passeios) are also organized at the hotel. Best you talk this over before you come there, just in case, and book your place with the guide. The first day we hiked the Terra Ronca route itself. Warning - while the hike is not that hard by itself, you should prepare yourself accordingly. The guide will provide you with flashlights, but the rest is on you. My suggestion - if you get cold easily, get something warm to wear, some parts of the caves are cold because of humidity. Also get yourself the right shoes - something comfy, durable and easy to dry. Some parts of the hike you will have to cross rivers on the verge of drowning (but not quite), so you will get wet. Around 50% of the route is on the surface with some caves, the rest is completely underground with no light whatsoever.
Remember, there will be no tourist infrastructure at all during the hike, so take some sandwiches and water with you. Toilet is also out of the question, but it is dark, so make use of it.
The hike of Terra Ronca is about three hours with a scenic overview at the end. Trust me, you will be exhausted by the end of it, but it is spectacular.
2nd day we went to the cave os Sao Mateus. This one is a lot more tricky and deep than the first. To get there will require quite a bit of climbing, squeezing through and fighting claustrophobia urges. But the guide said he once managed to get and 80-year old lady through there, so don't be a pussy. Besides, it's all set up with ropes and grapples, so you'll be fine. Once again - clothes to warm you up and good shoes that are not slippery. Oh and it will be super dark, get used to it, sun has no power there.
Some parts of the cave are filled with water, so be prepared to get your feet wet. But all in all it's very tourist friendly. I'm not sure about bringing the kids there, so it's better you clear that up with a guide first. If you get a chance, leave the kids at your grandma's and go there with your SO, much better and easier that way.
That's about it. Oh, and after visiting Sao Mateus, ask the guide to see some cave paintings. They are a bit off the road, but he was super cool about showing it to us. Cheers.