Experiencing the Tropical Savanna in the Center of Brazil
Just 150 kilometers west of the capital city of Brasília is the preserved 18th-century mining town of Pirenópolis. While a first-class attraction in its own right, this rural community is sometimes overshadowed by the surrounding Cerrado, a vast tropical savanna said to be one of the planet’s oldest biomes and (in South America) second only to the Amazon in size and biodiversity. On the edge of Pirenópolis, though, in the cool shade of a rare riparian Cerrado forest, the open-to-visitors 114-acre Vagafogo Wildlife Sanctuary has the best of both worlds. Established in 1990 as the first private reserve in central Brazil, it mixes environmental education with ecotourism (adventure activities) and promotes sustainable goods and lifestyles as practiced by the resident family.