This post is also available in: PortuguêsLooking for a day trip around Sao Paulo countryside? So check this post about the Oysters Valley’s Hike (Vale das Ostras), a trekking path through 12 waterfalls which finishes in an incredibly beautiful fall known as the My God Waterfall (Cachoeira de Meu Deus). This waterfall has been awarded the most beautiful in the State and is surely one of the best attractions in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Riverside Valley region, one of the best preserved in the country The Riverside Valley, south of Sao Paulo, almost at the border with Parana, stands out for its natural richness. We all know about deforestation in Brazil, and it’s right over there where you find the largest piece of Atlantic Forest in the whole country. There are miles of caves, trails, waterfalls, indigenous protected areas and quilombola lands to get to know and see, which is a must for ecotourism lovers and the best of Sao Paulo. Quilombolas are the inhabitants of rural communities formed by descendants of enslaved Africans for a long time, who mostly live by agriculture subsistence on donated, bought or occupied land. The end of the trekking, outside the dense forest Tiago’s family is all from this region and on our last visit over there, we went to explore the Oysters Valley (Vale das Ostras), which is formed by the Oysters Riverside (Ribeirão das Ostras), the same river that crosses the Devil’s Cavern. The trekking path is within the Sapatu Quilombola community and has 6km distance, taking the visitor to 11 waterfalls, passing through the dense Atlantic Forest until it ends on the highlight and so-awaited part of the trail, the My God Fall (Cachoeira de Meu Deus). It’s a 53m high fall and it has been awarded as one of the best falls of beautiful Sao Paulo. A small waterfall in the front and the My God Fall behind it The Oysters Valley’s 12 falls trekking As the Oysters Valley lies within the Quilombola community, you can only visit it together with a local guide from there. Our guide was Cauã, an 18 y.o. young man, very open to share his stories with us as well as all the curiosities and information about the region. You might want to see what’s best to do in Rio de Janeiro too!! The surprises of the way: a hidden iguana! There were four us, Tiago and Fernanda, Marcos (Tiago’s uncle) and Pietro (an Italian friend visiting Brasil). The fare is R$35 each, paid directly to the guide. We ought to say that the guide was essential for a more immersive day trip, particularly because the trekking is not the easiest and you can get lost. There are many parts of the trekking where you have to cross the rivers or through slippery areas, without proper signs. So, yes, you will get wet! Following the path towards the My God Fall! The 12 falls are formed by the Oysters Riverside (Ribeirão das Ostras) and you can swim in basically all of them. If a waterfall bath is what you are looking for, here is definitely your place. On one of the falls, you can even jump from a 4 meter high rock. The Oysters Valley history Beyond its overflowing nature, the Oysters Valley also reveals a piece of the tragic history of the colonisation of the Riverside Valley. Right over there, at the Oysters Riverside, that slaves worked day and night on gold alluvium mining. In fact, the place has its name because it was from this shellfish, abundant in the rivers, that the slaves fed while mining. The difficulty of the Oysters Valley’s trail This is a moderate option of trekking with a waterfall in the capital Sao Paulo. At some points of the course, there will be river crossings – by foot, no bridge! – with water up to your knees maximum and use of ropes and steps to climb rocks. For this reason, this trail is not recommended for children or people with movement disorders. However, there is an alternative route. You can visit only the My God Fall, a less than an hour trail and a lot easier. A not expensive tourism option in the countryside of Sao Paulo – prices 12 waterfalls trekking – R$35 per person 15 waterfalls trekking – R$55 per person My God Fall only – R$15 per person To arrange your visit, get in touch with Toto (+55 13 99728 7361) Portuguese only. To make your trip to the Riverside Valley worthwhile, you can also visit: The Devil’s Cavern Not more than 10km away from the Oysters Valley, lies another wonder of this region, the Devil’s Cavern. It is the largest cavern in the state of Sao Paulo and you can arrange both the Oysters Valley’s trail and the Devil’s Cavern trip for one single day. The Devil’s Cavern State Park demands accompany of an environmental monitor together paid at the entrance (R$12 per person) plus the entrance fee of R$14 per person. You will have access to the Devil’s Cavern, trails of medium and short length, an area for leisure and a centre for environmental interpretation and visit. Note, flip-flops are not allowed. Where is the 12 falls trekking The nearest city from the Oysters Valley is Eldorado, 280km away from the city of Sao Paulo and 220km away from Curitiba. The easiest way to get there is driving – you can check some rental options right here. You can also go by public transportation operated by Cia Valle Sul. We haven’t done and haven’t heard about the quality and efficiency of it. Also, we are not sure whether there is a bus – or any other way – that takes you from Eldorado to the entrance of the trekking. Where to stay in the Oysters Valley In Eldorado, you can find some nice inns and hotels. You can check this link to help with your accommodation. Booking.com Tips for a stress-free trip “Attention: Forbid foods and drinks from this point onward” Don’t forget your mosquito repellent; Have your yellow fever vaccination up to date. There has recently been cases of the illness; Take appropriate shoes and proper clothes; Take a spare changing clothes as you will get yourself wet.