Gruta dos Brejões

Lapa dos Brejões

Useful Information

Location: Povoado Gruta dos Brejões - Camirim, Morro do Chapéu - BA 44850-000.
Área de Proteção Ambiental Gruta dos Brejões/Vereda do Romão Gramacho. Gameleira do Jacaré in the Região Geográfica Intermediária de Irecê. Northern portion of Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, 500 km from the capital Salvador.
(-11.00664053585589, -41.43570990710144)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave KarstTiankeng KarstLosing Stream KarstKarst Spring
Light: bring torch
Dimension: Lapa dos Brejões I: L=8,416 m.
Lapa dos Brejões II: L=3,975 m.
Entrance Portal: H=106 m.
Guided tours: individual cave trekking tours, easy
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Mylène Berbert-Born, Ivo Karmann (2012): Lapa dos Brejões - Vereda Romão Gramacho – Chapada Diamantina – Bahia, In: C. Schobbenhaus, D. A. Campos, ET Queiroz, M. Winge, M. Berbert-Born (Edit.): Geological and Paleontological Sites of Brazil. Published on the Internet on 07/01/2000 SIGEP.
Ricardo Galeno Fraga de Araújo Pereira, Fernando Verassani Laureano (2015): Gruta dos Brejões In: Augusto J. Pedreira de Silva, Ricardo Galeno Fraga de Araújo Pereira, Dante Severo Guidice (2015): Geossítios: Cenários da Geodiversidade da Bahia, Companhia Baiana de Pesquisa Mineral - CBPM, ISBN: 978-85-85680-51-0. researchgate Português - Portuguese
Address: Gruta dos Brejões, Povoado Gruta dos Brejões - Camirim, Morro do Chapéu - BA 44850-000, Tel: +55-.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1877 Lapa dos Brejões discovered.
1938 report of first archaeological excavation published by Father Camilo Torrendt.
1967 first speleological exploration by the SEE-Sociedade Excursionista Speleológica da Escola de Minas de Ouro Preto.
1995 scientific exploration by the CPRM.


The Gruta dos Brejões is not just a single cave, it is a group of caves with numerous other karst features. The most spectacular point is the enormous entrance portal Lapa dos Brejões located at the Rio Jacaré. With a height of 106 m it is the second- or third-largest cave portal in Brazil [2024], opinions seem to differ. The karst cave formed in the Neoproterozoic limestones of the Una Group, Salitre formation. It has two sections, which are separated into two segments by a collapsed portion which forms a gorge or roofless cave.

The Lapa dos Brejões I (BA-001) is the 20th longest cave of Brazil [2024]. The two major subparallel main galleries are up to 80 m high and 150 m wide. Two giant collapsed dolines form skylights along this passage, with a diameter of 100 m and a depth of more than 100 m they qualify as tiankengs. It also has two huge chambers, Salão do Cânion (Ar=19,900 m²) and Salão da Clarabóia (Ar=19,970 m²) which are the second- and third-largest chambers in Brazil. The most spectacular formation in the cave is a set of rimstone pools which is called bolo de noiva (bride cake). The whole formation is 15 m high, with a series of up to 4 m deep pools.

The Lapa dos Brejões II (BA-083) is the 44th longest cave of Brazil [2024]. The Rio Jacaré flows through the cave. After it sinks 300 m before the cave entrance, it reappears 750 m inside the cave, sinks again until it finally comes up 300 m outside the main entrance to the cave in a karst spring.

The cave was discovered and reported in 1877, according to local lore. Soon the great paleontological value of its sedimentary deposits was discovered, also some cave paintings. A number of Pleistocene megafauna fossils were found. The first who excavated was Father Camilo Torrendt, who published his results in 1938. Unfortunately, most of the material he found was lost. The first speleological exploration was in 1967, the student members of the SEE-Sociedade Excursionista Speleológica da Escola de Minas de Ouro Preto traveled 1800 km from Minas Gerais to Bahia. They started a series of speleological explorations.

The caves are undeveloped, but due to the enormous size of the passages and the almost level floor, they can be visited rather easily. There are plans to develop the cave for tourism, which would begin with a road to the cave entrance. The idea is to bring work and money to the remote village. However, any development must respect the management plans of the Morro do Chapéu State Park and the APA Vereda do Romão Gramacho. Necessary is also an environmental impact study, which characterizes its physical and biological susceptibilities, and restrictions on visitation, aiming at preservation and ecological balance. The locals must be trained as cave guides, covering caving, climate, flora, fauna and first aid, and environmental education. Then equipment for the participants, like helmets, headlamps and so forth must be aquired.

Currently, there is the rule that visitors to the cave must be accompanied by guides from the Gruta dos Brejões Community Association. In August, during the festivities of Our Lady of Miracles, the cave receives a large number of visitors who take part in a mass celebrated inside. It was proposed to list the site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.