By Stephanie Foden, Contributing Reporter

SALVADOR, BRAZIL – In the heart of Bahia state in Northeastern Brazil, far from the infamous sun-drenched coastal city of Salvador, lies Chapada Diamantina, a 587 square-mile national park. For those seeking tranquility, history and outdoor-adventure it is a true gem – and not because both gold and diamonds have been found there.

Chapada Diamantina park is a natural beauty boasting with gushing waterfalls (home to the tallest free-falling in Brazil), dramatic plateaus, idyllic rivers and enticing caves.

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