caraça nature park

A wooded grove with termite nestCaraça is a jewel among the vast crown of backroads Brazil, hidden in mid-eastern Minas Gerais.  Originally a seminary founded in 1820 which schooled a number of Brazil’s presidents, it is now a private Nature Park and Shrine, which includes Brazil’s first neo-gothic church.  The park is essentially a large bowl in the Espinaço, or Spinal, Mountain range, with the small complex lost in a sea of rain forest and dry savanna at 1,300m or 4,000′ above sea level.  These images are from three visits during which I took several hikes and was fortunate enough to see a Lobo Guará, or Maned wolf, up close.  [please hover over images for captions]

About Ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit