Located on the right bank of the Betary River in the midst of several Atlantic Forest Conservation Units.
The Atlantic Forest is a “Global Biodiversity Hotspot” however only 7% of the forest remains making its conservation all the more important.
The Atlantic Forest stretches from the northeastern to the southern regions of Brazil and northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. Five hundred years ago, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil covered approximately 330 million acres, but today only 7% remains. In the Ribeira Valley, our region of the Atlantic Forest, we are at the footsteps of 21% of the 7% that is left, it being largest contiguous section of the Atlantic Forest. Despite the forests diminished state it still ranks as a global conservation priority. Although it is now just a small fraction of the size of the Amazon rainforest, the Atlantic Forest still harbors a range of biological diversity similar to that of the Amazon. The Atlantic Forest harbors around 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians – 5% of the vertebrates on Earth. This includes nearly 200 bird species found nowhere else.
The Betary Reserve is located next to one of the most famous Brazilian State Parks named PETAR. The region is called the Cave Capital as it known for containing over 500 spectacular caves, some of which are accessible to tourists. Moreover, our region has the highest concentration of bioluminescent mushrooms in the world. UNESCO labelled the region a “World Heritage Site” as a result of its natural richness. In addition, the region has been of great interest to anthropologists, archeologists as well as paleontologists as remains of 5,000 year old arrowheads have been discovered in addition to bones of megafauna such as the famous mega sloth Eremotherium spillmann.
Visit Betary Reserve
Régis Bittencourt Highway (BR116) – approximately 330Km – go through Taboão da Serra, Embu, São Lourenço da Serra, Juquitiba, Miracatu, Juquiá, Registro. Follow Jacupiranga and turn right into the city.
Take SP-193 highway to the city of Eldorado, 25 km from Jacupiranga. In Eldorado, take SP-165 highway, on “Devil’s Cave” direction for another 70km to Iporanga, bordering Ribeira de Iguape’S River.
From Iporanga, follow Antonio Honório da Silva’s road towards the city of Apiaí for 5km, reaching the Reserve with access from the left side of the highway.
Click on the maps below to open directions in a new window in Google Maps.
Reserva Betary access map from São Paulo
Reserva Betary access map from Iporanga
The city of Iporanga is located to the left of Ribeira de Iguape River together with the mouth of Iporanga River, in the extreme south of the state of Sao Paulo, about 320 km from the capital of the state and about 180 km from Curitiba. “Iporanga” is a Tupi language word that means “beautiful river”. It is a reference to Ribeirao Iporanga, in the mouth of the one where the city is located. The first signs of colonization in Iporanga date back to 1556, but it was only populated in beginning of 1576, with the exploitation of flour gold (alluvial gold)which started in the prospecting in Santo Antonio. The region is rich in mineral (lead, gold, silver, calcareous). The historical center presents some ramaining characteristics of the colonization phase, being taken by CONDEPHAAT (Defense Council of Historical, Archeological, Artistic and Touristic Heritage). It is located in the heart of the Atlantic Forest, formerly known as the Cave Capital due to the big number of caves with the calcareous formation in the city of Iporanga: there are over 500 hundred caves, one of the biggest concentrations of catalogued caves in Brazil and in the world. The city is surrounded by branches of conservation, and PETAR is a highlight among them, with over 35712 hectares in area and the home for valuable natural heritage, composed by speleological, paleontological, archeological and historical let alone the big biological diversity characteristic of the Atlantic forest preserved in all its extension. In 1999, this region was acknowledged as the Natural heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Geographical Coordinates: It is located at a latitude 24º35’09” South and a longitude 48º35’34” West
Altitude: 81 meters above sea level
Estimated population: 4369
Economic activities: The predominant activity in the city is eco-tourism focused on the exploration of caves, rivers and waterfalls, inside and outside the conservation units, followed by agriculture and animal breeding.
In the Center of Iporanga, in front of the mother church, there is a historical Casarao (big house) from mid 19th century where chef Val Ribeiro prepares drinks and creative types of food that blend local ingredients, such as seasoning and contemporary products. Handicraft and works of art are created by artists from the region and later exposed and sold in the saloon.