The mountains of Ceará and its mountain cities have a pleasant climate that varies between 17ºC and 22ºC, which attracts tourists from all over the world who seek tranquility as well as fresh air and contact with nature.
The Serras do Ceará, far from the coastal area, is marked by several mountainous formations, with altitudes that reach over a thousand meters.
As mountains of Ceará, where the minimum temperature reaches 17º C, the flat valleys used for fruit growing and the springs of rivers, waterfalls and mineral water sources stand out.
The mountains of Ceará have a topography and climate that form the ideal setting for the practice of adventure sports.
Gruta Ubajarão wet relief gathers the greatest vegetation potential in the state, with forests having trees up to 30 meters in height.
The main reserves in the State are found on the humid slopes of the Serras do Ceará, such as the Chapadas da Ibiapaba and Araripe, where the Ubajara National Park and the Araripe National Forest are located.
In both chapadas the altitude varies between 700 and 900 meters.
Other areas of plant concentration are found in the Serra da Meruoca, on the southeastern slope of the state, and in the Guaramiranga – Pico Alto mountain ranges of Maranguape and Baturité. The latter is home to Pico Alto, with 1.114 meters.
Located in the municipality of Guaramiranga, it is one of the highest points in Ceará. The steep climb and contact with exuberant nature has attracted thousands of tourists annually.
The highest point of the State is the Pico da Serra Branca, located in the municipality of Monsenhor Tabosa, with 1.154 meters.
In addition to cozy inns, the mountainous regions have a geography conducive to adventure tourism, with breathtaking ecological trails.
Mountains of Ceará
1. Serra de Aratanha
Serra da Aratanha, also known as Serra de Pacatuba is a mountain located in the north of Ceará, in the Metropolitan Region of Fortaleza in the municipalities of Maracanaú, Maranguape, Guaiúba and Pacatuba, 30 km from Fortaleza.
The mountain range is one of the residual massifs dispersed in the sertanejas depressions in Ceará.
Together with the Serra de Maranguape, the Serra da Aratanha is practically an extension of the Massif de Baturité.
2. Serra de Baturité
A Serra de Baturite also known as Baturité Massif or saw of Guaramiranga, located in the center-north of Ceará.
It is spread over the territory of twelve municipalities, some below high reliefs such as Canindé, Palmacia, Itapiúna, Capistrano, Caridade and Redenção.
The cities of Aratuba, Mulungu, Guaramiranga, Pacoti, Baturité and Acarape are located in the mountainous regions.
The region is home to the first and largest environmental protection area in the state, covering an area of 32.690 hectares.
3. Serra de Ibiapaba
A Serra da Ibiapaba, also known as Serra Grande, Chapada da Ibiabapa and Cuesta da Ibiapaba, is a mountainous region located in the northwest of the state of Ceará.
The oldest city in the mountains is Viçosa do Ceará, which was colonized by the Jesuits of the Society of Jesus from the XNUMXth century onwards, its architecture has been listed by IPHAN.
4. Serra de Meruoca
Serra da Meruoca is located in the municipality of Sobral, 200 km away from Fortaleza. Its estimated population in 2015 is 14.674 inhabitants.
From its lands spring crystalline waters that sometimes run down the relief in splendid waterfalls and “enchanting” waterfalls and that, on others, pass by skimming between patients and sliding granites, sculpting them.
Videos about the mountains and mountain towns of Ceará
TOURIST POINTS IN SERRAS DO CEARÁ
The main mountain towns of the Ceará for tourism are Aratuba, Baturité, Guaramiranga, Maranguape, Mulungu, Pacoti, Palmacia and Redenção.
Maranguape is close to the capital, only 30 km away from Fortaleza, in the metropolitan region, begins the mountain corridor to Serra de Maranguape.
In Maranguape, a city with approximately 103 inhabitants and birthplace of great national personalities such as Chico Anísio, Manasses and Capistrano de Abreu.
The city of Maranguape in Ceará has the Ypióca Tourist Complex, which combines leisure, entertainment, cuisine, and regionalism, in addition to a lot of history with the famous Cachaça Museum.
In addition, the city has sports attractions in nature such as trails that provide inspiration for hiking where the practitioner, at each step, can contemplate a variety of landscapes, fauna and flora, which will illustrate the route.
2. Sobral at the foot of the Serra de Meruoca
Sobral is another spectacular destination among the mountains of Ceará is the Serra da Meruoca located 251 km from Fortaleza, in the north of the state in the municipalities of Meruoca, Coreaú, Alcântaras, Massapê and Sobral.
It is one of the residual massifs scattered in the depressions of the interior of Ceará's interior and its vegetation at low altitudes is a forest with evergreen trees, broad leaves, dense and thorny trunks and a humid mountainous forest, at the highest altitudes.
One of the main cultural events in this city is the festival of the patron saint Nossa Senhora da Conceição, which is always celebrated from November 28th to December 08th every year.
Another well-known event in the region is the “Winter Festival”, held since 2004, with the presence of great nationally renowned artists.
Born in an eighteenth-century village, Sobral, the second largest municipality in Ceará, was named a city in 1841.
Sobral is located at the foot of the Serra de Meruoca, on the left side of the Aracaú River, on the path that linked Pernambuco to Piauí and Maranhão.
The vocation for commerce gained strength with the construction, in 1882, of the railway that connected it to the port of Camocim; at the time, Sobral was the main commercial hub in the north of the state.
The houses, churches, museums and theaters built at the time, now listed as historical heritage, give a special shine to the easy-to-locomotion city.
The square São João and its surroundings stand out, Rua Ernesto Deocleciano with the churches of Dores and Rosário, Praça João Pessoa in art nouveau style, Arco do Triunfo and the area of Praça José Sabóia, in addition to Praça da Sé, where the cathedral is.
The bank of the Acaraú river is another charm – a pleasant place for a walk at dawn or in the late afternoon, when the illuminated bridges make Sobral even more beautiful.
The best time to visit it is from January to June, when the temperature is milder; outside this period, the average is 30˚C.
The city can be reached via the BR-222, both by those leaving Fortaleza, which is 235 km away, or by those leaving Teresina, on a path with potholes and heavy truck traffic in the Tainguá mountain range.
SÉ CATHEDRAL IN SOBRAL
The magnificence and grandeur of the Sé Cathedral (also known as the parish church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição) were described in prose by Sobralense writer Domingos Olímpio (1850-1906), in the book Luzia-Homem, from 1903.
At night, when its two towers are illuminated, the church becomes even more beautiful, and in the background you can see the silhouette of the foothills of the Serra da Meruoca.
The foundation stone dates from 1778, and construction was completed in 1783.
The limestone portico of Portugal and the nave of the main altar are impressive in their size. In the chancel, there is a wooden tabernacle with Corinthian columns. Praça da Sé, 100, Center.
SQUARE AND THEATER SÃO JOÃO IN SOBRAL
São João square is the friendliest and most tree-lined in the city. At night, car traffic is prohibited, and students from the local university scatter under the trees.
Among the buildings, the Casa de Cultura stands out, with workshops and exhibitions, the Menino Deus church and other mansions. The Teatro São João, inaugurated in 1880, dominates the landscape.
The image of the construction with a neoclassical façade reflected in the lake, amidst the well-kept garden, deserves a closer look.
DOM JOSÉ MUSEUM IN SOBRAL
The first sacred art museum in Ceará was founded in 1951 in Sobral by Bishop José Tupinambá da Frota, who collected a large part of the collection of 30 works.
In addition to sacred items, the space brings together a vast collection of objects representing the daily life of Sobral in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, such as porcelain, crystal, furniture, weapons and clothing.
The neoclassical-style building built in 1844 is very well preserved, but the museum is not air-conditioned. Av. D. José, 878, Centro.
3. Ubajara at the top of the Ibiapaba Mountains
Another mountain region with landscapes capable of filling the eyes is the “Serra da Ibiapaba”, which is formed by the municipalities of Viçosa do Ceará, Tianguá, ubajara, Ibiapina, São Benedito, Carnaubal, Guaraciaba do Norte, Croatá and Ipu.
Surrounded by Atlantic forest, the city of Ubajara, 324 kilometers from Fortaleza on the BR-222, is located at the top of the Ibiapaba mountain range, at an altitude of 847 meters.
In July, the most suitable month for visitation, dawn is covered with mist, and the low temperature calls for warm clothes.
The main attraction of the small and peaceful town is the Ubajara National Park, 4 kilometers from the center.
UBAJARA NATIONAL PARK
In this park, created in 1959 and located at the top of the mountain, there are several limestone caves.
In its 6288 hectares of area, stretches of Atlantic forest and plateaus are mixed, in the upper part, with strips of cerrado and patches of caatinga in the lower part, where cactus vegetation predominates.
Some waterfalls cut through the green immensity of the landscape, in which you can see Jatobás, Pau-D'arcos, Copaibas and Babassus; its fauna is represented by mocós, capuchin monkeys, star tamarins, armadillos, snakes, lizards, cotias and anteaters.
Other attractions are the trails and viewpoints, which can be explored in a single day.
Visitors should take repellent, snacks and plenty of water to the trails, as the cafeteria works at irregular hours. Cable car road, km 4.
Portuguese in search of silver would have discovered the cave in the XNUMXth century. According to legend, it would be inhabited by an old Indian who used to roam the rivers of the region with his canoe – Ubajara, by the way, comes from uba, “canoe”, ejara, “sir”.
In the early 1120th century, the place attracted pilgrims devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes, whose image still adorns its entrance. Of the 420 meters of extension of the cave, only XNUMX can be traversed.
It is enough for the visitor to admire the magnificent speleothems, delicate limestone formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, waterfalls and curtains.
Highlights include the grandiose Image Room, the Corridor of Wonders, with stalactites and stalagmites and a rock similar to a dinosaur, and the Shining Room, filled with crystals.
You can go down to the mouth of the cave along the Ubajara-Araticum trail, in a three-hour route, or by cable car, in just three minutes. As the cable car is usually closed for maintenance, it is better to call first (av. César Caos, s/n).
TRAILS AND WATERFALLS IN UBAJARA
The park's classic trail, called the Ubajara-Araticum, connects the Visitors' Center to the mouth of the Ubajara grotto.
It's a three-hour walk downhill, during which you pass through the Atlantic forest, stopping at lookouts, natural pools and waterfalls like the one at Cafundó, 50 meters high, dangerous for bathing.
You can return by cable car or on foot, in a journey of five hours.
The easiest trail is the Fern, ideal for children.
The Gameleira waterfall viewpoint, which is also inadvisable for bathing, can be reached in half an hour from the Visitors' Center; from it you can see the Ubajara grotto, the Cafundó waterfall and the Ubajara-Araticum trail route.
To reach the 80-meter-high Gavião waterfall, it is necessary to take a trail in the forest that is considered difficult (round trip takes around three hours); on the way, cool off in the waterfalls that precede the main fall.
4. Guaramiranga in the Baturité massif
Massif do Baturité is the name of the region that encompasses 13 easily accessible municipalities and which promises to be part of the national ecotourism route.
No Baturité Massif it has old private and religious historical buildings, the centenary railway station, museums, waterfalls, trails, lakes and a landscape that brings together all the beauty of plants and flowers.
Several activities related to the practice of adventurous sports are also carried out in the Massif de Baturité region, such as canoeing, rappelling and hiking.
Guaramiranga is located in the environmental protection area of the Baturité massif and stands out for its mild climate: in the coldest period, the temperature reaches 15˚C.
In the mountain city, just 120 kilometers from Fortaleza, there are the last remnants of the Atlantic Forest in Ceará.
The Massif de Baturité region allows for the practice of adventure sports, bird watching and nature contemplation.
Among the attractions is the Alto peak, with 1115 meters of altitude, one of the highest in the state, 13 kilometers from the center, accessible by paved road.
In Guaramiranga, the cultural program is intense: at Carnival, the Jazz and Blues Festival is an alternative for those who want to escape the marchinhas and axé music.
At the Guaramiranga Theater Show, in July, local companies present themselves to the public.
In September it is the turn of the Northeastern Theater Festival and, in October, the Gastronomy Meeting. In November 2005 the first edition of the Wine Festival was held.
Access from Fortaleza is via the CE-060, a longer but safer route, or via the CE-065, with many curves.
Extreme and Adventure Sports
Abseiling, trekking, gliding, off road in 4×4 and mountain-biking. The mountainous region of Ceará is an appropriate place for several types of adventure sports, although it is still technically prepared to receive lovers of just some of them.
Pedra da Agulha, in Guaramiranga, is the most popular spot for rappelling. There, the waterfalls add to the adventurers' itinerary. The one in Perigo is the one that most attracts practitioners, and the trail that leads to it is prepared to receive tourists.
The degree of access difficulty is medium, with stretches of dense forest that add an extra charm to the walk. Access is through the property of Clarear Escola Ambiental.
For trekking lovers, there are many trails. In addition to the one that leads to the Perigo waterfall, there are Talyta and Veada, as well as the Hotel School trail, the Parador Mirante, the Jesuits and the Remanso da Serra hotel trail.
It is not uncommon to come across animals of the local fauna on hikes, including the chameleon and the eagle. You can see a multitude of species of butterflies and birds. To relax, it's worth taking advantage of the hospitality of the natives, who even offer coffee to hikers.
It is essential to have a specialized guide to venture through these landscapes. Ecotourism operators in Ceará offer packages that include vehicles and drivers. Adaptations to the script can be made at the request of visitors.
Tourism and Travel Guide of the mountain cities and the mountains of Ceará