Sometimes you’ll see a natural phenomenon and think, how could that possibly have formed by itself? What forces, over millenia, could contort the land into such weird and unlikely shapes and sizes.

Lajedo de Pai Mateus is one of those places.

About 45 minutes drive north of Cabaceiras (you will probably need to stop and ask for directions, there are no signs) is the country resort, Hotel Fazenda Pai Mateus (warning: audio). The land surrounding this place is privately owned, as far as we know you must enter accompanied by a guide. It’s about R$15 (€3.75) for the tour (worth it, for the well-informed guide), and sunset is the best time to go.


A hill of bare rock rising above the surrounding scrubland, it’s covered in giant boulders of different sizes. Some could be the size of a cow, some the size of a truck.

It’s named after a semi-mythical local figure, Pai Mateus, a former slave and mystic, who lived under the largest stone here for many years.

Something even stranger, is that the rocks here sing. They all have a natural resonance, and anyone can bang one of these boulders to hear the characteristic bell sound produced.

Truly, an astonishing place.