Gruta da Barreira

Useful Information

Location: 614 Rod. Francisco Alves Negrão, 386 - Vila Jurandir, Itararé - SP 18460-000.
From Itararé follow SP-258/PR-239 towards Sengés, where the 4lane road becomes a 2lane road turn left, Parque da Barreira signposted.
(-24.1181952, -49.3631781)
Open: All year daily 7-18.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge SubterraneaCave Church
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Gruta da Barreira, 614 Rod. Francisco Alves Negrão, 386 - Vila Jurandir, Itararé - SP 18460-000, Tel: +55-15-3532-8000.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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19-NOV-1939 Gruta da Santa Nossa Senhorra de Lourdes inaugurated.


Gruta da Barreira is listed as a show cave in official lists, but actually it is a river gorge of the Rio Itararé. The name is misleading, the site is nevertheless quite interesting, a series of waterfalls and a Lourdes grotto in an erosional shelter or abri can be seen. The site is located in the western outskirts of the city Itararé, follow SP-258/PR-239 and turn off at the brown sign Parque da Barreira. From the parking lot there is a single lane road leading down into the valley and across a bridge over the gorge. The bridge offers a great view into the gorge, A walking trail with a series of staircases and platforms leads down into the gorge to the Gruta da Santa Nossa Senhorra de Lourdes. It is a typical Lourdes grotto dedicated to Nossa Senhorra da Conceição. The cave is also called Gruta da Santa da Barreira. It has a small well with drinking water. According to local lore you will return to Itararé if you drink from the water. Other sights of the small park are the Gruta das Andorinhas (Gruta das Andorinhas) and the cascata do Chuveirinho (waterfall of the showers). The gorge section is called Sanga.

This site is quite interesting, but unfortunately it is very little known and, probably due to the low visitor numbers, not very well maintained. It seems the site is mostly visited by pilgrims who visit the Lourdes Grotto. The names of the city Itararé and the river Itararé originate from Tupi-Guarani, Ita means stone and Raré means excavated by the river. There is a 1.86 km long loop trail which leads to the remains of the abandoned railroad line. The tracks and their bed are mostly removed, but the iron bridge across the gorge still exists. We listed the site for Paraná, we could have listed it as well for São Paulo, as the river is the border between the two states, and so the two sides of the gorge actually belong to different states.