photo: Ion David
São Jorge Village is a small community, Alto Paraiso’s main town-district. It is known for being the National Park’s Gateway, and its economic activities are mainly linked with ecotourism. Having most of its businesses and population gravitating around lodges, bars and restaurants, and a huge set of private properties where you can visit paradisiacal sites.
In the middle of the last century, the demand for quartz crystals provoked the settlement of thousands of miners, coming from Bahia, excited with prospects in Cristalina, Lower Veadeiros and Pinhum-TO, etc. Due to the abundance of this stone around the lower West portion of the Chapada, many mines were created, with Sao Jorge Village being its highlight with more than two thousand people living at its peak.
As World War II ended, synthetic crystal stones started to fill the market, as they were better used for communication equipment, this marked the starting of the mining decline in the region. After the creation of Brasilia and the National Park of the Chapada dos Veadeiros, the population came to a stagnation process up until where people started to discover the natural attractions of the Park. That is when a new cycle started for the community, Ecotourism.
photo: Ion David
A little more about the Village
Basically, all people living in Sao Jorge nowadays have their income attached to Ecotourism activities. Providing services in different areas as conductors, hotels, restaurants, craftsmen, etc. Villagers are mostly miners that have been laid off during hard times, but came along as Ecotourism developed.
National Park Visitor Center and main entrance are located in Sao Jorge Village.
The village reminds us of those sandy beach villages, with an intense night life during the high season and holidays.