Welcome to the Brazilian Cave that Swallows You Up and Spits You Out

Entering the crevice of Pedra que Engole
Entering the crevice of Pedra que Engole | © Saulo Paschoaletto / WikiCommons
Sarah Brown

If you have a fear of being in a tight space while a stream of gushing water pours over your head, this may not be your idea of fun. Pedra que Engole, literally meaning, “stone that Swallows,” is a small crevice between three rocks that leads into an underground cavity. Travelers are flocking to check out this heart-stopping tourist attraction in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Would you dare to do it?

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The picturesque district of Trindade in the south of Rio de Janeiro state has long reeled in travelers with its pristine beaches, turquoise seas, and jungle-clad mountain hikes. However, the newest attraction is Pedra que Engole, a narrow crevice in a rock formation at the base of a small waterfall. Tourists gingerly lower their bodies into the crevice before allowing the water from the falls to push them through it.

Entering the crevice of Pedra que Engole

After a few seconds, they slip through the gap, making it seem to outsiders as if they were literally swallowed by the rocks. However, the adventurer slides down some smooth rocks that act as a natural waterslide until they are spat out into a small, underground cave. Once you enter the cave, you simply swim under a big rock and out the other side. From there, it’s a 20-minute hike back to the top, for those who dare to go for round two.

How this cave was discovered is a mystery. Perhaps someone fell through accidentally and, much to their relief, found themselves sliding down a natural slide into a refreshing pool at the end, rather than being sucked into the depths of nowhere. So far, there have been no reports of anyone getting stuck or lost inside, and so the slide appears to safe, but the idea of squeezing through a tiny space filled with rushing water and being spat out into an underground cave may not appeal to everyone.

Going through the Pedra que Engole

This extreme tourist attraction certainly isn’t the first in South America to become popular with thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline hit. Ojos Del Salado, the world’s highest volcano, sits on the border between Argentina and Chile, and has long been a popular yet dangerous hike for trekkers. Another hair-raising activity is the mountain biking on Bolivia’s Death Road, where bikers need to carefully maneuver their bikes on heart-stoppingly tight paths with sheer drops to the side. It’s amazing what people will do in the name of an unforgettable travel experience.

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