Originally from the United States, I have been living in Lençóis since 1978. I was the first Director of the Chapada Diamantina National Park, which I helped established, and have walked the mountains from end to end. I have a PhD in biology (and a fascination for geology) and have written various guidebooks about the region – including "A Visitors Guide to the Chapada Diamantina" and "100 Wildflowers of the National Park") – as well as chapters on the natural history of the region, scientific articles in international journals about the Park and, my current specialty, the giant termite mounds that cover the area (online copy on my blog – see below).
I also helped set up the Lençóis Municipal Park (just on the edge of town), was inspector of the diamond mines for three years, am president of the Chapada Diamantina Foundation, and a member of the Environmental Council of the municipality of Lençóis.
My principal hobby is documenting the archaeological history of diamond mining in the mountains, which combines my love for trekking with the academic adventure of finding and recording vestiges of the diamond mining era – stone houses, stone shelters built under rock ledges ("tocas"), dams, aqueducts, and the mines themselves (as well as chance findings of ancient Amerindian rock drawings) - strewn throughout the mountains and lost under the vegetation.
I have worked as a guide ever since tourism initiated in the region and very much like to show off some of the off-the-beaten-trail sights/sites in the mountains as well as the most beautiful places frequently visited in and around the National Park.
Have a modest blog on the web: http://royfunch.blogspot.com.br/
Tour guide services/sample itinerary:
The natural treasures of the Chapada Diamantina region are focused around water (waterfalls, cascades, mountain pools, and clean rivers) and, of course, beautiful views within deep canyons or from the tops of tall mountains – and visiting the region offers the opportunity to learn about its plants and animals, the geology of the mountains, the history of the diamond boom and the "Colonels" who dominated the region at that time.
I offer field trips and hikes to wonderful sights in the mountains, with a strong focus on the biology, ecology, and history of the region. While there are many important sites to be seen by car, I would prefer to walk as much as possible right from the town of Lençóis – comfortable walks for full days or half days, introducing you to the region and its fantastic natural history.
There are also short car rides to mountain-top views, caves, rivers and spectacular waterfalls – you won’t be disappointed!
I can also take you to my research site covered with giant (I mean GIANT) termite mounds, or show you Amerindian rock paintings that no one ever visits.
We can talk more about your options when you get here, depending on the weather, your disposition and physical conditioning, families with children, or larger groups, etc. There is a whole new world to see – and gaining greater insight into the history and natural history of the region will enrich your visit.
I can also give talks to larger groups at your hotel while you’re visiting.
Transportation by tour guide:
Yes, transportation can be arranged upon request.
Tour guide interests:
Lençóis sightseeing and didactic tours
Lençóis travel tours for your needs
Lençóis tour guide general services