The Chapada Diamantina, 500 km (311 mi) West of Salvador, is one of the oldest geological sites of this continent. In this sedimentary basin, the slow and steady erosion of time and the elements have had two notable consequences: the diamonds formed in the depths of the earth were uncovered, causing a "diamond rush" in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and giving the mountain range the name of Diamantina. It has also created a superb and wild landscape colored with flowers and animated with wildlife, protected by 84,000 square kilometers (32,433 sa mi) of National Park. The word "chapada" comes from "chapa" (slab), which echoes the shape of the "morros" (mounts), the almost circular flat topped mountains (table mountains). In between these colossal mounds reminding the Monument Valley, the plateaus are covered in low vegetation while the tropical valleys abound with a thick vegetation, where most of the great rivers of the state of Bahia start and flow from a waterfall to another. This playground provides a variety of activities and you can drive around the most famous sites (the Morro do Pai Inacio, the Cave of Lapa Doce, the Poço Azul and the Poço Encantado…); but the best way to discover the Chapada is by foot. In six to eight days you can have a great look of the area; walking across sand and earth or climbing a granite mountain with a breathtaking view. Accommodation is organized with local inhabitants; in the valleys with tracks just wide enough for a donkey to go through and where people live at the pace of the land with a rare form of sincere and spontaneous hospitality full of kindness and respect. And as you would have understood, the true diamonds of the Chapada Diamantina are not hidden under the earth or at the bottom of rivers; you just have to open your eyes to see them.