Engulfed by Cerrado, the countryside surrounding Pirenópolis  boasts a considerable number of cascades and waterfalls that can be reached by nature trails that weave through the hills. Only 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) north of town (on a continuation of Rua do Carmo), the Cachoeiras de Bonsucesso (tel. 62/3321-1217, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, R$10) are the closest—and most crowded—place to take a cool plunge, with six falls dispersed along a 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) trail. The visitors center sells snacks and drinks.
Another 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) north along Rua do Carmo will bring you to the Santuário de Vida Silvestre Vagafogo (tel. 62/3335-8515, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, R$10), an ecological reserve with short hiking trails and tree-trekking platforms that wind through a magnificent patch of Cerrado forest teeming with black howler and brown capuchin monkeys, armadillos, deers, and various birds. There is a waterfall with a refreshing pool as well as beckoning hammocks near the visitors center. The café serves a delicious weekend brunch featuring preserves made from native Cerrado fruits.
Both of these attractions can be reached on foot, or by hiring one of the moto-taxis that provide transport around town.