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    Araripe Geopark




    Araripe Geopark is located in the South of the State of Ceará, in the region of the sedimentary complex of Araripe. The Geopark territory extends over approximately 5,000 Km of the area of Ceará and is bound by the states of Pernambuco and Paraíba. Araripe Geopark is an initiative of the State of Ceará represented by the Secretariat of Science and Technology and Higher Education, coordinated by the Regional University of Cariri—URCA. In December 2005, the Ceará State Government requested UNESCO’s Division of Earth Sciences to acknowledge and accept Araripe Geopark as an effective member of the world network of Geoparks under the auspices of UNESCO.



    Santa Cruz Overlook is a privileged observation point located near the city of Santana do Cariri overlooking the village of Cancão Velho, from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of part of the Araripe Basin. The Overlook, located at an altitude of 750 meters, looks impressive in contrast with the reddish forms of its rocky composition, of the Exu formation (perfectly visible in its cliffs) and the greenish hues of the thick bush, which surrounds this entire elevation.

    In the plateau where the Pontal cross stands, there are support and leisure facilities available to visitors, such as a restaurant and a playground featuring paleontological themes, as well as a small chapel near the belvedere. In the remainder of this elevation there is also thick vegetation, which is interrupted only by dirt roads and trails which lead to the scientific and tourist visitation sites.

    The URCA Museum of Paleontology, located in the city of Santana do Cariri, is the facility responsible for the research projects involving the region’s fossil finds and therefore it has become the main vehicle of dissemination of the local paleontological importance to visitors who come to the city. Starting there, visits can be made to the sites of scientific interest, such as the Santa Cruz overlook, which counts on a set of trails that make it possible for vistors to appreciate this view. This scientific interest is mixed with the region’s religiosity to the extent that the Overlook represents a manifestation of the local mysticism in the figure of a huge cross which celebrates the passing of the two last centuries.