The Ibitipoca State Park is located at the junction of the Mantiquira Mountains, in the southeast of Minas Gerais.
It was a vacant area used as pasture by neighboring farmers. Its grottos were once used as a refuge for fugitive slaves.
Originally called Ibitipoca’s Farm or Big Mountain, the land was the target of a dispute between the State and the Church. In 1932, a chapel of the Senhor Bom Jesus da Serra (Good Jesus Lord of the Mountain) was built at the Peak of the Peon in an attempt to demonstrate its authority.
When the State won the dispute against the church, the construction was abandoned and subsequently destroyed by a lightning strike in 1940. The ruins are still there.
The Image of the Good Jesus was taken to a nearby village called Mogol. A madman stole the church bell and threw it off a cliff. The bell landed and to this day remains on the Reserva do Ibitipoca at the Farm Patuá.
The current state Secretary of the Environment, Dr. José Carlos de Carvalho, a major enthusiast of the region, was responsible for the official creation of the Ibitipoca State Park on July 4, 1973.
With 1488 hectares, it is one of the smallest conservation areas in the state, but also the third most visited protected area in the country because of its natural beauty.