He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of Bahia, in 1858.
Transferring to the Rio de Janeiro, was professor of natural history at the Colegio Pedro II.
Some years later, in 1871, was approved in the contest for Professor of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro, defending the thesis "Of the toxic plants in Brazil. "
Remarkable man for his time, he predicted the discovery of antibiotics, in his book "Elements of Botany and General Medicine, " published in 1877. The book, composed of three abundant volumes, was awarded the Imperial government.
In the second volume of the book "Elements of Botany and General Medicine, " Caminhoá refers to the role of fungi in decomposition of organic materials of destruction and decay, thus predicting their role in the production of penicillin.
He died in Rio de Janeiro, on November 28, 1896, at which the "Journal of Coméercio, " deplored the event, says Caminhoá "was one of the most remarkable Brazilian botanists, Author of treaties that have served generations of students and still constitute By the thoroughness and accuracy and attractive way of his presentation, one of the most effective contributions to the certain knowledge of natural sciences, particularly in Brazil. "
He belonged to the Council of the Emperor, the Imperial Academy of Medicine and several other scientific and cultural institutions.