Getting there and around this bio-diverse and environmentally rich state, plus the best places for families to stay, eat, and find a tour in Southern Brazil.
rom Curitiba to the Atlantic coast, here's a small sample of Brazilian diversity and a look at hotel, restaurant and touring information for a wonderful country.
Grand Hotel Rayon
Rua Visconde de Nacar, 1424
Phone: (041) 2108-1100
Vernon Palace Hotel
AV. Presidente Affonso Camargo, 455
Phone: (041) 362-1222
Porto Real Palace Hotel
Rua Visconde do Rio Branco, 85
Phone (041) 462-1344 – Fax: (041) 462-1344
Pousada Dona Siroba
Endereço: Estrada da Graciosa
Phone: (041) 462-2006 Fax:(041) 462-1522
Serra do Mar (Mountain range at Atlantic Forest):
Mata Atlântica Park Hotel
Rodovia Alexandra – Matinhos (PR-508) – Km 12
Phone: (041) 457-1161 Fax: (041) 978- 3997
It offers organized activities, such as excursions to Morretes, Antonina, Paranaguá and Ilha do Mel, and has ecological trails, a chapel, sugar mill with water wheel, alembic, flour house, stables, lakes for fishing, etc.
Ilha do Mel:
Parque Hotel Ilha do Mel
Praia da Fortaleza
Phone: (041) 426-8075 or (041) 234-3465
Pousada das Meninas
Praia do Farol
Phone: (041) 426-8023
When & How To Go
Southern Brazil can get cold and very humid during the winter (July, August), and rainy in March, but the weather is good the rest of the year. Curitiba has an international airport, and many airlines operate between the city and São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other major cities. The three major Brazilian Airlines offer an Airpass to visit the whole country, but you must consider the long distances.
Important: The Airpass, no matter which airline you are flying, has to be purchased in your home country. Should you fly with a company other than the three Brazilians, be sure your carrier maintains an agreement with Airpass. It gives you four flight coupons for about US$500. Extra coupons (up to 4) cost US$120 each. It is valid for up to 21 days from the date of your first national flight. Contact VARIG Brazilian Airlines ( 0800/727-1076) or visit www.varig.com.br for more information.
Trains are another option. One of the most pleasant ways to travel through the Serra do Mar from Curitiba to Paranaguá and see the Atlantic Forest is by train. The most comfortable option is the Litorina. It has passenger service and air conditioning, but only operates during weekends and holidays. Conventional trains run from Tuesday through Sunday, departing at 8AM and returning at 4PM. Roundtrip tickets vary from R$ 28 to R$ 35 (approximately US$14 and US$17.50) and from R$ 18 to R$25 (approximately US$9 and US$12.50). All trains depart from Rodoferroviária de Curitiba. For more information call Serra Verde Express. (0055) 41 3888-3400
Buses depart regularly for Paranaguá from the same station. A one-way ticket costs R$ 7,35 (approximately US$3.50).
If you want more freedom to explore the route and the historic cities on the way to Paranaguá, the best option is to rent a car at the airport and drive The Road of Graciosa. Driving in Brazil is an experience; make sure to bring a map along.
Reach the beautiful Ilha do Mel (Island of Honey) by boat. The journey takes around 45 minutes. Boats depart from Paranaguá, but there is more frequent and faster service departing from the nearby Pontal do Sul (right in front of the island). The island has many options of Bed and Breakfasts and small but comfortable pousadas and camping.
Brazil Information Resources
For more information about hotels and accommodation that I haven't visited personally, visit the Official Hotel Guide of Paraná. For more general information (in English), visit the Official State of Paraná Tourism Site at www.pr.gov.br/turismo.
In Curitiba, contact Europa Travel Agência de Viagens e Turismo Ltda (Av. Cândido Lopes, 352: (041) 322-1232 – Fax: (041) 224-4397) for a local tour. If you are looking for adventure, Ixion Geo Agência de Viagem e Turismo Ltda. (Rua Piauí, 877 – (041) 332-1446 – Fax: (041) 332-1446) can take you to breathtaking trips to Guaraqueçaba at the coast, the Serra do Mar or The Guartelá Canyon.
OCT Viagens e Turismo Ltda. (Rua Emiliano Perneta, 297 – 2nd flr – Sl. 22 – (041) 224-0011 – Fax: (041) 224-0012) offers a panoramic flight above Curitiba, the mountain ranges and forests of the Serra do Mar that will show the kids a big picture of the region.
Região Sul Agência de Viagens e Turismo (Av. Nossa Senhora Aparecida, 381 – 1st flr- Cj. 13 – (041) 243-6117 – Fax: (041) 243-6117) is a good option for ecological tours of the coast and the island Ilha do Mel.
The Italian neighborhood of Santa Felicidade in Curitiba is packed with restaurants. Note that the Italian cuisine here has a distinct Brazilian touch that is worth tasting. These are my favorites: Restaurante Madalosso (Av. Manoel Ribas, 5875 – (041) 372-2121) is the most traditional.
Southern Brazil is famous for its Barbecue houses (Churrascarias), where you can taste different kinds of meat for a very good price. Try Devon's Baby Beef Carnes Nobres (Rua Lysimaco Ferreira da Costa, 460 – (041) 254-7573), (041) 254- 7073.
Don't leave the State of Paraná without trying its typical dish: Barreado. Many Curitibanos drive down the Road of Graciosa to Morretes only to eat at panoramic restaurants such as Restaurante Panorâmico Ponte Velha (Rua Almirante Frederico de Oliveira, 13 – (041) 462-1674). Follow them and you won't regret it.
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