Head south from the famous cities of São Paulo and Rio De Janeiro to reach the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. These areas have some of the best beaches around and offer the most varied climate in Brazil, often receiving snow during winter.
Paraná’s capital offers a great mix of old and new architecture. Check out the modern Wine Opera House, surrounded by a shimmering lake, and the 110-meter-tall Panoramic Tower for unbeatable views over the city. Then, stroll around the Historic District for older houses and churches, before relaxing in the Botanical Garden with native plants, an impressive greenhouse, museum, and cultural center.
|Take a break in the Botanical Garden.
Curitiba is also a fantastic shopping destination. Of the 30 malls in the city, Shopping Estação is one of the biggest, boasting nearly 200 stores, a bowling alley, museums, and restaurants. The city’s main shopping street, meanwhile, is the Rua XV de Novembro, where you’ll also find eateries and street performers.
|Rua XV de Novembro is Curitiba's main shopping street.|
Escape Curitiba to visit Morretes, a town set at the foot of the Serra do Mar mountain range. Take a hike or use the ￼Morretes-Curitiba Railroad to explore the Devil’s Throat Canyon and Véu da Noiva Waterfall.
|The city of Morretes is set at the foot of the Serra do Mar mountain range.
Alternatively, head to the Pico do Marumbi State Park for impressive peaks of more than 1,500 meters.
After wearing yourself out on the mountains, chill out on Paranaguá’s beaches. Baía de Paranaguá is the city’s largest bay and is perfect for spotting dolphins, porpoises, and more than 300 seabird species. It’s also within easy reach of the famous Ilha do Mel, home to well-preserved sandy stretches and forest walking trails.
|Ilha do Mel is easily reachable from the city of Paranaguá.|
Nicknamed Floripa by the locals, Santa Catarina’s capital has a fascinating historic center, with restaurants, bars, and parks. You can also see the new Catedral Metropolitana and the huge Public Market, where you can buy clothes, art, and food.
|Florianópolis is the capital city of Santa Catarina.
The best green space in the city is the State Park of Serra do Tabuleiro, where you’ll find peaceful rivers and impressive waterfalls.
Florianópolis also boasts around 100 beaches, such as the popular Praia Mole, where you can surf and paraglide.
|Florianópolis also boasts around 100 beaches.
The upmarket neighborhood of Jurerê also has its own beach, which is popular among Florianópolis’ rich and famous, thanks to its glamorous nightclubs and fine dining scene.
Head out of Florianópolis to explore more of Santa Catarina’s sandy stretches. Balneário Camboriú, for example, is a busy seaside town with a vibrant nightlife scene along Avenida Atlântica. Check out Central Beach for seven kilometers of calm waters and lots of food stalls, or Praia das Laranjeiras for a great water sports scene.
|Balneário Camboriú is a busy seaside town.
Enjoy more natural beauty along Joinville’s well-maintained walking trails, which stretch through the Atlantic Forest and up the 250-meter-high Morro da Boa. The town of São Joaquim, meanwhile, is located in the Serra Catarinense mountain range. Its best natural highlight is the São Joaquim National Park, home to the 1,822-meter-high Morro da Igreja.
|São Joaquim National Park is a must-see in southern Brazil.|
Rio Grande do Sul’s multicultural capital has a rich history, having been colonized by many European countries. You can learn about its past in more than 50 museums and cultural centers before relaxing in the Farroupilha Park, which hosts live music events and a market every Sunday.
|Porto Alegre is Rio Grande do Sul’s multicultural capital.
The city center’s impressive architecture includes the Renaissance-style Metropolitan Cathedral and the Gasometer, a former power station which is now a fascinating cultural center.
|Make sure to visit Porto Alegre's Metropolitan Cathedral.
After dark, head to Cidade Baixa for nightclubs, bars, and plenty of restaurants serving the classic gaúcho barbecue.
Foodies will love Rio Grande do Sul’s Bavarian-style town of Gramado, home to the Chocolate Museum and plenty of fondue spots.
|Gramado is a Bavarian-style town.
If wine’s what you’re after, head south to the Grape and Wine Route. Visit the Vale dos Vinhedos — one of Brazil’s first wine regions — where you can try the local sparkling wine, take part in cheese tasting sessions, and visit the 52-meter-high Salto Ventoso waterfall.
For more natural beauty, check out the beaches of Torres. Guarita Beach is fairly rugged, with rough waves for experienced surfers.
|Check out the many beaches of Torres.
You’ll find calmer waters at Praia Grande, which is popular among families, and Cal, which is close to Downtown for bars and restaurants.
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|Central||Bolivia - East|
|North||Colombia - The Andes|
|Northeast||Peru - Highlands|
Head south from the famous cities of São Paulo and Rio De Janeiro to reach the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.