Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Locally Hosted, Private

Food & Wine, European Heritage in Brazil's Tropical South (17 days)

Blumar - Brazil

Curitiba, Brazil To Porto Alegre, Brazil

Valid for Departures Now Through: 27 Jul 2018

Food & Wine, European Heritage in Brazil's Tropical South (17 days)

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Curitiba, Brazil
Nomaa Hotel Breakfast

Welcome to Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná. Your guide will be waiting with a sign after the restricted luggage claim area. You will have the rest of the day to rest from your long flight.

Day 2
Curitiba, Brazil
Nomaa Hotel Breakfast

Curitiba is always a pleasant surprise: a green, well-organized and innovative city. It is the biggest city in South Brazil, with 1,8 million inhabitants and a pulsing metropolitan area. The city is known by its many manicured parks, great restaurants, cultural scene, and quality of life. The city is also a melting pot – its population has roots all over the world, with great presence of descendents from Poland, Ukraine, Germany and Italy. Everything is reflected in the way the city is and local inhabitants think and act. In this full day tour, visitors will have a good view about Curitiba and will learn why the city is considered “Brazil´s model capital city”, having collected international prizes for its urban and social solutions. Some of the highlights: Walking tour in the old downtown area (1 hour); Panoramic tour of Botanical Garden: the beautiful garden is one of Curitiba´s postcards; Oscar Niemeyer Museum (external visit): its nickname is “Eye Museum” due to its modern architecture in eye-shape; Lunch stop in Santa Felicidade, the traditional Italian neighborhood. Italian specialties at Madalosso or Velho Madalosso. Founded 1878, this neighborhood is very traditional and attracts locals and tourists (meal not included); Wire Opera House: the beautiful glass and steel theatre built in a abandoned quarry on a lake (attractions are closed on Mondays. Visitation is not allowed in events day. The opening times are subject to change due to events without prior notice.)

Day 3
Curitiba, Brazil
Nomaa Hotel Breakfast

Dutch Settlement tour (Fri to Sun)- Today you will leave the beaten tracks behind and visit very special places in Paraná. This tour to the Dutch settlements will surely please you. See the changes in the landscapes as you leave Curitiba behind. Campos Gerais region is famous for the agriculture and milk production. It is a very wealth region and has wonderful sceneries. The first stop will be at Parque Histórico de Carambeí, the biggest open air one in Brazil. There you will see the beginning of the settlement, from 1912, when the first Dutch pioneers arrived. The park is very beautiful, with replikas of the first constructions. At Koffiehuis, the park’s café or at Café de Molen you will enjoy lunch (meal not included). The next stop will be Immigration Memorial in Castrolanda. Castrolanda is considered Brazil’s milk capital and the Dutch who arrived here in 1951 contributed very much for this title. The windmill in the memorial is the biggest one outside Holland and is very impressive. You will see a curious music instrument and will be able to go up to the windmill to see how it works (access by stairs). The last stop is the sweetest one. The café Frederika’s has delicious cakes and salty specialties and you can try them on spot or buy to take out (not included). The place is very beautiful and attracts people from the whole region.

Alternative Historical Tour of Lapa - (Tue to Sun) - Travel to the past during a cultural and historical tour in the town of Lapa (70 km from Curitiba)! This charming little town keeps many centennial buildings and histories to tell. The so-called “Town of Heroes” was the place where during 26 days a battle back in 1894 took place. There are many well-kept buildings and museums in the town that tell about the past. Besides that, taste the typical cuisine during a delicious lunch.

Day 4
Curitiba, Brazil
Nomaa Hotel Breakfast

Rail tour to Morretes, boat tour in Antonina and visit to a craft beer producer (Daily) - The single-track line through the Serra do Mar is one of the highlights of Paraná. Opened in 1885, it was an engineering feat of the time. The track starts in Curitiba in 934m (3,064ft) above sea level and ends in Morretes, near the ocean. The distance is only about 70km (43mi), taking 3h30, meandering through luscious tropical vegetation of the Atlantic Rain Forest, numerous breathtaking bridges and tunnels, in a 1960 restored train. This journey is considered one of the most beautiful ones worldwide by many rail enthusiasts! Morretes was a very important place by the end of the 19th century and had 3 river ports to export the mate-tea and sugar-cane produced in the region. In Morretes or Antonina, you will savor a scrumptious Paranaense dish, the “barreado”: a slow-cooked meat and vegetable stew prepared in a clay pot sealed with a dough resembling a clay covering the lid - barreado in Portuguese means muddied. You will also visit Antonina, a lovely colonial harbor town with beautiful views to the bay, where you will enjoy a 40 min boat tour. You will see the mangroves, very important for the fish and crustaceans, and the lovely “Serra do Mar” mountains. Before heading back to Curitiba, a final stop at Porto de Cima Brewey, a small craft beer producer owned by an American-Brazilian couple. Taste the local beer types and see the place that is surrounded by nature. Return to Curitiba by Estrada da Graciosa or by Highway 277 depending on the weather conditions.

Departure at 7:30 am and return about 6:30 pm.

Tourist category wagon (DAILY): Wagon of the intermediary class with on-board service of snacks, 1 water or soda. Luxury wagon (Sat & Sun): Luxury train departs at 9:15 and makes a stop at the Cadeado Sanctuary.

Day 5
Curitiba, Brazil
Governador Celso Ramos, Brazil
Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort Breakfast

Depart early morning from Curitiba to the coast of Santa Catarina. Your first stop will be in Joinville, largest city in the neighboring state, founded in mid 19th century. The history of Joinville is tied to the marriage of the Brazilian Princess Francisca de Bragança, to the French Prince François D'Orleans, Prince of Joinville. He received vast stretches of land in Santa Catarina as a dowry. In 1848, with the dethroning of his father, Louis Phillipe I, king of France, the family money was gone and he decided to create a colony and sell his land in Santa Catarina, originating the city. First immigrants came from Germany, Switzerland and Norway. You will be able to learn more about this history at the Immigration Museum, followed by lunch in a local restaurant (meal not included). Next, you will continue to Blumenau, home of the second largest Oktoberfest in the world, and a center of German traditions in Santa Catarina. You will visit one of the local breweries to understand why their beer festival is so big! Early evening you will arrive at your selected hotel.

Day 6
Governador Celso Ramos, Brazil
Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort Breakfast

Day at leisure to rest and enjoy the beach.

Day 7
Governador Celso Ramos, Brazil
Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort Breakfast

You are only an hour away from the capital of the state, Florianópolis, and today you will have a full day tour of this island city. The capital has one of the highest qualities of life in Brazil, a welcoming people and gorgeous beaches and lagoons. Your tour will include points of interest in downtown such as the metropolitan cathedral, the municipal market, a few government buildings. After lunch in a local restaurant (meal not included), you will have a drive by of Conceição lagoon, some residential neighborhoods and beaches on the Atlantic coast. Late afternoon, a stop at one of Florianopolis famous oyster farms for a tasting.

Day 8
Governador Celso Ramos, Brazil
Bom Jardim Da Serra, Brazil
Rio do Rastro Eco Resort Breakfast

Early departure towards the mountains. Today's road is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. The Serra do Rio do Rastro road zigzags up the mountain side, pass waterfalls and forest covered canyons, and when you reach the top, 1400m high, you might be able to see the ocean, 100km away. Bom Jardim da Serra and São Joaquim, in the highlands of Santa Catarina, are one of the few places in Brazil that actually snows, mainly due to the altitude, but it melts as soon as the sun rises. Here, European immigrants found a climate similar to their home land, ideal for raising cattle and growing grapes for wines. After check-in, you will have the afternoon free.

Day 9
Bom Jardim Da Serra, Brazil
Rio do Rastro Eco Resort Breakfast

You will visit Sanjo Winery, which produces five types of wine, cider and traditional apple juice. Noticing the benefits of favorable climatic condition for winemaking in the mountainous region

of Santa Catarina, Sanjo started planting its vineyards in 2002 with the most advanced technologies yielding high quality fruits. The climate and soil characteristics provide a distinct output, which is expressed in Sanjo wines. The way Sanjo grows grapes is specifically designed to extract maximum quality and preserve the unique characteristics of the fruits from the coldest region of Brazil.

Next a stop at Casa do Vinho in São Joaquim, where you can find rare vintages of Brazilian wines. During the afternoon, visit to Villa Francioni, includes a wine and cheese tasting. Villa Francioni is the result of a passion for wine and the sophistication of the international viticulture. The terroir, the climate, the atmosphere of the wine-cellar, the extreme care, conspire so that each wine has a unique personality. Visitors of the Villa Francioni Vineyard are not only enchanted with the natural beauty that surround them, but the vineyard has also a beautiful Art Gallery, which already received international art pieces of Camille Claudel as well as notorious national artists such as Luciano Martins. Besides being a remarkable scenery, this space seeks to promote the integration of what is beautiful with the pleasures of art and wines. The visit is always accompanied by an enologist or technician of the vineyard. All stages of Villa Francioni’s wine elaboration are covered. The route ends with a delicious tasting session.

Day 10
Bom Jardim Da Serra, Brazil
Cambará, Brazil
Parador Casa da Montanha Ecovillage Breakfast

After breakfast, departure to Cambara do Sul, home of the Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral National Parks, and some of Brazil's most stunning canyons. You will be glamping for the next two nights. Your lodge is the most charming accommodation in the area, surrounded by forests of araucaria pines, only found in this region fo the world. Enjoy the afternoon at your lodge, take a walk by the river or go fishing, you might catch a wild trout.

Day 11
Cambará, Brazil
Parador Casa da Montanha Ecovillage Breakfast

Today you will have a full day tour of Canyons Itaimbezinho and Fortaleza. Itaimbezinho, a gorge covered with lush subtropical vegetation and dotted with waterfalls, located in Aparados da Serra National Park. The canyon is 5km long and 700m deep. Afterwards, you will go to Canyon Fortaleza, in the sister park of Serra Geral. This park only has dirt roads, but the bumpy ride is well worth it once you arrive at Fortaleza. Longer and deeper than Itaimbezinho, this gorge has a breathtaking view that, in clear days, can see as far as the ocean. Waterfalls coming down from the edge of the cliff and forests of ancient plants only found in this region, called Mamoth Leaves or Dinosaur Food, due to the diameter of the leaves that can reach up to 2m.

Day 12
Cambará, Brazil
Gramado, Brazil
Saint Andrews Hotel Breakfast

Transfer from Cambará to Gramado with stop in Canelas. This small town is only 6km away from Gramado, and together with its sister city, attract visitors looking for an European atmosphere, milder climate and great food. The history of Canelas is quite recent, dating back to early 20th century, with the arrival of Azorean immigrants. The town’s lovely architecture resembling German and Alsacean houses, and the Stone Cathedral, are specially pretty during spring when the hydrangeas planted all over the city and by the roads, are in full bloom. For those looking for an extra special treat, a helicopter transfer from Cambara to Canelas, flying over the national parks to see the incredible outline that divides the high plains from the coastal region, with a surprise picnic by the edge of a canyon, finishing in Canela, will surely be a memorable twist. From Canelas to Gramado the transfer is by land.

Day 13
Gramado, Brazil
Saint Andrews Hotel Breakfast, Snack

Morning Colonial Roots tour of Gramado will include stops in places linked to the history of the Gaucho people, those born in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The visits will be at the Centenial House, a preserved wood hut from the early days of colonization; Erva Mate Marcon factory, producers of a typical herb used to make the traditional chimarrão tea; Cavichion Mill, built by italian immigrants; Fiorezze Rural Museum, curated and cared for by decendats of the first Italian families, with artifacts brought from the homeland; and finally, a stop at Dona Zulmira, a master pastry, bread, sweets, cheeses and salami maker, that will invite you to taste the flavors of Gramado. Before heading back to your hotel, a visit to a Prawer chocolate factory, a traditional product of the region.

Day 14
Gramado, Brazil
Bento Gonçalves, Brazil
Spa do Vinho Hotel Breakfast

Morning transfer to Bento Gonçalves, center of wine country in Brazil. In the afternoon, you will have a sparkling wine tour. Wine makers soon realized that white and sparkling wines, called espumantes in Portuguese, adapted greatly to the Gaucho terroir, resulting in high quality products. One of the first to bet in the region was the champagne maker Moet Chandon, creating Chandon do Brasil Winery. Their sparkling wine is consumed all over Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Next you will enter the Domno winery, the branch of Valduga wines for espumantes. You will have the chance to try their rosé, brut and demi-sec varieties (tasting not included). Finally, a tour of the vines in Cave Geisse, one of the best small family run winery of the region, that produces top quality sparkling wines, awarded by many national and international conoisseurs as one of the best in the country. (Entrance fee at wineries are not incldued because they vary to include only entrance or entrance and different tasting packages, to be selected by the passengers).

Day 15
Bento Gonçalves, Brazil
Spa do Vinho Hotel Breakfast, Snack

Today you will visit four different wineries of the region that produces both red and white wines. It took some time for the local wine makers to discover the best grapes adapted to the climate and terroir of the Serras Gauchas, but the small batches they are producing now are sure to impress, and you won't find them outside Brazil. Visits will include Casa Valduga, Salton, Dal Pizzol and Cristofoli wineries. At the end of the day, a sunset picnic among the vines to say goodbye to this enchanting region.

Day 16
Bento Gonçalves, Brazil
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Sheraton Porto Alegre Breakfast

Morning transfer from Bento Gonçalves to Porto Alegre. After check-in and free time for lunch, a sightseeing tour of the capital of the state. Porto Alegre was founded in 1752 by the Azoreans that came to populate the colony. But it was after 1822, with the incentive of the Empire to welcome European immigrants, that the city saw a steady growth with the arrival of Germans, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, making the city a prosperous center, uneasy with the abandonment felt by the distance from the capital of the kingdom, then in Rio. The independence movement of the Farrapos War, crushed by the Imperial army, made the Gauchos a proud people, and this you can see in their public buildings, monuments and parks.

Day 17
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Sheraton Porto Alegre Breakfast

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your connecting flight home.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Adventure
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations
  • Food & Wine
  • Islands & Beaches
  • Romance & Honeymoons
  • Wildlife & Nature

Description

The South of Brazil holds many surprises for the curious traveler. The late European migration, after Brazil’s independence, saw an arrival of families from many countries like Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and as far as Bulgaria and Hungary. What they found was a land of stunning natural beauty, with tropical forest lined beaches, impressive green covered canyons dotted by waterfalls and cut by rivers, and the grass plains of the high plateaus, combined with milder climate and defined seasons, provided the perfect settlement for their new home in the Americas. In this road trip, visitors will discover the warm hospitality of the descendants of these immigrants, who kept, to this day, their European traditions seen in the architecture, delicious food, prized wine making, festivals, music and dance, mixed with the amazing Southern Brazilian landscape.

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Luciano was awesome!

By: vbr722


Reviewed on: 24 Aug 2014

I really enjoyed our Jeep tour of the 4 wonders. It was such an easy way to see all of the main highlights of Rio & I highly recommend doing it. Petropolis was neat but I wish we'd done it on our own since we had no time to enjoy the city. I felt our guide rushed us through the palace & wanted at least one hour to shop in the town.
Travel Advisor:  Courtney Regan