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About traveltoparana

Live in Brazil, working on tourism since 1994, specialized on incoming tourism. Speak Portuguese, German, English, Spanish and French.

One of the World’s Most Important Coastal Ecosystems: Paraná, Brazil

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

This article was first published at the The Travel Word, who have agreed to its republication here. View the original article on The Travel Word.

Curitiba, the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná, is the biggest city in Southern Brazil. It has the country’s eighth largest urban population, approximately 3.2 million people spread across 26 municipalities. It is also an important cultural, political and economic centre in Brazil.

Curitiba, the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná, is the biggest city in Southern Brazil. It has the country’s eighth largest urban population, approximately 3.2 million people spread across 26 municipalities. It is also an important cultural, political and economic centre in Brazil.

"Vista panorâmica de Curitiba, da Torre daOI/Brasil Telecom"

From Curitiba's Telecom/Ol Tower, there is an unbeatable 360-degree panoramic view. There is also a telephone museum in the lower levels that attracts numerous visitors to this part of Brazil. Photo courtesy of Laura Lott from Flickr/whltravel

Despite its size, Curitiba is considered by some people to be an ‘unknown’ destination, especially when compared to São Paulo, Rio de JaneiroSalvador and other cities in Northeast Brazil. What most travellers do not even imagine is the exuberant flora and fauna found in the city and its surrounding areas, especially the wonderful islands on Paraná’s coastline.

Curitiba is located in an ‘ombrophilous mixed forest’ area also known as Araucaria moist forest, a sub-type of the Mata Atlântica or Atlantic Forest. The city is therefore fittingly famous for its green areas, like the Botanical Gardens and three greenhouses used for the annual production of native and exotic tree species, fruit plants and flower seedlings. Elsewhere there are thick populations of purple and yellow ipês (tabebuia) and Paraná or Brazilian pine (Araucaria angustifolia).

Biodiversity by Rail

To reach Paraná’s coast from Curitiba, you can go by car or take one of the most exciting train tours in the world across the Serra do Mar, one of the best-preserved Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest areas.

The incredible ecosystems of between Curitiba and Parana's Coast glide by during the train trip across the Serra do Mar, one of Brazil's best preserved Atlantic Rainforest areas. Photo courtesy of Carlos Renato Fernandes

Along the 110 kilometres of rail, the train traverses 14 tunnels, 30 bridges, and several mountains and viaducts. One highlight is the Viaduto do Carvalho, a segment of rail suspended on five masonry pillars above a hillside of rock; you almost feel like you are flying. Another unforgettable sight is a 70-metre waterfall called Véu da Noiva, which means ‘bride’s veil.’

Once you arrive in Morretes or Paranaguá, two historical and colonial towns located on the Paraná coast, you aren’t far from amazing landscapes, rich animal and vegetation biodiversity, spectacular bends, canyons, gorges, waterfalls and a lot more. You will also find the piers mooringboats to Superagui National Park and Ilha do Mel State Park and Ecological Station. Both are gorgeous islands offering up-close contact with the environment of the region, each of them with its own characteristics and peculiarities.

Ilha do Mel State Park and Ecological Station

Ilha do Mel is carpeted by the Atlantic Forest and home to two conservation units devoted to preserving the natural environment of the island. The Ecological Station covers approximately 95% of the island, focusing on scientific research and environmental educational. In addition to similar pursuits, the Ilha do Mel State Park is also open to the public for leisure and tourism.

Ilha do Mel, PR: Praia de Fora vista do Farol das Conchas

The Praia de Fora beach catches late afternoon light on the Ilha do Mel, a favourite island and state park on Paraná's Coast of Brazil. There is a strong focus on environmental preservation and education, as well as scientific research, but also public visitation, leisure and tourism. Photo courtesy of Guilherme Mendes Thomaz

The island is a perfect destination for hikers, bikers, surfers, nature lovers and anyone who just wants to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Beautiful beaches, rich flora and fauna, mangroves, lagoons, swamps and other interesting attractions such as the Fortress Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, the Lighthouse Farol das Conchas and Encantadas’s Grotto have turned the paradisiacal isle into one of the most visited places in Southern Brazil.

Superagui National Park

In 1989, environmental activism resulted in the creation of Superagui National Park, 21,400 protected hectares that are considered by the UN as one of the most important coastal ecosystems in the world. The park was also been declared by UNESCO a Biosphere Reserve in 1991 and a World Heritage Site in 1999.

Superagui National Park includes Ilha do Superagui and other small islands on Paraná’s coast such as Ilha das Peças, Ilha de Pinheiro, Ilha do Pinheirinho and some contiguous continental areas like the Rio dos Patos and Canal do Varadouro. Bays, beaches, mangroves and abundant Atlantic Forest compose the Superagui National Park ecosystem.

The lush vegetation of Brazil's Parana Coast, seen here at Superagui National Park, is why the area is considered by the UN as one of the most important coastal ecosystems in the world

The park is the natural habitat of a multitude of animal and plant species, some of them rare or endangered, such as the red-tailed Amazon (Amazona brasiliensis), the broad-snouted caiman(Caiman latirostris), the cougar (Felis concolor), the brown howler monkey (Alouatta fusca) and the Superagui lion tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara). This last one is a monkey species only been found on Superagui Island. Agoutis, deers, wild pigs, toucans, marine birds, jararaca and coral venomous snakes, among other animals, can also be found in the region.

On Ilha do Pinheiro, the roosting habits of the red-tailed Amazons are a strong draw. These endemic birds leave their nests in the morning to fly to the larger islands and then on to the continent, where they spend long daytime hours. They then flock by the hundreds back to the island at the end of the day, a natural spectacle not to be missed.

Another appealing animal is seen on the way to the park are dolphins. Wherever you end up, you are close enough to Baía dos Golfinhos (Dolphins Bay) at Ilha das Peças that you could see many groups of them. A dolphin-watching jaunt on Dolphins Bay is certainly a must-do when you go to Ilha do Mel State Park or Superagui National Park.

Along Paraná's Coast of Brazil, the endangered endemic red-tailed Amazon, or papagaio de cara roxa, perform their spectacular daily migration from Praia Deserta beach to the mainland and back. Photo courtesy of Guilherme Mendes Thomaz

There are also human settlements in the area, like the small fishermen communities on Ilha das Peças and Ilha do Superagui, where they run other businesses, such as pousadas and guesthouses, camping grounds, bars and restaurants. These locals live a life in sync with nature; unlike their counterparts on Ilha do Mel, Superagui locals also have less access to new technologies, which means that traditional costumes and dances, like the fandango(Paraná Coast’s popular dance), are preserved for future generations. Public access to the park is restricted, so you can only visit the communities, the beaches and their immediate surroundings.

The greatest land attraction of Superagui National Park is Praia Deserta, a 38-kilometre-long desert beach that can only be appreciated on foot (a four- to seven-hour hike) or by bicycle (rentals are available in the park).

For more about the wild nature, rich fauna and flora of Brazil’s Paraná Coast, contact Special Paraná, your whl.travel local connection in Curitiba and Paraná’s Coast, also an expert on the area’s accommodation, tours, activities and loads of local hints.

Guilherme Mendes Thomaz

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Ilha do Mel, Paraná: A Paradise in Southern Brazil

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Ilha do Mel, PR: Praia de Fora vista do Farol das Conchas

Ilha do Mel, PR: Praia de Fora vista do Farol das Conchas

Ilha do Mel is  one of the most beautiful travel destinations in Southern Brazil and it is considered a paradise on earth for many people. The island is located on Paraná’s Coast, around 4km from the coastal town of Pontal do Sul (120km from Curitiba, the capital of the brazilian state of Paraná). The island is a perfect place for all kinds of people and there is a lot to see and do.  Ilha do Mel receives lots os people from many countries, mostly responsable travellers, families, couples, teenagers, sufers, hikers, among others.

Boats to Ilha do Mel

The only way to reach the island is by boat, where you have the option to leave from Pontal do Sul (40 minutes), Paranaguá (1h45 minutes) and Morretes (1 hour). Boats leave daily from 8h00 to 17h00 every hour during low season and on summer time (December to March) there are departures every 30 minutes and the last boat leaves at 20h00 (departure times can be changed, so make sure to ask!). There are 2 pieers, Encantadas and Nova Brasília the same to access Praia Grande, Praia do Farol e Praia da Fortaleza, considered the nicest beaches and also where you will find the best surf spots on Paraná’s Coast.

Farol das Conchas, Ilha do Mel

Lighthouse "Farol das Conchas"

There is no streets or roads, just trails to give access to other beaches and places. No cars are allowed on the island, so if you would like to visit the other side of the island, the only way is to walk or biking for couple kilometters. If you prefer, you can also take the boat that goes side to side (Encantadas – Brasília and Brasília – Encantadas).

The island has 5 villages: Fortaleza, Nova Brasília ou Brasília, Farol, Praia Grande e Encantadas where locals live and run their busines, mostly pousadas, bars and restaurants. You can find great  pousadas on Ilha do Mel for every budget! Our staff visited all of them and selected for you the best pousadas to stay for each category (budget, midrange and top end). Click here to see  the pousadas we recomend to you on Ilha do Mel. You can see  complete information about pousadas like: pictures, prices, location and book online easily and safely!

Fortaleza Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres

The main touristic attractions on Ilha do Mel are the lighthouse Farol das Conchas, the fortress Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, Encantada’s Cave and the isthmusthe in Nova Brasília.

For further and detailed information about Ilha do Mel, bookings, tours, weather, pictures, movies, events and more visit www.ilhadomel-travel.com.br or contact us: info@specialparana.com or +55 (41) 3232-1314

 

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Cachaça Gastronomical Festival 2010

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Cachaça_Gastronomical_Festival_2010_curitiba_festival_gastronomico_da_cachaça

Festival Gastronômico da Cachaça

The Municipal Market of Curitiba is promoting from June 27th – 29th of 2010, the Cachaça Paranaense Gastronomical Festival 2010. At the festival, visitors will get the chance to learn how to make special cocktails and dishes made with cachaça, a very popular and typical brazilian drink.  Visitors will also try the cachaça degustation of the best cachaças produced in the Brazilian state of Paraná and other products made of sugar cane, watch lectures with experts on the history of cachaça, news and trends.

The “Parana Cachaças Award 2010” is a award promoted by the Handcrafted Cachaca producers of Parana Association (Aprocapar) and will reward the best cachaça of the festival. The Municipal Supply Department, the Municipal Market of Curitiba traders Association, the Federal University of Parana and Sebrae-PR are coordinating the festival.

The event will be held at the Organic Sector of the Curitiba Municipal Market and it is a great place to visit if you are in Cuirtiba during the event.

Click here to find out more information about the Cachaça Gastronomical Festival 2010!

Municipal Market of Curitiba: Av. Sete de Setembro, 1865 – Curitiba, PR – Brazil.   Phone: +55 (41) 3363.3764

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Vila Velha State Park, Brazil: Curious and Very Interesting Sandstone Formations!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Nowadays, closing a vulnerable area can not be the best way to protect it. This idea has increased between managers and environmentalists – especially when the degradation agents (even unintentional) are the local communities. Opening the protected area for visitors and allowing the tourism activity to explore these areas of environmental protection will cause impacts like garbage, depredation, the habit to take “natural souvenirs” home, etc. However, if the visitation is well planned, developed and managed it can surely bring lots of benefits to the protected area.

Several areas in the Brazilian state of Paraná adopted this idea and are now using the income provided by the tourism activity to preserve the environment and also as an alternative for those who are considered illegal habitants on these areas.

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"The Goblet" is the symbol of Vila Vleha State Park

A clear exemple is the Parque Estadual de Vila Velha or Vila Velha State Park. The park covers 40% of its operational costs revenue with the fee charged to visit the park (R$13 National visitors and R$25 for International visitors). In addition, the local demand leads the public power to invest more in infrastructure, as safe trails and bathrooms. “The tourist demand helps a lot in the financial and economical aspect and at the same time requires more investment. Equipments are required aiming to minimize the impact caused by visitors, especially a place filled of vulnerable elements as Vila Velha State Park”, emphasizes Maria Randall Dalcomune, coordinator of Vila Velha State Park.

VILA VELHA STATE PARK

Vila Velha State Park or Parque Estadual de Vila Velha is located about 90km (55 miles) from Curitiba. The park was created in 1953 and was listed as a State heritage in 1966. The park is famous because of its intriguing, curious and very interesting sandstone formations rise from fields which were at the bottom of an ocean 600 million years ago.

Volcanic eruptions, glaciation, and erosion by wind and rain have created over 20 gigantic shapes of a camel, a sphynx, a goblet and many others. The Goblet is a key element in an indigenous myth which explains the creation of Vila Velha. Seen from a distance or from the air, Vila Velha reminds a medieval town, standing majestic in the Paraná region of Campos Gerais.

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Furnas at Vila Velha State Park, Paraná - Brazil

At Vila Velha State Park you can also visit Furnas, craters which formed as sandstone collapsed and where water accumulates forming beautiful water mirrors. Of the two craters known as Hell’s Cauldrons, the most attractive to visitors is the deeper one, in which a panoramic elevator goes down to a deck above the water mirror.

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The Golden Pond

Golden Pond or Lagoa Dourada is another tourist attraction in the park. A similar process to the creation of the craters gave origin to the Golden Pond or Lagoa Dourada, so called because the incidence of solar rays on it used to create a bright, golden effect, thanks to the presence of mica on the bottom.

You can cover all the attractions in half a day, making Vila Velha State Park a very attractive day trip from Curitiba. Check out the Vila Velha and Furnas tour and book it online now!

The park is open all year, daily (except for Tuesdays) from 8:30 to 15:30h

References:

http://gobrazil.about.com/od/ecotourismadventure/p/vilavelhastpark.htm

http://www.adeturlitoral.com.br/br/?pg=noticia&id=578

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Filed under Articles, Curitiba, Curitiba 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Informations, Pictures, Tours, Travel Tips, Vila Velha State Park

Happy Birthday Curitiba! 50 Reasons to Love Curitiba…

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Curitiba, Brazil - 317 anos

This blogpost was inspired on a special edition reportage by the most traditional newspaper of Paraná, GAZETA DO POVO for the 317th birthday of Curitiba, Brazil.

The newspaper GAZETA DO POVO consulted a selected group of people and personalities born and raised in Curitiba, to list together, 50 aspects, things and reasons to love, like and be proud of this amazing city – today and in all other 364 days of the year…

Click here to see the reportage “50 Reasons to Love Curitiba”


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The Exciting Train Tour from Curitiba to Morretes and Paranaguá

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The exciting train tour from Curitiba to Morretes crosses the Atlantic rainforest most preserved area in Brazil. Gorgeous!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

The train tour from Curitiba to Morretes and Paranaguá that crosses the Serra do Mar is a great tour option for you in the great brazilian state of Paraná, southern Brazil. Once visiting Paraná, you cannot leave without taking this traditional, famous and breathtaking Train Tour from Curitiba to Morretes or Train Tour from Curitiba to Paranagua. The train leaves Curitiba, crosses Serra do Mar (the most preserved area of the brazilian Atlantic rainforest) and ends at the historical cities of Morretes or Paranagua (departures to Paranaguá only on Sundays).

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Beautiful landscapes during the Curitiba train tour to Morretes...

The train tour from Curitiba to Morretes or Paranaguá lasts about 3-4 hours and among its 110 kilomeeters of railway line extension you get to see amazing landscapes, rich animal and vegetation biodiversity, spectacular bends, canyons and gorges, waterfalls and a lot more.

Also, during the trip the train passes trough 14 tunnels, 30 bridges, beyond mountains and viaducts. Prominence for the Viaduto do Carvalho, suspended on five masonry pillars in the hillside of the rock, getting the sensation to be flying. Véu da Noiva, a 70 meters waterfall from Rio Ipiranga is another amazing sightseeing.

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The train passes over 30 bridges...

Getting out in Morretes you may be received by the women association of the city selling products made of  bananas and ginger (typical Morretes fruit and root) like candies, cookies, cachaças or pingas, natural flavored chips, etc. Very yummy!!!

Barreado, Prato Barreado, Morretes, Barreado de Morretes, Barreado Paranaense, Barreado Curitiba, Paranagua

Barreado, typical dish of Paraná!

After the tour, you can stroll and visit other tourist attractions in the historical cities of Morretes and Paranagua. Eating the delicious Barreado for lunch is also a must do! Barreado, a typical dish of the Paraná State, Brazil, is a slow-cooked meat stew prepared in a clay pot whose lid is sealed with a sort of clay made from wheat or cassava flour, hence the name (which means, literally, “muddied”). For more information read the post “Barreado: The Famous Typical Dish of Paraná State!”.

The train has different wagons categories and each class has a different fare.

Classe Econômica/Coach Class: No service

Classe Turística/Touristic Class: Departures at 8h15 daily to Morretes (only on Sundays to Paranaguá); Portuguese speaking guide on board; snacks included. [Buy it online now!!!]

Classe Executiva/Business Class: Wide-windows; bilingual guide (Portuguese/English speaking); drinks and snacks included. [Buy it online now!!!]

Litorina: DOES NOT OPERATE IN PARANÁ ANYMORE!!!

Litorina Luxo: Departures only on weekends and holidays at 9h15; Leather and velvet couches/sofas; bar inside the car; 1st class catering; landscape live transmission in LCD screen; 1st luxury train in Brazil.

More than 100.000 people embark per year in this exciting adventure. The train departure from the Railway Station of Curitiba (Address: Avenida Presidente Afonso Camargo, 330).

Special Paraná Turismo & Eventos, Agência de Turismo Receptivo em Curitiba, Curitiba, Receptivo,If you need any assistance and want to make arrangements for your trip with a local incoming/receptive travel agency, we suggest you to contact:  Special Paraná Turismo & Eventoswww.specialparana.com – (41)3232-1314 (Portuguese, English, German, Spanish and French spoken).

– Take a look and book another train tour options:

Curitiba City Tour & Train Tour

Train tour to Morretes and rafting in Antonina

Train Tour to Morretes and River Fun

Train, Morretes and Sebuí Reserve

Please, share your experiences in this your with us! We love to hear the feedback and also, your information and opinion about the tour is very precious for us and other travellers. Thank you very much!!!

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Filed under About Us, Articles, barreado, Curitiba, Curitiba 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Gastronomy, Informations, Morretes, Paranaguá, Pictures, Restaurants, Tours, Tours in Curitiba, Tours in Morretes, Tours in Paranaguá, Train Tour from Curitiba to Morretes, Train Tour from Curitiba to Paranaguá, Travel Tips, WHL.travel

Curitiba is the first Brazilian city to win the Sustainable Transport Award

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Beto Richa, the mayor of Curitiba received in Washington the Sustainable Transport Award 2010

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

The mayor of Curitiba, Beto Richa received on Tuesday night (12th) in Washington the Sustainable Transport Award 2010 for the implantation of the Linha Verde (Green Line). It is the first time that a Brazilian city wins this award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

“More than an incentive, this recognition extends our responsibilities with the construction of a sustainable society, question that will not be equated without a public transport system characterized for the excellence of its quality” said Richa in his gratefulness speech.

The Sustainable Transport Award, is annually offered to the best public transport projects of the world. It is organized by the United States ITDP and a commission composed of more eight international institutions: the ONU Regional Development Center; Environmental Defense Fund; Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation in Developing Countries; Clean Air Initiatives for Asia; Clean Air Initiatives for Africa; GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit); EMBARQ (The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport) and International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

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The Linha Verde (Green Line), Curitiba - Brazil

“The awarding crown the hard work of some generations of the city and its citizens in the area of urban transport and now the Green Line is a new impulse”, said Richa. “This international recognition proves one more time why Curitiba is the world-wide reference in public transportation and innovative urban solutions.”

The mayor said that the permanent modernization of the public transport continues being a basic commitment in Curitiba and the adoption of new technologies will also extend and improve even more the public transport. “All this without forgetting the concepts associated to public transport, sustainability and life quality.

“With the Green Line, Curitiba continues the tradition of sustainable transport. Curitiba is one of the first and better examples of efficient and plain urban transport focused in the environmental sustainability” said Enrique Penalosa, president of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

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The Linha Verde at night!

“The removal of the old BR-116 highway was a dream for the curitibanos and was cogitated by visionary urban planners already in the 60’s” affirmed Beto Richa. “The Green Line is a reality into the city development and the advance of Curitiba’s public transport system. ”

“The Linha Verde impressed the members of the committee with a really modern transport corridor set up  with traffic lanes, ciclovias, sidewalk and parking, forming a complete avenue”, said Enrique Penalosa, ex-mayor of Bogota that also won the Sustainable Transport Award in 2005.

Curitiba launched the innovation in the public transport. Everyone recognized that the Curitiba city deserved the nomination and the prize” said Kathryn Phillips, specialist in transport politics of the Environmental Defense Fund, in Sacramento, California.

The other nominees cities announced to run for the Sustainable Transport Award 2010 are Ahmedabad (India), Johannesburg (South Africa), Cali (Colombia)and Guadalajara (Mexico). All of them were also awarded for its projects inspired by the exclusive Curitiba’s transport system world-wide known as BRT (Bus of Fast Transit). Click here to see their projects, its strengths and weaknesses.

“Three (Cali, Curitiba and Guadalajara) out of five nominee cities announced are important cities of Latin America, reaffirming the leadership adopted for this region in developing cleaner and more efficient transports systems”, said Sergio Sanchez, executive director of the Clean Air Institute. “These examples must stimulate other places and cities of Latin America to continue constructing more competitive cities, at the same time improving the air quality and reducing gas emission.”

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Linha Verde - The project won the Sustainable Transport Award 2010

The Green Line is the sixth transport corridor of Curitiba and its construction began in 2007. It was implanted in the old BR-116 and transformed into a complete and great traffic area.  Besides ten traffic lanes, the avenue has exclusive BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) lanes, fast lanes, access lanes, parking lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian lanes, sidewalk and a leisure area is being built.

The Green Line allowed the implantation of new bus lines that connects some suburb areas to downtown faster .The first one to be created was Pinheirinho-Centro, reduced  in 17% in the trip time. The line has also the first buses in Latin America to use biodiesel, made from soy base. For more information about it check the post “The First 100% Biodiesel Buses in Latin America Starts to Circulate in Curitiba!”.

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Check out the great tour "Curitiba like locals: Urban Planing"

If you are coming to Curitiba and want to experience and see how the Linha Verde (Green Line) works, check out the tour “Curitiba like locals: Urban Planning”.

Citations:

http://thecityfix.com/2010-sustainable-transport-awards-nominees-announced/

http://www.fabiocampana.com.br/2010/01/richa-recebeu-em-washington-premio-pela-linha-verde/ – Translated by Guilherme Mendes Thomaz

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History and Leisure in Antonina, Paraná – Brazil

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

The city of Antonina, in the Paraná Coast, is famous for its street carnival and its historical architecture, with very old houses, squares, monuments and old churches. In Antonina you will also be able to appreciate the rich local cuisine with typical foods and dishes of the region. Beyond the traditional Barreado (the most famous typical dish of Paraná coast), shrimps, crabs and other sea food can be found in the Municipal Market, that was restored by the Paraná Government in the end of 2007.

The Market is one of the more important tourist attractions of the city, and is located in the Paranaguá bay. The state have spent around R$ 366 thousand in investments to revitalizate the area. The market counts with restaurants, souvenir and handcraft stores, ice cream, snack bar, travel agency and bathrooms for special necessities.

The space still contemplates the traditional fish market. The Antonina’s fish market was inaugurated in 2009 to take care of local fishing with a properly and hygienic space. The pier is also being reformed and it will be concluded soon.

All this makes Antonina a great option of leisure and entertainment in the region, a place of meeting where tourists and locals can exchange experiences and get to know a little more about the history and culture of Paraná tasting and experiencing the good food, natural beauties and tourist attractions of the region.

For more general and tourist information about Antonina you can take a look at www.morretes-antonina.com.br !!!!

Antonina hotels

Antonina tours and activities

Antonina restaurants

Weather in Antonina

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A Green City: Parks in Curitiba, Brazil

This post was first published on the City Parks Blog – http://cityparksblog.org

One of the most well regarded world cities in terms of urban planning is Curitiba, Brazil — a place known for its efficient and innovative bus rapid transit system. But the city is also known for its parks, in particular using them to increase quality of life and act as green infrastructure to protect against floods.

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Tanguá Park, Curitiba

The city has about 50 square meters of parkland per person (i.e. 12 acres per 1000), most of which were created in the last 30 years under the direction of forward-looking urban planner/former mayor Jaime Lerner. The protected land is complemented by compact housing, as the city of 1.5 million has a population density of 10,750 per square mile (which is around the same as Philadelphia or Washington, D.C.).

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Ukranian Memorial - Tingui Park

Roughly 21 million square meters (5,190 acres) are linear parks along rivers and streams that act as buffers between flood-prone rivers and the city. Legislation set aside certain low-lying areas and river basins as special protection and management areas. The city also used a loan to purchase land at a number of critical sites around the city. Engineers built small damns and created new lakes that act as holding basins when flooding occurs.

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Botanical Garden

In effect, these green spaces are giant stormwater facilities, with the lakes as central features. If rains are heavy, the lake rises over the surrounding parks. And Lerner and parks director Hitochi Nakamura made sure to connect places to one another (as mentioned in the below linked video). Together they helped create over 90 miles of new trails within the city, located in southern Brazil about 250 miles southwest of São Paulo.

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Barigui Park

Much has been done to document what’s occurred in Curitiba. A nice 15-minute video (YouTube) by Journeyman Productions gives a good overview, and includes interviews with both Lerner and Nakamura. (The segment on parks starts just after the seven-minute mark.) Another good resource on all of the planning efforts and problems that persist in the city is the book, Urban Renewal, Municipal Revitalization: the Case of Curitiba Brazil.

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