Category Archives: Pictures

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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Filed under Ilha do Mel, Morretes, Paranaguá, Pictures, Superagui Island, Tours, Tours in Curitiba, Tours in Morretes, Tours in Paranaguá, Train Tour from Curitiba to Morretes, Train Tour from Curitiba to Paranaguá, Travel Tips

SEGWAY CURITIBA: Experience Curitiba in an innovative and fun way!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

SEGWAY TOURS CURITIBA? WHAT?

You might have seen a Segway but just don’t know the name of that interesting two-wheeled vehicle that you saw…

Segway is an innovative self-balancing personal and electrical transportation device, perfect to be used on pedestrian sidewalks and pathways. It was created in 2001 in the United States and it is the first self-balancing  and zero emissions personal transportation vehicle. Yes, it doesn’t have any accelerator or brakes! The acceleration responds to the conductor’s movements and inclinations, simply leaning forward or backwards, very easy and safe to use/ride. Segway can reach speeds of 20 km/h (12 mph) and can only be used by people older than 12 years old that weights between 45 kg (100 lbs) and 118 kg (260 lbs).

Segway Tours Curitiba

Segway Tours Curitiba

Segways are ecologically correct, does not pollute the air and it is not noisy! The two-wheeled has been transforming the way people get around and stroll around the cities…

The tourism industry have discovered its potential and Segway Tours have been launched in several main travel destinations around the World. They are very exciting, fun, safe and give you the opportunity to experience the destination in a  new way!

Considering this, Special Paraná (whl.travel‘s local connection in Curitiba and Paraná Coast)launched few weeks ago SEGWAY TOURS CURITIBA, the first Segway Tour in Brazil with daily departures!

It is very very easy to ride a Segway! Even though, the tour guides will give you a short training and orientation session before the tour for about 20 minutes, so you can try and practice until you feel yourself confident and ready to glide through Curitiba riding your Segway. It is so easy that I guarantee that you will be ready within 5 minutes!!!

After that, the guide  will lead you on the tours where you will get to see Curitiba in a different perspective! The groups are small (5 people) and fun is guaranteed either on sunny or rainy days, during the day or at night!

Segway Tours Curitiba

The acceleration responds to the conductor’s movements and inclinations, simply leaning forward or backwards, very easy and safe to use

Special Paraná offers 4 Segway tour options ! Check them out:

CENTRAL BASIC ROUTE

This is the main and most popular tour. Taking the Central Basic Segway Tour you get to see several interesting places in downtown and main tourist attractions of the historical center of Curitiba like: Tiradentes Square, Cathedral, Saint Francis Ruins, Belvedere, Largo da Ordem (Old Town), Paço da Liberdade (former city hall), Generoso Marques Square, Palácio Avenida, Rua das Flores (pedestrian street), Boca Maldita, Rui Barbosa Square, Zacarias Square and Osório Square.

Price per Person:  R$ 80 (Monday to Friday) and R$ 100 (Saturday, Sunday and Holidays)

Duration:  1 hour 30 minutes (approximately)

Departures:  9h; 11h; 14h; 16h30 and 18h30

For bookings and further details, click here.

OSCAR NIEMEYER MUSEUM AND POPE’S WOODS ROUTE

This is an excellent tour option for you that want to enjoy and ride Segway for more time and also get to see other famous tourist places in Curitiba, the wonderful Oscar Niemeyer Museum and the relaxing Pope Woods. In this route, you will ride your Segway on bicycle paths most of the time and see the following points of interest: Tiradentes Square, Cathedral, Osório Square, Rui Barbosa Square, Rua das Flores (pedestrian street), Santos Andrade Square, Federal University of Paraná, Guaíra Theatre, Passeio Público, cycle path, Pope Woods and Oscar Niemeyer Museum.

Price per Person:  R$ 120 (Monday to Friday) and R$ 150 (Saturday, Sunday and Holidays)

Duration:  2 hours 30 minutes (approximately)

Departures:  Advanced bookings indeed.

For bookings and further details, click here.

HISTORICAL DOWNTOWN ROUTE

In this tour you will pass by most tourist attractions in Curitiba downtown and historical centre, like: Tiradentes Square, Cathedral, Saint Francis Ruins, Belvedere, Largo da Ordem (Old Town), Paço da Liberdade (former city hall), Generoso Marques Square, Palácio Avenida, Rua das Flores (pedestrian street), Boca Maldita, Rui Barbosa Square, Zacarias Square, Osório Square, Santos Andrade Square, Federal University of Paraná, Guaíra Theatre, Passeio Público, Praça 19 de Dezembro Square, Riachuelo Street and Solar do Barão.

Price per Person:  R$ 120 (Monday to Friday) and R$ 150 (Saturday, Sunday and Holidays)

Duration:  2 hours 30 minutes (approximately)

Departures:  Advanced bookings indeed.

For bookings and further details, click here.

DOWNTOWN AND RAILROAD MUSEUM ROUTE

This is an alternative route for when it is not possible to pass by the historical centre of Curitiba in reason of  the events and cultural celebrations that  take place in the local. The attractions visited in this tour are: Passeio Público, Rua Riachuelo, Santos Andrade Square, Guaíra Theatre, Federal University of Paraná, Rua Barão do Rio Branco, Eufrásio Corrêa Square, Train and Railway Museum, Carlos Gomes Square, Rua das Flores (pedestrian street), Osório Square, Rui Barbosa Square, Tiradentes Square, Generoso Marques Square and Paço da Liberdade (former city hall).

Price per Person:  R$ 120 (Monday to Friday) and R$ 150 (Saturday, Sunday and Holidays)

Duration:  2 hours 30 minutes (approximately)

Departures:  Advanced bookings indeed.

For bookings and further details, click here

Tours departure from Crowne Plaza Curitiba Hotel. The hotel is located on Rua Presidente Carlos Cavalcanti, 600 –  downtown, really close to Passeio Público and Largo da Ordem, the historical center.

Come to experience this new tour that Special Paraná exclusively brought to Brazil! Book your Segway Tour Curitiba now and get to know and experience Curitiba in a different way!

You can also contact Special Paraná at +55 (41) 3232-1314 or  www.segwaycuritiba.com.br/en

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Filed under Curitiba, Pictures, Tours, Tours in Curitiba

Cachaça Gastronomical Festival 2010

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

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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.

Lagoa-Dourada-Parque-Estadual-de-Vila-Velha-State-Park-Golden-Pond

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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Inspiring Curitiba: 20 photos that will make you want to visit Curitiba!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

A picture sometimes can tell more than 1.850.775.594 words! Considering this, we have selected 20 pictures to show a little bit of our amazing and famous Curitiba… and show you why you should put Curitiba, Brazil on your travel list!

1. Jardim Botânico | Botanical Garden:

Inspired on the French gardens, the Botanical Garden of Curitiba is a famous postcard-picture landmark of Curitiba. The gorgeous greenhouse attracts many tourists and researchers from all over the world due to its exotic and wide collection of tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna. Gorgeous! It is Curitiba’s main sightseeing place!

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Jardim Botânico - Curitiba, Brazil

2.  Museu Oscar Niemeyer | Oscar Niemeyer Museum

The amazing Oscar Niemeyer Museum is definitely another famous postcard of Curitiba. Designed by the famous and globally recognized Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Its fabulous “eye” shaped architecture, beauty, size and collors will get you really impressed!

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Oscar Niemeyer Museum (MON) - Curitiba, Brazil

3. Universidade Federal do Paraná | Federal University of Paraná

The Universidade Federal do Paraná or Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) was established in 1912 and it is the oldest brazilian university. It is considered one of the best and hardest universities to get accepted in Brazil.  In the picture bellow you can see the historical building, the official symbol of Curitiba, located just in front of the beautiful Santos Andrade Square.

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UFPR - Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil

4. Memorial Ucrâniano no Parque Tingui | Ukrainian Memorial at Tingui Park

Ukrainian Memorial is a very interesting and beautiful place to visit in Curitiba. Located at Tingui Park, the Ukrainian Memorial was built in honor to the important Ukranian heritage in our State. The church of the memorial is a replica of a church that exists in the countryside of Paraná State and also holds an interesting pêssankas, images, pictures, icons exhibition.

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Ukrainian Memoria at Tingui Park - Curitiba, Brazil

5. Paço da Liberdade

Paço da Liberdade is a lovely place to stroll and visit in Curitiba. The beutiful building with neoclassical details and art-nouveau drawings was built in 1916 and used to be the headquarters of the old Curitiba City Hall and Paranense Museum. Its was revitalizated in 2009 and all the details were carefully preserved. The place currently belongs to SESC and it is  a great cultural, musical and artistic place counting with library, bookstore, a charming coffee shop, movie theater, music studio, computer lab, exhibition rooms, etc.

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Paço da Liberdade - Curitiba, Brazil

6. Parque Tanguá | Tanguá Park

One of the best and most famous parks in Curitiba, Tanguá Park was built over two disabled quarries and covers a total area of 235 thousand square meters. The park is also part of the project to guarantee the preservation of the Barigui River. Besides the lakes, its artificial waterfall and tunnel attracts many visitors and it is possible to across it by foot or boat. The park has also a harbor, bike lane, race track, snack bar and parking lots. Go to Tanguá Park in the late afternoon to enjoy a amzing sundown.

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Tanguá Park - Curitiba, Brazil

7. Rua das Flores – Calçadão da XV de Novembro | Flower’s Street – Pedestrian Street

Flower’s Street is the name of the pedestrian area of the XV de Novembro street  and Luiz Xavier Avenue, located in Curitiba downtown. Inaugurated in 1972, it was the first pedestrian street in Brazil and it is characterized by its centennial buildings and houses, shops, banks, popular restaurants, tourist bars and flowerbeds in its entire extension.  Flowers Street or Rua das Flores  is also a street artists’ stage, as clowns that play, make fun and interact with the pedestrians; musicians; man-statues; plastic artists; hippies selling their handcrafts; poets; etc. A unique and original spot in Curitiba

flowers street, rua das flores, pedestrian Street, Calcadao da XV, Curitiba, Brazil

Calçadão da XV de Novembro - Curitiba, Brazil

8. Catedral Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz de Curitiba | Curitiba’s  Cathedral

Located at Tiradentes Square,  the beautiful Catedral Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz of Curitiba was built from 1876 to 1893, in neo-Gothic style, inspired in the Igreja da Sé of Barcelona. The Cathedral is dedicated and has an image of Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais, Saint Patron of Curitiba. It was founded on March 29th, 1693 and it is considered the most important construction on Tiradentes Square.

Catedral Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz de Curitiba, Catedral de Curitiba, Curitiba's Cathedral

Catedral Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz de Curitiba

9. Largo da Ordem | Historical Center

The old town of Curitiba, also known as Largo da Ordem or Historical Center used to be an area of intense commerce of the city. Nowadays, the area is more known by being an historical, cultural and artistic area of the city because of its old architecture of its houses, buildings and churches, such as historical monuments, artistic panels, cultural places, art galleries, bars, restaurants, etc. Every Sunday, the famous Handcraft Market or “Feirinha do Largo da Ordem” attracts a lot of locals and tourists to Largo da Ordem! Very exciting!

Largo da Ordem, historical center, old town, curitiba, parana, brazil

Largo da Ordem - Curitiba, Brazil

10. Feirinha do Largo da Ordem |  Handcraft Market of Curitiba

The traditional and lively Handcraft Market or “Feirinha do Largo da Ordem” is held here every Sunday from 10h to 14h and it is a meeting point for locals and tourists. It was created in 1973 and is currently the second largest craft fair in Brazil! At the feirinha you can find and buy so many cool, different and interesting stuff that are made and sold by over 1,350 artisans and sellers. It is the best place to buy souvenirs in Curitiba. Do not miss it!!!

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Feirinha do Lardo da Ordem (Handcraft Market) - Curitiba, Brazil

11. Ópera de Arame | Wire Opera House

The Wire Opera House was inaugurated in 1992, in the Quarries Park, close to the Cultural Space Paulo Leminski, the Wire Opera impresses visitors for its tubular structure and transparent polycarbonate roof construction. It has capacity for 1,640 spectators and a 400m² stage to host artistic and cultural presentations. The external area of the Wire Opera is also spectacular. In the place of an old quarry, visitors can appreciate the native forest that surrounds it, lake with many fishes, several species of birds and a of 10 meters cascade. If you have the opportunity to watch a play or a concert, you must do it!

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Wire Opera House - Curitiba, Brazil

12. Parque Barigui | Barigui Park

Created in 1972, Barigui Park is one of the largest and oldest parks of Curitiba. The park received the same name of the river that was dammed to form the lake of the park. Several species of wild animals live in the park, as birds, capybaras and small rodents. Lots of people frequent the park, especially before and after work on weekdays, and along the whole day and beginning of the night, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The park also offers an excellent infrastructure counting with cooper track around the lake and other parts, walking and running lanes, outdoors equipments for gymnastics, barbecue grill kiosks, basketball, soccer and volleyball courts, exclusive lanes for bicycles and skateboards, bars, restaurants, etc. On beautiful and sunny days, Barigui Park is a great leisure and entertainment option for many tourists and locals, mainly the young ones.

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Barigui Park - Curitiba, Brazil

13. Torre Panorâmica da OI/Brasil Telecom | Brasil Telecom/OI’s panoramic tower

Built in 1991 by the state-owned company Telepar,  the tower belongs now to Oi. The tower has 109,5 meters of height and it is the only Brazilian telephony tower with a observatory open for visitors. From the observatory you can have a spectacular 360º panoramic view of Curitiba. The telephone museum tells the history of the telephony is very interesting and also attracts lots of visitors to the tower. Great place to visit in Curitiba!

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Basil Telecom/Oi's Panomic Tower - Curitiba, Brazil

14. Bosque Alemão | German Woods

A tribute to the German immigrants, the German Woods or Bosque Alemão covers an area of 38,000 sq m and it is a delight for children, who particularly enjoy the Hansel and Gretel House and the Philosopher’s Tower. From there you can get a fantastic view of Curitiba. The German Woods also house a wooden neogothic church, dating back to 1933, with a concert hall aptly called Bach’s Oratorium. The park has other attractions that include a library for children and a German Poetry Square with a replica of an old German building called the Casa Mil.

Bosque Alemão, Portal Alemão, German Woods, Curitiba photos, Curitiba parks, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

German Woods - Curitiba, Brazil

15.  Bosque do Papa | Pope Woods

One of the most important Curitiba parks, Bosque do Papa or Pope Woods is a beautiful park to stroll and relax in Curitiba! The park was created in honor to Pope John Paul II and to the great Polish community in Curitiba and it bases the Polish Immigration Memorial. There are seven original wood houses in the center of the forest illustrates the architecture and way of living of the Polish immigrants of Curitiba. Besides a statue of Pope John Paul II, the park has also a craft store, Polish coffee shop (delicious cakes!), Polish houses and still offers a vast green and arborous area, trails, playground and bike lanes.

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Pope Woods - Curitiba, Brazil

16. Praça Tiradentes | Tiradentes Square

Tiradentes Square is the oldest one in town! It is considered the point where Curitiba was born and started its development. This famous square was remodelled many times over the years, but since its last reformulation in 2008  partially recovered its history, renewing its walks and benches. A new glass floor gave an extra charm to the square!

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Tiradentes Square - Curitiba, Brazil

17. Passeio Público

Passeio Público was the first public park created in Curitiba, on May 2nd of 1886. Its a great ileisure area containing lakes, bridges, small and a big green area in the middle of the city. The park also houses many especies of birds and monkeys.  Its gate is a copy of the Paris Dog Cemetery gate and give even more charm and beauty to the park. Great place to see and stroll in Curitiba!

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Passeio Público - Curitiba, Brazil

18. Transporte Público de Curitiba | Curitiba’s Public Transportation System

Curitiba developed a non subsidized, private owned, public transport system called BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) that today is a model internationally recognized. Insightful, long term planning with several innovative solutions has provided the citizens with an effective system that gives priority to public instead of private transport. Besides being model in public transportation and urban planning, Curitiba is also considered the ecologic capital of Brazil.

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Curitiba's Public Transportation System

19. Universidade Livre do Meio Ambiente

In the middle of the green Bosque Zaninelly, the criation of the Free University on the Environment or Universidade Livre do Meio Ambiente – UNILIVRE made Curitiba to be recognized as the first city in the world to have a special place for studies and wide dissemination of environmental and ecological knowledge to the public. The architectonic project of the university is VERY interesting!!!

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UNILIVRE - Curitiba, Brazil

20. Teatro Paiol | Paiol Theater

Built in 1906, the old  gunpowder storeroom of Curitiba was transformed into a charming theater with capacity for 225 people. The Paiol Theater was inaugurated and honored for Toquinho and Vinícius of Moraes, in 1971, with the music “Paiol de Pólvora”.

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Paiol Theater - Curitiba, Brazil

Click here for further information about these tourist attractions! If you are coming to Curitiba, we suggest you to contact whl.travel’s local connection in Curitiba, a local tour operator and accommodation provider commited with sustainable tourism. Check out their Curitiba touristic portal in English

We would love to hear about your experience in Curitiba ! Share with us! Please leave a comment 🙂

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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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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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Barreado: The Famous Typical Dish of Paraná State!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Barreado, a typical dish of Parana 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”).

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Barreado: the famous and tasty typical dish of Paraná State!

Morretes, Antonina and Paranagua, in Parana, dispute the title of  “who invented the Barreado”. In interviews to the Brazilian online magazine Globo Rural, locals from Morretes attribute the origin of Barreado to indigenous people, Paranaguá residents say it was created by the tropeiros, or donkey caravan tradesmen and in Antonina it is said that the famous dish was locally created during Carnival, as a hearty food that could be prepared slowly while everyone was partying.

The cooker is covered and then “barreada” (sealed) with a paste of ash and farinha (manioc flour), and then slowly cooked in a wood-fired oven for 12 to 18 hours.

Traditionally, Barreado is made of beef, bacon, tomatoes, onion, cumin and other spices, placed in successive layers in a large clay urn, covered and then “barreada” (sealed) with a paste of ash and farinha (manioc flour), and then slowly cooked in a wood-fired oven for 12 to 18 hours. This process which, in the past, was carried out in a hole in the ground, nowadays pressure cookers and gas or electric ovens are sometimes used (trough not by better restaurants).

The result is a perfect combination of flavors...

Barreado is served over cassava flour, with round banana slices and pepper. The meat juices are mixed with the flour to make pirão – a kind of gravy. To drink, Caçhaça is  traditionally served with barreado, resulting in a great and tasty combination.

In Paraná’s costal towns (specially Paranagua, Morretes and Antonina), Barreado in the region is equivalent of feijoada and it appears on most of restaurants’s menus. Though tasty enough, barreado is very heavy and a rather more appropriate dish for a chilly winter evening than for summer and Carnaval, as originally intended.

WHERE TO EAT THE BEST BARREADO:

The best restaurant to taste this delicious typical dish of Parana’s coast is at the restaurant “Casa do Barreado”, famous for its award-winning Barreado. The restaurant located in Paranaguá was voted Best of Parana by Guia Quatro Rodas for the tenth consecutive year. The restaurant opens every weekend and during weekdays, only by reservations!

Casa do Barreado – (41) 3423-1830 . Address : Rua José Antônio Cruz, 78 – Ponta do Caju
Paranaguá, PR – Brazil
Opening hours : 11:00h to 15:00h

WHERE ELSE TO EAT BARREADO:

MORRETES: Restaurante Ponte Velha (Rua Almirante Frederico de Oliveira, 13 – Phone: 41 3462-1674) [more restaurants in Morretes].

ANTONINA: Restaurante Buganvil’s (Rua Vale Porto, 10 – Phone: 41 3432-1434) [more restaurants in Antonina].

CURITIBA: Restaurante-Escola do Senac, every Thursday at lunch only! (Rua André de Barros, 750 – Centro / Phones: 41 3219-4853 , 3219-4854  or 3219-4855)   ) [more restaurants in Curitiba].

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Inspiring Ilha do Mel: 10 Photos That Make You Want To Go To Ilha do Mel

1. Ilha do Mel
Makes you want to explore and enjoy every spot of this wonderful island.
by Priscilla Forone

by Priscilla Forone

2. Fisherman
Makes you want to experience and see the locals fishing. After that, you will taste the delicious local cuisine.
Taken by Priscilla Forone

Taken by Priscilla Forone

3. Surfing
Honey Island has beaches for every taste. The island got the best beaches and spots for surfing in Paraná coast!
by Priscilla Forone

by Priscilla Forone

4. Cave Encantadas
This cave is a place of legends, where beautiful mermaids attract men to the cave and never return home.
http://www.ilhadomel-travel.com.br/destination_guide#_511168409
5. Dolphins
The island has wildlife in abundance and in its natural habitat
6. The lighthouse
Makes you want to hike until the top of the hill, at the base of the lighthouse, and get a spetacular view of various beaches and also the point where the island separates
by Priscilla Forone

by Priscilla Forone

7.  Sunset
Sunset at Honey Island is amazing! It is worth to walk until the top of the hill to the base of the lighthouse to watch it.
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8. Fortaleza Fortress
It is the only fortress in the Paraná cost. It was built in 1769 to protect the Paranaguá bay from invasions and from here you will have an impressive view over the bay!
9. Beaches
There are miles of quiet white sands beaches to enjoy and relax on…
10. Tracks
Automobiles are not allowed in Honey Island. There are so many tracks and paths connecting the island and leading to beutiful beaches and places.

If you have more pictures, you can send to us and we will post them here as well.

Click here to book accommodation and tours at Honey Island / Ilha do Mel.

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