Tag Archives: Travel Tips

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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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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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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Surprise Yourself in Curitiba, Brazil

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Thinking about Brazil, Curitiba is not the first thing that comes in mind. The city has been surprising travelers from all over the world and is becoming popular over the years. Once in Brazil you can’t leave without going to Curitiba.

Ilha do Mel Farol

Ilha do Mel's light house

Curitiba is the capital city of Parana State, located 1 hour and 20 minutes from Rio de Janeiro and only 30 minutes from São Paulo by plane. The city is considered one of the best places to live in Brazil because of its great infrastructure. Doesn’t matter what your looking for, Curitiba is an awesome city for everyone and has a lot of interesting things to do/see like famous parks, museums, night clubs, restaurants, bars, soccer stadiums, squares, buildings, etc. There are also a lot of touristic attractions around the city like famous islands (Ilha do Mel and Ilha de Superagui), historic cities like Morretes, Antonina, Castro, etc.

First of all, Curitiba has a really fun and exciting nightlife, with plenty options of bars, nightclubs, pubs where the partying doesn’t stop until 5 or 6 in the morning. This added to the Brazilian partying and entertainer spirit, guarantee the night. Curitiba has also great options of restaurants that serve really good food and most of them are cheap. Besides the Brazilian stake houses as known as “Churrascarias” and typical Brazilian restaurants, the gastronomy in Curitiba is a synthesis of habits and cultures. Italian, Arabs, Poles, Germans, Portuguese, Japanese among many other, brought their habits, traditions and culinary to the city. However, since you’re in Brazil you must prove the delicious local culinary.

logo curitiba cidade sede fifa world cup 2014The city has three soccer teams. Atlético Paranaense plays the 1st division of the Brazilian Championship and Coritiba and Paraná play on the 2nd division. Watching soccer games is a really interesting and exciting experience in Curitiba, especially at Atlético’s stadium called “Arena da Baixada”. The stadium was selected to be one of the headquarters stadiums for the FIFA World Cup in 2014. At the stadiums you can feel the energy and passion that the Brazilians have for soccer and their teams.

Curitiba has so many tourist attractions. However, the highlights are Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden), the handcrafts market at Largo da Ordem, Oscar Niemeyer MuseumÓpera de Arame (Wire Opera House), Largo da Ordem (Old town), Tanguá Park, Barigui Park, Brasil Telecom/OI’s Tower, Passeio Público and the historical building of the Federal University of Paraná.

JardimnBotanico Curitiba Botanical Garden

The Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden of Curitiba) is modeled like the French Gardens is a great place to go stroll and relax. The parks are also a great option for that and locals enjoy a lot the green areas of Curitiba .

Feirinha do Largo da OrdemThe Feirinha do Largo da Ordem (handcrafts market) happens every Sunday at Largo da Ordem. At the market you can find local handcrafts and all kinds of food. Most tourists really like the fresh pastéis, caldo-de-cana (sugar cane juice), bolinho de bacalhau.

Museu Oscar Niemeyer - Oscar Niemeyer MuseumThere are always exhibitions of famous artists at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum . The museum was drawn by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and it’s architecture impress everyone that pass by the local. On the field behind the museum, on Saturday the kids practice football (yes…American footbal, NOT soccer) and on Sunday a lot of people go to the field to play with their dogs.

Visit the Torre da OI/Brasil Telecom is worthwhile. The tower has more than 100 meters , where you can have an amazing panoramic view of Curitiba.

UFPR - Universidade Federal do Paraná

At Praça Santos Andrade, located in downtown you can check the Teatro Guaíra and the beautiful building of the Federal University of Paraná , the first university in Brazil.

The Tourism Line in Curitiba is a great option for tourists. For R$20.00, the bus line pass by the main tourist attractions in Curitiba and gives you the option to stop off at three points of your choice. The buses circulate every 30 minutes, in an approximately 45 km trip that takes around 2.5 hours to complete.
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The famous Litorina train tour from Curitiba to Morretes...

Once in Curitiba , the train tour to Morretes becomes a “must do”. The construction of the railroad in 1880 was one of the big challenges of that time for engineers. The track starts in Curitiba at 934 m above the sea and goes until Morretes just a few meters above sea level. It is one of the most impressive train rides of the world because of the tropical vegetation of the Atlantic Rain Forest , breathtaking bridges, turns and gorgeous landscapes.

This is just a really short description about Curitiba. For more information web sites like Descubra Curitiba and Viaje Curitiba are really helpful to tourists, however, they are in Portuguese. For english speakers  here you can find general and complete information in english about Curitiba and surrounding areas.

From:  Traveler article on Trip Advisor.

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Curitiba Launches Six New Tours!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Curitiba has definitively confirmed itself as a important tourist region and city, with options for everyone. The Núcleo de Turismo Receptivo (Receptive Tourism Nucleus) of the city, organized by the Sebrae/PR in partnership with the Tourism Institute of Curitiba, launched six new specific tours in the capital of Paraná state, Brazil.

In agreement with the Sebrae/PR consultant and manager of the tourism project, Patricia Albanez, everyone that is direct and indirectly involved with the tourism in Curitiba need to know about these new products. “They are differentiated and attractive scripts, that privilege tourism attractions that are barely awarded in the traditional tourist packages of Curitiba. Moreover, these new tours are relatively fast and can be added in the routine of people who come to Curitiba for business, work, events or leisure.”

Innovative Tourism

Patrician Albanez affirms that the reason of creating and divulging these innovative tours in Curitiba aim to provides the tourist the “experience economy”, where tourists can get the chance to live the city deeply and see it in different forms. The capital of Paraná also becomes a highlight touristic city in southern Brazil.

“The Núcleo de Turismo Receptivo’s project exists since last year and its main objective is to organize and foment the receptive travel agencies of the city, assisting them on businesses diversification and qualification. The Nucleo is composed by 9 specialized companies that are innovating the tourism activity in the city, demonstrating a great associativism “, evaluate the consultant.

THE NEW TOURS IN CURITIBA:

“Caminhando por Curitiba – Curitiba Walking Tour” Special Paraná Turismo & Eventos
This tour is basically a fun and exciting stroll around Curitiba downtown to learn the history and culture of Curitiba. In a approximately 5 kilometers walk will take the tourist to streets and tourist attractions, accompanied by anecdotes and curiosities of the last 350 years of the city. You will also get to see many awesome images of the old Curitiba and see what the city looked like hundreds of years ago.

Visited places:
– Tiradentes Square (Cathedral)
– Largo da Ordem (Ordem Church, Rosario Church, Flores Square)
– Belvedere and São Francisco Ruins
– Solar do Barão
– 19 de dezembro Square
– Arab Memorial
– Passeio Público
– Santos Andrade Square (Teatro Guaíra and University)
– Eufrásio Correia Square (old Train Station)
– Barão do Rio Branco Street
– Marechal Deodoro Street
– Zacarias Square
– Boca Maldita and Osório Square
– Pedestrian area
– Paço da Liberdade

Included in the price:
– Local guide (Portuguese, English, German, French and Italian available)
– Bus ticket

Departure time: Monday trough Saturday (9h and 14h) – between 2 and 10 participants.

BOOK “CURITIBA WALKING TOUR” ONLINE NOW!

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“De Bar em Bar – From Bar to Bar” – MMS Turismo
This tour is perfect and made specially for visitors that loves to make new friendships and wants to know and experience the best bars of Curitiba. In this tour you will go to three or four bars in the same night, guaranteed sit in one of the best tables, beyond an amused and pleasant night. Duration: 4 hours.

Departure time: Monday trough Sunday at 20h.

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Passeio de Compras em Curitiba – Shopping in Curitiba” – ONETUR
This tour will take to go shopping in Curitiba. You will visit malls, shops, outlets and commercial centers of Curitiba, where you can buy many things like clothes of famous national and internationally brands, artisan clothes, mineral rocks, souvenirs, etc.

Duration: 3 – 4 hours
Departure time: Monday trough Friday at 14h.

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Caminhos da Arte Paranaense Paranaense Art Road” – Sermann Turismo
In this tour you will walk around 5 kilometers in approximately 4 hours stroll by the heart of the city to see art works of the city made by the most famous artists Paraná state like Poty Lazzarotto, João Turin, Oscar Niemeyer, etc. This tour will show you the essence of the local art, well known for its multiple languages as painting, sculpture, mosaic, architecture and design.

Departure time: Tuesday trough Saturday at 9h.

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“Curitiba Multicultural” – BWT
Curitiba is fruit of the immigrants’ efforts that, in the XIX century, had chosen the city as its safe port. In a 3 hours stroll you will get to see multiple ethnic marks and the most cultural beauties of the city like the Arab Memorial, Muslim Mosque, Japanese Memorial, Pope Woods, German Woods, the famous Italian neighborhood Santa Felicidade and Tingui Park.

Departure time: Daily (9h and 14h) – minimum of two participants.

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“Esporte Tur em Curitiba – Sport Tur in Curitiba” – Kallisté Turismo
This tour is a great option for visitors who appreciates sports.  Trough a guided visit, this tour will take you at soccer stadiums, the Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba and skate parks of Curitiba.

Duration: 3h30 (approximately)
Departure time: Tuesdays and Fridays – minimum of two participants.

Click here to check other tours in Curitiba and surrounding areas!

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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.
sunset_ilhadomel_honeyisland_farol_parana
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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Filed under Accommodation, Articles, Curitiba 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Hotels, Ilha do Mel, Informations, Paranaguá, Pictures, Tours, Travel Tips, WHL.travel

What do travelers and visitors say about Curitiba and Ilha do Mel ???

Nowadays, the Internet has been really important and helpful for the development and evolution of the tourism activity. The Internet trough websites, blogs, social networking sites and many others, allows travelers and people from all over the World to share their personal experiences, watch videos, look at pictures and get information in pretty much everything  that they look for and need to plan a trip like: book hotels, tours, plane tickets, car rentals, weather and all that…making the trip planning a lot more easier and faster.

We can also note that travelers and costumers have been more influinced for this kinds of information and are searching for these informal information firstly, instead of going to search for the formal information, in case, the travel agencies.

Following this tendency, caring about our destination and the quality of information about the state of Paraná, we select few articles and reviews about Curitiba and Ilha do Mel that travelers have posted on the Internet. You can take a look and get some extra information that the formal information does not give you.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

The article “Surprise yourself in Curitiba” and “Curitiba Background” are great articles written by a Tripadivsor members.

Here you can read an article written by Ken Conrad, albeit a senior citizen and returning student at California State University Northridge.

About the famous Ilha do Mel or Honey Island, we recomend you to read

Honey Island

Ilha do Mel, Paraná - Brazil

some reviews also posted in the Tripadvisor, the article “Curitiba Honey Island” and the “Must-dos list at Ilha do Mel” .

If you are planning on comming, I hope this post helps you and bring you to this awesome region of Brazil. For those who never tought about coming visit the state of Paraná in Brazil, I really hope that this post can change your mind and you are very welcome and you guys will not regret. For those of you that live here, all I want to say is that we are all very lucky and let’s keep the good job. Finally, for you that have been in Curitiba and Ilha do Mel, please share your experience with us…

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