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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

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.

Curitiba Photos, Photos of Curitiba, Photos Curitiba, Curitiba Brazil Pictures, Park Barigui, Barigui Park, Curitiba parks

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!

torre panoramica da oi brasil telecom, panoromic tower, curitiba, parana, brazil

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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Filed under Articles, Bus Rapid Transit - BRT, Curitiba, Curitiba 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Curitiba's public transport system, Informations, Pictures, Tours, Tours in Curitiba, Travel Tips, WHL.travel

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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Filed under Accommodation, Antonina, Articles, Bus Rapid Transit - BRT, Hotels, Informations, Restaurants, Tours, Travel Tips

Spring Is Coming Up… Great Time to Visit Curitiba!

On September 22nd the fresh winter in Southern Hemisphere ends and the spring starts. During the spring, the nature is more vibrant, the flowers are blooming and the outdoors activities  begin to be a great option to relax, hang out and have fun. Therefore, the season of the flowers is a great opportunity to visit and experience Curitiba.

Curitiba shelters several options for those who love to spend the leisure hours doing outdoors activities, stroll in parks, go for a walk, etc. The city proves that considering the 52 m² of green area for inhabitant, with more than 30 parks and forests located  in the capital of Paraná.

We selected some of these places that we considered the highlights and will be for sure a great option for you to have a good time and a lot of fun while in Curitiba:

 Parque Barigüi: BR 277 – Rodovia do Café, Km 0 – Santo Inácio

 

Parque Tanguá: Rua Dr. Bemben, s/n° – Pilarzinho

 

Parque Tingüi: Av. Fredolin Wolf, s/n°. Rua José Casagrande, s/n° – São João

 

Bosque Alemão: Rua Niccolo Paganini, esquina com Franz Schubert – Vista Alegre

 

Bosque do Papa: Rua Wellington Oliveira Vianna, s/n° – Centro Cívico

 

Jardim Botânico: Avenida Prof. Lothário Meissner, 460 – Jardim Botânico  

 

For more information about things to do and what happens at the parks in Curitiba, you can take a look at the section “Liveability expressed in Parklands” at Curitiba’s International Touristic Portal, www.curitiba-travel.com.br … a member of WHL.travel!

Have a great time and share your experience with us!

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Filed under Curitiba, Informations, Travel Tips

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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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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Filed under Accommodation, Articles, Curitiba, Hotels, Ilha do Mel, Informations, Pictures, Tours, Travel Tips