Pantanal - Marsh Deer
Paraná - Iguazu Falls
Paraná - Train Journey
Paraná - Antonina
Florianópolis - Campeche Island
Santa Catarina - Serra Geral
Santa Catarina Coast- Whale Watching
The Pantanal, the wetlands of mid-west Brazil, is the hotspot for wildlife watching in Brazil. Unlike the Amazon, with its dense forest, in the open savannah of the Pantanal this huge biodiversity can be easily spotted. A visit to this area should be in the itinerary of anyone with an interest in nature.
Parana State is best known for the magnificent Iguazu Falls. However, just a short flight away from the Falls, you can enjoy a spectacular train journey that links its pleasant capital Curitiba to the Lagamar, the largest remnants of Atlantic Rainforest in the country, making this region also an unmissable part of any Brazilian trip.
One of the smallest States in Brazil, Santa Catarina has a huge natural and cultural diversity. Besides Florianopolis, don’t miss the stunning Serra Geral mountains, an ideal trekking and horse-riding destination, the whales and dolphins on the southern coast, surfing in Praia do Rosa and relaxing in some of the best beaches of Brazil.
The most southern State in Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, is well-known for its gaucho culture, the pampas and the Jesuit Missions but it has more to offer. Porto Alegre, the capital of the State, is the entry point for the attractive wine region and also the best access to the dramatic canyons of the Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral National Parks.
Culturally this region is also extremely diverse. Some people say that the South is much more “European” than Brazilian, but, although this influence is clear in certain areas, the region’s cultural diversity is striking.
There is the pantaneiro culture in Mato Grosso do Sul, heavily influenced by the Paraguayan culture, visible in their clothes and the cold Tereré drink, which is drank everywhere.
The caiçara culture (a mix of Portuguese, Indian and Afro-Americans) of the coast of Paraná, with its unique fandango and ancient fishing techniques.
Santa Catarina, besides the strong influence of the 19th Century immigrants (not only from Germany or Italy, but also Ukraine, Poland, Japan and Austria) has also remains of civilizations dating back 5,000 years and indigenous people, such as the Xokleng, that only lived in this State. The Azorean influence dominates the coast and as such is the most visible for most visitors. It is present in the peculiar accent of the local manezinhos (similar to 17th Portuguese, according to researchers), in its many folk festivals, architecture and especially in the cuisine.
Rio Grande do Sul, at the extreme south, on the other hand, has the Gaucho culture, being much closer to neighbouring Hispanic countries than to Portuguese Brazil.
Considering all this diversity in landscapes and culture, the South should be included on the itineraries of travellers looking for a more comprehensive look at Brazil.