Paraná 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 and explore the largest remnants of Atlantic Rainforest in the country, making this region an unmissable part of any Brazilian trip.
Besides having the most impressive waterfalls in the world, the Iguazu Falls are also surrounded by two National Parks in the Argentinean and Brazilian sides. Spend at least a couple of days to be able to explore both sides.
Curitiba, the capital of Paraná is a well-planned and pleasant city, and well worth a stop. The Oscar Niemeyer Museum and its many parks are highlights, but the city also offers excellent restaurants and a busy cultural life. The best reason to stop, however, is that the most scenic train journey in the country starts here, on the railway that links Curitiba to the port of Paranaguá.
If you are more adventurous, do not miss the Lagamar, the coastal area between Paraná and São Paulo. Besides having the largest contiguous areas of Atlantic Rainforest in the country, part of the World Biosphere Reserve, it has remote colonial towns, deep estuaries, mangroves, the Superagui National Park and the unique culture of the caiçara people. Lagamar is perhaps the most amazing destination in Brazil for ecotourism and, despite being a must-see destination for all nature enthusiasts, is yet undiscovered.
If you are after a bit of beach relaxation or some good surfing, head to Ilha do Mel, a car-free picturesque island in Paranaguá bay. Outside summer holidays is a great place to unwind, while enjoying enjoy the simple pleasures of life.