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Brazil - The South:

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by John Waggoner
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Brazil - The South: by John Waggoner

Southern Brazil could almost be considered its own country. Distinct from the rest of Brazil in culture and geography, there are endless nuances within the region itself. Settled predominantly by Europeans and their descendants, there are reminders of Europe everywhere you go, including villas that seemed to have stepped right out of Bavaria. Close to Argentina and Uruguay, the region also shares come cultural ties with these countries. Social customs are more reserved than in other parts of Brazil, the cities tend to be more affluent and organized, and the climate itself is unusual in that it is more temperate and in fact the only place in the entire country where it can snow. The natural beauty of the landscape is renowned, especially in the Foz de Iguaçu region where the largest waterfalls in the Americas are found. From the coastal resort areas to the wooded inland with misty mountaintops, the Southern Region is filled with places that are often overlooked by international travelers. Each of the three states of the region (Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul) has some basic similarities with its neighbors, but there are often staggering differences as well. The southern state of Santa Catarina has an attractive coastline with plenty of culture and history. As in the other states of the region, there are very good facilities to make your trip more comfortable, and there's plenty to do outdoors. The best time to visit is during the South American summer months when the dune-filled beaches draw visitors from around the world. The capital city Florianopolis, partly on an island, has a huge number of beaches, while the entire coast is worth exploring if you have a few days. Settled in the 19th century by immigrants from Italy and Germany, the state is affluent, with a predominately rural economy. The capital city is modern with a decent number of options for dining and nightlife. Visitors are often pleasantly surprised by what they find and not uncommonly want to move here after a few short days in this coastal paradise! Rio Grande do Sul at the southernmost tip of Brazil is rich with folklore and natural beauty. Peopled by the descendants of immigrants from Europe and the Azores, the state has distinct regional customs such as the strong hot tea called chimarrão, drunk from a gourd with a silver straw. It is also famous for the huge open-pit barbecues that date back to the days of the Spanish cattle drivers who first settled the pampas. Apart from the intriguing architecture here, you will find stunning natural beauty. The coastal region is a balmy resort area with rocky crags over the ocean, very popular in the summer. Heading inland, there is the remarkable Região da Serrra or the Serra Gaucha highlands, both famous for their natural beauty. These wooded highlands have immense canyons and basaltic river valleys, considered one of best options for outdoor travel in South America. If you prefer cultural sightseeing to the great outdoors, the charming Colonial towns of Gramado, Canela and São Francisco de Paula are recommended, especially during the Gramado film festival each August. For eating and drinking, be sure to visit blessed Bento Gonçalves and its sister city Caxias do Sul - famous for their local wines and rustic taverns, one of the best regions in Brazil for culinary tourism. Gramado calls itself the "capital of Brazilian cinema." This scenic Baviarian-style town 39 miles/65 km from Porto Alegre receives the glitterati from all over Brazil and the Latin American cinema world to celebrate the cinematographic arts each August. Making reservations in advance is wise as it gets busy at festival time and from December through March. Canela, the sister city in the woodlands just four miles/seven km away, has trails, hikes and other adventures. This is just the beginning. The Southern Region, and this guide, has many more fascinating places to visit. All of the hotels and restaurants are describ

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Ebook Details
Pages: 200
Size: 9.3 MB
Publisher: Hunter Publishing
Date published:   2014
ISBN: 9781556502194 (DRM-EPUB)

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