Explore the south of Brazil

Journey Coordinator Invitation
Exploring South of Brazil
October 20 to November 3, 2019
Hello! My name is Hélcio Lanzoni and I would like to invite you to join us on a Journey that goes through many aspects of this unique region of Brazil. Although I live in the state of São Paulo (Southeast Region), the South Region is my favorite destination.

A great touristic, economic, and cultural pole, the South Region received a great flow of European immigrants in the 19th century, mainly Germans and Italians, which enriched its customs, food, and culture.

Curitiba: October 20 to 27, 2019
Our Journey begins with a seven-night homestay in Curitiba, the capital of the state of Paraná. We are going to enjoy the hospitality of the local Friendship Force club, whose members planned an excellent week for us, which includes two out-of-town trips: Vila Velha and Morretes.

Vila Velha State Park is located about 90 km (57 mi) from Curitiba. For over one million years, ice-age glaciers and wind erosion worked together to sculpt Vila Velha’s unique rock formations.

To get to the city of Morretes we will go by train. The track begins at 934m above sea level and goes down towards the coast, crossing the greatest conservation area for the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. This magnificent green area is considered one of the 5 richest biomes in the world.

Sidenote: I visited Curitiba for the first time in the late ’80s, and I loved the city for its culture and organization. In that trip I met a beautiful local girl and that was it. This year we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Foz do Iguaçu: October 27 to 29, 2019
Located in the state of Paraná, this city has a triple international border: Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Multicultural and international, Foz do Iguaçu is the city where you can visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls.

We will also visit Bird Park, where we can walk among birds of several specimens from Brazil and other places of the world. I love it.

And once in Foz do Iguaçu, visitors cannot miss Rafain, a place where we will taste world famous Brazilian “churrasco” (barbecued meat) and enjoy live presentations of Brazilian, Argentinian, and Paraguayan dances and songs. I have been there twice and I can assure you that it is great.

Sidenote: The Iguazu Falls are in the border between Brazil and Argentina. Most of the waterfalls are in the Argentinian side, but the best views are in the Brazilian side, and that’s where all tourists go. Good for us!

Gramado: October 29 to November 1, 2019
Gramado is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the Serra Gaúcha region. The city was originally settled by the Portuguese and later received a contingent of German and Italian immigrants.

From Gramado we will have a one-day tour to the region where the best wine of Brazil is produced (yes, you will be surprised). In the same tour we will board a steam train to visit typical Italian colonial places. Beautiful places, friendly people, great food.

Sidenote: There is a plaza in downtown Gramado in which every afternoon, at about 4PM, Italian families prepare and bake (in huge wood ovens) several types of bread and other marvels. They sell them over the counter as soon as they come out of the oven. It’s worth trying.
Cambará do Sul and Itaimbezinho Canyon:
November 1 to 3, 2019
Not yet discovered by hordes of tourists, this breathtaking region is at an altitude of about 1000 meters (3200 ft.) and its canyons are considered the greatest in Brazil. Yes, this is our “Grand Canyon”.

We will be able to visit Itaimbezinho Canyon, Fortaleza Canyon, and more. Mobility is adaptable, and in some places you can park your vehicle nearby the sightseeing places. You can sit and enjoy the view or hike towards more distant sites.

Sidenote: This region became known by a wider audience in Brazil because of a TV series in the late ‘90s. The series was about the secession war that took place in the 19th century, when the South wanted to get independent from Brazil (does it sound familiar?). The rebels rode their horses on top of these canyons to escape from Brazilian troops. 

I hope you will join me on this Journey!

If you have questions or comments, do not hesitate in contacting me.

In friendship,
Hélcio Lanzoni, Journey Coordinator
WhatsApp: +55 16 99156-5123

View this Journey on the Catalog and Apply Today!
Journey dates: October 20 to November 3, 2019. The cost of this Journey is $2100 USD and includes: FFI and host fees, flight from Curitiba to Foz do Iguaçu and from Foz do Iguaçu to Porto Alegre, tours, hotels, transportation, some meals, and tips.