South of Brazil: Popular Cities and Attractions

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South of Brazil: Popular Cities and Attractions

From charming European-style cities to beautiful beaches, waterfalls, canyons, and vineyards, the South of Brazil will certainly surprise you.

The region is composed of 3 states: Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. And if you are planning to visit the South of Brazil, here are some of the most popular destinations and attractions to visit.

Popular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil

1. Florianopolis

Popular Cities to Visit in the South of BrazilPopular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil – Photo Credit: Tiago Muraro

Florianopolis is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, known for having beautiful beaches and for being the oyster capital of Brazil.

The city also offers interesting cultural attractions such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the most visited monument in the city, the Palacio Cruz e Souza, which houses the Historical Museum, the Church of Santo Antonio de Lisboa, and others.

The Joaquina Dunes are also an unmissable attraction.

The city offers excellent hotel options such as Jurere Beach Village and the famous resort Costão do Santinho Resort All-Inclusive.

Related tours:

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2. Balneario Camboriu

Balneario CamboriuPopular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil – Photo Credit: Ágatha Depiné

Balneario Camboriu is a city in the state of Santa Catarina located 89.1 km (55.4 miles) from Florianopolis.

The city is known for its skyscrapers and beaches, and offers several attractions such as the cable cars and Unipraias Park – a place with kiosks, trails to lookouts – and for one of the most beautiful views do not miss Morro do Careca, a panoramic point that divides Balneario Camboriu from Itajai.

Balneario Camboriu also offers great hotel options for all types of budgets. There are excellent hotel options starting at USD 35 such as HM Hotel, BRUT by Slaviero Hoteis, or Hotel Rieger. And the Felissimo Exclusive Hotel is a more exclusive option.

In the vicinity of Balneario Camboriu, it is also worth visiting Bombinhas, a paradise with transparent waters.

The nearest airport to Balneario Camboriu is Navegantes International Airport, but you can also arrive at Florianopolis Airport and take a bus to Balneario Camboriu or rent a car.

Related tours:

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3. Imbituba / Praia do Rosa

Praia do Rosa is a beautiful beach located in Imbituba in the state of Santa Catarina.

In addition to the exuberant nature, with crystal clear waters and lots of green areas, Praia do Rosa offers a wide variety of options for trails, restaurants, bars, and sports possibilities.

Praia do Rosa is located 88.4 km (55 miles) from Florianopolis, and the most comfortable way to get there is by car. But there are bus options from the Florianopolis Bus Terminal to the Imbituba Bus Terminal.

Praia do Rosa offers good accommodation options with excellent cost-benefit such as Solar Mirador Exclusive Resort and SPA, Pousada Morada dos Bougainvilles and Vida Sol e Mar Ecoresort.

Book a Hotel in Praia do Rosa

4. Blumenau

South of BrazilPopular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil – Photo Credit: Juliana Kozoski

Blumenau is a city located in the state of Santa Catarina. It is known as the beer capital of Brazil, and for hosting attractions such as the Beer Museum and Vila Germanica Park.

The city houses one of the biggest Oktoberfest in the world, the event was inspired by the German homonymous party, in Munich, and celebrates German culture, which has been alive in Blumenau since immigration.

The Villa do Vale Boutique Hotel is an elegant hotel option in the city and the Slaviero Essential Blumenau offers great value for money.

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5. Curitiba

Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana, has beautiful parks, and cultural attractions such as the Oscar Niemeyer Museum and the Paranaense Museum. But its most popular tourist attractions are the Botanical Garden, a symbol of the city, and the Opera de Arame.

From Curitiba, it is possible to combine excellent day trips including Morretes, an old colonial city, the Vila Velha State Park, and the Ilha do Mel.

The city is also home to excellent options for restaurants, cafes, breweries, and hotels. Some excellent accommodation options include the economical Ibis Curitiba Batel or more sophisticated options like the Radisson Hotel Curitiba and the Nomaa Hotel.

The city is served by an international airport, Afonso Pena International Airport (CWB).

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6. Foz do Iguaçu

Popular Cities to Visit in the South of BrazilPopular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil – Photo Credit: Christhian Gruhn

Foz do Iguaçu is a city located in the state of Parana, 636 km (395 miles) from Curitiba.

The most popular attraction in the city is undoubtedly the famous Iguazu Falls, located in the Iguaçu National Park, an area with trails that offers spectacular panoramic views.

Parque das Aves is also a very popular attraction, a zoological park that houses several species of birds and also butterflies.

It is the location of the triple border between Brazil (Foz do Iguaçu), Argentina (Puerto Iguazu), and Paraguay (Ciudad del Este).

Inside the Iguaçu National Park, is located the elegant Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, but the city offers other options for budget hotels.

Related tours:

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7. Cambara do Sul / Praia Grande

The canyon region of the South of Brazil comprises two cities, Cambara do Sul (Rio Grande do Sul State) and Praia Grande (Santa Catarina State). The area has trails through the canyons with exuberant nature, natural pools, and waterfalls.

Canyon Itaimbezinho, located within the Aparados da Serra National Park, is probably the most famous in the region, and it is one of the largest in the country.

The region offers charming accommodation options such as Parador Cambara do Sul, Pousada Refugio das Mountains, Morada dos Canyons, and Refugio Ecologico Pedra Afiada.

Praia Grande is located 227 km (141 miles) from Porto Alegre, and Cambara do Sul is 191 km (119 miles) from Porto Alegre. The best way to get to the region is by renting a car or with a transfer service.

Book a Hotel in Cambara do Sul | Book a Hotel in Praia Grande

8. Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre South of BrazilPopular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil – Photo Credit:  Michel Anderson Lutz Teixeira

Porto Alegre is the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul (the southernmost state in Brazil).

It is a green city, with a charming historic center, an excellent public market, and beautiful parks. The city is famous for its barbecue (churrasco gaúcho) and chimarrão (Brazilian Yerba mate). It is a must to walk along the Guaiba river and enjoy the sunset.

The city also offers excellent options for restaurants and hotels.

Intercity Porto Alegre Cidade Baixa, Hotel Laghetto Stilo Higienópolis and Radisson Porto Alegre are great hotel options in the city.

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9. Gramado / Canela

Popular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil - Borges de Medeiros – Main Street in GramadoPopular Cities to Visit in the South of Brazil – Borges de Medeiros – Main Street in Gramado

Gramado and Canela are two charming cities located in Rio Grande do Sul, known for their European architecture influenced by 19th-century German settlers, thematic attractions, chocolate boutiques, excellent cafes, and restaurants.

In the region, Caracol Park and Skyglass Canela are also a must.

The region offers several options of hotels with excellent prices such as Wyndham Gramado Termas Resort & Spa, Bavaria Sport Hotel, Wish Serrano, and Hotel Sky Gramado.

Gramado is located 103 km (64.3 miles) from Porto Alegre and can be accessed by car or by direct bus from Porto Alegre Airport. There are also options for transfers and taxis.

Book a Hotel in Gramado

10. Bento Gonçalves

The Vale dos Vinhedos (Vineyards Valley) located in the city of Bento Gonçalves is known as the Brazilian Tuscany.

The region is home to excellent winery options such as Miolo Winery, Casa Valduga, Salton Winery, Almaunica Winery, Winery Cave Stone, and many others.

Bento Gonçalves is located 119 km (74 miles) from Gramado and 122 km (75.8 miles) from Porto Alegre. The best way to get to the city is with a rental car, but several companies offer a personalized transfer services such as Volpato Transfer or Van Gramado.

To explore the region well, it is worth staying at a hotel in the wine region. The Hotel & Spa do Vinho, Autograph Collection is a spectacular accommodation option in the middle of the vineyards.

Book a Hotel in Bento Gonçalves

Itinerary Ideas

There are several options for itineraries, including options for day trips, and the best itinerary will depend on the number of days you will stay in Brazil and your interests.

The large cities of Porto Alegre, Foz do Iguaçu, Florianopolis, and Curitiba can be easily accessed by plane. The other destinations, on the other hand, must be combined with car rental, transfers, and, in some cases, buses.

In addition to the cities mentioned, southern Brazil has many other charming cities to visit, but we focused on the most popular tourist destinations.

Below you will find some suggestions for destination combinations to inspire you.

  1. Florianopolis + Praia do Rosa
  2. Florianopolis + Balneario Camboriu
  3. Curitiba + Foz do Iguaçu
  4. Curitiba + Balneario Camboriu + Florianopolis + Praia do Rosa
  5. Curitiba + Blumenau + Balneario Camboriu + Florianopolis
  6. Curitiba + Balneario Camboriu + Florianopolis + Gramado + Canela + Bento Gonçalves
  7. Curitiba + Balneario Camboriu + Florianopolis + Gramado + Canela + Bento Gonçalves + Porto Alegre
  8. Porto Alegre + Gramado + Canela
  9. Porto Alegre + Canyon Regions (Cambara do Sul / Praia Grande)
  10. Porto Alegre + Gramado + Canela + Bento Gonçalves

South of Brazil Map

All the cities mentioned in the text are marked on the map below.

65 Largest Cities in South of Brazil

Largest Cities in South of BrazilPhoto Credit:  Michel Anderson Lutz Teixeira

  1. Curitiba – 1.917.185
  2. Porto Alegre – 1.479.101
  3. Joinville – 583.144
  4. Londrina – 563.943
  5. Caxias do Sul – 504.069
  6. Florianopolis – 500.973
  7. Maringa – 417.010
  8. Blumenau – 352.460
  9. Ponta Grossa – 348.043
  10. Canoas – 344.957
  11. Pelotas – 341.468
  12. Cascavel – 324.476
  13. Sao Jose dos Pinhais – 317.476
  14. Santa Maria – 280.505
  15. Gravatai – 279.398
  16. Foz do Iguaçu – 258.823
  17. Viamao – 254.101
  18. Novo Hamburgo – 246.452
  19. Sao Jose – 242.927
  20. Colombo – 240.840
  21. Sao Leopolo – 234.947
  22. Chapeco – 216.654
  23. Itajai – 215.895
  24. Criciuma – 213.023
  25. Rio Grande – 210.005
  26. Alvorada – 209.213
  27. Passo Fundo – 201.767
  28. Guarapuava – 182.644
  29. Jaragua do Sul – 174.158
  30. Palhoça – 168.259
  31. Lages – 157.743
  32. Paranagua – 153.666
  33. Araucaria – 141.410
  34. Sapucai do Sul – 140.311
  35. Balneario Camboriu – 138.732
  36. Toledo – 138.572
  37. Apucarana – 133.726
  38. Brusque – 131.703
  39. Pinhais – 130.789
  40. Campo Largo – 130.091
  41. Santa Cruz do Sul – 129.427
  42. Cachoeirinha – 129.307
  43. Uruguaiana – 127.079
  44. Arapongas – 121.198
  45. Bage – 120.943
  46. Bento Gonçalves – 119.049
  47. Almirante Tamandare – 117.168
  48. Piraquara – 111.052
  49. Umuarama – 110.590
  50. Cambe – 105.704
  51. Erechim – 105.059
  52. Tubarão – 104.937
  53. Fazenda Rio Grande – 98.368
  54. Guaiba – 98.043
  55. Sarandi – 95.543
  56. Campo Mourão – 94.212
  57. Francisco Beltrão – 89.942
  58. Paranavai – 87.813
  59. São Bento do Sul – 83.576
  60. Ijui – 83.173
  61. Esteio – 83.121
  62. Lajeado – 82.951
  63. Cachoeira do Sul – 82.547
  64. Pato Branco – 81.893
  65. Cianorte – 81.393

Source: Wikipedia – Largest Cities in the South Region of Brazil

Featured Photo Credit: Cassiano Psomas

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See also

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