The South of Brazil

The south of Brazil, generally considered to include the states of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul, is an economically and culturally vibrant region that features well-planned and designed cities with forward-thinking infrastructure, transportation, government, and commerce. Close to its southern neighbors of Parguay, Argentina, and Uruguay, it is characteristically more European in feel and flavor, and has developed somewhat along its own trajectory from the rest of Brazil.

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=> Check our Florianopolis City Guide
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Parana, Curitiba, and Iguazu
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The Spectacular Iguazu FallsParana state, located south of Sao Paulo and north of Santa Catarina, features the modern and progressive capital city of Curitiba, as well as the breathtaking beauty of Iguazu Falls, located in the western portion of the state where Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina intersect. Curitiba boasts one of the best public transportation systems in the country, beautiful urban parks, a booming economy, and avant-garde architecture. Make sure to head to the Museu Oscar Niemeyer, named after Brazil's most famous architect, if you are in Curitiba.

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Santa Catarina and Florianpolis
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Santa Catarina state, located south of Parana and north of Rio Grande do Sul, features 560km of spectacular beaches and the prosperous and pleasant city of Florianpolis. It is also an ecotourists paradise, with ample opportunities for surfing, diving, snorkeling, and hiking. Originally conceived as a buffer area against the encroachment of the Spanish, it is home to large German communities, who were invited in the 1820s at the behest of the emperor. If you're interested in experiencing the German culture, head to Blumeneau with its fabulous breweries and internationally famous Oktoberfest.

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Rio Grande do Sul and Porto Alegre
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Oktoberfest in BlumeneauThe southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul is characterized by sweeping pampas, enormous grasslands perfectly suited for cattle ranching. This cowboy culture still permeates society here, and residents still call themselves gauchos, feast on delicious beef, and drink the traditional chimarrao tea, made from the mate plant. Nature lovers will appreciate the breathtaking Serra Gaucha, with its forested mountains and river valleys. Porto Alegre, an important commercial and financial hub, also features a strong arts scene. And if you are a wine enthusiast, head to Vale dos Vinhedos where Italian immigrant communities make Brazil's finest vintages, and quaint villages such as Gramado portray themselves as alpine Brazil.

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