Rio de Janeiro
Many people in Brazil say
Gramado doesn't look like Brazil. Why is that? Well, most of the
tourists think of Brazil as a hot place, with sunny beaches and
people dancing to the samba rythm along the streets all year round,
isn't that so? Not exactly. As you could expect from a country as
large as USA, Brazil has a lot of places that are totally diferent
from each other, of many of them doesn't match with the traditional
Idea of sand and beaches. Gramado is surely one of them. Located at the
mountains of Rio Grande do Sul state, southern Brazil, the city of
Gramado reminds maybe some hidden place in Europe, among tall pines,
flowers, lakes, hot in the Summer but extremely cold during winter.
Charming, cozy, lovely, picturesque, Gramado is the right place for
those looking for something different in Brazil then just samba or
This is the welcome sign you
will see when arriving in town. Gramado is located just two hours
drive from Porto Alegre, the capital city from Rio Grande do Sul
state. It is the most important host of the Gaucho Mountains, and
use to be the starting point for touristic tours at those mountains,
which includes many cities not far from it, like Canela, Bento
Gonçalves, Garibaldi, Nova Petropolis,
Carlos Barbosa and Caxias do Sul.
If you are planning a visit to the Gaucho Mountains, try to stay
there for at least a week, to be able to get the most of your visit.
Start your Gramado tour
visiting Caracol Park, just 10 miles from town (left photo).
There you will find Veu de Noiva Waterfall, take a cable car
to see it from above, or, for the daring ones, go down (and after
up again...) a giant stairway all the way to the base of the waterfall and
refresh yourself at the lake.
There is also an observation deck at
the edge of the canyon, restaurant and a souvenir shop. Also do not
miss Park Knorr
and Dark Lake (first photo of this page),
a beautiful location where you will be able to hike, bike or just
take some time as you prefer. The best place in town for shopping is
along Borges de Medeiros Ave, where all the main shops are
located. Gramado is a small town, and you won't need a car to visit
the most important attractions.
Gramado had many Italian and
German settlers. Do not miss Aldeia dos Imigrantes, where
the first german imigrants settled down. Now a park and touristic
attraction, this small town where time stopped you will find the
church, stables, children school, the original ball room, a
restaurant and much more. Aldeia dos Imigrantes Park is located at
the city of Nova Petrópolis, just 20 miles
Itaimbezinho Canyon is
one of the largest in Brazil. Located at Rio Grande do Sul and Santa
Catarina state border, is really worth a visit. The best option to
get there is taking one of the many one day tours that are available
Looking like a railway crash,
but actually this is just for fun. Next to the entrance door of
Museu do Vapor (Steam Museum) you will see this real locomotive,
reminding a famous accident that happened in a Paris Gate, on the
19th century. Inside you will have the chance to check for yourself
the importance of steam on last century everyday life. Factories,
industries and much more, all in a tiny scale, but all really
working. This is a specially fun attraction if you are travelling
with children. Inside the Steam Museum there is also souvenirs
stores and a restaurant.
Mini Mundo (small world)
brings a replica of many international landmarks, from Europe to the
Americas. Here you will be able to walk among the Vatican, London
Tower, Eiffel Tower, Neuschwenstein Castle, and many other famous
Gramado's chocolate is famous all over Brazil,
and even exported to many other countries. There are more than
twenty chocolate manufacturers here, and it's really hard to say
which brand is best. It's up to you to decide...
Watch the video we made
visiting one Gramado Chocolate Store:
Visiting Chocolate Heaven
Do you still remember those
days? Well, why not take a tour onboard those lovely iron horses
along the Gaucho Mountains and see it from a different perspective?
The touristic railroad trip Retorno ao Passado
(Returning to the Past) runs every wednesday and saturday, linking
the cities of Bento Gonçalves and
Two hours of fun, wonderful views of the mountains and valleys, while
on board you will enjoy traditional songs and dance, including free
wine and cheese. To make your reservations please contact your hotel
Did you know that Rio Grande
do Sul state is worldwide famous for its wines? The state is Brazil
main wine producer, and no trip to the Gaucho Mountains would be
complete without a visit to one of the many vineyards in the area. The most important
Aurora, located at the city of Bento Gonçalves. Visitors start the free
tour with a video explaining the basics of wine producing followed
by a visit to oak barrels halls, steel
tanks, wooden wine barrels, corridor of
flags of every country which imports Aurora's wine, and famous Cave Di
Bacco, the tasting room.
Save the best for last: This
is Cafe Colonial Bela Vista,
and you gotta see to beliave!
The Cafe Colonial tradition started with the first european settlers,
decades ago. They woke up very early to work and had just one meal for
that day, so it should keep them full all day long. Cakes, eggs, cheese,
ham, jams, juices, chocolate, pizzas, pies, juices, wine.... Well, those
days are gone, but the Cafe Colonial tradition ramained, and got even
better. Today this fixed rate all you can eat system offers more than 90
different dishes served at you table. Open all day long. Located at 3500
Still hungry? We doubt it... Anyway,
on the following day, there is more to try. Gramado is also famous for its many Italian and German
cuisine restaurants, and below are just some of them:
Galeto Mamma Mia: Italian Cuisine.Try the
traditional Galeto (Fried Chicken). At a fixed rate you will eat as
much as you like, and that includes not only the Galeto but also
capeletti soup, polenta frita, costelinha de
porco, saladas de maionese, radiche com bacon, and
many pastas, like fetutine bolognesa,
lasagna, tortei, nhoque, red, white wines, etc. 707
Hortecias Ave (Galeto
Italia) and 3500 Hortencias
Ave (Galeto Mamma Mia).
Swiss Cottage and La Famille Gazon:
Delicious swiss style racletttes
served a la carte.
The right option for a romantic night. 1008 Hortencias
Ave (La Famille Gazon).
Above, a shot of
the City Cathedral. Next
to it is the Palacio dos Festivais, where every August the city
celebrates the Brazilian Film Festival, a kind of Tropical
Gramado is a lovely place
to visit all year round, but there are two ocasions when every one
seems like dying to go there: Winter vacations (July and August) and
Christmas time, so, if this is your case please remember to book in
advance to avoid any frustration.
If you visit Gramado on christmas
time you will be able to witness the beautiful Natal Luz (Enlighted
Celebration), when all city turns itself on a living air Nativity
Scene, including Christmas parades and carols
constests at the main street.
Those visiting Gramado on July
and August may find out that Brazil is not just hot beaches
everywhere. If you enjoy a cozy place by the fireplace, a good
wine or a delicious fondue you couldn't choose a better place to
spend some days. No wonder that Gramado is the number one choice for
hundreds of just married couples in Brazil. A small and nice place,
with a lot of lovely things to do, Gramado and the Gaucho Mountains
are a sure bet in Brazil for those
looking for something else than just beaches.
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page song is Aquarela, composed by Toquinho. To
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