Cities: Antonina and Morretes
Attractions and activities: The only paved road in Paraná in the 1950s, when it was important for transport of agricultural products, the Estrada da Graciosa (Graciosa Road) is a beautiful, picture-post-card highway for visitors to the Portal. Also, a gorgeous train ride through the Serra do Mar (coastal mountain range) carries visitors through the heart of this grand forest. Here we find the historical centers of the region, with the streets lined with rows of houses and commerce, with their Portuguese architectural influences. Visitors can enjoy the rich variety in the local gastronomical offerings (especially the barreado), and many artisanal products, including beer, cachaça (a sugar cane distillate), and a variety of items based on manioc or banana. Rivers, waterfalls, overlooks and trails can be found in just about every direction and so the visitor never lacks a place to enjoy the Atlantic Forest, by foot, mountain bike, canoe, kayak, balloon or even simply swimming. Bird watching has no equal as here, where hundreds of species can be found. Many charming B&Bs near the forest are excellent places to recharge one’s energy, relaxing body and mind in view of the mountains and forests. Morumbi Peak is accessible here and is the birthplace of Brazilian mountain climbing, and from which the view of miles of coastal plains. A wonderful place for hiking and climbing.
Fascinating fauna to see here: The Ornate Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), Puma or Mountain Lion (Puma concolor), the Saddleback toad (Brachycephalus ferruginius) in the higher elevations, the Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and the Golden-chevroned Tanager (Thraupis ornata) is just one of many colorful species of tanager found here.
Photography by Ekôa Park, Everson Gelasko & Grafo Estúdio