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Parana's Coast Destination Guide

The stunning beauty of Paraná’s Coast is a traveller’s delight and those in search of remote, off-the-beaten-track adventures will be spoilt for choices of activities to see and do!

This coastline has quite a varied array of destinations to offer with the natural splendour of Ilha do Mel (Honey Island); the isolation of Superagui Island; the historical Paranaguá with its important port and the picturesque towns of Antonina, Guaratuba, Morretes and Guaraqueçaba surrounded by Atlantic Rain Forest. There are secluded beaches, trekking trails at all degrees of difficulty, exciting rafting tours, gastronomical delights, colonial architecture and much more to enjoy. In the Paraná's Coast Destination Guide bellow we have loaded all the handy insider tips about the best places to visit and spent one’s time in our region. Don’t hesitate to send us a message if you desire further details.

Things to see & do on Parana's Coast

Click on the links to the right or scroll further down the page to find out more about all the best attraction along the Parana Coast. 


Ilha do Mel | Honey Island - Things to See and DoTop

Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilIlha do Mel is paradise on earth for many people: no roads, no cars; only sandy trails linking beaches and smalls villages with the maximum capacity of 5,000 people allowed on the island. The island is divided into two main villages: Brasilia/Farol and Encantadas. How to reach Ilha do Mel? See information in our Ilha do Mel transportation guide.

Where to sleep? View a wide selection of simple and comfortable guesthouses in our Ilha do Mel accommodation list. Want to see the best of Ilha do Mel? Check out our quality Ilha do Mel tour choices.

Beaches

Beaches, Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilYou will find beaches for every taste on the island! It is well known for the best surf areas in Paraná, especially the beaches Praia Fora, Praia Grande and Paralela. Surf competitions are held here throughout the year.

Before swimming, ask locals and surfers about the safety in the area. Some of the beaches have tides and currents that can change quickly and become unsafe. Be aware of your safety, as lifeguards are on the island only during summer holidays. Local surfers are trained to help in case of emergency, but caution is important to avoid problems. The Grajagan Surf Resort is located just in front of one of the most beautiful beaches of Ilha do Mel, Praia Grande. The resort is considered the most complete and comfortable Ilha do Mel hotel.

Boat tours on Ilha do Mel

Boat Tours, Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilCombining a boat tour around the island with time in the Baía dos Golfinhos on Ilha das Peças is a great way to spend the day. Just in front of the pier you will find Baía dos Golfinhos or Dolphins Bayit is impressive to see dolphin pods swimming and playing only few metres from your boat. The inhabitants of Ilha das Peças are mostly fishermen and the infrastructure in the island is easy and accommodating when looking for a place to spend the night. Several families on the island work in the community kitchen, where one can find tasty, simple local food based on fish, prawns, rice, salad and beans. We recommend eating in the local kitchen to support the locals and as the Local Travel Movement says 'get under the skin' of this beautiful destination.

Encantadas Cave | Grutas das Encantadas

Encantadas Cave, Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilThis cave is located in Encantadas, in the south of Ilha do Mel. The stone cave is a place of legends; it is told that beautiful mermaids attract men to the cave and they never return home. On the Encantadas side of the island, you will find many charming Ilha do Mel hotels and pousadas like Pousada Fim da Trilha, Pousada Caraguatá and Pousada Estrela do Mar and Hostel Zorro.

Fortress | Fortaleza Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres

Fortress, Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilThis is the only fortress on the Paraná’s coast and it was built between 1767 and 1769 by the Portuguese to protect the Paranaguá Bay from invasions. However, the fortress was used for protection only once in 1850. An English boat, the Cormorant, took three Brazilian boats prisoner with slaves; then, the local population from Paranaguá insisted that the captain in charge of the fortress should react. Some canon shots were fired and the Cormorant stayed in Paranaguá for several months being repaired before returning to England. After the mid 19th century, Portugal and England had an agreement and the transportation of slaves from Africa was banished.

Nowadays, you can get to see the well preserved outside area, canons and some rooms in the entrance area. It is open daily and no entrance fee is charged. The fort offers amazing views of the bay!

The Lighthouse | Farol das Conchas

Light House, Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilThe lighthouse was built 1872, as an order of the King Dom Pedro II, and it was brought from England to Ilha do Mel. The lighthouse still works by orienting boats entering in the Paranaguá Bay. From that spectacular height you get a lovely panoramic view of several gorgeous beaches of Ilha do Mel and you can also see the point where the island separates. Due to its beauty, the lighthouse has been featured in many films.

It is certainly worth the time to walk to from the top of the hill to the base of the lighthouse, especially for sundown! It is gorgeous…Close to the lighthouse you will find some lovely Ilha do Mel hotels, such as Pousada Enseada das Conchas, Pousada Treze Luas and Pousada Canto da Figueira.

The northern part the island

A great way to see the beauty of the island is to do a complete walk around the northern part, which takes 7-8 hours; this hike should only be attempted by experienced hikers, as it is demanding. You can also rent a bike and spend about 4 hours getting around the island. Please always ask locals about the tide conditions before beginning a tour on your own, and do not forget to take water and some food with you!

Trilha do Belo

Belo Trail, Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilBelo means beautiful. Aptly named, the Trilha do Belo is a path full of natural wonders. Starting next to the pier, it first leads you through a bushy area to the Praia do Belo beach. One is greeted by a small beach, with stones and mangroves all around. The sea runs shallow and calm and the waters soothe the senses. Returning to the trail, the path to Praia Grande presents starkly different vegetation in the form of dense submontane forest.

From Praia do Farol to Encantadas

Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilThe magic of Encantadas lies within its enchanting myths and folklore. The grotto has a legend that a mermaid charmed sailors and fishermen to lure in their ships. To reach Praia de Encantadas, you must take a three-hour hike starting at Praia do Farol; passing through other picturesque beaches like Praia do Miguel, Praia Grande and Praia de Fora. On the way to Encantadas, you will also cross the Morro de Sabão or Soap Hill, called so because the hill gets very slippery when it rains. The tide and floods make it impossible to cross the stones; therefore, after arrival, weary travellers can rent a boat and sail along.

Walk to the fortress

Ilha do Mel, Parana, BrazilThere are two scenic paths to choose from when going to visit the fortress from Praia do Farol: a beach path and one through a verdant forest called the Caminho da Figueira.Though both the paths take 2 ½ hours by foot, the forest path is used when the tide is high. To get a bird's eye view of Ilha do Mel and Ilha das Peças, one must first climb to an ancient military labyrinth called the ' Morro da Baleia'. The view is breathtaking.

The walk to the labyrinth is a difficult journey, where you must brave a small river and walk cautiously on an extremely steep path which leads to the cavern nestled at the foot of the hill. But it is a challenge hikers like to take on and it is definitely rewarding.

Paranaguá - Things to See & DoTop

altParanaguá was the first town in the brazilian state of Paraná and has several interesting colonial buildings along Rua da Praia. Several buildings are now being restored and some resemble former times in their façades.

altThe city is an important harbour town, exporting grains from Brazil to all over the world. It is also a gateway to Ilha do Mel.

How to reach Paranaguá? See our transportation guide. Where to sleep in Paranaguá? We offer you several hotels in our accommodation listings. Looking for the best way to see Paranaguá? See our tour options.

Old Town

altDo not miss a visit to the “Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia”. It is a wonderful colonial building from the 18th Century that was built to host a school and later served as customs since it faces the former harbour. It has been recently reopened and its entrance is now located at Rua XV de Novembro, parallel to Rua da Praia. It is definitely worth a visit!

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 12 am and from 1:30 pm to 6 pm. Entrance fee: BRL 2 per person.

Another interesting building is Igreja de São Benedito; it is considered the first church in southern Brazil built by slaves in 17th century. The church can be found on Rua Conselheiro Sinimbú and is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm.

altThe first church in town was Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, built 1578. It was the central point in Paranaguá for a long time. This church is located on Largo Monsenhor Celso and is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm.

During the colonial brazilian period, the churches were divided into three categories: managed by priests (1st Order), by nuns (2nd Order) and by the community (3rd Order). Being so, the Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco das Chagas was built by the community in the 18th century and was considered the church of the wealthier inhabitants. After being transformed into a theatre, the church is now being renovated and will be reopened soon.

altOn Rua da Praia, you will see several colonial buildings. The former harbour was here; this was where boats from the Itiberê River would port to export everything produced in Paraná and to import industrial goods.

Boat tour at Paranaguá Bay

The Paranaguá bay is the third largest in Brazil and is surrounded by the Atlantic Rain Forest; this ecosystem is very important to keep the balance in our planet.

altA boat tour is a great option to see more from Paranaguá. There are several boats at Rua da Praia. One of the most confortable ones is the Marujo Amigo, which starts from the pier facing the restaurant Danúbio Azul. The tour usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes and you will see the mangroves, channels, islands and the harbour. Here some of the sights in the bay:

Ilha da Cotinga was the place where the first settlers lived before arriving on mainland. A Carijó Indian community still lives on the island and produces handcrafts for sale. Buying their goods in Paranaguá’s local market is a nice way to sustain their traditions and enables the group to remain living on the island.

Ilha dos Valadares is linked to the mainland by a bridge and was formerly a fishermen village. Today, Ilha dos Valadares can only be reached walking or by bike and is home to many families, who continue to keep local traditions alive; such as the fandango dance, handcrafts, the “Mãe ca filha” – a liquor made of sugar cane spirit and syrup (delicious!) and barreadot (the famous local dish). The community is not well prepared to receive tourists, but their products can be bought in the local market.

altThe Paranaguá Port Dom Pedro II is the second largest port in Brazil and the biggest grain export port in Latin-America. Its main exportation product is the soy that comes from the brazilian states of Paraná, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and also Paraguay.

altFrom the boat you might see Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rocio; an important peregrination place in Paraná, as devotees come from all over Brazil to visit and pray. The image of the Lady of Rocio was found by fishermen that built the chapel here in 1813.

Railway Paranaguá – Curitiba

altAs the production of mate herb became very important for Paraná in 19th century, the construction of a railway linking Paranaguá to Curitiba was necessary to make exportation easier. The railway is considered an engineering masterpiece. Its construction began in 1880 and ended in 1885, crossing 110 km through the Atlantic Rain Forest. There are 14 tunnels and bridges to link Curitiba, located about 900 m above sea level; same as Paranaguá.

altToday, the train arrives in Paranaguá only on Sundays. On the other days, the last stop is Morretes. The train leaves Curitiba daily at 8:15 am.

To get more information and details about this famous and must do tour you can check out the article The Exciting Train Tour from Curitiba to Morretes and Paranaguá, posted on TRAVEL TO PARANÁ's Blog!

Paranaguá Port

The port is the 2nd most important port in Brazil, and is known especially for grain export. From here soybean from Paraná, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraguay are exported to the World.

altEventhough the port does not have a tourist terminal, the port has been starting to receive cruises. Contact us if you need any further information about cruises in Paranaguá!

The port is open for visits on Saturdays and Sundays (09:30 am, 10:39 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm). The entrance is free!

Morretes - Things to See & Do Top

altThis picturesque small town is dominated by the meandering Nhundiaquara River and surrounded by the Atlantic Rain Forest. It is a beloved destination for Curitibanos looking for relaxing moments in the outskirts of the big city, especially during weekends when the restaurants are fully booked and many people take the train tour from Curitiba to Morretes.

How to reach Morretes? See our transportation guide. Where to sleep in Morretes? There are several guesthouses to choose from. Fancy a hike or maybe a rafting tour? See our tour options.

Downtown

Facing the Serra do Mar Mountains, you will see the train station, which is where most Morretes visitors arrive. From there, you can stroll through the town and discover its curiosities.

altOlder houses in Morretes where built facing the Nhundiaquara River. In the several restaurants along the river you will have the chance to taste “barreado”, the typical dish of the Paraná coast. It is a boiled beef cooked many hours in a closed casket and served with cassava flour, rice and banana. You can also order it with “frutos do mar”, and you will get barreado with fish and praws. See a wide restaurant selection in our restaurant guide. Read the post Barreado: The Famous Typical Dish of Paraná on the TRAVEL TO PARANA's Blog!

Casa Rocha Pombo
is a cultural centre in Largo Dr. José Pereira, Jose Pereira 43. Casa Rocha Pombo was built in honour of the multifaceted Rocha Pombo from Morretes. He was an acclaimed historian, teacher, writer and politician. The simple colonial architectural style of the Jesuit period characterizes this building, which overlooks the Nhundiaquara River as well as the city.

altThe Church of St. Benedict is located at the intersection of the Adviser Sinimbu and Fernando Amaro streets and has stood the test of time. Believed to have been built by slaves in 1765, its stone foundation was laid almost a century later in 1863. It was constructed in the colonial style and a tower was added over half a century later at the behest of Captain Roberto France.

Cascatinha

Driving down 5 km from Morretes, on Marcos Malucelli Street along the Marumbi River is a natural reserve that showcases a large lake ringed by a verdant forest. Swim or dive in the placid waters of the lake, camp out or barbeque. This Morretes tourist attraction has a nice infrastructure with restrooms, changing rooms and a cafeteria.

Estrada da Graciosa

altThis picturesque, winding, old colonial road (PR Highway 410) lies 37 km from Curitiba on BR-116. It winds through the lush, green Atlantic rainforest down to the coast. Several rest stops dot this route, with toilets, kiosks and open-fire grills. The quaint Iron Bridge over the River Mother Catira and the Jesuit's Path are just some of the interesting sites here. Only cars and vans can traffic on this road.

Heel of Monkeys "Salto dos Macacos"

The Monkeys River or Rio dos Macacos provides a spectacular view as it gushes over a height of 70m upon a granite slab, creating a striking natural pool. As you travel by train through the region, do not miss the dramatic Redondo Waterfall, 20m wide, tumbling down a drop of 30m. To get there by train, disembark at Engineer Lange and hike about 2 to 3 hours. It is 4km by road from Porto de Cima and 2 hours on foot thereafter.

Marumbi State Park "Parque Estadual do Marumbi"

altMarumbi State Park was founded in 1990 and covers over 370 hectares, it is considered a real hiker's delight. The towering Pico Marumbi is 1539 m high and is situated within the confines of the Marumbi State Park; this is the state's prime attraction for mountain climbing enthusiasts. This area is a gorgeous place to hike and to enjoy the environment.

Vantage points in the park provide spectacular views encompassing mountains, waterfalls, rivers with amazing flora and fauna in and around the rain forest. Walk down the road to the station from the park and one can view the imposing Marumbinistas Waterfall, which tumbles down a precipitous drop of 50 m, adding to splendour to the countryside.

Colonial Paths

altTwo of the ancient “colonial paths” are well kept: the Graciosa Trail or Estrada da Graciosa and the Itupava Trail or Caminho do Itupava. Most of the Graciosa Trail is now the Graciosa Road. The first part of this trail is very old (1646-1653) and the second part, that ends in Atuba was completed much later (1848-1870). According to the legend, the original Itupava Trail was used by hunters in 1625 to chase a tapir down the mountain to Porto de Cima. The second portion of this trail, that leads to Borda do Campo was completed only in 1649-1654.

The well-marked Graciosa and Itupava trails now serve as delightful nature walks and afford spectacular views.

Nhundiaquara River

Nhundiaquara River or Rio Nhundiaquara is a scenic tree lined river that intersects the whole city. The origin of the name came from the local words nhundi (meaning fish) and quara (meaning hole); in the past, the river was in an important waterway between the highlands and the coast. Canoeing and fishing are possible along a distance of about 12 km, where the river is navigable. Those looking forward for fun and adventure can float down the river doing “boia cross” or buoy. Look out for the grandiose Old Bridge across the city centre. The bridge was built around 100 years ago and renovated in 1975.

Marumbi Tour

From Morretes you can easily access the Marumbi Nature Reserve. The natural reserve covers an area of approximately 66,732 hectares and encompasses most of the Serra do Mar and part of the Eastern Plateau. The region offers fabulous sightseeing options including the Estrada da Graciosa, Curitiba, Paranaguá Railway, Serra Manantiales, Graciosa and Itupava trails, and a dam on the Capivari River.
We strongly recommend a local guide for your tour in this area.

Marumbi Tour

From Morretes you can easily access the Marumbi Nature Reserve. The natural reserve covers an area of approximately 66,732 hectares and encompasses most of the Serra do Mar and part of the Eastern Plateau. The region offers fabulous sightseeing options including the Estrada da Graciosa, Curitiba, Paranaguá Railway, Serra Manantiales, Graciosa and Itupava trails, and a dam on the Capivari River. We strongly recommend a local guide for your tour in this area.

Cachaça Distilleries

altThe coastal region of Paraná is also famous for its cachaça production. There are several distilleries producing the world famous Brazilian "cachaça". This tradition began in 1870 when the Scucato, Malucelli, Zilli and Gnata families emigrated from Italy and settled in Morretes. Nowadays, the cachaça produced in Morretes is considered one of the best "cachaças" in Brazil and some of them are exported to many other states and countries in the world.

The Scucato family was one of the pioneers, producing cachaça around 1880. The Engenho São Pedro is open to visitors and still produces cachaças aged in barrels made of Araribá wood, a native type of wood from the Atlantic Rainforest, predominant in the area.

Porto Morretes is another popular distillery that attracts many visitors. The distillery exports part of their high quality organic cachaça production to Canada. The tour starts with a visit to the organic sugar cane plantation (free from any chemical product, herbicide or fertilizer). During the harvest season you can try fresh, sweet sugar-cane. After seeing how the raw material is grown, the next step is seeing the distillery's facilities where you can see the modern equipment used to produce the cachaça. The visit finishes in the cellar where the cachaça is aged in barrels of American oak and, of course, there will be a delicious cachaça tasting. The Porto Morretes distillery was built to take advantage of the unevenness of the land. During every phase of production, the cachaça is transported by gravity. The distillery makes creative and efficient use of the by-products of production as well. After the juice is extracted from the sugar-cane, half of the pulp is heated in a huge kettle and the steam generated is not only used in the distillation process but also to clean the facilities and equipments. The other half is used as fertilizer.

Antonina - Things to See & DoTop

altSerene, tranquil and charming; Antonina is a small but well organised coastal town far removed from the boisterous state capital of Curitiba. It slowly slipped into decadence as it lost the pride of being Paraná's main port. The industry suffered as ships gained in size and mounting silt deposits limited their access to the Antonina Harbour. Languid would describe the pace of life here, complementing the town's rustic, old world charm. Several preserved buildings and churches from the colonial era add to this effect. Antonina springs to life, however, during its yearly street ‘Carnaval' and during the Winter Festival.

How to reach Antonina? See our transportation guide. Where to sleep in Antonina? Find several hotels and guesthouses in our accommodation list. Want to see the best sights in Antonina? See our tour options.

Downtown

altThe best place to begin a walking tour in Antonina is from the church Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Pilar; from here you will enjoy a great view of the Antonina Bay. This church is located where the town began and dates back to 1715. The paintings inside are from the famous local artist Theodoro de Bona.

Facing the church, you will see the beautiful Coronel Macedo Square. The buildings surrounding the square were built during the mate herb golden era and are today preserved as restaurants and hotels; such as Hotel Atlante and Hotel Camboa Capela Antonina.

You will also see the Teatro Municipal, built in an eclectic style and opened 1906.

Railway Station | Estação Ferroviária

altAt the town entrance, you will easily see on the right side the railway station. It was built in English style and opened 1922 to celebrate Brazil´s 100th independence anniversary. Today, it is a cultural centre and tourism information office.

Antonina BeachPonta da Pita | Prainha

This is a stone formation on the beach used for bathing and fishing. There are restaurants and bars nearby.

Bairro Alto | Cachoeira River

The Bairro Alto is a beloved place for nature lovers, with paths set amidst the middle of the Atlantic Rain Forest. You will also find the ruins of Usina Cotia, where the first Japanese settlers arrived in Paraná in early 20th century.

Cachoeira River is a great place for rafting, hiking and bathing. See our rafting tour there!

Pico Paraná

In Antonina, you will see Pico Paraná, the highest mountain in southern Brazil at a height of 1962 m. This mountain is treasured out by hikers and trekkers; its path is not very easy and requires a local guide.

Superagui | Superagui Island - Things to See & DoTop

altSuperagüi Island is situated on the northern end of Paranaguá Bay and it is even more calm and rustic than Ilha do Mel. Superagüi Island is part of the Superagui National Park, where wonderful treasures are waiting to be discovered.

The coastal ecosystems of the Superagui National Park are among the most remarkable on the planet!

Superagui National Park

altThe Superagui National Park or Parque Nacional do Superagui was created in 1989 with a land area of 33,998 hectares split between the Valley of the Rio dos Patos on the mainland, as well as the islands of Superagui, Das Peças, Pinheiro and Pinheirinho. Fishing regions lie outside the perimeter of the park, allowing fishermen to go about their work unhindered. The park is within the estuary and lagoon of Paranaguá, Iguape and Cananéia.

altMuch of the sea life here is conserved in the ecosystem of the park. The mangroves, sand banks, empty beaches and ecological trails help to preserve many endemic species and marine life present in the reserve. Plant species like jacarandas, ipês, figs, orchids, caxetas, jerivá, palm trees, guapés and guanandis are found in abundance.

altSome extremely rare animals like the endangered papagaio-da-cara-roxa (purple faced parrot) and mico-leao-da-cara-preta (black-faced lion tamarin) are sheltered along the eastern reaches. Migratory birds like the blowtorch also depend on this ecosystem to survive the cold months away from the north. Bird species like the thrush, frigate, toucan, biguá and big-white-heron thrive. At the break of dawn as well as at dusk, the purple-faced-parrot can be spotted on Pinheiro Island.

Other species found here include broad snouted caiman, cutias, saua monkeys, wild pigs, pacas, and poisonous snakes like the coral, jararaca, and deer.

You can access the area by boat from Guaraqueçaba, Ilha do Mel and Paranaguá. It is located within the Area of Environmental Protection in Guaraqueçaba and has been recognised by the UNESCO in the category Mankind Natural Patrimony.

Desert Beach

altThis desert beach or Praia Deserta, as it is called, runs for 38 km along the coastline of the Superagui Island. With its empty stretches and wide open spaces, it is not hard to see how it got its name. The beach is perfect for long walks of between 4 and 7 hours. Bird watchers will find plenty to keep them enthralled thanks to the high population of migratory birds (from the cold north) that flock here from March to April each year. Cycling enthusiasts can ride around the area for unhindered long stretches.

At the beginning of Desert Beach, you will find Pousada Sobre as Ondas, which is considered the best place to stay on the island.

Lagoa Trail

This 3 km long walking trail leads from the sand bar on Superagüi village up to the Praia Deserta and one stretch involves going through marshy lands. However, even beginners and the less adventurous do not consider it too difficult to try since it is on flat land and relatively easy.

Boat tour

altA boat tour is also a must-do when you are here. Such tours take you to several channels and islands, where you will see mangroves and the rich fauna and flora of the region. In the late afternoon, a good option is to stop in front of Pinheiro and Pinheirinho islands to see the parrots ‘papagaio chauá' returning back home. They arrive alone or in small groups. According to an environmental organisation, more than 2,000 parrots live on the island. They leave the islands early every morning in search of food and return at the end of the day to nest.

Ilha das Peças

altThe biggest attraction on Ilha das Peças is “Baía dos Golfinhos” or “Dolphins Bay”, located just in front of the pier. From the community restaurant, where women have organized themselves in an association to cook home-style food, you can appreciate dolphins swimming and playing around. The village has about 500 inhabitants and many deluxe houses, where wealthy people from Paranaguá and Curitiba enjoy having summer residences.
altDuring weekends, many boat owners stop on the island to enjoy a meal or a cold beer in one of the beach bars and restaurants. Everything is simple, but natives are well organized and even have classes in rooms via satellite. On the other side of Ilha das Peças, there is a small community called Bertioga, where only 30 families live. In the single restaurant/inn, Baia Bela, many boats with hobby-fishers stop by for a drink, a fresh meal or to spend the night. If you like a place of solitude, Bertioga is surely a great option for you! Mauricio and his family will be delighted to welcome you!

Guaraqueçaba - Things to See & DoTop

altDue to the lonesome location, at the end of an unpaved road and 3 hours by boat from Paranagua; the nature around Guaraqueçaba and is simple, but hearty inhabitants are very appealing for independent travellers looking for an unspoiled and undiscovered destination.

How to reach Guaraqueçaba? See our transportation guide. Where to sleep in Guaraqueçaba? See several options in our accommodation recommendations.

Colonial Houses

altGuaraqueçaba has many old houses dating back to the 1800s and many of them have been preserved in their original colonial architectural style, really impressive and interesting. The IBAMA ecological station is located in one of these buildings, which houses a great exhibition of the town's history. A display of photographs as well as art by Swiss expat William Michaud (an inhabitant of the city from 1852 to 1902) help paint a vivid picture of the past.

Church of Our Lord Jesus of Good Pardons  

altKnown by the locals as Igreja do Nosso Senhor Bom Jesus dos Perdões, this church is located on Colonel John Isidoro Street and it was installed for Our Lord Jesus of Pardons. The church festival is celebrated every year on the 5th and 6th of August.

The church is made from large, sturdy blocks of stone and the thick walls and strong construction have enabled it to be well preserved since its construction in 1838. Like the local architecture, the church building has also a colonial design. Some people believe and say that the church was the first construction in the city, dedicated to Bom Jesus dos Perdões.

The church's altar is made to resemble a boat. The base of the boat itself is carved to look like a fish, as a symbolic tribute to the local fishermen, and is made of wood.

From the church you can see Hotel Guarakessaba. A few steps up hill, you will reach Hotel Pousada Bambuza.

Morretes Edge

Ponta do Morretes is an idyllic destination in the heart of the city. The point is a lovely place to unwind in the early evening after a hectic day of sightseeing. It is a great point to observe and watch dolphins playing in the sea! With its pier running beside the bay, you can go fishing and swimming, the place is also a wonderful picnic spot.

Quitumbê Hill  

Morro Do Quitumbê is the perfect place to get a panoramic view of the area around the city. To get there, visitors need to hike about 800 meters along a meandering pathway amid lush greenery. The highest point offers a wonderful vantage point for gazing out at the bay as well as the city below. The Quitumbê trail begins behind the church “Igreja Nosso Senhor Bom Jesus dos Perdoes”, the largest building in Guaraquecaba’s village.

Salto Morato Nature Reserve  

altWithin the Atlantic Forest Conservation Region, you will find the Morato Falls Natural Reserve stretching across 2340 hectares. The area was opened in February 1996 and it is part of the APA or Environmental Protection Area in Guaraqueçaba. The property is owned and run by the Foundation O Boticário along with The Nature Conservancy.

altThe reserve has an auditorium that can accommodate 30 people, an exhibition of the Atlantic Forest, a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs of your trip, plus a research centre, classroom and an amphitheatre in case you are part of an educational or business tour group. Have your own little picnic in the forest at the snack bar, campsite or by the kiosk but with permission of the authorities.

altRemember, just 2% of the entire land area is well marked and signposted, and the rest of it is largely inaccessible. The complete infrastructure is open from December to March and in the low season some parts of the visitors centre might be closed.

The fragile ecology of the area is mainly preserved due to the inaccessibility of large portions of the reserve to humans as well as the presence of a number of springs (about 30), providing fresh water in plenty. As many as 45% of registered bird species from the Parana, 48% of its mammal species and about 20% of its species of reptiles are found on this reservation. There are also about 38 kinds of fish and 19 amphibian species.

The forested area has a large variety of plant species - some old, some new - and it is believed to have around 650 species in its depths. Among them are the eternally beautiful orchids, as well as bushes and epiphytes.

The name Morato comes from the name of the Morato Falls. This 130 m high waterfall washes the area with a refreshing coolness and makes a perfect landscape picture. In December of 1999, the UNESCO recognized the area and its entire ecosystem reservation as a Mankind Natural Patrimony location.

Location: The reservation is just 20 km from the centre of Guaraqueçaba. You will have to take the PR 405 road.

Visiting hours: The reserve is open between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays.

Islands

altSeveral little islands surround Guaraqueçaba. Ilha do Superagui, also known as Superagui Island, is one of the most famous destinations. The first Portuguese arrived in Paranaguá in 1945 and many of them chose to settle down on the island. Since 1985, the island has been recognized as a site of historical importance to the state. Other islands you could visit are Ilha do Rebelo, Ilha da Povoca, Ilha das Peças and Ilha das Laranjeiras.

Serra Negra Belvedere

The Serra Negra Belvedere or Mirante da Serra Negra is a great viewpoint for travellers to get a bird's eye view of the bay, Guaraqueçaba and places nearby. To reach the Belvedere, you will have to go to a short climb up a 30-metre high ladder with about 127 steps. It is reachable from the road that leads from Guaraqueçaba to Antonina.