Attractions Nearby Curitiba, Day Trips and Excursions
(Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil)
Paraná is a state filled with attractions and many are located around its south-eastern region, being within easy reach of Curitiba and highly suitable for day trips. Particularly nearby is the charming town of Antonino, which lies just 15 km / 9 miles to the north-east of Curitiba and features a well-preserved colonial heart.
Although the attractions of Antonino are fairly low-key, with its architecture and pace of life being the main draw, the annual carnival celebrations are amongst the region's best and attract crowds from Curitiba.
Excursions to Morretes are also extremely popular with holiday makers and this lively coastal town is 76 km / 47 miles to the east of Curitiba, being connected by the Serra Verde Express. This scenic train ride is not to be missed and passes through some remaining expanses of the Atlantic Rainforest, continuing all the way to Paranagua.
Paranagua lies around 93 km / 58 miles east of Curitiba and this historical port town stands alongside the Rio Itibere (Itibere River). Attractions are plentiful in Paranagua, with much character being provided by its imposing churches and restored architectural gems. Churches of note include the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, the Igreja Sao Francisco das Chagas and the Igreja de Sao Benidicto, while the Museu de Arquelogia e Etnologia (Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology) contains some important regional artefacts and primitive folk art.
One of the most stunning beach resorts in South Brazil
, the Ilha do Mel is to be found approximately 148 km / 92 miles to the south of Curitiba, where it is so gorgeous that it appears to have almost jumped right off a postcard. Standing next to the Baia de Paranagua, the Ilha do Mel offers an undeniable tranquility and can only be reached by boat.
The island's beaches are what reliably draws the crowds of day trippers, although there are plenty more attractions to enjoy on Ilha do Mel. These include the Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres (Fort of Our Lady of the Pleasures), the Farol das Conchas (Conchas Lighthouse) and the southerly Grutas das Encantadas (Enchanted Caves).
At roughly 93 km / 58 miles to the west of Curitiba, Vila Velha is another popular day trip destination, an ancient 'Stone City' centred around 23 intriguing sandstone pillars (aretinhas). These natural attractions were created over literally millions of years by the act of erosion and can be viewed by walking along a nearby trail. Further highlights include a number of furnas (craters) and the Lagoa Dourada (Golden Lake).
To the north-east of Curitiba is the Parque Nacional do Superagui (National Park of Superagui), which is made up of the Pacas and Superagui islands. This vast park is part of the Atlantic Rainforest reserves and is rich in native wildlife, being home to innumerable red-tailed parrots, hummingbirds and toucans, as well as howler monkeys, agoutis and the occasional puma. Although the national park is not actually open to visitors, boat trips around its island attractions are available and depart from the Ilha do Mel.