Traveling by train between Curitiba and Morretes is one of the most famous and popular train journeys in Brazil – especially for people who want to experience what it is like to travel by train and enjoy several beautiful natural scenery and grandiose along the way. In addition to this tour itself, the tourist is waiting many options for what to do and where to go to continue the adventure.
The city of Morretes itself, which is located 69 km from the capital of Parana, has many impressive sights. Buildings that retain 18th-century architecture, lakes and the city’s immersion in nature are just some of the attractions of this place, a full plate for tourists looking for outdoor activities, extreme sports or walking through waterfalls.
Proximity to cities such as Campina Grande do Sul, Paranagua and Sao José dos Pinhais allows travelers to choose different routes to continue their journey through the state of Parana. The options cater to a wide variety of traveler profiles, from hikers and adventure travelers to those looking to visit paradise islands or come with kids.
Traveling by train from Curitiba to Morretes
With an estimated duration of 4 hours and 15 minutes, the train journey between Curitiba and Morretes is so symbolic that The Guardian called it one of the most incredible train tours in the world. Throughout the route, tourists explore the railway connecting Paranagua and Curitiba, a historic site that has existed since the 19th century – it was opened by Princess Isabella in 1885.
The reason why the route is considered so magnificent is that it is completely immersed in the natural landscapes of the Serra do Mar. Vegetated peaks, waterfalls, rocky walls, rivers, waterfalls, and cliffs are some of the stars that make up the spectacle that lodge tourists witness. In addition, the train passes over 41 bridges, some of which are completely suspended or so narrow that they give the impression of floating, and 13 tunnels, which together cover about 70 km.
The most popular train route from Curitiba to Morretes is operated by the Serra Verde Express, whose train has seven different classes, from tourist which costs 149 reais* to luxury which costs 317 reais. The departure is always at 8:00:15:00 with a scheduled return to Curitiba at 3:00 pm. Tours only operate daily during the high season corresponding to January, February, July and December. The rest of the time the line operates only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Owner of a country atmosphere of peace and tranquility, Morretes is considered a historic city. Until the 16th century, the city was inhabited by the Kariho indigenous people, but in 1646, after the discovery of gold deposits, miners captured it. For this reason, colonial mansions are seen in crowds in the region, the architecture of which has survived to this day.
Street craft fairs also attract tourists looking to discover and buy local art. They are usually accompanied by restaurants where the local menu can be sampled; including the barreado, which is a typical dish and consists of a stew with rice, banana and cassava flour, you can visit the mansion where Cachaça Porto Morretes is produced.
Nature tourism is also a strong point of the city. Visiting waterfalls, mountains over 1500 meters high and natural parks are some of the wonders that can be included in the itinerary.
Not to mention the Pico do Marumbi State Park, which has preserved part of the Atlantic Forest and a chain formed by nine huge mountains, as well as the Nhundiaquara Reserve, a 400-hectare park that has trails, waterfalls and places where you can dive into the Nhundiaquara River , the water in which is clear and shallow.
You can also go to neighboring Morretes by train, which leaves from Curitiba, passes through Morretes and goes to Antonina – the prices for this route are higher and start at 339 reais. With a population of less than 20,000 and 13 km from Morretes, the town still has colonial mansions and is famous for having preserved the first traces of the occupation found in the sambacs.
Main activities in Antonina: visit to the Church of Nossa Señora do Pilar, located in the upper part of the city, overlooking the Gulf of Antonina; enjoy the view from Mirante do Valente, which has a swing at the edge of a cliff; discover and enjoy the Balas de Banana factory, which produces the main typical local dish.
Campina Grande do Sul
Campina Grande do Sul, located 29.3 km from Morretis, offers tourists a taste of country life. This is a peaceful place for those who want to step on the gas and reconnect with nature.
It is no coincidence that one of the main attractions of the city is the Animal Village, with an area of more than 218 thousand square meters, which immerses the visitor in the life of the countryside. Milking cows, collecting eggs, and horseback riding are some of the activities on offer that attract many families and children. Weekend tours cost 50 reais per person.
Campina Grande do Sul is a benchmark for environmental protection and has dozens of rivers and waterfalls with water that feeds the Iguazu, Ribeiro and Atlantic river basins. The rivers Capivari, Kangiri and Timbu are the most popular and sought after, whether diving, watching waterfalls or kayaking.
It is also worth taking time to visit the Ari Coutinho Bandeira Park, which has several dams and places for boat trips and fishing; and Pico Parana, the highest mountain in the state and in the south of the country. From the top, reaching 1877 meters, offers an unprecedented view of the Atlantic Forest, the bays of Paranagua and Antonina, and even the city of Curitiba.
The city of Paranagua was founded in 1648 and is considered the oldest city in Parana. It is 42 km from Morretes and represents the main coastal axis of the state, which invites tourists to enjoy the beaches and discover unmissable islets. Museums, churches, the presence of animals and the Historical Center on the banks of the river Itibere are also among the attractions.
Also worth a visit is the Rua da Praia, full of colonial townhouses; Municipal Craft Market, housed in a Neo-Renaissance building; and the Paranagua Marine Aquarium, which contains 200 animals, including species endemic to the Paraná coast.
However, the city is highly sought after by tourists as it is the gateway to the paradise of Ilha do Mel, known as the island of lovers. There the traveler finds beaches completely isolated by virgin forest, trails and postcards such as Gruta das Encantadas, Nossa Señora dos Prazeres and Farol das Conchas.
Ilha do Mel does not allow cars and can only be reached by boat, which in itself already demonstrates the tranquility and immersion in nature that this place provides. It is also a popular destination for backpackers, as hotels offer affordable camping sites.
Sao Jose dos Pinhais
Despite having several beautiful outdoor attractions, wine tourism is the main attraction of Sao José dos Pinhais. The town is 37 km from Morretes and offers many tasty options for those who appreciate good wine and want to learn about the stages of production or try local varieties. This place is also considered a romantic place and attracts many couples.
The wine trail passing through Colonia Mergulyan and its surroundings is one of the most interesting in the destination and has about 30 rural properties that are part of the local production. The Italian culture based in this place is widely studied and until today the children of Italian descendants live in this region to spread the knowledge and culture of their ancestors. Colonial cafes, restaurants, vintners and hotels are some of the establishments found.
The Araucária winery promises a full guided tour at affordable prices (50 reais for a full tour and 30 reais without tasting). Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history of the winery and walk through the vineyard, as well as get acquainted with the winemaking process and taste the three labels produced by the winery.
Pontal do Parana
Nearly 40 km from Morretes, Pontal do Parana is also home to part of the Parana coast and has 48 resorts and beautiful beaches with blue waters along a 23 km straight path.
Some of the beaches in the region make perfect waves for surfing, and the main ones are in regions with a lot of entertainment and popular nightlife, such as the beaches of Ipanema and Leste and the resorts of Shangri-La Santa Terezinha.
The city is also home to the Carré Islands National Marine Park, a paradise made up of three islands 11 km off the coast. In addition to beautiful scenery for recreation, this region is considered a bird breeding center and is home to the Marine Research Center of the Federal University of Parana.
In addition to the beaches, Pontal do Parana has excellent opportunities for ecotourism. Among them is the Estrada Ecológica do Guaraguaçu, a 26 km road paved with shells. The site is also home to the indigenous Guaraní village of M’Bya, which can be visited by appointment at Funai or the Department of Tourism.
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* Prices are as of May 19, 2022.