Porto Alegre City Tour
This tour visits the city’s main tourist attractions: The historic downtown area where the city began to take shape, originally called the Porto dos Casais (Port of the Couples): Praça da Matriz (Town Square): Piratini Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral, São Pedro Theater and the Monument to Júlio de Castilhos; Praça da Alfândega (Customs Square), home of the Art Museum, the Rio Grande do Sul Memorial Building and Santander Cultural Center; City Hall, Public Market and the Port; Mário Quintana Cultural Center, Usina do Gasômetro Cultural Center, Ponte de Pedra (Stone Bridge) and Monument to the Azorian Immigrants. Moinhos de Vento neighborhood with its many bars, restaurants and luxurious stores. The tour continues on to Porto Alegre’s southside with panoramic views of Guaíba Lake and the city.
Approximate Duration: 3 hours
“Extended” tours can include the broad sidewalks of Ipanema beach on the city’s southside as well as a visit to the Iberê Camargo Foundation (art museum).
The most charming city of the State receives 2 million tourists a year. Not for nothing, as the town offers big hotels, excellent shopping and marvelous food.
*GASTRONOMY: The rigorous winter creates the perfect climate to savour fondues. One only needs a quick stroll along the Hortênsias and Borges de Medeiros avenues to define the day’s menu. To accompany, nothing better than the good wines produced in the region. And more: Gramado is the land of the chocolate. Tempting shops offers these delicacies along the central streets.
*SHOPPING: It is quite common to find tourists carrying shopping bags on the Borges de Medeiros and Hortênsias avenues. Chocolates, knitwear, furniture, handcrafts, leather clothes and colonial food baked on wood-fired ovens are some of the traditional shopping options.
*ENTERTAINMENT: The liveliest nights of the Serras Gaúchas take place at Gramado. One of the best points is Bill Bar, with two dancing floors, snooker tables and skittles. On the other hand, the Botequim Sant’ Ana has the charm of a pub and the liveliness of nightclubs. The thumb rule is to enjoy yourself.
Adventure and diversion are the highlights of this town, blessed by nature.
*GASTRONOMY: The town’s gastronomy is not as varied as in Gramado, but there are good Italian and German food options, in addition to traditional colonial cafés. On returning from a visit to the Cascata do Caracol (waterfalls), you must try the delicious apfelstrudel served with whipped cream or ice-cream and apple tea. Not to be missed.
*SHOPPING: Handicraft and chocolate shops can be found along Oswaldo Aranha avenue. However, one of the most charming gifts is the cloth dolls on sales at the Casa dos Bonecos with shops along the avenue and on the Caracol highway.
* ENTERTAINMENT: The town’s highlights are outdoor activities such as rappel, flying-fox, scaling, trekking, rafting, alpinism and trails. Starting with the principal attraction: Cascata do Caracol. The descent to the base can be appreciated in a tranquil cable ride or by descending 934 steps. Also visit the Ferradura park, an area of 400 hectares, situated 13 kilometers from Canela. Three belvederes provide a panoramic view of the valley. Enchanting. Those who want to enjoy the local nightlife; a good suggestion is the Cervejaria do Farol. The place has a bar, restaurant, serves its own locally produced beer and a tower of 130 meters. From it one can contemplate one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the town.
TOUR BENTO GONÇALVES/GREATE AND WINE
At the national wine capital, visiting vineyards is a must.
*GASTRONOMY: The best Italian cuisine can be appreciated at the tables of Bento. They are galetos (deboned chicken), pastas, soups, sausages and polenta, always accompanied by good wines produced in the region. Among the highlights of Giuseppe’s restaurant, in addition to Galeto al primo canto, and Canta Maria, an abundant Italian colonial cuisine. Much more: natural grape juices, homemade, are also delicious.
*SHOPPING: Before buying wines, cheese, juices and colonial products, taste each one. Tasting is part of the tradition.
* ENTERTAINMENT: The real fun is to visit the vineyards. All offer free wine tasting and sale of their wines. In many of them oenologists accompany visitors, which start at the grapevine trellises and end with a toast amidst oak vats. The majority of the establishments are located in the Vale dos Vinhedos (Vineyard Valley), in the districts of Tuiuty and Pinto Bandeira. Another attraction is a drive through colonial São Pedro. The 7 kilometers trip passes by 28 stone and wood buildings, reminiscent of northern Italy. Along the route colonial products can be found, in addition to Italian Cantinas and beautiful chapels.
Tour Maria Fumaça
In Carlos Barbosa we´ll visit Tramontina´s show room and Fetina de Formaio (where colonial products can be adquired). Carlos Barbosa is considered the largest lactic producer in this district.
Maria Fumaça (steam train) – 15:30 h in Bento Gonçalves station, to enjoy a tour “Returning to the past”,between Bento Gonçalves, Garibaldi and Carlos Barbosa stations. Different gauchos and italian shows are showing during the tour as degustation of wine, champagne and cheese. Including meals.
*SOME FEATURES: Principal attraction of the Serra Geral National Park, the Fortaleza Canyon impresses people by its immense wall banks. It derives its name from the configuration of its wall banks. It derives its name from the configuration of its wall banks, carved vertically recalling a fortress which extends for 5800 meters, with a width of 2000 meters and a depth of 600 meters. The highest point lies at 1157 meters and on clear days one can see the coast.
• ENTERTAINMENT: The Mirante Trail is easy and gives access to the top of the Fortalesa Hill, a distance of 3 kilometers there and back. The climb of 30 minutes to the highest point – 1117 meters – is a worth while. From the top you have the best view of the Canyon. During the trek it is possible to appreciate the Cachoeira Fortalesa (waterfalls). You should also visit the Cachoeira Tigre Preto, formed by three waterfalls – between 30 and 250 meters. A spectacle!
• HINT: Visit the famous Pedra do Segredo, a rock with a height of five meters and weighing approximately 30 tons. The fascinating thing about the Pedra is its small base
*SOME FEATURES: It is the biggest canyon of South America with an extension of 5800 meters, a width of 2000 meters and a depth of 720 meters, located in the Aparados da Serra National Park. He canyon’s yellow and reddish walls are covered by low vegetation, characteristic of the region and surrounded by native pines. The Perdizes River descends the rocky walls, forming the Véu de Noiva waterfall, in an impressive scenario. The Boi River slithers down the stone walls, forming waterfalls.
* ENTERTAINMENT: The Vértice Trail is the easiest and the only one that can be tackled without a guide. Covering a distance of 1,5 kilometers, there and back, it takes an average of 45 minutes. The trail encircles the mouth of the canyon, permitting a front view of the Cachoeira das Andorinhas. For those who like adrenaline, an option is the Cotovelo Trail: 6Km with a complete view of Itaimbezinho.
HINT: Indicated for the more experienced, the Boi River Trail with an average duration of 7 hours, starting at the end of the Itaimbezinho Valley, until reaching the surface of the canyon. Climbing techniques are necessary for the last part of the trail.