Curitiba's Botanical Garden is one of the city's major tourist attractions, in the district of the same name. In 2007, it was chosen as one of the most beautiful sites in Brazil, named as one of the Seven Wonders of Brazil. The garden is home to numerous species of plants from all over Brazil and other countries. Inside, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the French-style garden.
The Iguazu River joins up with the Paraná river, which forms a natural border between three countries: Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. A boat ride takes you on a ride where you can see the three landmarks (with the colors of the flags of each country) all at the same time. It's an excellent excuse to navigate through the deep jungle and watch the evening a dance Guarani. As the sun sets, you can see people lighting the bonfire and dancing around it while chanting in their native language.
Its well worth spending the day in the Iguazu Fall National Park and visit the famous waterfall of La Garganta del Diablo. You can spend hours admiring nature's work. You'll love the feeling you get when you close your eyes and you just listen as the water falls. There is a lot of moisture, so you'll surely leave soaked.
I did not know that there were so many types of birds. I could see and almost touch toucans, wonderful hummingbirds, while listening to them flap their wings. It was very colorful. I loved being able to have a macaw and a python in my hands, which was cool.
The Barigi park is the most famous park in the city of Curitiba. It is very famous for crocodiles that inhabit the lake, and is popular in the late afternoon, when it fills up with joggers and other people exercising. During the weekend, the park is full, with people having barbecues, parents bringing their children to play, and young people coming for a beer with their friends. I don't think it's the most beautiful park in Curitiba, but it's worth visiting.
This museum, opened in 2002, is the main museum in the city of Curitiba, and has more than 3,000 pieces of art, mostly by Brazilian artists. Admission is 4.00, and the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 6. The Curitiba bus tour has a stop at the museum, and it can easily be reached by public transport, as several buses pass it. Recommended.
It was with a little hesitation that I got on the boat to the Ilha do Mel [Honey Island], which I took in Paranaguá, a one and a half hour tour through the mangroves near Paranaguá, but when I sighted the island, I realized that my misgivings were unfounded. Hotels were not in sight, only vegetation and a beautiful lighthouse at one end of the island. As we landed, I realized that the only vehicles on the island were two-wheeled metal carts powered by humans, which were used for carrying suitcases to people's lodgings. Those of us who had backpacks did not wait. After a little exploration in the nearby places, which were almost empty, I chose one to stay in because I saw the beach from my window and it was about 20 feet to the water. Pure heaven! The whole island is surrounded by beautiful beaches, such as Praia do Belo, Praia Grande (perfect for surfing), Praia do Miguel (almost deserted) and Praia das Encantadas.
This is more than an just an engineering feat, Itaipu is a tribute to the courage of the man ve wanted to tame the ninth largest river in the world. This region is an amazing tourist destinations where nature shows its best.
Created in honour of Pope John Paul II, the Pope Woods are one of the most important parks in Curitiba. This site is dedicated to Polish immigration, where every year several Polish festivals are celebrated. There's a shop inside where you can taste Polish dishes. Highly recommended.
It's a luxury to be sure, but it's an exceptional thing that's a once in a lifetime experience. From the Brazilian side of the falls, a helicopter can carry you for about 10 minutes to give you the oh so impressive tour of the waterfalls. You'll see the meandering river quietly and falls brutally noise, fumes and again makes its way to the sea. Despite having a very limited budget backpacker, I could not resist and do not regret anything! To compensate, I took a bus 15 hours to reach the plane in time ...
To arrive by bus: Take bus station in Puerto Iguazu Omnibus that is on Avenue Cordoba. The one we took was called "Tres Fronteras" and costs 3 pesos, taking us past the Argentina Border and into Brazil. The bus drops you off at the road leading to FOC do Iguaçu, don't get off at the town, so make sure to ask the driver or a passenger to notify you (everyone is very friendly).
There is another bus that says "Cataratas" and takes you to the entrance to the National Park, but this costs 5.50 pesos. Be aware that they will give you change in Brazilian currency change, which is a pain. The National Park entrance costs 40.80. From there you will be taken on a tour bus that will take you to the waterfall.
At the door there people who will help you make the purchase and tells you where the buses to the falls are located - obviously they t want to sell you something, hehehehe. In the park there is a route that you can go along walkways as indicated by arrows from the entrance. The Brazilian side is more visually stunning than the Argentine because you view all falls together. I hope this is helpful.
Opened in 1992, and designed by architect Dominic Bongestabs, the Opera is another tourist attraction in Curitiba. Here you can see the harmony between man made work and nature. The theatre hosts performances, and was built in steel and transparent polycarbonate casing. Important note for women: avoid heels and skirts.
The Free University of the Environment is one of the most beautiful places in the city of Curitiba. Opened in 1992, it is surrounded by a large forest, and operates a quarry. To reach the university, you'll need to walk for about 5 minutes; the road is beautiful. It was built with the intention of being a benchmark in the study of environmental conservation and sustainability. As such, it has an ampitheatre, a lake, and a wooden tower which you can climb and enjoy really wonderful views. Admission and parking is free.
A beautiful road in the middle of woods, there is a lot of spots to stop your car and take photos, spots to buy something to eat in the little snack bar. The final destination is Morretes, a small town where you can eat barreado, a local meal prepared with red meat and served with bananas.
The Buddhist temple is located in Foz de Iguazu. It got great architecture and statues, but the highlights are the Buddha sitting 7 feet tall, the Shakyamuni Buddha and the 108 identical statues just opposite the temple.
The temple is a bit out of city center but there is a bus that can take you there from the center. The entrance to the temple is free. You can take photos and record video around all of the Buddhist temple, except for the Guardians Room, which contain 18 statues of the Buddha's disciples.
One of the main charms of Ilha do Mel is the Lighthouse of Shells, which is a few minutes walk from Villa de Nova Brasília, along a very nice path where I saw birds of all kinds, up to a small hill where the lighthouse stands. Built in 1870 by a Glaswegian company, it has been in operation since 1872, and uses solar energy today. From the lighthouse you could see the Atlantic Ocean in front, from one side the Praia Grande and Praia de Fora and from the other side the two great beaches of Brasilia and Praia do Istmo, where at their most narrow they almost touch. It really is a view of paradise.