Morretes is a tiny peaceful town on the coast of the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is full of old colonial buildings and churches and looks much the same as it would have 100 years or longer ago.
When visiting Morretes in Brazil the experience is almost like traveling back in time. The city is one of the oldest in the state, first colonized by the Portuguese. Morretes remained relatively quiet until the discovery of gold brought many people from Sao Paolo.
Today, the economy of Morretes in Brazil is mostly based on income from domestic and overseas tourism. The town offers visitors a wealth of eco friendly activities to choose from. There is enough to keep you busy here for a few days, but half of the fun of this town that time forgot is found in getting here. The journey to Morretes can be anything but direct for even the most experienced global traveler.
Traveling to Morretes in Brazil
While Brazil does not have a huge amount of train lines, the Serra Verde Express is by far the most interesting and most dramatic. At times the experience of clinging to a rock wall makes you feel that the train is actually gliding on air.
The Serra Verde Express
The railroad that runs from Curitiba to Paranaguá, passing through Morretes, was built in 1890. At the time, it was the only way to access to the coastline there. It is 68 miles long and passes through 13 tunnels and roses over some 30 or so bridges.
The construction of the Serra Verde Express at the time was considered to be an amazing feat of engineering. The Serra Verde Express features pillars drilled into mountainsides making passengers on the Serra Verde Express feel like they are perched precariously in the edge.
The scenery from the train is breathtaking. You can ride from Curitiba to Morretes any day of the week and if you want to travel on to Paranaguá later on, just jump back on the Serra Verde Express. It is a full days travel from Curitiba but one you are unlikely to ever forget.
You can, if you are so inclined, do this journey to Morretes by bus also. Taking this route the scenery is quite spectacular that way to. However if you decide to use that travel option, at least use the train in one direction. You can also drive yourself, which many tourists from Curitiba do. There is a highway which runs from Curitiba, with scenery that is almost as pretty as the train ride.
Serra Verde Express in Video
Explore this selection of videos taken from the Serra Verde Express railroad. See just why this is one train journey that you really want to pay attention during and absorb the majestic mountain scenery.
Things to do in Morretes
Morretes may be a small town, with the center of the historic town is off limits to traffic, but make no mistake, this is one of the most popular destinations in the country with over a million visitors each year.
The town itself is much like a museum turned completely inside out. There are old colonial buildings and three very old churches. The Church of São Sebastião do Porto de Cima was completed in 1850, but the São Benedito Church is even older. The Matron Church of Nossa Senhora do Porto was built in the 19th century too.
The Nhundiaquara River in Morretes
The Nhundiaquara River cuts right through the center of town, offering up possibilities for kayak, rafting and canoe trips. You can almost imagine settlers panning for gold along the Nhundiaquara river banks in past times.
Nearby you will find the stunning beauty of the Veu de Noiva waterfall too. Further there are plenty of opportunities to get onto hiking trails or take bike trips through the countryside.
Many of the eco-tours through the surrounding rain forests of the Nhundiaquara River are incredibly inexpensive. You will pass through pristine jungles full of monkeys and other wild surprises.
Treking to Morro do Sete
If you have experience in both mountain climbing and jungle walks, you might want to take a trek to Morro do Sete. There may be organized tours available but this is not something that you should attempt on your own, especially if you are a beginner. The views that you will see from these mountains is simply spectacular.
Visiting the Farm of Chácara Reomar
If you have some free time in Morretes, visit the Chácara Reomar, which is only open on weekends. This interesting farm has eight giant fishing tanks where you pay for what you catch. Of course you can get a local place to cook up your fish for you. You can also pick fruit from the orchards if you like.
If you look around, you will also find guided horseback riding tours that will take you places that are much harder to get to than by foot (and with much less effort.) Try the local cachaça (Brazil’s most famous liquor) which has been brewed here locally since colonial times. There is also a sort of banana liquor, which is really different than anything that you may have tried.
The Best Time to Visit Morretes
The best time to visit Morretes in Brazil is from late April until October. The rest of the year the region can get pretty warm, but then it is also dry at that time. You will often get some hard stormy rains in July to October, but it is never really too bad, and tropical rain means tropical rainbows. All in all the climate in Morretes is fairly varied but predictable.
The vast majority of travelers come during the cooler months, especially a lot of Brazilians. Consequently if you don’t mind a little hot weather, you will find plenty more accommodation options in Morretes and cheaper prices at that time.
If you would like to find out more about the Serra Verde Express then study the official railway site, here.