Sao Francisco de Paula Tourist Attractions
Top Tourist Attractions in Sao Francisco de Paula
São Francisco de PaulaSituation and CharacteristicsSão Francisco de Paula, 120km/75mi north-east of Porto Alegre, is the gateway to one of the most beautiful areas in Brazil, the magnificent Aparados da Serra National Park at Cambará do Sul with its great expanses of araucaria (parana pine) forest.Bus stationAvenida Julho de Castilhos 682
Artificial lakesThe lakes of Salto (23km/14mi) and Blang (24km/15mi), on the Rio Caí, offer good bathing and fishing. Blang is reached from the old road to Canela, Salto from the new one.
Cascata da Ronda
Cascata da Ronda2km/1.3mi from the town on the road to Cambará do Sul is the Cascata da Ronda (waterfall).
Passa da Ilha
Passa da IlhaOn the way to Bom Jesus (73km/45mi north) is the Passo da Ilha, a 200m/220yd long slab of rock over which the water plunges.
Passo do S
Passo do S7km/4.5mi beyond this, after crossing the broad but shallow Rio Tainhas, is the Passo do S, a small-scale version of the Iguaçu Falls.
There are a number of towns and natural attractions in the area surrounding São Francisco de Paula.
Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra
Parque Nacional de Aparados da SerraThe Aparados da Serra National Park, established in 1959, lies 66km/41mi north-east of São Francisco de Paula (reached by way of the Cambará road). The park occupies an area of 12,033 hectares/29,722 acres in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. It gets its name from the apartados, the steeply scarped rock walls of the Serra Geral which extend almost to the coastal town of Torres. Here one of the largest areas of araucaria (parana pine) forest in Brazil, with trees over 40m/130ft high, has been preserved. Shooting in the park is prohibited in order to protect the local fauna (ocelots, otters, tapirs, deer, hares, etc.). The best time to visit the park is in winter (May-August), in spite of the severe cold. Overnight accommodation is available in a pousada (advance reservation advisable).
Itaimbezinho GorgeOne of the most striking features in the National Park is the Itaimbezinho Gorge, a 5.8km/3.6mi long canyon carved out by the rivers Perdiz and Preá which heads in the direction of the sea, covered with araucarias. Waterfalls plunge down almost vertical walls of rock with an average height of around 600m/2000ft.
SerrasThe roads which run down to join the coast road (BR 101) wind their way through the Serras do Pinho and do Umbú (respectively 58km/36mi and 38km/24mi from São Francisco de Paula), affording ever-changing views of the Serra Geral.
Fortaleza95km/59mi north-east of São Francisco de Paula (reached by way of Cambará do Sul), above a yawning abyss with sheer walls up to 900m/3000ft high, the great crag known as the Fortaleza ("Fortress"), rears up amid luxuriant vegetation at the end of the Serra Geral. On clear days the view from the top extends to the coast at Torres.