Arriving in the South Region, the visitor’s experience is completely different from that of other parts of Brazil.
This is partly due to the climate. Temperatures in the south can be very low, even reaching minus degrees during the winter, and there may even be some snow in the mountains of the State of Santa
Catarina, which comes as a surprise to most international visitors to Brazil – so don’t forget to pack a sweater!
But it’s not only the weather that is different in the south. The landscapes have their own particular characteristics, and differ in each of the three states that comprise the region. Iguaçu Falls, among the most spectacular falls in the world, are located in the State of Paraná. The capital Curitiba is an amazing city to visit, and is considered a fine example of urban planning, with more than thirty parks across its greater area, including Tinguá Park and the Botanical Gardens. Don’t miss the Opera de Arame, and the Oscar Niemayer Museum.
The southernmost State of Brazil is Rio Grande do Sul, land of the gauchos, people who share traditions with Brazil’s neighboring countries, Argentina and Uruguay. Part of the State is characterized by pampas – lowland areas, dotted with cattle ranches, where the “gaucho”, skilled horsemen, farm the livestock. But nowadays, anybody born in the state is known as a gaucho, even if they’ve never ridden a horse! The gauchos have their own, unique culture, starting with the cuisine. A “churrasco”, or barbecue, is the main course at every family gathering, and the majority of the population enjoy “chimarrão”, a hot drink made with a plant called “erva-mate” and drunk from a hollowed-out calabash gourd, which is sometimes passed from hand to hand in a kind of social ritual. Parts of the state are mountainous; the region known as the “Serra Gaúcha” is famous for its wine production, and for the European traditions brought by immigrants in the 18th century, particulary Germans and Italians. The capital Porto Alegre has a strong cultural scene, with festivals, museums and an interesting historical center, where the Cathedral, the São Pedro Theater, the Palácio Piratini, and the State government headquarters are located. The Public Market, the Museum of Arts, the Santander Cultural, and the Casa da Cultura Mario Quintana are all well worth a visit too. Finally, watching the sunset while walking through Redenção Park or the Guaíba is a must.
The experience of studying at Univali
Living in the South of Brazil