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Overview

Brazil’s South (Sul) consists of a trio of states – Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul – that extend south from São Paulo state to Uruguay and Argentina. The region is notably different from the rest of tropical Brazil. Aside from boasting four distinct seasons (in winter, it actually snows!) and a distinctly European flavor – due to large German, Italian, Polish, and Ukrainian immigrant populations – the South is home to some unique natural attractions. While Paraná’s most famous sight is Iguaçu Falls, its capital of Curitiba is a model of sustainability and its coastline shelters colonial towns set amidst lush swathes of ...

Brazil’s South (Sul) consists of a trio of states – Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul – that extend south from São Paulo state to Uruguay and Argentina. The region is notably different from the rest of tropical Brazil. Aside from boasting four distinct seasons (in winter, it actually snows!) and a distinctly European flavor – due to large German, Italian, Polish, and Ukrainian immigrant populations – the South is home to some unique natural attractions. While Paraná’s most famous sight is Iguaçu Falls, its capital of Curitiba is a model of sustainability and its coastline shelters colonial towns set amidst lush swathes of native Atlantic forest.

Santa Catarina’s island capital of Florianópolis is one of Brazil’s hippest beach destinations, but the state’s entire coastline attracts nature lovers as well as surfers and whale-watchers. As for Rio Grande do Sul, it may not offer worthy beaches, but the interior beckons with formidable canyons and waterfalls, a wine route, and the haunting vestiges of Jesuit missions, not to mention some of the best barbequed beef (churrasco) this side of the Pampas.

Michael Sommers
About the Expert

Michael Sommers is the author of Moon Brazil and Moon Rio, as well as the blog Thrill of Brazil. He has been living in Salvador, Brazil since 1999.

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Michael Sommers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summers can be hot, but are ideal beach weather. In winter temperatures plunge to 5–10°C (40–50°F) in coastal regions and to the freezing point in the interior. For clear skies in the mountains, winter and spring are the best times (April-May can be rainy).