This post is dedicated to those of you who like trekking. Curitiba is surrounded by “morros” or hilly mountains which offers stunning views of the surrounding atlantic rainforest. There is plenty to explore just under an hour drive from the city.
A Brazilian friend of mine is an avid trekker and he got me inspired to explore some of the mountains around Curitiba. I made a promise to myself to climb one mountain per month in the upcoming winter. It’s a great activity for the colder months when the temperature drops, making walking uphill manageable. Depending on the difficulty of the trek, you can bring your kids and there are always great spots for a pick nick. Some places also have simpler restaurants or “lanchonetes”.
Keep in mind though, that it can be a bit of a detective work to find out how to get to the trails, as it is not always very well signaled. Using a 4-wheel drive is not necessary, but it helps as some of the dirt roads can have some irregularities, especially after rain. Fill your bag with plenty of water, snacks, repellent, sunscreen and binoculars. To maximize your experience, pick a clear day with reasonable temperature and low chances of rain. To help you start, I gathered a few tips from my own climbs, including some useful websites.
Morro dos Perdidos
This mountain of 1500m is situated ca 1-hour drive south of Curitiba. You need to pay R$10 reais per person to the park manager at the bottom of the hill. Just beep when you arrive and he’ll open the gate for you. If you’re lucky, the park manager’s dog will follow you up the hill (ca 1km), and show the way to a beautiful waterfall. There is a sign “cachoeira” which is not difficult to miss. You can park off the main dirt road and make the rather easy walk into the rain forest to the waterfall (ca 10 min). There are some natural pools below waterfall where it’s possible to swim. We estimated the temperature of the water to 18 degrees C – chilly, but refreshing. You can drive, walk or mountain bike the remaining dirt road to the top of the mountain (ca 5 km) where you’ll find a weather station and a spectacular view over the valley.
How to get there
Take highway BR-376 for ca 50 km direction Garuva/Joinville, Santa Catarina. Pass the water reservoir Vossoroca. Right after the lakes you will pass the Rodoviara Policia Federal station. This is just after KM 662. Now pay attention – after the police station there will be a curve. In the middle of this curve there is a road to the right. There is no time to think – just turn! Once you’ve done so, there is a small sign confirming you have arrived to Morro dos Perdidos. The road thereafter divides into two – take a right. Soon you will reach a small farm and a gate, where you need to get the attention of the park manager and pay.
Waterfall, view and the “persistent little friend” from Morro dos Perdidos
Morro do Canal
This is a slightly more adventurous trek due to the steepness of the trail. You’ll need 1.5-2 hours to reach the peak of 1396m. Much of the trail consists of iron ladders and chains, so you need to feel comfortable climbing. Well up at the top you can enjoy the panoramic view of various lakes, surrounding peaks, and the towns of Antonina and Paranaguá. Falcons are guarding from the rocks and on clear days you see them circulate above the valley. At the bottom of the trail you need to pay 10 reais for the parking. There is also a simpler restaurant with restrooms.
How to get there
From Curitiba, take highway BR-277 for ca 30 km, towards Piraquara and the coast. Pass the Renault plant on your right. Take the last “retorno” right before the “pedagio”. Drive ca 900 meter in direction Curitiba and then take a right on the small dirt road with the sign “Caminho Trentinho”. It’s basically the first road to the right. In the next T-cross, take a right. In the next crossing, follow the sign “Chacara Santa Barbara”. By the next sign of the chacara, take a left. Thereafter there will be signs indicating Morro do Canal.
Below I have listed a few nice trekks which have sites with reasonable explanations.
Clube dos Aventureiros
Site in Portuguese which lists trekking trails all over Brazil, including maps and directions.
Parque estadual do Pico Paraná
This park has several mountains. The tallest is called Pico Paraná.
Morro do Anhangava