Gramado Named Best Destination in Brazil
Recently I told you about where I now live, in the Serra Gaúcha in the South of Brazil. This is a lovely area, though almost certainly not what you think of when someone says “Brazil.” This is a land of highlands populated largely by fair-skinned folks of German descent. It’s also pretty chilly sometimes, like today!
This area is immensely popular with Brazilian tourists, who flock here to experience the novelty of cool weather. But there’s a lot more to recommend the Serra, which is anchored by the two towns of Canela (my home) and neighboring Gramado. Outdoor activities abound. The infrastructure (roads, internet, healthcare) is good. And the dining? Excellent! This area is a foodie’s paradise.
I first visited here about seven years ago and really loved it, but chose to relocate to Rio instead because of the more numerous work options there. But I returned to the Serra again early last year to scout the area for International Living magazine. I was enchanted. I visited again in June and decided to move here.
Although this area still isn’t well known outside of Brazil (Had you ever heard of Canela or Gamado?) word is beginning to leak out. In fact, TripAdvisor just rated Gramado the Best Destination in Brazil! That’s right, ahead of Salvador, Natal, Fortaleza, even Rio. What is so impressive about the TripAdvisor award is that it isn’t the opinion of one person or even a panel. It isn’t arbitrary. It’s based on input from TripAdvisor readers. It’s the “People’s Choice” award of travel.
What makes Gramado so special? Well, I’ve listed a few reasons, but let’s keep going: It’s clean and tidy. There is the German-influenced architecture – and the flowers everywhere. The town is perfect for romantic getaways, but families also find lots to do here. The dining is excellent. There are festivals and celebrations throughout the year; some of the biggest are around the Christmas-New Year season, but Easter and wintertime (here in June-August) also draw crowds. There are museums and attractions for every taste, from a car museum to a fashion museum to a little dinosaur theme park for the kids. The shopping is great, especially for shoes and other leather goods. Oh, yes, and chocolate! You’ll find chocolate shops everywhere.
While Gramado is a bit off the beaten path, if you plan to visit either Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires, you’ll find that it’s a short flight to Porto Alegre, the state’s capital city, and then just an 1 1/2 or so over good roads to Gramado. And once you arrive, there is so much to see and do in the area!
And if you happen to fall in love, it’s still possible to buy land here at reasonable prices. Your little Walden.
Still in (the South of) Brazil