ortunately, it is not only from the glamour of Gramado or the ecotourism of Canela that the Serra Gaúcha survives. In addition to Nova Petrópolis and São Francisco de Paula, two other cities that make up the Hydrangeas Region, there are many other points that deserve to be visited on site.
You can check those spots by renting a car, booking tour packages, or for the most courageous (like me), choosing different itineraries from the bus station to the bus station, to start building the greatest memories of Rio Grande do Sul.
And why not start with Caxias do Sul? This is the most convenient stop for anyone who chooses to arrive in Serra Gaucha via the regional airport located in the city.
The land of the Festa da Uva (The Grape Festival) is also a region with plenty of landscapes and landmarks revealing the marks of Italian colonisation and offers other unmissable itineraries.
One of them is Ana Rech, which is 12 kilometres from downtown Caxias.
Ana Rech became famous for introducing the Valley of Nativity to the Serra Gaúcha Christmas calendar. Every year, residents of the city decorate the gardens of their homes with cribs, and Christmas ornaments, making the city even more beautiful.
Not so far from there, but still in Caxias do Sul, you can’t miss Chateau LaCava.
A castle in the form of a winery (or winery in the form of a Castle, as you wish) which, in addition to being a good example of the renowned production of Serra Gaucha wines, is also an interesting, guided tour to consider.
On-site there is even a replica of a tavern where, of course, wine, and sparkling wine tastings are offered, and have a lot to choose from. And if the main subject is wine, it is possible that you will become an expert on the subject when you are in the Serra Gaúcha, because there are about 600 wineries waiting for your visit. Probably much more than this.
The Rio Grande do Sul is responsible for 95% of wine production in Brazil. The National Wine Day has already been decreed in the state, which will be celebrated, starting this year, on the first Sunday of June.
Vale dos Vinhedos – Wine Trail
And it is in the region known as Vale dos Vinhedos, which is composed of the cities of Garibaldi, Monte Belo do Sul, and Bento Gonçalves, and where most of these wineries are located.
Their tourists learn that wine in the Rio Grande do Sul is synonymous with not only tradition but also a lot of dedication as well.
You can research a fair amount of tourist itineraries and they will recommend you some tours such as Tour das Hortênsias, Grape and Wine Tour, or Colonial Roots tour.
These are just some examples of what you can do and see from the gaucho tradition of the Serra.
The cities visited may be the same, but there is so much history to learn from these people, that it is impossible not to bring home something new from this so charming culture.
In one of these unique tours, you can learn how to drink the famous chimarrão properly. If you don`t know what chimarrao is, it’s the traditional Brazilian yerba mate that is quite popular in the south of Brazil.
You will also learn more about the Chula, a typical gaucho dance.
And if you still want more than just to know only about wineries and the entire cultural history of the region, I can tell you that the grape industry goes much further.
There is a wine spa in Bento Gonçalves. A space with 120 rooms and several ambiances where vinotherapy and all kinds of grape treatment are offered.
Rio Grande do Sul Canyons
When you finish checking all boxes on the grape and wine routes, you can (and should) take the road towards Cambará to do Sul, a city known as the capital of honey. It is there you will also find 32 kilometres from there are the Canyons Itaimbezinho, Malacara, and Fortaleza, sheltered in the National Parks of the Aparados da Serra and the Serra Geral.
A tour that can be not so easy for people with mobile difficulties, even for the ones used to walk in the summer, due to the weather conditions (which means days of very clean and blue sky, but also a strong heat).
But do not fool yourself, talking to one of the park guards, I have found out that even in summer, the temperature at night on the spot reaches 13 degrees and in winter can be reduced to -6 degrees C.
To have a privileged view of Itaimbezinho you need to make the so-called Vertex Trail, a walk (walking or cycling) along the edge of the canyon. A tour that will make us know a little of the history of at least 200 million years when these rock formations were discovered.
Another well-made trail by tourists is the Elbow Trail, a lighter walk that will take you to the Veil of the Bride Waterfall, another beautiful landscape of the place. The Aparados da Serra National Park is an area preserved and protected by Ibama and even for offering somewhat precarious conditions to visitors, it is good to always have the accompaniment of a guide during the visit.
It’s important to highlight that with so many different attractions, you probably won’t leave this stunning region in the Rio Grande do Sul without also carrying in luggage, countless stories about chimarrão, the famous gaucho’s barbecue, or anything typically gaucho
And with so many pleasant memories of the gaucho land, it is even easy to understand why Luis Fernando Veríssimo – of the best Brazilian writers that are also from the Rio Grande do Sul says that one of the characteristics of the gaucho is that he does not want to leave his state.
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