Curitiba is one of Brazil's cleanest cities, with many green spaces and a relaxed, comfortable way of life. One of the most spectacular train journeys in South America departs from Curitiba and cuts through mountains and forests of Brazilian pine before dropping into steamy tropical Atlantic rainforest that shrouds the southern coast of Paraná.
Here you can stay in Morretes, a sleepy colonial village renowned for its barreado, a stew cooked for 24 hours. Nearer the coast is the Superagüi National Park, 34,000 hectares of protected Atlantic rainforest - a picturesque mix of mountains, forests, mangroves and beaches perhaps more biodiverse than the Amazon itself.
Ilha do Mel, once a haven for hippies and surfers now offers a mix of simple pousadas and long, deserted beaches. The island is a perfect destination for hikers, bikers, surfers, nature lovers and anyone who just wants to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Our preferred accommodation
City hotel - CuritibaA stylish design hotel, part of the Slaviero business chain, in the elegant district of Batel. Themed around jazz, with huge wall pictures of Miles Davis and other jazz legends, the hotel incoprorates its own pub where live music is played every week. Rooms and facilities are modern and comfortable.
Beach hotel - Ilha do MelA charming, family-run pousada at the heart of the main village of Brasilia and in easy reach of the beaches. Bright and colourful, Das Meninas is full of local character and tasefully decorated with family heirlooms and regional handicrafts.
Beach hotel - Ilha do MelA small, family-run guesthouse on the edge of the main town (Brasilia) and a short walk from the beach. There is a small dining room and bar while outside there is a spacious deck which opens onto a green which separates the pousada from the waterfront.
Lodge/Hosteria - MorretesA small rustic pousada just outside Morretes at the foot of the Serra da Graciosa coastal range and with views to Pico Marumbi. Many exotic plant species grow in the lush gardens attracting a variety of birds and butterflies. There is an outdoor pool and small restaurant.
Lodge/Hosteria - MorretesA comfortable jungle-style resort a short drive from Morretes surrounded by elegant gardens with lovely views of the distant mountains. At the heart of the complex is a large, circular, thatched lodge with a high domed ceiling that houses the reception, lounge and impressive dining room overlooking the gardens.