South Region
Best months:
May to October

South Region

Brazil
LAST UPDATED 15/08/2008
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introduction

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João Felipe C.S: Brazil Labelled Map; 1 December 2007

The South Region is one of the five regions of Brazil and is the coldest one. European immigrants (mostly Italian, German and Portuguese) had a great influence on the region. It borders Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay as well as the Center-West Region, the Southeast Region and the Atlantic Ocean.

This region of Brazil is a great tourist, economic and cultural pole. The region received large numbers of European immigrants during the 19th century, who have had a large influence on its demography and culture. The majority of people in the southern region are Brazilians of Portuguese, German and Italian descent.

surfing

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Joao Felipe: Florianopolis City, Santa Catarina; 2006

Home to Santa Catarina and the city of Florianopolis, this SE facing coastline is the most consistent in the country but still it can be frustrating especially when you are on a tight travel window. Sep-Oct is your best chance of a favourable swell / wind combo. Northerly swells don’t really make it this far south and anything that does is taken up by the shadow of the SE region / Rio to the north. So you are putting all your eggs into the one swell train basket but when that train comes in the region is a sight to behold.

Brazil has an extensive coastline with excellent exposure to both the north and southern Atlantic swell trains. Many spots work with swells of multiple directions, which are as convenient as regular SE swell which feeds many of the well known breaks around Santa Catarina, and Littoral Paulista to the south can be fickle.

The entire NE / SW slope of the eastern Brazilian seaboard ensures that any SE swell will produce quality options right along a few thousand kilometres of coastline. Southern Brazil around Santa Cartarina does have a more southern aspect and generally superior coastal features that will maximise surfing potential and many surfers choose to base themselves here.

travel

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Klaus with K: Ponte Rio-Niterói; 24 May 2006

In the Amazon region as well as on the coast west of Sao Luis, boat travel is often the only way to get around. But everywhere else you are welcome to travel by plane, train, bus, car or bicycle. When you fly by plane, make sure check whether your flight is really direct, what stops it will have and always rely on your flight number, not on the destination. Strange, but some domestic flights are considered "international", so you get a chance to purchase items at a "duty free" store in the airport. Not bad, ha.

If you travel by car, you can buy road maps from most newsstands. A map will give you information on the distances and current conditions of the roads (which can be indeed very bad). Keep the doors locked when driving, especially in the larger cities, as robberies at stop signs and red lights are quite common in some areas.

Brazil's railway system was mostly wrecked during the military regimes, but there are some lines left. And the line from São Luis to Carajás is particularly interesting because part of it passes through the Amazon rainforest.

where to stay

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Ricardo André Frantz: Italian houses in Rio Grande do Sul, 28 September 2007

There are range of budget to splurge accommodations in southern Brazil, some options that are common amongst travellers are: 

Hotel Ritz- Quite a few students stay here as it is in their budget and some live here permanently.
Marechal Hotel- Comfortable small and friendly hostel located right in the centre of town.
Master Executivo
Arvoredo Residence
Master Express Perimetral
Grande Hotel Express
The Sheraton Hotel
Caesar Park Hotel
Swan Tower Hotel
Plaza San Rafael Hotel

Hotel Promenade (near the central bus station)
Four Points by Sheraton
Pestana Curitiba Hotel

what to pack

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Smack: Mummy bag; 10 August, 2006

Southern Brazil has a subtropical temperate weather; normally experiencing frost in the winter (June-August), and occasional snow in the mountainous areas, such as Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. So pack accordingly to the mentioned above.

All the gear if you plan to camp: a good sleeping bag and tent that are good for low temp; special gas container u can use for heating food and water; a sturdy backpack or a cargo pack with a good daypack. Invest in a portable water filter or at least take some puri-tabs or boil the water.

Still it's worth taking along some bug repellent spray, good sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses! Better take your medicines with you (esp. anti histamine tablets), as the brands can be unfamiliar and cost more. By the way, getting  medical insurance would be a good idea.

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