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State Park of Vila Velha

Although we always had clients visiting Vila Velha, I had not been going for a long time and I wanted to go check it out to give you firsthand information! The Vila Velha State Park is already a classic for anyone who visits Curitiba and continues to be beautiful – check out the information here and include it in your schedule too! Find here what you will find:

– Where is located

– About the park

– Sandstone

– Furnas and Lagoa Dourada

– What else to visit in the region

– Cologne Witmarsum

– Dutch colonies

– Father’s Hole (Buraco do Padre)

– Klein Brewery

– Dish Route

WHERE IS LOCATED

First, the road from Curitiba to Ponta Grossa is beautiful and is only 90 km away on a very good highway. In Curitiba we are in the first plateau and the vegetation and the landscape change as we move away. The araucaria forest gives space to fields and the rock formations typical of the Campos Gerais. It is beautiful to see and on the way you will pass through Campo Largo and next to the Witmarsum Colony.

You can combine the walk to the Old Village with other attractions, as you will see later

Access is via BR-277 towards Curitiba / Ponta Grossa.

ABOUT THE PARK

The State Park of Vila Velha was created in 1953 and during this period it underwent several modifications in its structure. Before people could even climb on top of the sandstones and to readjust it, it was closed for several years.

As we are still working to inform people about nature care, the visits today only occur with monitors to avoid depredation of this natural patrimony. Eating is not allowed to not attract animals. Smoking is also prohibited.

At the Visitor Center there is parking, information, ticket office, restrooms, snack bar and souvenir shop. It is from there that the buses that lead to the attractions of the park. Schedules are fixed and it is mandatory to hire accredited guides in the park to accompany visitors.

The Vila Velha State Park usually opens to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the visits must be scheduled in advance so that an accredited guide is waiting for you. The park closes for maintenance on Tuesdays. It opens at 8:30am and the last visit takes place at 15:30pm. The maximum number of visitors per day is 800 people. Therefore, it is important to schedule to go in the morning and ensure!

Schedule at least 3 hours for the visit, which is the time it takes Sandstones and the visit to Furnas and Lagoa Dourada, considering that you will get one schedule after another.

It is important to go with comfortable sneakers with non-slip soles and bring sunscreen and repellent. For young children the trail can be tiring, but it is a great opportunity for a family activity.

The transportation inside the park is done by bus from the park itself, always accompanied by a guide. If it is a large group with its own transportation, it can also be used, as long as it is not too high, since the access to Lagoa Dourada has a height and width limit, as it passes under a bridge. Inquire in the park administration about the restrictions.

The region where today is the State Park of Vila Velha was seabed many millions of years ago. In the second part of the sandstone trail you can touch the fine sand that forms them. It’s very different from the one we found at sea – it took 300 million years for her to stay like this!

SANDSTONE

The main attractions of Vila Velha State Park are sandstones, which have very curious shapes, some more obvious and others that require more imagination. The guides point and show each one.

The sandstones were formed by the action of winds, rain and erosion in a process that lasted 300 million years.

Sandstone visit schedules are frequent and on busy days the transportation of the park leaves every 30 minutes.

The sandstone trail has two parts. The first part has 1,100 meters and only 7 steps. It goes up to the bowl and lasts about 50 minutes.

Arriving in the glass, which is the most famous sandstone of the park, the visitor can choose to return to the bus or continue walking the second part, which is a bit more pulled.

The second part of the trail is over 1,600 meters long and almost 200 steps, which concentrate more at the end. Here the vegetation is closer and you can see the sandstone very closely. As it is more humid, the sandstones have another color and consistency. It is very interesting to do both parts of the trail and know everything, but if it has rained in the previous days, the second part of the trail may be slippery.

vila-velha-special-parana-joel-rocha

FURNAS AND GOLDEN POND

Another part of the Vila Velha State Park houses two other attractions: the Furnas and the Lagoa Dourada (Golden Pond).

The Furnas are wells of collapse that were formed 400 million years ago. That is, they were “caves” that at some time in the past, millions of years ago, collapsed, leaving these craters on the ground. Two furnas of the park have structure for visitation. The trail to Furnas is 700 meters long and 15 steps.

The Furna 1 is the most characteristic and has a diameter of approx. 80 meters and 110 meters deep, in addition to the flooded area. In the late 1970s a lift was built for visitors, which today is disabled due to environmental and safety issues.

The second furna is longer and its diameter varies from 90 to 150 meters. It also has 100m of depth and a flooded area of more than 50 meters.

The Lagoa Dourada (Golden Pond) is an ancient cave in the process of silting, that is, it is gradually breaking down in a process of millions of years. The name is given the color of the reflection of its waters at certain times of the day, when its surface appears gold. The trail to get there is short – about 400 meters. The lagoon extends over an area of approximately 220 meters and its depth varies from 5 to 40 meters. You can not fish or swim here. It is a natural aquarium of Rio Guabiroba. The access to the Golden Pond is by a trail of approx. 400 meters long and some steps.

WHAT ELSE TO VISIT IN THE REGION

The Campos Gerais region has several cool places that you can include in the script. Here are some cool ideas to get to know and combine with your trip to the Vila Velha State Park. I hope you enjoy the options below, which are successful among our customers. But if you prefer something different, we can put together a personalized script!

COLOGNE WITMARSUM

The old Cancela farm was bought by Mennonites in the 1950s that turned it into an important dairy and agricultural hub that has developed tourism in recent years. They are Russian-Germans who came to Brazil to maintain their faith and customs. Work, family and religion are the basis of the community, which still preserves the German language. The visit to the Heimat Museum, which tells the history of the colony, is almost obligatory and a great lesson in the perseverance of this working people. The colony is a rural community, without a defined  downtown area. There is the cooperative, where is the supermarket, restaurants, cafes, shops and even a craft brewery. You can choose to have lunch specialties typical of Germany or perhaps a very tasty colonial coffee, with breads, cheeses, salami, savory and pies produced here. And be sure to try the fine cheeses produced here – they are a delight!

The tour of Vila Velha and Colonia Witmarsum can be done with prior schedules Monday and Wednesday to Sunday!

witmarsum-special-paraná-caroline-kwasnicki (10)


NETHERLANDS COLONIES

A little further on from Ponta Grossa are Carambeí and Castrolanda, which received Dutch immigrants from 1911 and 1951, respectively. In Carambeí is the Historical Museum, Brazil’s largest open-air museum with a reconstructed 70% scale on the site. It is very interesting and picturesque, ideal for photos. The story of the pioneers was told here, which was the headquarters of the first cooperative of Paraná, Batavo. The community was developed on a tripod: education, Christianity and cooperativism.

In addition, Carambeí is famous for its pies – be sure to try it. In both Koffiehuis, the café at the Historical Park and at the famous Frederika’s confectionery you will find a huge variety – all very tasty!

The next stop is Castrolanda, with its Cultural Center which houses a real windmill and historical museum. Castrolanda was founded in 1951 and since then has developed a lot and has become the Dairy Capital of Brazil. At the mill and in the Cultural Center you will see details of the founding of the cooperative, which was organized even before the Dutch arrived in Brazil! Each immigrant took on a task in this enterprise that was to settle in a new country: farmers, stonemasons, bakers, teachers, pastor, etc. The space also has a restaurant and souvenir shop.

The tour of Vila Velha and Dutch Colonies is available from Friday to Sunday.

BURACO DO PADRE – “HOLE OF THE FATHER”

Access is by dirt road in the rural area of Ponta Grossa, but the place is well worth for those who enjoy quiet walks in the middle of nature. A light trail of 1 km takes a beautiful waterfall of 30m high, formed by the River Quebra Perna. The trail is accessible even for wheelchair users and leads to the lagoon formed by the waterfall. According to reports, the name of the place is due to the fact that in the past it was used by Jesuit priests for meditation. And it makes perfect sense! It is a very beautiful place that conveys a lot of peace.

buraco do padre

If you enjoy waterfall bathing, be sure to bring bathing suit and towels. You will not resist when you reach the end of the trail. For those who like to climb, there are two appropriate areas in the park: the Favo Sector and the Macarrão Sector. Bring your gear! The place has grills, bathrooms, snack bar and 24h security. It opens from Thursday to Sunday.

Also, on the way you can make a stop at Porto Brazos, which has several products based on blackberry. The blackberry chopp and the blackberry syrup waffles are a delight! The Vila Velha and Burado do Padre tour can be done with a previous appointment from Thursday to Sunday!

KLEIN BREWERY

The region of Curitiba is famous for its artisanal beers. In Campo Largo you can meet Klein, who is one of the great brands of the region. The restaurant of the brand is very nice and you can try some of the 14 labels produced here. A strategic stop for you to have lunch and to know the reason of the craft beers of the region of Curitiba are gaining more and more fans around Brazil and the world outside. But if you do not like beers so much, you can try the cider produced here (a delight!) Or the kombucha teas, which are still new in Brazil – also very tasty. The menu is varied and the dishes are very well served. The tour includes a “rule” of tasting, that is, 4 different types of chopp for you to know. Soon the factory will be attached to the restaurant and you can check the brewing process closely.

Klein (3)The tour can be confirmed on Saturdays and Sundays, with early booking.

PORCELAIN ROUTE

If you are thinking of renovating the dishes in your home, it is a good idea to combine the walk to Vila Velha with a visit to the shops in Campo Largo. The city is the capital of crockery (porcelain) in Brazil and in the factory shops you will find great variety and inviting prices. And they ship all over Brazil! The itinerary is aimed at shopping, since the visit to the manufacturing area is restricted and can be scheduled only for groups well in advance.

Louças

Did you like the suggestions about Vila Velha?

You can book one of the routes above with us and enjoy the exclusive service to which Special Paraná customers are accustomed! Or we can put something different for you – get in touch! Count on us to organize your visit to Curitiba and region!

curitiba-guide-youtubeBibiana Antoniacomi, tourism professional since 1995 and owner of Special Paraná Turismo Receptivo since 2007.