"3 weeks off the beaten path, "planner's paradise"" Top 5 Page for this destination Curitiba by VdV

Curitiba Travel Guide: 194 reviews and 431 photos

Curitiba - a planner's paradise

On my first trip to Brasil (January 2004), I spent three weeks in Curitiba and thoroughly enjoyed my visit! While most tourists go to Brasil to visit Rio, Sao Paulo, the Amazon, the Pantanal and many of the country's fine beaches, who really goes to Curitiba?!...Well, I recommend a visit there. It's a modern city, with a very high quality of life for its 2 million plus residents. The weather is much cooler than other parts of Brasil, but a welcome relief from the heat. Also, the city is known in urban/city planning circles as having THE BEST bus system in the world, which I found to be quite accurate. There is lots to see and experience in Curitiba besides the usual monuments and fancy architecture that draws tourists to most big cities. Spend some time in Curitiba...it's a nice city....

UPDATE: Returned for a second visit in November 2005, this time with my Mom. It was great to reconnect with the friends I had made during my first trip and they were great hosts to their wonderful city. After taking the Linha Turismo the first day, my Mom asked, "What are we going to do for seven more days?!" Well, as she soon discovered, it's not about seeing major tourist attractions, but relaxing and getting into the rhythm of the place. We shopped, we browsed, we ate leisurely lunches, and walked, walked, walked for hours. I also took her on the Serra Verde Express train ride to Morretes (doesn't go as far as Paranagua some times) for a day trip. And, every night my friends would take us out to someplace fun and different for dinner. Thank you Luciana, Glauce and Lucia for being such wonderful ambassadors! People I met thought I was crazy for coming back to Curitiba for a second time (since who really goes there on vacation anyhow?) But, it was one of the best vacations I've had.

Good reading resource on Curitiba

Jan. 2004: Many of the photos under the "Off the Beaten Path" section of my Curitiba page were inspired by reading a chapter from the book, "Natural Capitalism," by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins. (published by Back Bay Books, October 2000.) Reading about some of the urban planning ideas and programs in Curitiba seemed too good to be true. So, seeing them for myself was a special experience. Many heartfelt thanks especially to the staff at the Instituto Curitiba de Informatica (ICI)--particularly Glauce Nakamura, Emerson Alex and Director Luis Alexandre for hosting me on a tour of their organization and city, and for sharing a first-hand view of the many social programs and solutions that make Curitiba an innovative and "livable" community.

How to Best Explore the City...

If you have one or even a few days, a great way to see the city is to take the Linha Turismo (see VT member "World-travel" description uner "Transportation Tips" on the main VT Curitiba page for schedule), a bus that stops at 22 Places of Interest throughout the city. If you have more than one day, I would recommend that you buy a ticket (allows you four stops) or more tickets over several days, and start to pick and choose parks, monuments and other places to explore. Don't just get off on the first four places--take the entire loop at least once, so that you can get a feel for what each stop includes. And when you stop, take some time to walk around, watch and see the environment around you. I only got to see about 6-7 different places on the Linha Turismo, which means maybe I have to return to Curitiba to see the 18 or so places which I did not have time to get off the bus to explore!

Tchau and enjoy!
--VdV

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice quality of life, easy to get around, lots of interesting things to see and do, very affordable
  • Cons:Weather may be too cool for some people, downtown restaurants tend to close for dinner (but good neighborhood restaurants open for dinner!)
  • In a nutshell:Curitiba is an Urban/Social Planner's Paradise!
  • Last visit to Curitiba: Nov 2005
  • Intro Updated Dec 25, 2005
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Reviews (36)

Comments (26)

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2007 at 1:02 AM

    Well researched and wonderfully written page of Curitiba!! I've been to Green Life as well and just loved it!! I'm looking forward to my next visit of Curitiba two weeks hence :))

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2006 at 11:31 PM

    Top page on Curitiba ! Greetz from Belgium

  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2006 at 8:06 PM

    The museums look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  • Aleyd's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2006 at 9:42 PM

    Hi Vera, Thanks for visiting my Carcassonne site. Am really enjoying browsing thru your pages. Keep up the great work. Aleyd :-)

  • 2-day's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2006 at 5:41 AM

    great page on Curitiba, yes you need to be able to speak a little portuguese or have a guide

  • Feb 7, 2006 at 9:40 AM

    Great page! Your photos of Opera de Arame and of Jardim Botanico are outstanding!

  • May 6, 2005 at 4:46 AM

    As a planning student your photos and tips have been ver interesting and helpful for me!

  • peace_prevails's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2005 at 11:58 PM

    Superb page on Curitiba. I will use your site as a guide on my next visit!

  • minstrel74's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2005 at 9:30 PM

    Hi Vera! This really does appear to be a very interesting place and a unique experiment in urban planning. See you soon at our next VT meeting!

  • Quero's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2004 at 11:55 PM

    Having visited Curitiba a number of times for work, only the last time (July 04) did I get a free day to explore a little. Next time I'll keep your tips in mind to explore a little more. Oh, and if you think it was cold in January, try July!

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