Paranaguá was the first town in the brazilian state of Paraná and has several interesting colonial buildings along Rua da Praia. Several buildings are now being restored and some resemble former times in their façades. It was the first place in Brazil where Portuguese found gold - but only in small quantity...
The city is an important harbour town, exporting grains from Brazil to all over the world. It is also a gateway to Ilha do Mel and Superagui.
What to see in Paranaguá?
Do not miss a visit to the “Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia”. It is a wonderful colonial building from the 18thCentury that was built to host a school and later served as customs since it faces the former harbour. It has been recently reopened and its entrance is now located at Rua XV de Novembro, parallel to Rua da Praia. It is definitely worth a visit!
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 12 am and from 1:30 pm to 6 pm. No entrance fee, only a donation if wished.
Another interesting building is Igreja de São Benedito; it is considered the first church in southern Brazil built by slaves in 17thcentury. The church can be found on Rua Conselheiro Sinimbú and is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm.
The first church in town was Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, built 1578. It was the central point in Paranaguá for a long time. This church is located on Largo Monsenhor Celso and is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm.
During the colonial Brazilian period, the churches were divided into three categories: managed by priests (1stOrder), by nuns (2nd Order) and by the community (3rd Order). Being so, the Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco das Chagas was built by the community in the 18th century and was considered the church of the wealthier inhabitants. After being transformed into a theatre, the church is now being renovated and will be reopened soon.
On Rua da Praia, you will see several colonial buildings. The former harbour was here; this was where boats from the Itiberê River would port to export everything produced in Paraná and to import industrial goods. Today boats to Ilha do Mel, Superagui and Guaraqueçaba start from here.
Opened 2014, the aquarium is the newest tourist attraction of Paranaguá. More than 100 species divided into 23 aquariums. Some of them can be touched and you can also see penguins. It opens daily from 10 am to 8 pm. Entrance fee (subjet to change): R$ 20 adults and R$ 10 children and elder than 60 years old. More information: http://www.aquariodeparanagua.com.br/
Boat tour at Paranaguá Bay
The Paranaguá bay is the third largest in Brazil and is surrounded by the Atlantic Rain Forest; this ecosystem is very important to keep the balance in our planet.
A boat tour is a great option to see more from Paranaguá. There are several boats at Rua da Praia. The tour usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes and you will see the mangroves, channels, islands and the harbour. Here some of the sights in the bay:
Ilha da Cotinga was the place where the first settlers lived before arriving on mainland. A Carijó Indian community still lives on the island and produces handcrafts for sale. Buying their goods in Paranaguá’s local market is a nice way to sustain their traditions and enables the group to remain living on the island.
Ilha dos Valadares is linked to the mainland by a bridge and was formerly a fishermen village. Today, Ilha dos Valadares can only be reached walking or by bike and is home to many families, who continue to keep local traditions alive; such as the fandango dance, handcrafts, the “Mãe ca filha” – a liquor made of sugar cane spirit and syrup (delicious!) and barreadot (the famous local dish). The community is not well prepared to receive tourists, but their products can be bought in the local market. Observe the canoes tranporting locals from the old town to Ilha dos Valadares.
The Paranaguá Port Dom Pedro II is the second largest port in Brazil and the biggest grain export port in Latin-America. Its main exportation product is the soy that comes from the brazilian states of Paraná, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and also Paraguay.
From the boat you might see Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rocio; an important peregrination place in Paraná, as devotees come from all over Brazil to visit and pray. The image of the Lady of Rocio was found by fishermen that built the chapel here in 1813. Every week thousands of pilgrims come to visit it and in November a festival is organized here, when almost 200.000 people gather for a procession along Paranaguá.
Railway Paranaguá – Curitiba
As the production of mate herb became very important for Paraná in 19th century, the construction of a railway linking Paranaguá to Curitiba was necessary to make exportation easier. The railway is considered an engineering masterpiece. Its construction began in 1880 and ended in 1885, crossing 110 km through the Atlantic Rain Forest. There are 14 tunnels and bridges to link Curitiba, located about 900 m above sea level; same as Paranaguá.
Due to technical reasons, since some years, the train tour stops in Morretes. From there, you can take a regular bus to arrive in Paranaguá.
The port is the 2nd most important port in Brazil, and is known especially for grain export. From here soybean from Paraná, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraguay are exported to the World.
Eventhough the port does not have a tourist terminal, the port has been starting to receive cruises. Contact us if you need any further information about cruises in Paranaguá!
How to reach Paranaguá?
The town can be reached by road. From Curitiba, take the BR-277 towards Paranaguá (90 km). There are also buses from Viação Graciosa, that leave from Curitiba several times a day.
Special Paraná Turismo Receptivo – Rua Voluntários da Pátria, 262 sala 5 – Curitiba – PR – 80020-000 - Brazil – Tel.: 55 41 3232 1314 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Tourism Ministry Registration: 18.005869.10.0001-1