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Destination Inspiration: Curitiba, Brazil

Why go?

Found only in South America, capybaras are friendly animals

Found only in South America, capybaras are friendly animals

Curitiba is of one of the world’s most eco-friendly cities. Thanks to a series of bold development initiatives taken since the 1970s to prevent flooding and curb carbon emissions, Curitiba is surrounded by a massive green belt of parks, gardens, forests and lakes.

Barigui Park bustles with joggers, rollerbladers and sunbathers – especially at weekends when public bus fares are half price – but is better-known for its thriving capybara community. Dozens of these docile rodents graze the lakeside lawns, unflustered by the human activity around them.

The Art Nouveau Greenhouse contains many native plant species

The Art Nouveau Greenhouse contains many native plant species

The botanical garden is Curitiba’s crowning glory. Resembling the landscaped grounds of a millionaire’s mansion, this pristine park is filled with cinnamon, bracatinga and monkey puzzle trees, among other native tropical plants. At its core you’ll find a spectacular, three-domed Art Nouveau greenhouse – an iconic symbol of the city, which rolls out a multicoloured carpet of flowers from its grand entrance.

When to go?

Street markets in Curitiba sell a diverse range of goods

Street markets in Curitiba sell a diverse range of goods

Curitiba has a deep-rooted migrant community, and festivals are frequently held to celebrate this diversity. Go in February for the Grape Feast – a three-day gastronomic affair honouring the city’s Italian roots – or the Japanese-themed Haru Matsuri festival, held in September to celebrate the arrival of spring. Curitiba is mildest in winter, though there are frequent rainstorms.

Where to stay?

Quality Hotel Curitiba – Curitiba, Brazil

Quality Hotel Curitiba

Quality Hotel Curitiba

Found down a side street in the lively Batel quarter, Quality Hotel offers guests a high standard of food and customer service. Don’t miss the delicious breakfast buffet, which includes fresh fruit and banoffee pancakes, and look out for the friendly notes left in your room by the housekeeping team.

Curitiba Casa Hostel – Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba Casa Hostel

Curitiba Casa Hostel

Located just a short walk away from the Botanical Garden, this warm and welcoming hostel will suit travellers looking for a budget option in the city centre. The staff are always ready to help you plan your stay, providing tips and information about Curitiba on arrival.

Hospedagem Three Little Birds – Curitiba, Brazil

Hospedagem Three Little Birds

Hospedagem Three Little Birds

This guesthouse feels like a home from home, thanks to the warm hospitality of the hostess and her team. Rooms are clean and comfortable, and the largest come with a shaded terrace. Each morning, a continental breakfast is prepared, which guests can choose to enjoy indoors or outside in the garden.

Hostel Matilda – Curitiba, Brazil

Hostel Matilda

Hostel Matilda

At Hostel Matilda, guests can expect an upbeat atmosphere and excellent value for money. There’s a choice between mixed dorms and private rooms, a kitchen, and a common area where you can meet other like-minded travellers. The fast and free WiFi is also highly rated.

Intercity Curitiba – Curitiba, Brazil

Intercity Curitiba

Intercity Curitiba

Intercity Curitiba stands out for its sleek and spacious rooms, which feature king-size beds and en-suite bathrooms. The breakfast buffet is very popular with guests, who love the selection of fruit, cold meats, homemade cakes and freshly ground coffee to kickstart their day.