Itajai Cruise

Relaxing in Praia Brava
Feel like shopping? Here is Balneário Camboriú
Brazilian nature: the Parque Unipraias

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Itajaí: between nature and crystal-clear water

Next stop: Brazil! An MSC cruise will have you discovery this colorful Country, by docking in its second port located between Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo: Itajaí, in the state of Santa Catarina.

Founded by the Portuguese coming from Madeira and the Azores, the city is located on the banks of the rio Itajaí-Açú and, being an important export trade point, it is a strategic hub of Brazilian economy. Itajai is also a city full of history, as you will see by walking through its historic center, rich in traditions thanks to the old fish market, and visiting the imposing church of the Santissimo Sacramento.

Brazil is renown above all for its beaches. An excursion will take you to Praia Brava, between Itajaí and Balneário Camboriú. Known for its natural beauty and the clear sea, this beach is the ideal destination for relaxation, whether you just want to sunbathe or swim between the calm waves. A little further south is Balneário Camboriú. This is one of the capitals of tourism of Santa Caterina that during summer can reach even 1 million inhabitants. Av. Brazil is a vibrant shopping street, while Atlantic Avenue runs along the beach with its sidewalk in pavê like the one in Copacabana. Here, you can stop in a bar or restaurant to admire the sea and the island of Cabras, just offshore.

For nature lovers, the area around Itajai offers the Parque Unipraias Camboriu. An excursion will take you to the Barra Sul Station, where you can take the cable car to Morro de Aguada at 240 meters of height and to the Mata Atlântica station. There are various paths to take to immerse yourself in this forest and come in contact with the Brazilian flora and fauna or the youngest visitors can cross it on board a sledge. Downhill the destination is the beach of Praia das Laranjeiras, the ideal place to enjoy some  free time.


    South Brazil

    Past Christ the Redeemer
    Past Christ the Redeemer

    In Brazil’s south-east, the three largest cities – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte – form a triangle around which the economy pivots.

    All are worth visiting, but the must-sees during your cruise to Brazil are Rio, which really is as beautiful as it seems in the pictures, and the ravishing colonial relic of Paraty which lies between here and booming São Paulo. North of here, the city of Belo Horizonte sits at the heart of Minas Gerais, where the old Portuguese towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Diamantina drip with colonial history.

    The south, encompassing the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, boasts the spectacular Iguaçu Falls on the border with Argentina – one of the great natural wonders of South America. From Curitiba the scenic Serra Verde Express snakes down to the coast, where you can chill out on Ilha do Mel or beach-hop around Florianópolis.

    Despite its proximity to the city, São Paulo’s 400km coast has sometimes been overlooked in favour of more glamorous Rio. North-east, towards the border with Rio state, the area is developing rapidly, but still offers great contrasts, ranging from long, wide stretches of sand at the edge of a coastal plain to idyllic-looking coves beneath a mountainous backdrop.