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July 15, 2008

Urubici - Santa Catarina


Urubici - Santa Catarina

The charming town of Urubici was founded in 1915, as the village of São Joaquim. Today, its natural beauties attract tourists and backpackers from all corners of Brazil looking for the landscapes of the mountain ridge of the state of Santa Catarina. Located in the valley of the Canoas river, the town has in its hills, valleys, trails and waterfalls perfect places for those who want to rest or go for ecotourism and adventure tourism.

Urubici Pedra Furada

Urubici is part of the important São Joaquim National park, which is very rich in flora and fauna. The park has an area of 493 km2 (190.34 square miles) and is divided between the fields on top of the ridge, where we have the lowest temperatures in Brazil, and the area at the foot of the ridge, with temperature around the 20°C (68°F). A visit to it reveals incredible landscapes, such as the Laranjeiras Canyon (Canyon of the Orange Trees) and the famous Pedra Furada (Holed Rock), which can be seen from the Morro da Igreja (Church Hill), known as the highest point in the South of Brazil, with 1,827 meters (5,994.09 ft.) of altitude. In the surroundings of the town there are other places that deserve a visit, such as the Avencal Waterfall, with 100 meters (328.08 ft.) of free fall, and indigenous caves that are found in the area. There it is possible to see rupestral engravings which date back to more than four thousand years ago. In the severe winter, between the months of June and August, there can be some snow, which gives a European appearance to its streets. In 1996, the town registered the lowest temperature ever recorded in thermometers in Brazil, -17.8 °C (0.04°F). It is the ideal weather for those who like chatting in front of a fireplace, sipping some good wine, or just relax.

Throughout its history, Urubici suffered the influence of Portuguese, Italian, German, African and Latvian settlers, who have left their characteristics in its culture, arts, architecture, and cuisine. The city is also known as the land of the vegetables because of the variety and quality of the local production.

Morro da Igreja (Church Hill)
Located in the center of the São Joaquim Park, the Morro da Igreja is one of the most beautiful mountains of the area. With 1,822 meters (5,977.69 ft.) of altitude, it is the highest peak of the state, greatly sought by those who like mountain climbing and mountaineering. In clear days, it becomes a great belvedere to see the scarps of the General Mountain Ridge (Serra Geral) and the coast, at more than 60 kilometers (37.28 mi.) away from there. It was in the Morro da Igreja that the lowest temperature in Brazil of -17.8°C (0.04°F) was recorded.

Pedra Furada (Holed Rock)
A rocky formation with a window-shaped hole, with approximately 30 meters (98.43 ft.) of circumference, sculpted by the action of nature, in the middle of the Atlantic forest. It can be seen from the Morro da Igreja.

Springs of the Pelotas River
The springs of the Pelotas river are in an area of flooded fields, where there are many trails. From there it is also possible to see the Morro da Igreja (Church Hill).

Corvo Branco Mountain Ridge (White Crow Mountain Ridge)
One of the town’s most visited places, there is a road connecting Urubici to Grão-Pará, crossing its highest point, at 1,470 meters (4,822.83 ft.) of altitude. On the way there, it is possible to see canyons and deep valleys from many belvederes. In the winter it may snow in the area.

Avencal Waterfall
One of the most beautiful waterfalls of the area, the Avencal Waterfall has a fall of 88 meters (288.71 ft.). To get there, we have to walk for an 800-meter (874.89-yard) long trail.

Campestre Hill
Located at 8 km (4.97 mi.) from the center of Urubici, in that hill there is belvedere which offers partial view of the valley of the Canoas river. The best time of the day for visitation is right before the sunset.

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