photo showing the Mountains around Canela, 900m above sealevel, the impressive Serra Geral
Canela is a realtive young Town in its own rights, which where granted 1945
at first a working class community, forestry the main employment. soon there was not much to cut anymore, as everywhere else in the world..reforesting started soon after restoring what otherwise would have become a desert. Reflorestamento in the mid sixties had become a magic word and task in the south of Brasil.
Canela and Gramado went for it and started a very unique tourist industry, preserving and restoring nature, as well finding new job opportunities for the whole area.
in my transport tip you can find Canelas official webpage, yes its only in portugues, but many pics will show the beautiful area, accommodations and more, have a look
enlarge the map and see how to get there
just 100km from Porto Alegre, realy a wonderful scenic drive through the Serra Geral around 900m above sealevel
While not as up-market as Gramado, Canela is the best jumping-off point for some great hikes and bicycle rides in the area. There are cheaper hotels here than in Gramado, so budget travelers should make this their base.
"Parque Estadual do Caracol"
Eight km from Canela, the major attraction of this park is a spectacular 130-meter-high waterfall. You don't have to do any hiking to see it, as it's very close to the park entrance. The park also features Loboguará, an environmental education center. On the road to the park, two km from the center of Canela is a 700-year-old, 42-meter-tall araucária pine.
The park is open daily from 7:30 am to 6 pm. Entry is $0.40. A public bus to the park, marked 'Caracol Circular', leaves the rodoviária at 8:15 am, noon and 5:30 pm.
A seven-km hike from just outside the park entrance brings you to Ferradura, a stunning 400-meter-deep horseshoe canyon formed by the Rio Santa Cruz. You can camp in here, but you have to bring everything with you.
"Parque das Sequóias"
This park at Rua Godofredo Raimundo 1747 was created in the 1940s by Curt Menz, a botanist who cultivated more than 70 different tree species with seeds from all over the world. This plantation occupies 10 hectares, and the rest of the park (25 hectares) is native forest. The park has lots of trails and a pousada.
"Morros Pelado, Queimado & Dedão"
These hills provide great views of the Vale do Quilombo, and on clear days you can see the coast. Reached via the road to the Parque das Sequóias, they're five, 5.5 and 6.5 km (respectively) from Canela.
One of the oldest houses in the area, Castelinho, is on the road to the park. Now a pioneer museum, a German restaurant and a chocolate shop, Castelinho was built without using metal nails.