A railway with 125 years of history linking the coast of Curitiba in Paraná (state) to the Serra do Mar. That is one of the most interesting train journeys I ever had. The trip that connects Curitiba to the beautiful city of Morretes is also one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Paraná annually.
It’s actually the second most popular tourist destination in that state. The famous visit to Iguaçu Falls is in the first place, of course.
There is a good reason to explain its popularity. The train journey in a 20 car-locomotive, usually crowded with tourists, is stunning indeed. It takes approximately three hours in a trip across the Atlantic forest, through tunnels, bridges, beautiful waterfalls, and even canyons.
In 1996, when Paranaguá – Curitiba railway was privatised, two distinct companies were responsible for that network: Serra Verde Express, which was in charge of tourist transport of passengers and Latin American Logistics (ALL), in charge of freight trains, maintenance of railway tracks and assignment of locomotives for tourist trains on site.
And because Paraná takes really seriously the transport rails, the train to the Serra do Mar has daily departures with a ticket that varies according to your pocket, from economy class to luxurious cabin cars fares.
Morretes: This train stop allows us to know a little bit more about this historic city founded in 1721. It is also in Morretes that you will probably grab some (more) food or even have a proper meal. It’s definitely worth trying the local cuisine.
For those who like to venture into the local food, it’s highly recommended to try the famous Barreado. Just don’t ask for an individual portion to yourself because it can feed the whole family (and friends). It’s a lot of food. Believe me!
Morretes has independent shops with the most beautiful craftwork made by locals. Another curiosity is that most of its hotels and B&Bs are placed in historical houses.
In addition, the city is an excellent stop for those who are tracking to the coast of Paraná. And another must-stop place is the Marumbi railway station where Abrolhos Peak is located – a popular destination for most adventurers and backpackers from all over the world.
As a big fan of train journeys like this one, I have some extra tips that can make your tour into Parana’s railway much nicer.
- Firstly, always choose the seats on the left side of the train on the forward path because most landscapes has placed that side. Especially if you plan to photograph the journey, as 99.9% of the passengers do;
- Secondly, the train journey serves meal (with a drink option that is usually a can of pop, iced tea or water), so do not bother to bring food from home;
- Finally, arrive at Curitiba Bus and Railway station way before the departure time because on contrary to what you might think, the train leaves on time and in addition to missing your trip, you may lose the opportunity to meet one of the most beautiful places in Brazil.
A sneak peek of this fascinating train journey here: