Depart the port in Rio Grande and begin your tour with a scenic drive through plantations and across the bridge over the São Gonçalo river to the historic old city of Pelotas, which is the second largest city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Located on the canal which connects the Lagoa dos Patos with the Lagoa Mirim, Pelotas was founded in 1812 as a port for dried meat producers. At the turn of the century, the tides of fortune shifted when the port of Rio Grande was able to accommodate larger ships. But while it slowed down investment for Pelotas it saved the city from developers, with the result being today Pelotas boasts a well – preserved 19th century town centre with surprisingly elegant buildings.
Visit the Cathedral São Francisco de Paula, built in 1832. An orientation drive through the downtown area will take you past the heart of the city, where you find the most beautiful buildings, with wrought-iron balconies. Walk through the Plaza Colonel Pedro Osório highlighting the fountain 'Fonte das Nereidas' and surrounded by a rich collection of architectural and historical buildings. Also visit the market halls in neo-classical style, built in the mid-nineteenth century, with the clock tower and the iron lighthouse imported from Hamburg, Germany.
Then drive to Charqueada São João. This large elegant house is built in the early nineteenth century, and one of the most beautiful and complete examples of Charque architecture. Breakfast includes 'carreteiro de charque' (rice and meat dish), beans, barbecue, various salads and a homemade dessert. Finally, visit the farm and enjoy a short boat trip with bird watching.
Return drive to Rio Grande pier.
- Language: English
- Max Participants: 100