Places and regions near Porto Alegre to know

Are you going to extend your visit around the city and have time to visit other places close to the capital? Taking tours in regions close to Porto Alegre is very easy and fast, as the main destinations are close by and you can even make a peaceful day trip. There are incredible places in our state and we suggest that you explore one of these options to include in your itinerary!

Gramado and Canela

Two and a half hours from Porto Alegre, Gramado and Canela, in Serra Gaúcha, are the biggest tourist destinations in Rio Grande do Sul.

They are small, beautiful, charming, romantic cities, with beautiful landscapes, restaurants and a lot of culture. Known for carrying the culture of German and Italian immigration in their architecture, gastronomy, and way of life, they offer a different experience from what is possible to experience in the capital Porto Alegre.

The air is purer and everything moves more slowly. Gramado, often called the «Brazilian Switzerland,» captivates visitors with its Bavarian-style streets adorned with colorful flowers. The city is also known for the variety of great restaurants, cafes, and chocolates.

Canela, just a few minutes’ drive from Gramado, has less glamour than its neighboring city and, therefore, is more inviting for those looking for a quieter and more peaceful place to enjoy tranquility. Known for its stunning landscapes of valleys, hills, and waterfalls, it is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Together, the two cities deserve at least a day of your trip to southern Brazil. Of course, the longer you stay in them, the more you will be enchanted by the peculiar charm of each one.

If the idea is to stop by, here we have a list of places you need to visit in Gramado and Canela. But we’ll give you a heads up, you’re going to be enchanted!


A charmed and Covered Street

This charming pedestrian street is surrounded by beautiful buildings and is the perfect place to stroll, shop, and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes.

Address: 30 Me. Verônica, Center, Gramado

Admire a great view and breath a fresh air at Black Lake

One of Gramado’s most famous postcards, the Black Lake is a peaceful and picturesque place, ideal for walking around the lake, taking a paddleboat ride, or simply relaxing amidst nature.

Address: A. J. Renner Street, Planalto, Gramado.


A breathtaking view at Caracol Park

The Caracol Park is known for housing the majestic Caracol Waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Brazil, standing at over 130 meters in height. In addition to admiring the landscape of this imposing waterfall, the park offers trails that lead to breathtaking panoramic views. There are also cable car rides, providing an aerial view of the region, and an adventure park with activities such as zip-lining and tree climbing for those seeking an extra dose of excitement.

Address: RS 466 Highway, Caracol, Canela

Opening hours: Every day, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Admire the opulence of Stone Cathedral

One of Brazil’s most beautiful churches, the Stone Cathedral stands out for its imposing Gothic architecture and impressive stained glass windows that adorn its interior. Be sure to visit at night, when the lighting highlights its beauty even more. It will yield beautiful photos for your Instagram.

Address: 69 Matriz Square, Center, Canela.

Vale dos Vinhedos

For those looking to carry more than beautiful photos and good memories, but also a few bottles of wine, add a trip to Vale dos Vinhedos (Vineyards Valley, in English) to your itinerary.

Vale dos Vinhedos is one of the best known wine tourism destinations in the country and also a symbol of the Grape and Wine Region in Serra Gaúcha. It is worth remembering that the Vale dos Vinhedos passes through 3 cities in the mountains: Bento Gonçalves, Garibaldi and Monte Belo do Sul.

Wine tasting should be at the top of the list for anyone heading there. The valley is home to a variety of wineries, ranging from small family-owned businesses to larger, more renowned labels – internationally acclaimed, even.

Each offers a unique experience, allowing you to sample a great variety of wines, including the region’s flagship, the Merlot, and other varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Many wineries also offer guided tours, providing insights into the wine production process, from grape cultivation to bottling.

Beyond wine, food is a significant part of the Vale dos Vinhedos experience. The region boasts impressive cuisine, influenced by Italian and German immigration to the area. So, if you enjoy a good pasta dish or a pork knuckle, you’ll find it delightful to be in this region.

If time allows and you want to delve deeper into the local culture, the valley offers various cultural attractions and historical sites. This includes visiting small villages where Italian traditions are still alive, exploring art galleries, and participating in wine festivals that celebrate the region’s heritage and products.

Vineyards of the Vale dos Vinhedos

In the Vale dos Vinhedos, visitors have the opportunity to explore a variety of vineyards, each with its own history, style, and personality. You can visit everything from small family-owned wineries to large companies recognized internationally.

Many of them offer guided tours, where visitors can learn about the winemaking process, from grape cultivation to wine bottling, while enjoying the wonderful landscapes of the vineyards.

All of them offer tastings to conclude the tour in style, either in their own restaurants or in the rooms where the barrels are kept. Want a tip? Here in this link, you’ll find an amazing itinerary with all the best vineyards and restaurants you need to visit!

Caminhos de Pedra (Stone Paths)

The Caminhos de Pedra is a rural tourist route spanning 12 km, located less than 15 minutes from the city of Bento Gonçalves. Along this route, visitors will find attractions dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the Italian immigrants who arrived in Rio Grande do Sul since 1875.

This means that you’ll encounter more than just historic houses built with stone and wood; you’ll immerse yourself in gastronomy, tradition, folklore, and a connection to a simple yet culturally rich way of life.

There’s a lot to explore in just one day, but here are some suggestions: Casa da Ovelha(Sheep House), Casa do Tomate(Tomato House), Casa da Erva-Mate (Yerba mate House), and Casa das Massas (Pasta House).

The restaurants along the Caminhos de Pedra range from traditional galeterias to more sophisticated cuisines, from à la carte dishes to the slow food concept. Some great suggestions include Casa Angelo, Nona Ludia, and
Locanda Di Luca.

Union Destillery

Are you a whisky enthusiast? Then you’ll love to visit the Union Distillery, which acted as a raw material supplier for some of the world’s largest brands until 1970. Now, the company offers its own labels, ranging from the smoothest to the most sophisticated. Many of them have even won international awards.

Union offers a guided tour of the distillery, which showcases the step-by-step process from milling the barley, through blending with water and fermentation tanks, to the copper stills and aging in oak barrels. In the end, the tasting session rounds off the experience perfectly.

Address: no number, Dr. Brasil Lago Street, Vinosul, Bento Gonçalves.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, from 9 am to 6 pm.
Instagram: @uniondistillery

Flavor Road

In Garibaldi, the itinerary offers the opportunity to be in contact with the landscape, walk through the vineyards, taste wines produced with a careful vinification process, try delicious bread baked in a wood-fired oven, jams, grappa, and homemade liqueurs, all produced in an ecological way.

The glasses, the salamis, and, of course, the bountiful table with old recipes kept secret, provide subtle and delicate combinations of seasonings and ingredients, representing the heritage and pride of Italian families.

Here, we have the opportunity to interact with farmers and be served by their hands, an attitude that values and exalts what is offered. Part of this itinerary are: Vinícola Bettú, Família Vaccaro, Osteria Della Colombina, and Orgânicos Mariani.

Other attractions close to Porto Alegre:

Rafting and Buddhist Temple in Três Coroas

Located an hour and a half from Porto Alegre, Três Coroas is nestled in the beautiful mountains of the Serra Gaúcha. For nature and adventure enthusiasts, the city is a paradise. Surrounded by rivers, waterfalls, and trails, it offers numerous opportunities for hiking, rafting, canoeing, and rappelling. The rapids of the Paranhana River are especially popular among water sports enthusiasts, providing thrilling rafting and kayaking experiences. Additionally, Três Coroas is home to the Khadro Ling Buddhist Temple, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Latin America. Visitors can take part in spiritual retreats, meditation, and religious ceremonies, as well as explore the temple’s beautiful gardens and statues.

Be enchanted by the canyons of Cambará do Sul

A bit farther away, but still a very enjoyable trip, is Cambará do Sul, in the Canyon region. Located 200 km from Porto Alegre, you can marvel at these formations that mark the border between the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, showcasing the full force of nature. There are more than 30 canyons, making the region the largest collection of these formations in Latin America. The Aparados da Serra National Park houses the Itaimbezinho Canyon, while the Fortaleza Canyon is located in the Serra Geral National Park. Both are the main attractions of the area, which also includes hikes, trails, rappelling, boat rides, and horseback riding.