Brazil // The South //

Practicalities

The rodoviária (t 49/3222-6710) is a half-hour walk southeast of the centre, or you can take a bus marked “Dom Pedro”. The tourist office (Mon–Fri 8am–noon & 2–6pm; t 49/3223-6206) is in the centre of town at Rua Hercílio Luz 573, and distributes a good map of Lages.

Reasonable, modestly priced hotels are easy to come by. The Hotel Presidente, Av. Presidente Vargas 106 (t 49/3224-0014; R$41-70), is quite good and only a few minutes’ walk from the cathedral and main square, Praça Waldo da Costa Avila. If you want a bit more luxury, try the Grande Hotel Lages, Rua João de Castro 23 (t 49/3222-3522; R$71-120). However, to really experience serra life you should arrange to stay on a cattle fazenda, all located some distance from town. A full list and advice is available from the tourist office and if you don’t have your own transport you can arrange with the fazenda to be picked up in town. Especially recommended are the rustic Seriema (t 49/9986-0051; R$121-180 full board); Nossa Senhora de Lourdes (t 49/3222-0798 or t 9983-0809; R$181-260 full board), a mid-nineteenth-century fazenda house with period furnishings and a pool (children not accepted); and the more hotel-like Barreiro (t 49/3222-3031, w http://www.fazendadobarreiro.com.br; R$261-350 full board), which traces its origins to the late eighteenth century, though its buildings are all of recent construction. Reservations are essential for all three. While the landscape of the serra is extremely rugged and the life of the highland gaúcho is often harsh, the fazendas provide comfortable accommodation, and excellent food and facilities.

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