Updated: Sep 12
Go for the culinary, ecotourism, historic importance, national park and hiking.
I am going to be short and sweet here. Teresópolis, a historic city founded in 1891 in honor of Teresa Cristina (the Brazilian empress, wife of the emperor Dom Pedro II) is nested in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro,and it is just about 2 hours away by car (100 km). The city is not particularly charming, but it has some interesting historic sites to visit and a rich gastronomic scene. With that being said, the city is not why I chose to include Teresópolis in my select list.
If you enjoy a jaw-dropping topography and pure air, and you are looking for a place to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle or from the hot summer days of Rio de Janeiro, Teresópolis got your back. There is where the "Serra dos Orgãos" National Park is located, and within it, the magnificent "Dedo de Deus" (God's Finger) mountain peak, at 5,500 ft. To appreciate the view of that mountain chain, one can either stop by the overlook when driving to Teresópolis on BR-116, or take a 3-day (rugged) hiking trail from Teresópolis to Petrópolis (another historic city in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro).
To organize your trip to the National Park, consult this website (which can be translated in English); it contains a bunch of valuable information, including the main park attractions, all hiking trails and key mountain climbing destinations (if that's your cup of tea).
Winter time is a popular time of the year to visit the region, due to its mountain climate, so make reservation ahead of time to chill-out and enjoy a fondue. Summer is usually when the entire region gets flooded with heavy rain, and epic landslide tragedies are all over the news, so not the best time to adventure yourself.
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