We’ll depart the port in Rio Grande and begin the tour with a scenic drive through plantations and
take the bridge over the São Gonçalo River to the historic city of Pelotas, which is the second largest
city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Located on the canal that connects Lagoa dos Patos with
Lagoa Mirim, Pelotas was founded in 1812 as a port for a dried meat producer. At the turn of the
century, the tides of fortune shifted when the port in Rio Grande became able to accommodate larger
ships. While it slowed down investment in Pelotas, it saved the city from developers. Today, Pelotas
boasts a well-preserved 19th-century town center with surprisingly elegant buildings.
An orientation drive through the downtown area will take you to the heart of the city, where the
majority of the most elegant stuccoed buildings with wrought-iron balconies are located. We will
visit the Plaza Colonel Pedro Osório, highlighting the Fountain of the Nereids and a rich architectural
complex of houses, visit Panorâmica da Cathedral São Francisco de Paula, built in 1832, and other historic buildings, including the public library, city hall, Grand Hotel, City Museum, Pompas Funeral Home, Caixeral Club, the Sete de Abril theatre, and pass by the Theater Guarany and the Redeemer Cathedral, known as the ’Cabeludo‘ church. An interior visit to a market will reveal its Neoclassical style. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century, and the clock tower and iron lighthouse were imported from Hamburg, Germany.
Then we’ll drive to Charqueada São João. This large house was built in the early nineteenth century and is one of the most beautiful and complete examples of Charque architecture. Lunch includes jerky´carreteiro´, beans, barbecued pampas, various salads, and a homemade dessert.
Lastly, we’ll visit a farm and take a short boat trip to do some birdwatching.