Serra Catarinense: What to do? Itinerary Day 1

Cascata do Avencal - Top view.

In the previous posts I've told you about where to stayhow to get to, what and how much to take and where to eat. Now I'm going to tell you the reasons why you should visit Serra Catarinense. I divided this tip in 3 parts, each one being one of the days we spent in this amazing place. 

So, we left Florianópolis around 10 AM and we were able to arrive at our accommodation in Urubici around 1 PM. After the check in, we ate our sandwiches and left the hotel to start exploring the city.



It happens that, to go to one of the attractions in the city, called Morro da Igreja (Church's hill), you'll need an authorization. Because it is in the top of a hill the amount of cars and people that can go up is limited. To get this authorization you have to go to ICMBio, its address is: Av. Pedro B Warmeling, 116. During touristic season it can be more difficult to get an authorization for the same day you arrived, so our first stop was ICMBio to get an authorization for the next day, a Saturday. Buuuut, unfortunately, they were doing some renovations in road that gives access to the hill and it was closed the weekend we went there, very sad, but it happens. Morro da Igreja is one of the most famous touristic attraction of the region.

After this news, we decided to go to the touristic information office. Yes, I had done already an itinerary for our trip, but I was open for what the person that gives information had to say. And it helped us a lot. There they gave us a map and a folder with descriptions of the touristic places we were gonna hit.

Ok, it was time for us to visit something. So we took SC-110 heading to São Joaquim, another city part of Serra Catarinense. But we didn't get close to this city, because when you leave Urubici by this way you'll find the touristic places you wanna see after a few kilometers.

INSCRIÇÕES RUPESTRES

Inscrições Rupestres is the first thing you will see. My advice is to always pay very close attention the the road signs, otherwise you'll miss the entrance, so drive slow. We decided not to stop at this attraction, because in Florianópolis we've already seen plenty of this, so we though it wouldn't be very interesting for us.

But Inscrições Rupestres are a rock art. The ones you'll find there are from 4000 years ago, this is an important archaeological record and archaeologists think this specific place was sacred.

If you never saw one, I think it's worth the stop. But you have to have a very open mind, otherwise it's going to be a bunch of weird drawings in a rock wall. It's good to go there knowing something about its history.

MIRANTE URUBICI


Urubici.

If you keep driving in SC-110 just after Inscrições Rupestres you'll see an observation point where you can stop the car and have a great view of the whole Urubici. And there are no signs pointing to it. It's just before a turn in the road.

From there you'll see the buildings in the town looking like ants, but the main church even from this distance seems big. Also you can see the hills around the town. This is not a place that you'll spend much time, but it's nice.


Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora Mãe dos Homens - Zoomed view from the observation point.

CASCATA DO AVENCAL

Cascata do Avencal is an amazing 100 meters high waterfall. The name Avencal comes from avenca, a type of vegetation very common in this region.

After seeing the great view from Mirante Urubici, hit the road again, this time you'll drive a few more minutes. Again, pay attention to the signs. There will be an entrance to a place from where you can see Cascata do Avencal, from here you'll have access to a top view of the waterfall. Here, you'll have two choices, because there are two different parks from where you can see this waterfall, these parks are in private properties, so you'll have to pay R$ 5,00 (US$ 1.30) per person.


Road that gives access to Cascata do Avencal.

The thing is, the park you have access first is very new, so it has nothing besides the observation point to the waterfall. We, for no reason and kinda lost, chose this one. Talking to the guy that was doing the renovations there we found out that they'll build an elevator for you to have access to the bottom of the waterfall and a zip-line that ends in Inscrições Rupestres (I think this is going to be crazy). 

The other park is older and already has a zip-line that crosses the canyon where the waterfall is, so you can pass over it. It also has pedal boats in a small lagoon and horse rides. Of course these extra activities cost extra money. 

If you don't want to wait for that elevator I mentioned before to be ready for you to reach the bottom of the waterfall, you can do it by hiking. The entrance to this hiking is just before the the portal indicating you are leaving Urubici. So, if you are at the observation point to the top of the waterfall you have to return all the way you did to arrive there.

When you see a white arc written URUBICI in it, pay attention because the road that gives access to the bottom of the waterfall is right there. This is an unpaved road and the car shakes a lot. While in this road you will see many inns, just keep driving until you can't go further. Two large rocks will be blocking the way and there is a space for you to park. 


Beginning of the hiking.

This is a very light hiking, a normal jogging shoe is enough, you won't find big obstacles and the trail is pretty clear. Keep going until you will find the waterfall. In my opinion the bottom view is more spectacular. 


Cascata do Avencal - Bottom view.

IGREJA MATRIZ NOSSA SENHORA MÃE DOS HOMENS


This is a Gothic style church founded in 1973, being one of the biggest churches in the state of Santa Catarina.  

Returning to Urubici after the hiking we called it a day, because it was already dark. You know, during winter the period with sunlight is smaller. But before going to get dressed to eat, we stopped in front of that main church that we were able to see from the observation view. 

Well, I don't understand a lot about art, but this didn't seem Gothic to me, I'm just believing the information. Also, we weren't able to go inside because at that time it was closed and during the other days of the trip we didn't stop there again. But just like any other beautiful building it's always worth to have a closer look from the outside.


P.S. (1): The information, prices and conversions mentioned refer to June and August of 2018.

P.S. (2): For more attractions in Serra Catarinense you can read the Itinerary Day 2 and the Itinerary Day 3.

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