Gramado and Canela: Things to Do! Itinerary Day 1

The sign I love Serra Gaúcha with me and Fernando and a green brackground.
Mirante da Rota do Sol (viewpoint).

Gramado and Canela are very common winter destinations. They are also known as a romantic destination! These cities are in a mountain region, so during winter the temperatures are very low. However, I visited the cities during summer which was also a great experience, but very warm! Hahahaha.

We went by car leaving from Santa Catarina's coast. The changes in the landscape along the way are amazing. When in Rio Grande do Sul the vegetation starts to change a lot as we move away from the coast.

MIRANTE DA ROTA DO SOL

A great stop on the road is the Mirante da Rota do Sol (pictured above) which is a viewpoint with that famous sign: I Love Serra Gaúcha. At this viewpoint you can really see what the Serra is like: a lot of mountains and a very lush landscape. It is so beautiful. Also, at this stop, there is a restaurant. 

If you have the opportunity, take a break at this place. Which is in the way for people that come from Santa Catarina's coast to Gramado. From the viewpoint to Gramado is a one and a half hour drive.

A MINA

We knew that we were going to arrive in Gramado at lunch time, so we choose this place as our first stop because there is a restaurant in this park. 

The most important thing first: food. The restaurant name is Restaurante Carazal and it serves typical Brazilian food in that all-you-can-eat system for a fixed price. I liked the food very much and the ambience. There was live music and we sat near a window with a view of a pond.

The restaurant building surrounded by a pond and trees.
Restaurante Carazal.

At this park there are some activities like zip line and paddle boat. But after eating we weren't in the mood for it so we just went to visit A Mina, which is an attraction that resembles an old mine. This is a guided tour where you walk 80 meters while seeing different types of gemstones still in the original form, inside rocks. 

Inside this "fake" mine there are some special picture spots like the amethyst wings 😍. The tour ends in a museum with more gemstones in different shapes and then there is a store where you can buy gemstones. There are cheap and expensive gemstones, so it is possible to buy something. I bought a sunstone pendant for R$ 20,00.

A wings shaped amethyst stone
Amethyst wings.

To eat lunch and see the mine we paid R$ 35,90, which was a discounted price. You can have access to this same price by clicking here. The original price is R$ 59,00.

The park and the mine are open from Tuesdays to Sundays. The park from 09 AM to 05 PM, the restaurant from 11:30 AM to 03 PM and  the mine from 09:30 AM to 05:40 PM.

GRAMADO CITY GATE

The mine was outside of the city. So on our way back we stopped to take pictures on the city gate, which is amazing and has a touristic information center. Don't worry because there are some spots to park the car.


A brown and rocky gate.
Gramado City Gate.

FLORYBAL

As you might have known, Gramado is a very famous city for producing chocolates. So our next stop was a chocolate store/factory, Florybal. The nicest thing about any chocolate store in Gramado is that they give you free chocolate samples EVERY time you walk in a store 😍.

This specific Florybal store is also a factory, where they make their chocolates manually and you can see part of the production through a glass. There are maaany Florybal stores in the city; the one which is also a factory is on Rua Tristão Oliveira, 1200.


Heart shaped chocolates being produced.
Handmade chocolate production at Florybal.

WHERE NOT TO EAT

It looks like we didn't do many things but it was already the end of the afternoon and we went to the airbnb we were staying to get ready for dinner. We had planned our meals in advance, because there is a coupon website with amazing prices. The name is Laçador de Ofertas and you can buy coupons for restaurants and attractions. ALWAYS check this website, you will save lots of money.

So for this first night we bought a coupon for a fondue sequence (cheese, meat and chocolate) for R$ 24,90 per person. The restaurant was called Família D'Lubenow and you shouldn't go there. It was already expected that maaany people would buy this coupon because of the low price. So we had to wait for almost two hours to get inside the restaurant.

This restaurant is located in the city center, so instead of waiting there we went for a walk. We went to see the Rua Torta (crooked street) that as the name suggests is a very crooked street and it is very famous. Then we went to see a chocolate fountain at a place called Mundo do Chocolate (chocolate's world). Lastly we went to see a sculpture of the Gramado Film Festival trophy. Of course, while walking we entered many chocolate stores to get free chocolate.


A dark chocolate fountain.
Chocolate fountain at Mundo do Chocolate.

After all this, finally we got inside the restaurant. We informed that we had the coupon for the fondue sequence. And the first dish the waiter brought us was an appetizer with olives, bread, cheese, pickles, etc. We ate this and then the fondue sequence started. The fondue was really good!

The problem was when we had to pay the bill. They charged a lot for the appetizer, which firstly we didn't order and secondly the waiter just left on our table and left without informing it was not free, like if it was a part of the coupon. That's illegal here in Brazil and fortunately we knew our rights. The law says that if a customer doesn't order something in a restaurant and it's given to them without mentioning that it has an additional cost it is considered an abusive practice and the customer doesn't have to pay.

Also it's mandatory that all establishments must have a copy of the consumer protection manual. And guess what? They didn't have! So we had to download it from the internet and show the article proving that we didn't have to pay. Later we denounced this restaurant via internet, but I think nothing was done.

In the end we didn't pay for the appetizer, but it was a lot of stress and discussion that kinda ruined our night. Even though the fondue was good and cheap it's not worth going to this restaurant.

P.S.: The prices mentioned refer to March 2019.

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