On the border between São Paulo and Minas Gerais, is located the well-known "Switzerland Mining". The city of Monte Verde is at 1,555 meters of altitude, which makes the climate cold all year round. The scenery between the mountains, rustic inns with fireplaces and the cold of the mountains makes it very sought after for honeymoon trips and by those who want to escape the heat of large cities.
The city follows the style of Gramado, but with a touch of minas. Here is the place to turn off your phone, open a wine and admire the view of the Serra da Mantiqueira. In this article, we will give many tips to enjoy your trip to Monte Verde.
The landscape brings us back to the Swiss Alps. Scattered throughout the valley and the slopes of the high mountains of Mantiqueira, always in the middle of very green, stand the houses built in authentic Alpine style. In winter, the fog that covers the entire region and the smoke rising from the chimneys make even more vivid the impression that we are in a part of the Alps.
This resemblance to the highlands of Europe attracted and continues to attract Germans, Swiss, Italians and many others who, longing for their homeland, elected Monte Verde as their home. European influence is visible everywhere, from the style of buildings to the products found in local commerce, restaurants and their typical foods.
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Monte Verde has a cold and dry climate, characteristic of mountainous regions. In summer the averages are 26°C in the day and 14°C at night. In winter, temperatures often drop below zero, easily reaching the -10°C mark. It doesn't snow, although this has happened a few times, but on winter mornings it's common for the sun to rise amid a landscape completely covered with ice producing a fantastic look.
How to get to and from
The route is more favorable for those who live in the capital of SP, which is only 3 hours by car to Monte Verde. On the contrary, from the capital of Minas Gerais, leaving Belo Horizonte, the route lasts a little more than 6 hours by car.
Monte Verde is part of the municipality of Camanducaia in the southwest of the state of Minas Gerais. From the center of Camanducaia to Monte Verde are another 30 km of paved road.
There is a bus route to Camanducaia. From there, board for Monte Verde. Check the times before you travel, as there may be changes.
Walking around the city is not so easy, so it is recommended that you stay on the main street of the city: Avenida Monte Verde.
For scheduled tours, local businesses offer means of transport such as jeeps. It is possible to find taxi in the city, but there are few. The taxi rank is on Mantiqueira Street right in the city centre, next to Banco Bradesco. Cars don't have a meter, so it's good to match the value with the driver before you start the trip.
What to do
Monte Verde Avenue
The main attraction is the main street of the city. This is where the best shops and restaurants are. Be sure to explore every corner of the street, as there you will find several souvenirs such as cachaçarias, breweries and chocolate makers, as well as clothing and craft shops.
As the city is surrounded by mountains and the roads are mostly still dirt, it is best to take jeep tours, which can be rented through agencies installed on the main street of the city. The tour can end with a romantic picnic, offered by specialized companies.
The city is full of ecotourism activities. One of these activities are the trails in the woods, with spectacular views from the top of the mountains. The tour can be hired through agencies located on the main street of the city and done with the guide, safely. One of the most sought after walks is to see the sunset at the top of the mountain.
- One of the most famous in Monte Verde, as it is easily accessible and has beautiful viewpoints and flat ridge.
- Altitude: 1990 meters
- Distance: 1.8 km round trip (1h30)
- Difficulty level: Moderate (has a steep stretch at the end)
- Pedra Partida has a 360 degree view from where you can see even Pedra do Baú, already in the State of São Paulo.
- Altitude: 2046 meters
- Distance: 1.6 km round trip (3 hours)
- Difficulty level: Intermediate
- It is the quietest and shortest trail, just a steep stretch at the beginning.
- Altitude: 2030 meters
- Distance: 1.3 km round trip (1h30)
- Difficulty level: Easy
- This lookout is a continuation of the Bishop's Hat.
- Altitude: 1900 meters
- Distance: 2 hours (round trip)
- Difficulty level: Easy
- Highest peak in the south of Minas Gerais. The walk is long and pulled and is following the Plateau Trail. More than the others, it is important to go with a guide because there is a risk of getting lost.
- Altitude: 2082 meters
- Distance: 5 hours round trip
- Difficulty level: Difficult
Monte Verde also offers radical family activities. The programs are held in the Radical Farm Adventure Circuit that offers activities such as quad biking, climbing, tree climbing, archery, slackline, horse riding and two ziplines, one of them children and the other, the Mega Zip line with an extension of 450 meters to 70 meters high in the middle of the forest.
School of Falconry
This activity allows you to take a closer look at Falcons and Owls. Everything is done with proper security. The bird lands on its arm and feeds, thus making the experience unique and unforgettable. It is not allowed to caress or touch animals.
The ring, located on the main avenue of the city, is open all year round and even though not very large is perfect for the whole family.
When to go
Monte Verde is cold all year round. It is not an act that all inns and hotels have fireplaces and heaters. Even in the summer and spring months the temperatures do not increase much, which pleases lovers of the cold, but who do not sympathize with the extreme temperatures, below 0º. The only thing that can get in the way this season is the rains.
If you want to enjoy the cold, it is recommended that you go during the autumn/winter seasons. But at this time prices usually go up, because we will be in high season, poém, it is worth remembering that the main events of the city such as the Winter Festival, take place in July. They are shows, cultural workshops and many other attractions. The Gastronomic Festival takes place in October, when restaurants get more refined menus.
The city offers food for every kind of palate, from minas gerais food to sophisticated international food. However, what draws the most attention are the "Fondues" served in various places.
FONDUE: Restaurant Mont Vert – known as Casa do Fondue. In addition to serving the traditional meat, cheese and chocolate, it also has options with noble meats (wild boar, lamb and ostrich) and, for dessert, nest milk with gianduia or sweet milk.
The city offers spectacular places to stay. Hotels, inns, houses or chalets all have an unparalleled charm. A pinch of rusticity combined with the cold, all perfect for the environment.
Hotel prices vary widely. However, all rooms include fireplaces and internal heating. Other slightly more expensive places offer hydromassage, heated pools and spa. Think about what you want to enjoy and book your place a little in advance.