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"There are great observatories here"
Leaving São Paulo by Airton Sena, continue by Carvalho Pinto and Floriano Pinheiro (towards Campos de Jordão). Right after the tunnel in Campos' Moutains, take the road to Santo Antônio do Pinhal and the south of Minas. Go by São Bento do Sapucaí and proceed more 18km by the highway, the next city is Paraisópolis.
"Mirante do Cruzeiro" (Observatory of the Cross) - it is at 1488 meters of altitude and it is the ideal place to see the whole city. Take the road that goes to the neighborhood of Cantagalo, go towards the district "dos Costas" until the bifurcation to Cantagalo, proceeding for more 500 meters. Take the left, at the top of the road, at the barbed wire fence.
"Serra da Balança" (Scale Mountains) - the view is always spectacular, you can see "Pedra do Baú" (Stone of the Trunk), the mountains of Brasópolis (with clear sky you can even see the astronomical observatory of Itajubá). Go by the highway that connects Gonçalves to the neighborhood of Venâncios. Arriving at the neighborhood of Venâncios, leave the car and go on foot, the road is not suitable for cars, only motorcycles and horses, the road is narrow and it has several gates. Be sure to clse all of them after pass for it.
"The waterfalls are allways deserted."
"Cachoeira do Simão" (Simão's Waterfall): this waterfall is at 2,5 km from Gonçalves, accessed by the road that connects Gonçalves to the neighborhood of São Sebastião das 3 Orelhas. Take the left at the bifurcation to Venâncios, proceeding for more 500 meters. It's a beautiful fall of the waters of the stream "Campestre", with about 7 meters of height, divided in two segments.
"Cachoeira do Retiro" (Retreat's Waterfall): only 2 km from Gonçalves by the road that goes to the neighborhood of São Sebastião das 3 Orelhas. It's a group of several falls and natural swimming pools. The car should be left at the road and the access is made by trail.
"There are several other waterfalls like this one."
"Pedra de São Domingos" (Stone of São Domingos) - it is at 2.050 meters of altitude, with a 360 degrees viewt. The access is by a trail that comes from neighborhood of Cantagalo or by car, to the top by the neighborhood of Costas, 1 km after Costas, take the left, going up the mountain by a narrow and sinuous road until the foot of the stone. The view is spectacular, including great part of Manitqueira (Chain of Moutains), some cities of the south of Minas, besides Campos de Jordão and Monte Verde.
"Pedra do Forno" (Stone of the Oven) - it is at 1970 meters of altitude. Accessed by trail, starting from the neighborhood of Terra Fria. The trail is in the middle of the forest and the course can take at least 1 hour of walk. The view is also incredible and Pedra do Baú can be seen (São Bento do Sapucaí), Campos de Jordão, Monte Verde, Pedra de São Domingos.
"Cachoeira das Andorinhas" (Waterfall of the Swallows): leaving the city by the road that goes to the neighborhood Martins, about 2 km, until the end of the row of araucarias along the highway; take the right for the pasture until the bottom of the valley, at an opening of the ciliary forest. There is no good trail.
"Cachoeira Fazendinha" (Little Farm Waterfall): It is at the road that goes to the neighborhood of Cantagalo. 1 km before the town, take the left at the crossing point for 800 meters, outlining the forest until arriving to the falls. This waterfall is a great attraction of the neighborhood of Cantagalo
"Cachoeira do Cruzeiro" (Waterfall of the Cross): it is at the road that connects Gonçalves to the district of Costas. Ride for 1,5 km until the bifurcation to Cantagalo. At that point, take the left, towards Cantagalo for more 700 meters.
"I'm going down there."
"Pedra Bonita" (Beautiful stone) - Peak of 2075 meters of altitude. 360 degrees view, without obstacles. Accessed by trail. The landscape is awesome, possible to see part of the south of Minas, Paraíba's Valley and "Serra do Mar" (Sea Mountains). It is the highest point of the area with 2120 meters of altitude. The summit is reachede by trails for the forest, being indispensable the attendance of guides. Access: Road from Gonçalves to the neighborhood of Campestre. It's necessary to ask for authorization at the farm.
"Pedra do Cruzeiro ou Atrás da Pedra" (Stone of the Cross or Behind the Stone) - The summit is at 1152 meters of altitude, where there are a small chapel and a cross. In one of the faces, there is a rift that takes to a grotto, of difficult access. In the cold months. the stone becomes an island amid an immense sea of clouds.
Access: Road that connects Gonçalves to the neighborhood "Atrás da Pedra". After the neighborhood, proceed more 500metros, take the right at the gate that gives access to the banana plantation. The road goes up for about 300 meters, ending in a trail that takes to the top.
"This is the main square of the city."
"Mirante Alto do Valério" (Observatory High of Valério): it is at 2 km from the city and it has 1652 m of altitude.
"Pedra do Barnabé / Pedra do Campestre" (Civil servant / Campestre Stones): it is at 7,5 km of distance from the city, it has 1780 m of altitude. It is a solid pyramidal rock. It has a reforestation of araucarias and remainder of native forest
"Mirantes Alto do Campestre" (High Campestre Observatories): it is at 1910 m of altitude. The trail to the top has big trees and a lot of "bromélias".
"Pedra Chanfrada": the entrance is by the Restaurant to the Foot of the Stone, then one more walk of 30min.
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Tips by GUSTAVO VIVACQUA
1. The temperature here can reach 8 degrees negative at the highest neighborhoods and to 3 degrees negative in the city. It gets REALLY cold in the winter.
2. The city has no nightlife. If you desperatly need something to do at night, go to Paraísopolis, that is a little larger.
3. In the evening you cannot find any restaurant of the city open. You have to seek for the restaurants of the lodgings, that are some kilometers away from the city, by dirt roads.
4. This city has beautiful works of art sculpted on wood.
5. In the city you'll find guides that form groups for ecological walks on the trails that take to the peaks and waterfalls.
6. Do you want good nightlife? Tired of the peace? Go to Campos de Jordão that is nearby.
7. Don't miss visiting Gonçalves' observatories. The view is spectacular.
8. "Put in the site that Hotel Central is actually in PARAISÓPOLIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! "tip from Sandra
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