Chapecó is the state's 5th biggest city by population and 7th by GDP, and of these cities, the only one more than 50 km inland from the Atlantic coast: Chapecó lies 400 km inland, at about 100 km from the border with Argentina.
The metropolitan area counts over 400,000 inhabitants (2020), and its economy is centered on the meat industry (cattle, swine, poultry). Ago-business fairs bring many visitors to the city, when hotels are full and airplane tickets price skyrocket.
Chapecó also has a football team playing on Brazil's first division, the Chapecoense, which was victim of a tragedy in 2016 when virtually all the players and coach team, as well as press and crew members, died in a plane crash near Medellin, Colombia.
The city celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017.
Get in Edit
By plane Edit
- 1 Serafin Enoss Bertaso Airport (XAP IATA). Gol, Avianca and Azul have regular direct flights from São Paulo Guarulhos airport, Florianópolis and Porto Alegre, but Tam/Latam has ceased its flights there in 2016.
Unusually for Brazil, Chapecó's airport is owned and managed by the city itself. For this reason, it does not show on the Federal Airport Management Company INFRAERO database.
As with many other airports in South Brazil, Chapecó airport suffers frequent closures due to fog in the winter months (June-August). Being the main commercial airport operating in a radius of 250 km, there's no quick option to leave the city if its airport is unavailable. The "closest" main airports are Foz do Iguaçu 440 km, Porto Alegre 450 km, Curitiba 510 km and Florianópolis 570 km.
By bus Edit
The long-distance bus terminal is 3 km from the church square. In open structure, it can be cold in winter months, and the infrastructure is not great, so don't plan on spending a lot of time there. The main destinations of interest are Foz do Iguaçu (9.5 hr, R$130), Curitiba (10 hr, R$95) and Florianópolis (12 hr, R$200).
Get around Edit
Many addresses in Chapecó come with letters: usually D for "to the right" (of a certain reference road) or E for "to the left". Do not ignore these letters when putting addresses on GPS navigation systems, or you risk being sent in the wrong direction.
Chapecó is very walkable on its central area. There's also a network of city buses, with lines and timetables available on app Moovit, the fare is R$ 3,25 (October 2018) and has to be paid for each ride (there's no free transfer, not even at the central Terminal).
Taxis can be difficult to find unless you're leaving from a hotel. Uber has started its local operation in February 2018.
- Sede Figueira Grotto (Gruta de Sede Figueira), Sede Figueira (about 1 km from BR-282). 3 small caves and an 8-meter waterfall.
- Tropeiro Velho Museum (Museu Tropeiro Velho).
- Chapecoense match at Arena Condá. Home to the city football team, the arena is a few blocks from the church square. Ticket prices vary, check at http://chapecoense.eventicket.com.br/ [dead link]
- Interstate zip-line (Tirolesa Interestadual), Centro Nautico Faé (in Goio-Ên, 25 km from downtown Chapecó), ☏ . With 1.3 km, this is the longest zipline in South Brazil. Goes over the Uruguai river, which marks the border between Rio Grande do Sul e Santa Catarina states - hence interstate. R$40 p.p. (abr/2017)
- SESC Chapecó (Cultural Center), R. Brasília, 475. Less active than its São Paulo counterparts, the local Sesc does maintain a regular cultural program, but the schedule is not online and you'd need to call or drop by to inform yourself about what's going on.
- Shopping Pátio Chapecó, Av. Fernando Machado-D, 4000 – Líder, ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Su 11:00-22:00.
- 1 Vino & Tigelle, Rua Benjamin Constant - D N 53D (near Havan store, on the once pedestrian street). 11h-23h. Italian cuisine, the closest thing to fine dining to be found in the city. Also offers a menu of 7 tigelles paired with 7 glasses of wine for R$80. The only street restaurant with nonstop service from lunch to dinner (all other nonstop restaurants are inside the shopping mall). Also operates as an Italian wine shop.
- Galpão Grill, Av. Fernando Machado 1353 D. Churrascaria. Widely regarded as the best in the region, with quality to compete with big city names like "Fogo de Chão". They are famous for their "costelão", a local beef rib speciality not found in churrascarias in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Their "cupim" is also great. Prices vary, but usually R$80 for all-you-can-eat (espeto corrido) service, drinks not included.
- 2 Giulietta Café, Rua Barão de Rio Branco-E, 220 ((and another unit inside Shopping Pátio Chapecó)). Café. Nice decoration, a great place to take your laptop and work a few hours. By far the best coffee in town, and sweets of great quality. Espresso R$6, cupcake R$9. They have a good selection of coffee blends on the menu and a wider selection of grains for sale. Free wifi.
- 3 Sabor & Cia, Rua Uruguai, 881-E. Bakery and snack shop. A great place to taste empadão de frango com catupiry (chicken with cream cheese savory pie), a Brazilian treat not so easy to find for sale (R$15 a slice). A great range of cakes and sweets, and surprisingly good macarons (R$5 a piece). Coffee is better on the Uruguai unit than on the others.
- Francescon, Av. Porto Alegre 549 D. Buffet restaurant. The best deal when it comes for lunch: R$19 for all-you-can-eat buffet with quite good churrasco (barbecue) included, and the cheapest good cupim (beef cut) available in town. Skip their desserts, even if included in the price, as they are not worth their calories.