Paraná is a state in southern Brazil. It's an incredibly culturally rich and diverse state, blending characteristics of the Portuguese, indigenous and African cultures present in most of Brazil, with those of varied immigrant groups such as German, Polish, Syrian-Lebanese and Japanese. However, for very comprehensible reasons, the most visited attraction of the state — as well as of the whole country — are the awe-inspiring Iguaçu Falls.
|Northern Paraná |
Includes the cities of Guaíra and Maringá; water sports, fishing and leisure.
|Cascavel region |
The Iguaçu Falls and National Park, and the giant Itaipu power plant.
|Central Paraná |
Water sports on Lake Itaipu; rural tourism; curious rocky formations and canyons near Vila Velha.
|Grande Curitiba |
The metropolitan region contains the state's capital and its neighboring areas.
The state's coast has several bays and mangroves, the mountains of the Serra do Mar and its mata atlântica forests, as well as beaches and eco-tourism at Ilha do Mel.
- 1 Curitiba – the capital, known worldwide for its innovative urban planning and famous Botanic Gardens
- 2 Campo Largo — this center of the ceramics industry has many historic monuments
- 3 Cascavel — it hosts the Cascavel de Ouro racing event, the Coopavel Rural Show, the Livestock Show, and motorsport events
- 4 Foz do Iguaçu – main gateway to the Iguaçu Falls and cultural mix with Argentina and Paraguay
- 5 Londrina — a wealthy center of a coffee-producing region
- 6 Maringá – modern but charming city with a rich Japanese and Syrian–Lebanese heritage
- 7 Ponta Grossa — home to Vila Velha State Park and the National Dark Draft Beer Party
- 8 Prudentópolis — the center of Brazil's Ukrainian community
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- 1 Iguaçu Falls — the world-famous waterfall, and 2 Iguaçu National Park, which has many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, among them the giant otter and the giant anteater. The clouds of spray produced by the waterfall are conducive to the growth of lush vegetation
- 3 Ilha do Mel — this island's attractions are its beaches, diving, the fortress and the lighthouse
- 4 Superagüi National Park — near Guaraqueçaba
- 5 Vila Velha State Park — this park near Ponta Grossa features many massive sandstone formations which resemble castles, towers, animals, and other objects.
Paraná has what is left of the araucaria forest, one of the most important subtropical forests in the world. At the border with Argentina is the National Park of Iguaçu, considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. 40 km from there, at the border with Paraguay, the largest dam in the world was built, the Hidroelétrica de Itaipu (Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam).
Before the arrival of European settlers, indigenous populations inhabited the region for thousands of years. They included the Carijó in the lands closer to the sea, from the Tupi group, and the Caingangues in the interior, who belonged to the Jê group. In the 1940s, the northern part of the state was settled as a result of the expansion of the São Paulo coffee industry.
The main economic activities are agriculture, industry (agribusiness, automotive, and paper) and plant extraction (wood and yerba mate). In agriculture, the state stands out in the production of soybeans, maize, wheat, sugarcane, cassava, beans, tomato, orange and yerba mate.
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- The Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves — a UNESCO World Heritage site