The Classic Caracol Park
The Caracol Park (Parque do Caracol) is virtually a mandatory tour for those who visit “Serra Gaúcha” (in Rio Grande do Sul). The park is located 7 km (4 miles) from the center of Gramado and Canela.
The park is simply the second most visited spot in southern Brazil. Is that enough for you?!
Getting to the park is quite easy, with many signs along the way. All you have to do is take the Estrada do Caracol (RS 466) and follow the signs. For those who does not have a car, there is a bus that leaves from the Canela bus station and a Bus Tour that goes through Gramado and Canela.
The Caracol Park is very well maintained, as are other parks we visited in the “Serra Gaúcha,” such as the “Mini Mundo” (Mini World) and Ecoparque Sperry. The park has trails, recreational spaces, restaurants, snack bars, shops, ambiental history center and a 27 meters high ecological observatory (paid separately) that allows a 360-degree view of the park.
Undoubtedly the most visited attraction of the park is the waterfall that gives its name and that certainly is also the most famous of the “Serra Gaúcha.” The Caracol waterfall is beautiful, has a fall of 131 meters (almost 145 yards) and inside a beautiful valley.
Right at the park entrance, you will pass the panoramic elevator that leads to ecological (360 degrees) and the main observatory, where you can have that classic and stunning views of the waterfall. For the ones that are in fit, it is possible to go all the way to the base of the waterfall. For that, we are talking about a staircase (known as “Shaky Leg’s Ladder”) with 730 steps, which is equivalent to a 44-story building. Your legs will indeed get shaky, but it’s worth the effort! Do not forget to bring a bottle of water on your way down. You will definitely miss it, trust me.
For those who do not have the physical condition to get to this staircase, no problem, the view from the observatory is already really incredible! Also, currently the staircase is closed for maintenance, so if you are going now (December of 2016), you will have to be satisfied with the observatory, which is already incredible.
If you are worried about all this climbing, there are other tracks in the park that are very easy. Being suitable for the whole family.
Another attraction, especially for the kids, is the Estação Sonho Vivo (Live Dream Station). The machinist “Zé do Apito” (James From the Whistle) is the responsible for the train that runs 800 meters into the park, telling a little about the history of immigrants in the region and its colonization.
Another way to see the Cascade of Caracol is through a cable car (located outside the park). This cable car is located on the same road as the park, 500 meters after the entrance of the park. The cable car ticket is currently R$ 39.00 for adults. For more information about this tour, visit here. We ended up not doing this tour so we can not talk about whether it is worth it or not.
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More Information about the Caracol Park
Caracol Park Opening hours
The park runs daily from 8:45 am to 5:45 pm
Prices (they do not accept any kind of card):
From 6 to 11 years, students and over 60 years – R$ 9
From 12 to 60 years – R$ 18
Caracol Park Contacts
Phone: (54) 3282-2200