Steam Locomotive Tour in Brazilians South
The Maria Fumaça steam train ride is one of the most traditional in the south region of Brazil.
Operated by the tourism company Giordani Turismo since 1993, you can book the tour from Bento Gonçalves to Carlos Barbosa or the other way around, Carlos Barbosa to Bento Gonçalves. On our trip, we chose the first option, leaving Bento Gonçalves. The city is located 120km (75 miles) from Gramado and is also known for its many wineries (you can read our post about them here). The seats on the train are pre-booked, so there is no need to rush for boarding.
About 1 hour after the start of the trip, the steam locomotive stops at Garibaldi (capital of the sparkling wine). There, passengers are greeted with the sound of typical Gaucho (south of Brazil culture) and Italian music, with muscatel from the Garibaldi winery and some grape juice. After about 20 minutes, the train goes to the final destination, Carlos Barbosa, to be welcomed with Italian songs again. The whole way is about 20 Km (about 12 miles), it’s really pleasant and last approximately 2 hours. During the course, actors and singers perform in the wagons singing and dancing Italian songs and performing some scenes about the Italian immigration in the region. At that moment, they invite the passengers to dance with them. Undoubtedly it’s the most fun part of the tour!
Arriving at Carlos Barbosa, some people stay in the city, and another part of the group returns by bus to Bento Gonçalves. The bus route takes approximately 20 minutes, and you don’t need to pay extra for it.
Stay alerted when you are planning to do this tour because if it is during the high season (July, November, December and January), it is better to book it well in advance. Even if you go in low season, make sure you get in contact with the tour company to check for availability. Mainly because during the low season, the tour only occurs from Wednesday to Sunday. In the high season, the tour takes place daily. Usually, there is one tour in the morning and two in the afternoon (from Bento Gonçalves and Carlos Barbosa). But it is always good to keep up with possible changes.
Children up to 5 years old do not pay, and people older than 60 have a 50% discount on the tour. Do not forget to bring your ID to guarantee this discount.
Our most sincere view of the steam locomotive tour: we did not find it exciting (contrary to what the tour prospect suggests, LOL). We had fun, definitely, and found the journey very pleasant. But for a young couple with no children, I would not say it is one of the most recommended tours in Serra Gaucha. However, we consider it to be a great tour to be done with family and especially with children!
Included in the tour is the entrance to the Epopéia Italiana theme park. It is very close to the train station in Bento Gonçalves, and you can go to it in a short walk. In the park, nine beautiful spaces were set up. In those, actors portraying the life of a couple of Italians, Lázaro and Rosa, great-grandparents of the Park’s idealizers, from their life in Italy, their trip to Brazil and their adaptation in the region. The staging takes approximately 30 minutes, and wine, grape juice, and biscuits are served during it.
In low season the tour takes place from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. In high season (July, November, December and first half of January) it happens daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. For those who don’t want to take the steam locomotive ride, it is possible to buy only the ticket for the Epopeia Italiana Theme Park. Children up to 5 years old do not pay (do not forget to bring supporting document).
As well as the Maria Fumaça tour, it is also recommended to book in advance for this tour, remembering that the payment on the spot is made only by cash or debit card. They DO NOT accept any credit card. The entrance fee up to 10/31/2016 is R$ 21,00. From 01/11/2016 to 10/31/2017 (low season): R$ 23,00. In the high season (November, December, the first half of January and July): R$ 25,00.
When planning a trip, be sure to follow the company website to check changes in values and times.
Do you already know where to stay in the Serra Gaúcha? Do your search and book here!
Uma Volta e Meia is part of Booking’s affiliate program. That way, if you book your hosting through the blog links and banners, like this one below, we will receive a small commission. You do not pay anything more for this and it helps to keep the blog and make it always up to date. 🙂
More Information about the Steam Locomotive Tour in the Serra Gaúcha
How To Get There
Address of the Bento Gonçalves Railway Station: Rua Duque de Caxias, s/n, Cidade Alta.
Address of the Epic Park of Italy:
Rua Visconde de São Gabriel, 507, esquina com Rua Fernandes Vieira, Cidade Alta, Bento Gonçalves.
Telefone: (54) 3455-2788