Keen to market itself as not just another urban sprawl, the capital of the state of Paraná is Brazil’s budding model city.
Perhaps Brazil’s very own Vancouver, or even Zurich? Curitiba is one of the country’s most prosperous cities frequently topping national human development indices. Its environmental policies and excellent urban planning also have many of its sister cities eco-green with envy.
Of the city’s dozen plus parks and groves, the most visited is Parque Barigui. Among the cycling lanes and jungle gyms, the park is a breeding ground for many native species of wildlife such egrets, skunks, tamarin monkeys and capybaras.
There’s a certain cosmopolitan sabor to life in Curitiba. Many of the city’s residents descend from immigrants of Germany, Italy and Ukraine, while buildings like the Palácio Avenida have a distinctive European influence.
Curitiba is also the gateway to one of South America’s great train rides, the Serra Verde Express. The old world tourist train chugs 110km towards the coastal town of Morretes via dramatic swathes of ever-dwindling Atlantic rainforest.
Designed and named after one of the world’s most influential architects, the Oscar Niemeyer Musuem is Curitiba’s most eye-catching site. The futuristic edifice, resembling a geometric Cyclops houses many of the Brazilian maestro’s works.
Curitiba hosts Iran vs Nigeria on Monday 16 June, Honduras vs Ecuador on Friday 20 June, Australia vs Spain on Monday 23 June and Algeria vs Russia on Thursday 26 June
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