Curitiba is all about efficiency and innovative urban planning, making it somewhat unique by Brazilian standards. The city's infrastructure is unparalleled and a determined tackling of poverty and pollution has left it impressively clean, green and functional.
As the southern state of Parana's capital, Curitiba is an important cultural, economic and political centre in Latin America. Though some travellers may feel it lacks the tropical appeal typical of Brazil, Curitiba is a perfectionist's haven in a generally unpredictable country. It's a good place to relax and soak up some culture.
Curitiba welcomes millions of tourists a year. Visitors will find ample accommodation, great tourist infrastructure and plenty of sightseeing opportunities, including the many parks and gardens that contribute to the city's environmentally responsible reputation.
Popular tourist attractions include the botanical gardens, the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Barigui Park, Tangua Park, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Paco da Liberdade Cultural Centre, and the Santa Felicidade neighbourhood, which boasts many restaurants. Getting around Curitiba is easy and the downtown area has been conveniently pedestrianised.
Curitiba has a subtropical highland climate with mild, damp weather by Brazilian standards. The city is rainy and humid year-round, with tropical storms in summer. In winter (July to September) the temperature can drop to 45°F (7°C) during the day, and 32°F (0°C) at night. During summer (November to February) the average temperature is around 77°F (25°C) with the hottest days rarely exceeding 88°F (31°C). It is most humid in March, with humidity nearing 100 percent. The city is prone to flooding, and the wettest months, between December and February, are best avoided.
Although buses get very overcrowded during rush hour, Curitiba's bus system is cheap and reliable. It offers a tourist line called the City Centre Circulator, which covers more than 20 of the city's top attractions. Car rentals are available, but the city is congested with traffic and has many one-way streets, parking restrictions, and pedestrian or bus-only streets, which can make driving stressful. Taxis are available and reasonably priced. They can usually be hailed in the street.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination