Petropolis & Serra Dos Orgaos

Petropolis: Brazil’s Imperial City

Although Rio de Janeiro stands on its own as a vacation destination, the mountainous areas outside the city offer relaxing options for day trips and itinerary extensions.

These destinations provide welcome relief from the heat of Rio, especially during the December to February summers.

Petropolis, located in the Orgãos Mountains 40 miles north of Rio, is known as Brazil’s Imperial City. Its pleasant alpine climate prompted Emperor Dom Pedro II to construct a summer palace here in 1848.

Petropolis Church at night Brazil

The Palácio Imperial now serves as a museum, housing the crown jewels, as well as 19th century furnishings and artworks. The surrounding city (named in Dom Pedro’s honor) is noteworthy for its French-Gothic cathedral, leafy parks and canals.

Leisure Travel Adventure

Visitors from Rio can also enjoy rock climbing, hiking and whitewater rafting in the neighboring Serra dos Orgãos National Park, which protects roughly 42 square miles of forest and mountain habitat.

The park’s name means “Range of Organs”—a reference to the number of mountain peaks resembling organ pipes.

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“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”

Samuel Johnson