The Best Towns to Visit in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Nightfall in Rio Grande do Sul
Nightfall in Rio Grande do Sul | © Felipe Valduga / Flickr
Will Lees

The southernmost state in Brazil is often untouched by those who fly into the country’s hubs of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and often passed through by those on their way to or from Uruguay. This results in a large area that hasn’t yet felt the strangle of global tourism. The attractions within its borders are only frequented by locals—and a golden rule of travel is to go where the locals go. Take your time in Rio Grande do Sul and enjoy some of the great towns this state has to offer you.

Loved by over 40s


Step out of stereotypical Brazil and into a gingerbread town that is one of the country’s most aesthetically perfect places. Here, the world seems right, even on a rainy day, as you won’t find many places cozier than Gramado. This German town has perfectly manicured gardens, gorgeous cathedrals, clean streets, and so much greenery woven through every open crevice, it’s an absolute delight to visit.

Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Gramado Cathedral


One of the main ingredients in gingerbread is cinnamon and to solidify the gingerbread theory a little further is Gramados’ neighboring town, called, quite literally, Cinnamon. Canela is more residential and more “real” than the touristy Gramado; a gorgeous, quaint and relaxing town that surrounds the impressive Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral. Outside the center lies the amazing jungle waterfall, Cascatas do Caracol.

Canela, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Caracol Waterfall

Bento Gonçalves

The town of Bento Gonçalves is nestled in the lush northeast corner of Rio Grande do Sul and is home to some terrific eco-tourism. Here you can go rafting, hiking, paragliding, you can even go bungee-jumping off trees. A great place to get the adrenaline pumping in the morning, with the slow-moving city bringing it back down in the afternoon.

Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

São Miguel das Missões

A town that originated as a Jesuit Reduction, the town of São Miguel das Missões remains a very small, historic town, famous for the ruins that lie in its very center. The mission was built between the late-1730s and early-1740s to convert the indigenous locals into Christians, as well as to protect them from the Bandeirantes, who were Portuguese slave traders. Cobblestone roads as old as the ruins connect the town, which is lined with the green grass and swaying trees of the Rio Grande do Sul countryside.

São Miguel das Missões, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Lighting Up The Ruins


Even though Torres is the top choice when it comes to beaches in Rio Grande do Sul, many people from the state head to Santa Catarina to soak up some sun, which leaves Torres still flying under the radar. Possibly the most beautiful part of the Rio Grande do Sul coast is Guarita Beach, as is the bluff just south of the town. Here, two beaches are separated by a flat-topped bluff that seems to pop out of nowhere, but acts as a perfect pedestal to get a terrific photo of the coast, both north and south.

Torres, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Rio Grande do Sul

Bearing the same name as the state, the city of Rio Grande is one of Rio Grande do Sul’s oldest and most historic. In fact, it served as the state capital, until that was moved to the metropolis of Porto Alegre. The city has great art and history museums, while also worth visiting is the little island of Ilha dos Marinheiros, a beautiful chunk of nature in the inlet that surrounds the city, just across from the city center.

Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Visit the beautiful countryside Rio Grande do Sul has to offer and in the shallow valley west of Bento Gonçalves you’ll encounter the peaceful town of Muçum. On the banks of the Taquari River, Muçum is surrounded by both nature and history. From the main, yet petite, cathedral just up the hillside, you’ll get a view that gives you a great appreciation of both.

Muçum, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.