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Whenever the country Brazil is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is Rio de Janerio, however, this is simply one small city in a country that covers an enormous amount of land. The size of Brazil exceeds that of the US mainland, and when you think of the US, knowing only one city within a country that size would be embarrassing. Gramado is the discussion topic for today. It’s a small city by even Brazilian standards, but it’s the third most sought after destination by Brazilians, who are traveling.

Geographically speaking, Gramado is a small town in the mountains of Southern Brazil. There are several other small towns in that region, but Gramado has found its place in Brazil’s most sought after tourist destination list. Even people who are lucky enough to live in Rio on Copacabana beach, want to go to Gramado. Why? Well, it isn’t so much about one specific historic attraction; it is more about experiencing Gramado as a whole.

There is always something happening in Gramado. All seasons. All months. No exception. The same is true about any other big city in the world, but this is a smaller city, that takes pride in having the city provide a constant stream of entertainment through festivals, cultural events, decorations and music. With a population of only 18,000 this small city doubles in size during the winter months, when Gramado offers a rather drastic climate change from the rest of Brazil. Being in the southern-most part of the country, high in the mountains, Gramado offers temperatures that sometimes get down to freezing levels, with occasional snow every few years. Snow being relative, as it would take a yard of snow to create a single snow ball, but it’s white, and it falls from the sky. Some of the best hot chocolate comes from Gramado, when the temperatures start to drop, people start vying for the chocolate. With a half dozen chocolate companies in Gramado, they all vie for the title of best Hot Chocolate.

During summer, Natal Luz is the famous Christmas celebration, where parades, fireworks and performances take place every night. With flowers in full bloom, lights adorning the whole city and brightly colored decorations throughout thecity. Finding a hoteis em Gramado during these months can be a little daunting, but it just requires a little bit of adanvce preperation.

Gramado’s architecture is pristine - inspired by the many German and Italian descendants who immigrated to the region centuries ago, all new buildings have been constructed following the same pattern. Walking down the streets of Gramado is like being in Switzerland, some say. Gramado’s nature is very privileged, even for Brazilian standards, with caynons, waterfalls, parks, lakes and the famous araucaria trees, only present in the southern region of Brazil. It is true that the trees surrounding the Black Lake, one of Gramado’s most scenic sights, were imported from the Black Forest of Germany. But hey, that suits a lot of the population, which in a way, was also “imported” a couple centuries ago!

This little hidden gem, is worth seeking out. While the city isn’t very large, it’s really about what the locals put into making every day a festive day. They take pride in their city and it really shows. Clean streets, kept yards, fand well maintained buildings all show the pride that the citizens of Gramado have. They all look out for each other, respect each other and work as a community. One of the reasons that this little mountain city shines over all others in this area. Brazil isn’t just Rio de Janerio, it’s much much more. Just take a look at Gramado, it’s one of a kind.