We know that the title may come as a surprise, but we do have the so-called “small Finland” in Brazil. Penedo, the only Finnish settlement in Brazil, is located between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Let’s learn a little bit more about this unique place, shall we?
How to get to Penedo?
The city is located just next to the Itatiaia National Park, 176 km from Rio de Janeiro. The city has around 30,000 inhabitants and can be reached by bus. The ride from Rio de Janeiro takes around 3 hours. All you have to do is visit the Brazil Bus Travel website and choose ‘Rio de Janeiro – All Bus Stations’ in the search box “Leaving From” and ‘Penedo (RJ)’ in the box “Going To”. Then choose the dates and click ‘Search for buses’. As you can see, the ticket costs around USD 14. This is a great place to visit if you plan to go to Rio de Janeiro and just spend your holidays there. A little getaway in a ‘different world’ let’s say. Different architecture, gastronomy, and Finnish saunas!
A few facts about Penedo
Penedo became the first true Finnish colony in Brazil. It was settled by Finnish immigrants in 1929. The founder – Toivo Uuskallio – wanted to build a community that would live as vegans close to nature. By 1935 all the settlers arrived and managed to have their individual houses. You can still feel the influence of the settlers and enjoy typical Finnish tourist attractions which we will describe below.
Hotels, restaurants, and shops in Penedo
You will find a lot of hotels, restaurants, and shops (house decorations, handicrafts, and souvenirs) in the center of the city. The most unique places to eat at are the real Finnish ice-cream shops and the Chocolate Factory where you can buy delicious chocolates and truffles and of course, see how the chocolate is made. In the Chocolate House, you can try apple pie, fondues, and homemade Finish recipe ice-creams as well.
What to see
Casa do Papai Noel de Penedo (Santa’s House of Penedo)
This attraction will set you in the Christmas mood for sure. See the house which is inspired by Finnish countryside-style architecture. Visit the toy store and post office where you can send the letter to Santa. If you want to meet him – visit the house during the weekend.
Pico do Penedinho (Penedinho Peak)
After walking for about half an hour, you can admire the beautiful view and see Penedo from the top. Remember that it is on private property so you will need a permission ticket which you can get in the Casa do Chocolate (Chocolate House).
Finnish Museum Dona Eva
If you are interested in a true lesson about Finnish history and culture, visit the Museum of Finnish Culture in Penedo. See various exhibitions with typical Finnish clothes, wooden suitcases from the colonization period and many more.
Cachoeira das Três Bacias, Cachoeira das Três Quedas, Cachoeira de Deus are waterfalls which can be visited just to relax in nature on a sunny day.
We hope that we have encouraged you to visit Penedo during your stay in Brazil. Have a great trip 🙂