The Serra Verde Express,  is one of the few opportunities for train travel in Brazil, and the train ride offers fantastic scenery of the Paraná rainforests as it meanders its way down in elevation through the Mata Atlântica. The ride from Curitiba costs $R50 to $R94 (one way, price varies for carriage class), departing at 8:15AM and arriving in Morretes at approximately 11:15AM. From Paranaguá, there is service on weekends and holidays, departing at 2PM and arriving in Morretes one hour later for R$25.
The train departs from the station behind Rodoviária de Curitiba (Curitiba main bus terminal).
Buying tickets for the Serra Verde Express
It is possible to buy tickets online via the Serra Verde Express website but English is limited and the process is unclear, so unless you read/write Portuguese it is easier and more reliable to buy them at the Curitiba railway station. The train is generally full so it is advised to buy your tickets a few days in advance, especially if you are taking a weekend train.
To buy tickets, go to the train station behind Rodoviária de Curitiba (Curitiba main bus terminal). This is where the Serra Verde Express departs. You will see a ticket counter for Serra Verde Express. There is an office beside the counters and in here are English speaking agents who can sell you tickets.
You can buy either one way or return tickets from Curitiba to Morretes. See the website for latest prices for each carriage class.
If you are going one way to Morretes, you can get the Viação Graciosa bus back to Curitiba (about $R17). See below for details.
There are scheduled bus services from Curitiba. Buses between Curitiba and Morretes take different routes. The Viação Graciosa bus goes through the Mata Atlântico and offers fantastic scenery similar to the train ride.
The Viação Graciosa bus takes about 1.5 hours to return to Curitiba and is recommended for your return trip if you are going one way on the train. Bus seating is reserved so it is advisable to purchase your return tickets for the bus when you buy the Serra Verde train tickets in Curitiba. There is a Viação Graciosa office within the Curitiba Rodoviária where you can get tickets. However they do not speak English so ask the Serra Verde Express agents if they can write out what you need in Portuguese. There are multiple departure times. You will also need to bring your passport.
The bus to Curitiba from Morretes departs from the rodoviária (bus terminal) located two blocks south-east of the train station. There is a Viação Graciosa office at the terminal and it may be possible to purchase tickets here (probably they do not speak English however).
The historic town is compact and can be covered on foot. There is a tourist information centre in the historical center of Morretes. There are not always English-speaking agents however. For simple enquiries you can try talking to the guys in Calango Expedições adventure tourism shop nearby who do speak English. They also rent bicycles for R$15 an hour.
Barreado is a beef stew traditional to the state of Paraná. It is prepared by slow-cooking beef in flavoured broth inside a traditional sealed clay pot for many hours. Barreado is always served with manioc (cassava) flour. To eat barreado, spoon some manioc flour onto your plate, top with some beef and a modest amount of broth. Mix the whole thing well and the stew will start to thicken and become slightly pasty. Eat with rice.
Morretes is particularly famous for barreado, and it is offered in many restaurants throughout the town. Most visitors to Morretes will come to eat barreado, and so should you.
There are many restaurants in Morretes catering to all budgets and tastes. Most of the higher end, large restaurants are on the river near the Ponte de Ferro. Most of the large tour groups will be sent to these restaurants so you will find they are very busy during the lunch rush but the food is good and service is equipped to cope.
Smaller restaurants with cheaper prices are dotted throughout the town.
Since colonial times, Morretes has been a traditional producer of cachaça. The distilleries still use the original alembics, and age the liquor in special wooden barrels for at least seven years, for flavors that are unique to the area. Most of the distilleries can be found on Estrada do Anhaia. Also produced in the area is a special type of banana liquor (pinga de banana).