Today’s edition of Brazil by Bike is brought to you by an impromptu moment.

It’s a holiday here today (Corpus Cristi), so my husband and I decided to take a ride to Sacramento. This little town of approximately 30,000 is about 44 miles from Uberaba, on the way to Araxa.

Sacramento is best known for its grotto, called Gruta dos Palhares in Portuguese, after the family that owned that land, and is said to be the largest sandstone cave in Latin America. I’m told by Minerios that Sacramento also produces good milk and throws a decent party for Carnival, although nothing on the scale of those in Rio or Salvador.

Approaching the grotto

Gruta dos Palhares

In my experience, Brazil is not the best at maintaining its parks and public spaces. But my R5,00 entrance was well spent at this grotto. It’s a lovely little space, quiet and clean, with man made pools and lots of green. There are also swimming pools – separate from the grotto – which are open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the weekends. We found it too chilly for a dip, but it’s a good option for the summer months.

One of the many religious ornaments in and around the grotto

One of the many religious ornaments in and around the grotto

Waterfall across the opening of the grotto

Waterfall across the opening of the grotto

We ate lunch at this adorable bar. It had a chic, Parisian vibe and was playing a nice mix of bossa nova. They were serving a holiday buffet with Mineria food, but unfortunately, it wasn’t that tasty. Still, it seemed a fun bar to come back to for a few drinks and possible snacks off the menu.

To see more pictures our motorcycle ride to Sacramento, check out my Facebook page!




Sacramento — 2 Comments

  1. Good Morning,
    I also took the CELTA. I will be teaching in Sao Mateus Do Sul which is in Parana. Could you tell me exactly what the winter is like? I am hearing that it is freezing cold but I am from New York and I know that there are different types of cold. If you have any suggestions on what type of clothing I should bring? or Any tips in general, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Muita Obrigada

    • Hi Laura: I live in Uberaba, which is about 250 miles west of the city of Sao Paulo. It is very hot in my area, and we rarely get temperatures below 55F, and those days are rare. Our winter is approx 75F during the day and maybe 65-60F at night. However, Parana is very much south of us, and I have heard that it can get quite cold there. Some people have told me that the extreme south of Brazil can even get snow. You are correct in that “cold” here isn’t as cold as “cold” in NYC. But, many people don’t have heating indoors, and most houses are built from concrete, which keeps the homes cool in the summer, but make them feel very cold in the winter – so, sometimes it feels colder outside vs. inside. So, I would say this: bring a few sweaters, a light-weight coat (no puffy coat needed), hat, scarf and gloves. Better to be safe than sorry! Unless you are planning a trip into a mountainous area, I would say Parana is unlikely to get as cold as a bitter, cold winter in NYC. But, it will be relatively cold and chilly at times.
      Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m happy to offer my experiences as guidance

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