Serra dos Órgãos is a mountain range and one of Brazil’s oldest national parks. The early colonial settlers thought the jagged peaks and spires looked like the pipes of an organ. The national park sits between the mountain towns of Teresópolis and Petrópolis, about an hour and a half from Rio de Janeiro. Both towns received an influx of German and Swiss immigrants starting in the early 1800’s and they left their mark in the area. With the rising peaks and the chalet and half-timbered style houses and hotels, we had the sensation of driving through the Alps in summer – if we ignored the palm trees and lack of summit snow 🙂 The area is postcard perfect and 10 degrees cooler than Rio, many come up to explore, hike, climb, swim in the waterfall pools, and escape the extreme heat of a Carioca summer.
It was just me and my husband on our first excursion to the Serra dos Órgãos National Park. Our daughter was busy with SAT prep for her upcoming test and our son didn’t want to go if his sister didn’t. Teenagers!!! Next time they’re coming!