As a Finn, this is a place I had to see while in Brazil.
Small wooden houses, big Santa Claus figure and cafe Koskenkorva. It was obvious that this place had some Finnish influence. Only a handful of Finns has remained, but the town is still active as a holiday destination. It’s no Copacabana, but for a small distant town, it’s streets were buzzing with tourists.
The town was originally a settlement of Finnish nudists but nowadays clothes are back in fashion. You can find a Finnish Museum, delicious chocolate shops and a Santa Claus village full of small handicraft shops. Unfortunately, the museum was closed for the weekend we visited and I didn’t meet any of the Finnish descendants.
For people more eager to experience the Finnish culture, you are able to join the Saturday eve dances in the local Clube Finlândia. Once a month, they mix the folkloric Finnish dances with Brazilian rhythms and everybody is welcome to join.
Penedo claimed to have had the first ever Sauna of Brazil. Still nowadays tourist can do sauna in multiple places in Penedo.
Around Penedo has beautiful nature especially famous for its many waterfalls. It’s only a short drive away from Brazil’s oldest Itatiaia’s National Park, established already 1937. Discovering the lush forests and dipping into the pools and waterfalls is a perfect way to spend a day.
Penedo is a nice escape from the busy cities to the beautiful countryside Brazil.
•Penedo, RJ, Brazil