Petrópolis was the Brazilian Empire “summer capital”, by the time the Portuguese family used to live in the country. Due to this fact the Historical Downtown shows a magnificent set of historical buildings of different architectural styles, from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The city is very close from Rio de Janeiro city (60Km). Also, it is located in a much higher altitude, in the Serra dos Órgãos mountain chain, at 863m above sea level, though having more pleasant temperatures than Rio, which can be sometimes too hot, specially in summer time. The climate is tropical, with temperatures raising up to 23º C in the hottest months, and down to 14º C in the coldest months. It has aprox. 285.000 inhabitants.
Petrópolis also has many preservation areas, like the Serra dos Órgãos National Park and the Tinguá Biological Reserve (the biggest forest in Rio state). It also has hundreds of local bird species and waterfalls. It is also part of the “Caminho do Ouro”, the first paved road in Brazil, part of the Estrada Real, the ancient road which was used in the 18th century to transport the gold from Minas Gerais State to the coastal city of Paraty.
Full Day tours from Rio de Janeiro city can be booked. One can also spend more days in Petropolis. There´re good accomodation options in the city.