Canela is smaller, lower (in altitude), and less touristy (as well as more down-to-earth) than its ostentatious sister city, Gramado , 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. Although the town itself is not as picturesque as Gramado, it serves as a better base for adventure sports enthusiasts as it is much closer to two natural parks: Parque Ferradura  and Parque Estadual do Caracol .
If you don’t have your own wheels, Vida Livre (Av. Oswaldo Aranha 450, tel. 54/3282-1518, www.vidalivreturismo.com.br ) offers half-day tours to the parks as well as full-day trips to the magnificent canyons of the Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra .
During the day a Canela/Gramado bus circulates between the two towns at regular 20-minute intervals. From Porto Alegre , Citral (tel. 51/3228-5128, www.citral.tur.br ) operates buses to Canela. By car, from Porto Alegre, follow the RS-020.