Expectation of intense snowfall and record cold fills hotels in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state

Given the high demand due to the cold weather, tourists are now already looking for accommodations in cities further away, such as Lages, located 80 km from São Joaquim.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The forecast of severe cold and snowfall in the mountains of Santa Catarina on Wednesday (28) caused the demand for accommodation to skyrocket.

The weather phenomenon in the country’s south should thermometer remain between 0 and 5° C across the state in the early hours of Wednesday and during Thursday. It may reach -8° C in the region’s peaks, according to reported Epagri / Ciram, weather agency of Santa Catarina.

Santa Catarina Mountains. (Photo internet reproduction)
Santa Catarina Mountains. (Photo internet reproduction)

There are no vacancies in the conventional hotel network in at least seven towns where the probability of snow is higher: Bocaina, Bom Jardim da Serra, Bom Retiro, Rio Rufino, São Joaquim, Urubici, and Urupema. However, in alternative locations, tourists can still find some options with the help of accommodation apps.

“The season peak is historically in the last two weeks of July. Together with the snow forecasts, the available rooms in the city filled up quickly,” says Henrique Folster Martins, president of the business association of Urubici, a town with the best hotel structure in the mountains.

To meet demand, many of the town’s residents are renting out their own homes to accommodate tourists, Martins reports. “This whole movement, including the town’s hotel and restaurant network, brings about R$4 million (US$760,000) to the local economy,” Martins adds.

Unlike the first cold front this year, which recorded snow at the end of June, the upcoming cold snap coincides with school vacations and part of the community service period.

In Urubici, the city with the largest supply of beds, there are about 2,000 vacancies; in São Joaquim, there are about 800.

Cesar Augusto Silveira Nunes, a physician, born in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, traveled to the Santa Catarina mountains for the first time with his family, expecting to see snow. “We want to enjoy the city, the sights and the wineries, and hope that snow will come,” he told Estadão. He said he booked in advance and took advantage of his children’s vacation to visit the Santa Catarina region.

Santa Catarina Mountains. (Photo internet reproduction)
Santa Catarina Mountains. (Photo internet reproduction)

MANY BRAZILIANS WANT TO SEE SNOW WITH THEIR OWN EYES

Given the high demand due to the cold weather, tourists are now already looking for accommodations in towns further away, such as Lages, located 80 km from São Joaquim. In the rural part of the municipality, the occupancy rate is already 100%, while in the city center, it is 80%.

The search for the highest peaks where snow can be seen also revives the annual competition between the southern towns to see Brazil’s coldest city.

Traditionally, São Joaquim is at the center of this competition. Located 1,500 meters above sea level, the town is popular because it is easy to reach and offers many facilities.

However, on the highest peaks, such as Morro da Igreja, located over 1,800 meters above sea level between Urubici and Bom Jardim da Serra, or Campo do Padre at 1,744 meters Bom Retiro, the cold and snow can even be more intense.

 

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