After an awesome 4 days in Picinguaba, we hit the road back up through the mountains to the sister property Fazenda Catuçaba. The drive is nice, you’ll see lots of lush greenery as you drive through the mountains in hill county with cows and horses dotting the hills. The property is located 30 minutes from the historical town of São Luiz do Paraitinga down a number of dirt roads (prepare for a bumpy ride!). The property is unbelievable (there really isn’t another word for it), it is 450 hectares (1,100 acres) that include an operational organic farm + garden, rivers, lakes, waterfall and expansive views from the mountaintops (you can actually see the states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro).
The main house is a traditional 1850s casarão, it is very cozy and after the first day you will feel right at home except that there is NO wifi, service or internet so be prepared to be totally removed from society during your stay, think of it as returning to a simpler time:) There are 8 rooms and 2 suites set above the casarão in three charming farmhouses, with views of the valley and forested hillsides. The rooms are beautiful, comfortable and very high end. Check out the bathroom, and the water pressure was superb, something I wasn’t expecting (it can be tough to find great water pressure at hotels in Brazil).
You will probably be spending more of your time out of the room and enjoying the stunning property. As I mentioned the Fazenda has its very own organic garden (they send food down to Picinguaba once a week), check out one of their many vegetable gardens below.
From the garden to your plate…The food is incredibly fresh, they milk the cow every morning (you can milk a cow if you want to wake up at 7am too), they make their own white cheese from their cows which is delicious (I wasn’t a huge fan queijo blanco until I tried theres!), the eggs are collected from their chickens, they make their own cachaça, soon there will be a full coffee plantation and you can always find an assortment of homemade breads and snacks in the kitchen (below). Honestly, the dining experience at Fazenda Catucaba is one of the best I have ever had in my 3 years living in Brazil! I could talk about how amazing the food is all day!Besides chickens there is a full farm area for their may cows, goats and horses so don’t be alarmed if you see one of the animals strutting around the property. Take a walk up to the fresh water lake (below) and go for a swim or try your hand at fishing. If you want to try something a little more adventurous go for a horseback ride through the mountains and discover the waterfall on the property (check back for more on that!). If you want to make a day of it, just tell someone in the kitchen and they will pack you a full picnic to bring with you! The service is outstanding, some of the best I have experienced you almost forget you are in Brazil:) If you hike up to the top of the property (where you can see all 3 states), you will also be able to see a variety of famous art from artists around the world, read more here
If you are looking for adventure, relaxation, a place to enjoy the outdoors or a small private venue then you must plan a trip to Fazenda Catuçaba. It is a little expensive but the personalized service is incredible, the food is outstanding and for me the place is a once in a lifetime spot, creating memories I will always take with me. You truly feel at home and completely removed from the world so if you are a city girl this might be a big shock to your system when you arrive but I promise it is worth it and you will be glad you disconnected for a few days! Here are some additional pics of the property I thought you would enjoy:)
Check back to read about white water rafting, sunset in the hills and horse back riding and waterfall adventure!
Tips: Download a few books or magazines before your trip
Pack: Bug spray, sunscreen a sweater or jacket (it gets cold at night) and jeans if you plan to go horse back riding
Driving to Fazenda Catucaba from Picinguaba:
1. Take Rio Santos road from Picinguaba to Ubatuba, in the roundabout in Ubatuba take the direction to Taubate
2. Follow this road, go up through Serra do Mar (be cautious when driving!) After Serra do Mar, drive for 32 km and you will see a sign in the right side of the road ‘Catucaba’.(The entrance to Catucaba is just after the bridge over the Rio Chapeu), Turn Right and follow the road until Catucaba village
3. In the middle of the village you will see a concrete bridge and a sign to Bairro do Pinga. Just after the bridge turn Right on a paved road and after 300ft it will become a dirt road
4. Follow the dirt road for 5km (after 2km you will pass by Sete Cachoeiras), if you see a fork in the dirt road always keep to the Left. After 5kn of dirt road you will arrive at Fazenda Catucaba
Fazenda Catucaba, S/N Bairro do Pinga, 12240 Catuçaba- Sao Luiz do Paraitinga
Tel: (55) 11 2495 1586 or 12 3671 6158