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Fazenda Catuçaba is a 450-hectare coffee farm in a coastal mountain range, bordering a UNESCO natural reserve, and the sister property of the lovely Pousada Picinguaba.
The property includes an operational organic farm, rivers, lakes and some big mountain views. The traditional main house dates from the 1850s and contains seven rooms. Three suites are also available in three farmhouses, with views of the valley and forested hillsides.
A fazenda in Brazil is a farm, the equivalent of a estancia in Argentina (literally meaning 'where things are being produced') and the emphasis here is on appreciating the local culture and fazenda (farm) lifestyle. This is particularly true of the sustainable produce on offer at meal times - in the evenings you can enjoy a caipirinha made of organic sugar-cane, cachaca and lemons around the fireplace, before a picanha, the local barbecue cut of beef.
The fazenda aims to promote environmentally friendly practices, such as using biodegradable products and reusable drink bottles. Many of the hotel staff are also from the local village. Away from the fazenda, activities on offer include riding, trekking, rafting and visits to local villages.
Fazenda Catuçaba is a true rural idyll situated amongst the rolling hills in the countryside 30 minutes from the historical town of São Luiz do Paraitinga, 1 ½ hours from Pousada Picinguaba and 2 ½ hours from São Paulo.
Why we love it
Tech addicts beware - this is a no TV, no mobile phone access, no internet sort of a place, and much the more authentic for it.