Curitiba
Credit: Evandro Badin / Getty Images

"Although Curitiba is one of Brazil's most pleasant cities to live in, it's not a wildly exciting place," says Dan Clarke of RealWorld Holidays, a UK operator specializing in tailor-made South America vacations. He suggests a train ride from the highlands of inland Curitiba to the coast on the Serra Verde Express, which glides through some of the region's stunning landscapes. The roughly three-hour route traverses a piece of the last pristine Atlantic rainforest in Brazil before crawling to a halt in the coastal town of Morretes, where you can feast on a fresh seafood before heading back to the city.