Located close to the big national park Mantiqueira Penedo and Visconde de Mauá offer some great nature experiences. The waterfalls and the rainforest are accessible through guided hikes.
Go the bus station in Rio (Rodoviária Novo Rio) and buy a ticket. The bus timetables is as follows:
From Rio to Penedo 11:05h, 15:05h, 17:05h
From Penedo to Rio 8:15h, 14:45h, 20:45h
If you want to double check the timetables just click Cidade de Aço, that’s the bus company. The trip takes between 3 and 4 hours. Info on how to get to and from the bus station in Rio you get by clicking this link. If there are no buses you can always go to Resende, from there you have more buses to both destinations.
Both villages have quite a few pousadas and small hotels. Nothing is really cheap but you can get the price down by arriving in mid week when you can negotiate quite well. High season is expensive 7 days a week. The standard is pretty high and in many places you have access to saunas and other comforts.
Penedo – The Finnish Village
In the 1920’s Finnish settlers came here and started a colony. Today there is not many Finnish families left but you can still see the influence in architecture and food. Today it’s a village dedicated to tourism, there are various restaurants and touristy shops. Tours to the national park is available almost everywhere. A wide range of adventure sports is practiced here, there are quite a few operators.
Visconde de Mauá
Slightly smaller than Penedo but closer to the park. The biggest difference between the two is probably that here you have the nature closer. There are more waterfalls closeby and so on. The same wide array of adventure sports is offered here as well.