Paraná is one of the three states that make up the southern region of Brazil (Região Sul do Brasil). This is the smallest of the country’s five statistical regions. Very short is the coast line that this state has along the Atlantic ocean which is centered in the bay of Paranaguá. The state borders Argentina and Paraguay to the east, while the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina is to the south, São Paulo to the north, and finally Mato Grosso do Sul to the north-west.
A TERRITORY OF HIGHLANDS AND WATERFALLS
The Paraná territory is largely formed by highlands, over half of the state’s surface is located at altitudes above 600 meters. Only along the short Atlantic coast is a modest flat belt. The rest of the state is made up of the highlands of Curitiba (Planalto de Curitiba), Ponta Grossa (Planalto de Ponta Grossa) and Guarapuava (Planalto de Guarapuava).
The highlands are crossed by numerous rivers, the most important of which is Paraná. The rivers of the region often overcome gradients with spectacular waterfalls, such as those of Iguazu / Iguaçu. These majestic and unique waterfalls are the most important tourist attraction in the region. Close to the coast is the Serra do Mar mountain range, where is the highest mountain in Paraná, the Pico Paraná (1,877 meters).
Paraná is a very wealthy state, from an economic point of view agriculture, livestock and fishing are especially important. The mining sector is highly developed as well as the industrial sector. In this state of Brazil most of the industries are mainly linked to the transformation of agricultural products and timber. The state capital, Curitiba, is also the largest industrial center in the area. Other important centers are Ponta Grossa, Londrina and Cascavel.