Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vale Verde

Bea's class went on a field trip to Vale Verde, and it just so happened that it was on a day when it didn't conflict with my teaching schedule. So I offered to go as a Mom/Teacher. I've wanted to go ever since I read about it here.  It is an ecological "park" built and maintained by Vale Verde, a company that makes cachaça.   I'd heard it is beautiful, has good food, and has some fun activities for children. I was excited to go.

But I neglected to really prepare myself for the fact that it was a field trip. Thankfully I know all the kids, and so I knew where the challenges were going to come from.  But we started off on the wrong foot by forgetting one of the children at the school. And the money. Thankfully we were only 5 minutes away, but turning the tour bus around proved to take an extra 20 minutes, and made us all feel nauseous.  Bea's teacher got sick on the bus, and the other parent chaperones were good for nothing, so I ended up helping kids get to the bathroom on the bus (the kids were so amazed by the bus bathroom, they all had to try it out!), get water, break up fights, etcetera.  Needless to say, I was feeling a little motion sick by the time we arrived.

line up, line up...

touring the grounds


The grounds of the park are nice and very landscaped.  They were actually making cachaça while we were visiting:  you could smell the fermenting sugar, and I saw lots of steaming copper distillery thingys. I don't know the names because we bypassed the cachaça museum, which is too bad, because I think some samples would have helped me enjoy myself more....


barrels of cachaça

The kids played in the playground, played with clay, looked at the animals in the very small zoo they have, and took a little walk around the grounds.  They got a snack.  They listened to a storyteller and then made a finger puppet, and then it was time to go home.  We ran into traffic, and the teacher got sick again.

It wasn't my favorite day, but like I said, I should have known better. I also realize I didn't get to see all that Vale Verde has to offer, but to be honest, I don't think I'd return. First of all, it's about an hour away from Belo Horizonte (traffic). But then it's expensive:  it's about R$20 to get in, but then you have to pay for all the extras (fishing, ropes course, riding that plastic globe thing in the water where you kind of look like a hamster in a hamster ball, horse rides, trampoline, etcetera), and then you have to eat there, which I can only imagine is expensive.  I know I shouldn't complain about the price of things, but in my opinion, if I'm going to drive an hour outside of the city and pay upwards of R$100 a person for the experience, it better be darn well worth it.  Vale Verde has a promotion going on right now with Peixe Urbano, and I know that if you have an Itau account you can get half price tickets.  But considering the distance, the cost and what they have to offer, I honestly don't find it worth it.  



  1. Actually, Vale Verde has nothing to do with Vale mining company. The owners of Vale Verde are the producers of Vale Verde cachaça, the Grupo Vale Verde.

    1. Oops! Thanks for letting me know--I will correct that.

  2. Shell, obviously YOU should have had some cachaca from the silver thingys!! I never liked field trips either....UNTIL I experienced the walking field trip to the Cashmere museum in pioneer garb! That was my idea of a field trip!! Fourth graders can't get into too much trouble walking a mile and they really got into the entire "Live like a pioneer at the one room school", etc. bit. It was FUN! Hope FUN field trips are ahead for YOU!!

  3. I have been to and loved Inhotim so much that Vale Verde was a let down, however on the tour of the cachaça operation the young guides thought they could not speak English well enough for us so the chemist for the company took us around. My husband is a chemist too so we got way more for our money than the average tourist as there was much more technical information given. That part was extremely interesting. Also when a group of young kids heard us speak English they all gathered around and shouted "Justin Bieber!" That was funny as they probably thought we and Bieber were American. He actually is from a place quite near us in Southern Ontario.

  4. Also I love that at a Brasilian park with a zoo and children's activities there is a still!! So not North American.

    1. Haha, yes. We have no problem mixing alcohol and children's fun!