Penedo: Finnish Colony in Brazil

As a Finn, this is a place I had to see while in Brazil.

Small wooden houses, big Santa Claus figure and cafe Koskenkorva. It was obvious that this place had some Finnish influence. Only a handful of Finns has remained, but the town is still active as a holiday destination. It’s no Copacabana, but for a small distant town, it’s streets were buzzing with tourists.

Penedo has beautiful nature around it
Penedo has beautiful nature around it

The town was originally a settlement of Finnish nudists but nowadays clothes are back in fashion. You can find a Finnish Museum, delicious chocolate shops and a Santa Claus village full of small handicraft shops. Unfortunately, the museum was closed for the weekend we visited and I didn’t meet any of the Finnish descendants.

For people more eager to experience the Finnish culture, you are able to join the Saturday eve dances in the local Clube Finlândia. Once a month, they mix the folkloric Finnish dances with Brazilian rhythms and everybody is welcome to join.

Penedo claimed to have had the first ever Sauna of Brazil. Still nowadays tourist can do sauna in multiple places in Penedo.

Around Penedo has beautiful nature especially famous for its many waterfalls. It’s only a short drive away from Brazil’s oldest Itatiaia’s National Park, established already 1937. Discovering the lush forests and dipping into the pools and waterfalls is a perfect way to spend a day.

Penedo is a nice escape from the busy cities to the beautiful countryside Brazil.

The chocolate-house in Penedo
The chocolate-house

Penedo, RJ, Brazil

4 thoughts on “Penedo: Finnish Colony in Brazil

  1. Oh my gosh. You know Penedo!!! If You someday read my about page, then You notice, that I am not young, but so what.

    I have sited there twice in the 70s! I learnt to know family Turunen there and stayed by their home. Turunen kept o “Clube Finlândia”. I brought from Finland with me about 50-70 Finnish old dance music. At those day they did not know Humppa. It was a great joy to see how Brazilians danced Finnish dances. Turunen had a daughter, who studied architecture. Her fiancée was an officer who worked in the nearby military academia in Resende. The name might be Agulhas Negras. The most exiting experience was when he offered us possibility to visit there!

    On the second visit, I brought to Turunen Saunavasta, which was fresh and watered in salt water. He like it very much and took it with tears. Because I visited there in the 70s, I do not have photos there.

    I have told about Penedo in this post with many links:

    Airing national costumes1

    BTW, my Portuguese teacher was a Brazilian Lady from Mikkeli. Her home town was São José dos Campos.

    Well, thank You offering me a very pleasant surprise!



    1. Wow, this is amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience, it’s really interesting to hear these. I wonder is it your music what they still play on the club 🙂 I’m married to a Brazilian and we had a family trip to Penedo and around out of curiosity. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t find the few Finns who still live there apparently. My favourite part was the beautiful nature. And chocolate, of course!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Music – well, it might be possible. I just wonder how You did know this place. I got information from the guy who worked in the same company than I. I love Brazilian Portuguese. When we spent our vacation in Madeira, they did love my pronunciation. 🙂

    Of those people, living in Penedo at those days, I remember one “old” man who has found cristal and inside it there was a water. It was also investigated in Finland and they told that it was millions of years old. I just wonder, where it is.


  3. My husband actually got to know to the place when he met a Brazilian couple at work, who lived close by Penedo, and they mentioned the place. We got interested of course straight away and looked it up.
    Brazilian Portuguese is so much easier I think. I speak more Spanish than Portuguese really but can handle with my Portuñol, as we call it 😉
    That sounds interesting, and a really special kinda crystal.


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