City of Pelotas | How to get here

Pelotas is a city in the southern region of Brazil, located near Uruguay and Argentina. The region stands out for the gastronomy, historical buildings, natural landscape, beach, and cold weather. The city is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, 250 kilometers from the capital, Porto Alegre. It has a population of approximately 330 thousand inhabitants, as the third most populous city of the state.

The region of São Francisco de Paula was founded on July 7, 1812, and elevated to the category of Villa on April 7, 1832. Three years later, in 1835, the villa is elevated to the status of City, with the name of Pelotas. The name of the city, “Pelotas”, is originated in the vessels of sticks lined with leather, used for  crossing the rivers at the time of the charqueadas. Charqueada (saladero) is an area of rural property where salted meat is produced, usually it uses covered sheds where the salted meat is exposed to the process of dehydration. The saladeiril industry and the charque cycle (XIX Century), left their marks in the extreme south of Brazil, making Pelotas a historical reference of this kind of production.

However, the history of the Pelotense settlement began in June 1758, with the first occupation of its lands, and in 1763, fleeing from the Spanish invasion in the state, many inhabitants sought refuge in the lands of the future city. Later, retreatants came from the Colony of Sacrament in Uruguay, gave by the Portuguese to the Spaniards in 1777. In 1780, the Portuguese charqueador José Pinto Martins settled in Pelotas. The prosperity of the establishment stimulated the creation of other charqueadas and the growth of the region, giving rise to the settlement that would mark the beginning of the city. With the success of this industry, the charqueadores, having two mild seasons, built small palaces for their dwellings and promoted culture and education in the urban environment . It is exemplified by the inauguration of Sete de Abril Theater in 1831, four years before Pelotas was elevated to the condition of city.

Currently, Pelotas is known as the Capital Nacional do Doce. The city began to produce portuguese sweets approximately in the 1860s, during the beginning of the period of its apogee. From 1860 to 1890 the investments were intense in cultural activities that characterized, for years, Pelotas as the most aristocratic city of Rio Grande do Sul. The sweets were served in the intervals of the soirées (parties with music) wrapped in lacy and fringed silk papers. Its production was carried out in a homemade base by women. As there were strict custom rules at the time, many activities could not be developed outdoors;  women then began to practice home habits, with recognized prominence in cooking, embroidery, music, and painting. This fact contributed to the intense production and improvement of the sweet’s industry in Pelotas.

The city today is full of undergraduate and graduate students, who are responsible for the academic, scientific, cultural and symbolic essence of the place. The city has five institutions of higher education, four technical schools, two theaters, a public library, twenty-three museums, an airport and a port located on the banks of the São Gonçalo Channel.


By Plane
Most international flights arrive in Brazil in the cities of Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. From these cities, the best way to get to Pelotas is by taking a flight to the city of Porto Alegre. The AZUL airlines offers regular flights from Porto Alegre to Pelotas (45 minutes). You can check the availability for domestic flights from your city to Pelotas directly on the AZUL website. Other companies also operate flights to Porto Alegre. The AZUL flight, Porto Alegre-Pelotas segment, can be purchased separately.

João Simões Lopes Neto Pelotas International Airport
Zeferino Costa Avenue, S / n – Três Vendas, Pelotas – RS, 96070-480
Contact: +55 53 3223-1227

By bus
Another option is to come to Pelotas by bus. If you are in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, this is the best option. There are several bus lines available. One of the companies with the largest flow in the state for Pelotas region is the Expresso Embaixador. There are bus schedules every 1 hour from Porto Alegre to Pelotas.

If you are in Uruguay or Argentina, it is also worth exploring the bus option.

If you are in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Uruguay or Argentina, it is easy to get to Pelotas by car. You can find all land routes on GoogleMaps