Considered by many to be one of Brazil's safest, cleanest and most well-organized cities, Curitiba is one of the best destinations in South America. The name "Curitiba" comes from the Tupi words kuri and tyba, which together translate to "many pine seeds." The city rests on a plateau more than 3,000 feet above sea level, though it is only about 65 miles from the Paranaguá Bay, which empties into the warm waters of the South Atlantic Ocean.
The first European settlers arrived in 1693, however, the first 10 years of the city's existence was a violent period due to the conflicts between European colonists and the indigenous tribes of the region. The city experienced a huge influx of immigrants in the mid-1800s from countries such as Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Russia, making it one of the most culturally diverse cities in Brazil.
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