4 Where is it?
PETROPOLIS GOLF CLUB 37 miles north of Rio.
Petropolis was named after the popular Emperor Pedro II, nicknamed“The Magnanimous,”who used it as a summer haven during a reign that lasted from 1831 until 1889, when the monarchy was abolished. No golf in his day, but 20th-century enthusiasts were quick to appreciate the benefits of playing in cooler, drier air at 3,000 feet above sea level.
The Petropolis course, located in the lovely Nogueira Valley in the mountains overlooking Rio, opened on March 1, 1939; pictures in the clubhouse suggest it hasn’t changed much. Expect a bit of a workout, as the terrain is steep and must be tackled twice to complete 18 holes. The course is very much a world of its own, confined by the surrounding hills and dominated by the river that runs along the valley floor. The opener is an inviting downhill drive, a bit of sweetener for hostile camber and watery perils ahead. Tropical flora growing here includes flame trees, sapucaia (meaning“monkey pot,” named after its bowl-shaped fruit containing edible seeds) and pink ipe, Brazil’s national flower.
Avenida Country Club 6321, Nogueira, Petropolis; tel +55 (24) 2221 2534, petropolisgolfclube.com
18 holes weekdays R$120/$37, weekends R$200/$60; caddie R$50/$15 plus tip; cart R$100/$30; club rental R$70/$21 (random mixed sets; brands include Callaway, Titleist and Ping). 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily.
Men 28, women 36. 18 holes (nine with two tee boxes on each), 6,268yds, par 70; driving range, practice area and putting green.
The clubhouse has a simple restaurant and bar. There is also an on-site hotel and a riding center.