From São Paulo to Gramado by car: itinerary with the best stops

From São Paulo to Gramado by car: itinerary with the best stops

International tourism

Sao Paulo to Gramado by car, with stops in Santa Catarina

Great car trips are a great alternative both for those who want to avoid traveling by plane and for those who needed to postpone that longer trip abroad. How about taking that car trip to the South that you always wanted to do?

These two routes leave São Paulo, but adding two more days you can leave Rio de Janeiro or even Belo Horizonte. If you can, do the two-week script, which explores attractions both in the Serra Gaúcha and Serra Catarinense. If you only have one week, the 9-day itinerary combines the most popular destinations in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

  • Sao Paulo to Gramado by car in 2 weeks (roundtrip)
  • Is it worth renting a car to travel?
  • Sao Paulo to Gramado in 9 days (roundtrip)

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Sao Paulo to Gramado in 2 weeks (roundtrip)

In this itinerary from São Paulo to Gramado by car, you leave on a Saturday morning and return home in three Sundays, at night. All shifts are done during the day. You never travel for two days in a row: you stay at least two nights on each stopover, to have at least one full day to tour.

Even though you have two weeks, you will need to choose between stops. But whenever you need to choose, you will find a comic in which Bóia explains which is the most interesting stop for you.

  • First stop: Curitiba or Balneário Camboriú (2 nights)
  • 2nd one-way stop: Serra Catarinense (2 nights)
  • Bento Gonçalves (2 nights)
  • Gramado (4 nights)
  • Aparados da Serra (2 nights)
  • Return stop: Florianópolis or Bombinhas (3 nights)
  • Alternative tour: Floripa + Balneário Camboriú, without Trimmed

Choose the 1st stop of the trip

Choose one of these stops and stay 2 nights. You will arrive on Saturday afternoon and have Sunday free to stroll.

Curitiba (Saturday and Sunday)

Sao Paulo to Gramado by car: Curitiba

Botanical Garden, Curitiba

  • Distance: 420 km from São Paulo (5h30 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: BR 116 (Régis Bittencourt) direct. Fully duplicated route.
  • What to do: on the afternoon of arrival, visit the Botanical Garden and enjoy the Batel Gastronomic Fair (until 8pm). On Sunday, go to the Largo da Ordem Fair and complete the day with visits to parks that have already reopened – my favorites are Parque Tingüi (which has Ukrainian houses) and Bosque Alemão (with the João and Maria Trail, illustrating the tale the Brothers Grimm). Alternatively, you can take Sunday to board the Serra Verde Express Train (going along the Serra do Mar, lunch in Morretes, return by van) or take the same car ride (going down the Serra da Graciosa road and returning by BR 277).
  • Where to stay: Quality Curitiba (functional, in the beautiful Japan Square, in Batel), Slaviero Full Jazz (trendy, good prices), Ibis Batel (the most well-located of the Ibis), Transamerica Curitiba (comfortable, good service), Nomaa (boutique, in “Batel Soho”, the filet of Batel).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Curitiba
  • Find out what’s open in Curitiba
  • Check out our Curitiba Guide

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Blumenau (Saturday and Sunday)

Pomerode, Enxaimel Route

Enxaimel Route, Pomerode

  • Distance: 640 km from São Paulo (8h30 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: BR 116 (Régis Bittencourt) to Curitiba, then around Curitiba and down BR 376 to Santa Catarina, ending at BR 101. At the height of Navegantes, take BR 470. The last 50 km are still in the process of duplication.
  • What to do: on Saturday, visit Vila Germanica, which hosts Oktoberfest. On Sunday, go to Pomerode (45 km) to make the Enxaimel Route circuit (a nucleus of historic houses of German colonization in the district of Testo Alto (afterwards, visit the Schornstein brewery).
  • Where to stay: Ibis Blumenau and Slaviero Essential (functional and very central), Ibis Budget Blumenau (economic), Glory (the city classic)
  • See the pandemic numbers in Blumenau
  • Find out what’s open in Blumenau

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Balneário Camboriú (Saturday and Sunday)

Beto Carrero World

Beto Carrero World: 40 km from Balneário

  • Distance: 620 km from São Paulo (8 hours by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: BR 116 to Curitiba, then around Curitiba and down BR 376 to Santa Catarina, ending at BR 101. Route completely duplicated.
  • What to do: on Sunday, go to Beto Carrero World (40 km) or, if you don’t want to leave Balneário, make the circuit of Parque Unipraias.
  • Where to stay: Ibis styles and BRUT by Slaviero (new & stylish), Mercure Camboriu (comfortable), Hotel Melo (economic).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Balneário Camboriú
  • Find out what’s open in Balneário Camboriú
  • Check out our Beto Carrero World Guide

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2nd one-way stop: Serra Catarinense (2nd and 3rd)

  • Distance: 530 km from Curitiba (7:30 hours by road, not including stops), 313 km from Blumenau (5:30 by road, not counting stops) or 300 km from Balneário Camboriú (4h45 by road, not counting stops), via BR 101 and BR 282
  • Way:
  • From Curitiba: Go down BR 376 to Santa Catarina and follow BR 101. At Palhoça height, exit onto BR 282. Passing Bom Retiro, exit on SC 110 until SC 390, which leads to Bom Jardim da Serra. The last 230 km on a single track.
  • From Blumenau: Follow BR 470 to Rio Sul, where you exit to SC 350. In Alfredo Wagner you exit to BR 282. Passing Bom Retiro, take SC 110 to SC 390, which leads to Bom Jardim da Serra. The route is done entirely on a single track.
  • From Balneário Camboriú: Follow BR 101. At Palhoça height, exit onto BR 282. Passing Bom Retiro, exit on SC 110 until SC 390, which leads to Bom Jardim da Serra. The last 230 km on a single track.
  • Attention: the Serra do Rio do Rastro is under construction. That is why the route is made by Urubici.

Serra do Rio do Rastro, view from the viewpoint

  • What to do: the Serra do Rio do Rastro road (Lauro de Freitas-Bom Jardim da Serra) is under construction and does not allow traffic on Monday (it is only open on Saturday and Sunday). But you can get there on a trip and go straight for the view at the Serra do Rio do Rastro viewpoint. On Tuesday, drive to the Ronda Canyon Viewpoint and schedule a guided tour of the winery Villa Francioni (50 km from Bom Jardim da Serra). Wanting a more intense day, schedule a morning or afternoon hike to Cânion das Laranjeiras with a local guide.
  • Where to stay: Rio do Rastro Eco Resort (comfortable and self-sufficient, close to the viewpoint), Pousada Bugio da Serra (rustic chalets, panoramic mountain views), Fazenda Santa Rita Turismo Rural (good cost x benefit), Pousada Serra & Jardim (capricious).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Bom Jardim da Serra and São Joaquim
  • Find out what’s open in Serra Catarinense

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Bento Gonçalves (4th and 5th)

  • Distance: 385 km from Bom Jardim da Serra (6h30 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: take SC 390 to São Joaquim and follow SC 114 to Lages. Cross Rio Grande do Sul via BR 116. At Campestre da Serra, exit via RS 437, which passes through Antônio Prado. Turn on BR 470 towards Veranópolis and Bento Gonçalves. The route is done entirely on a single track.

From São Paulo to Gramado by car: Vale dos Vinhedos

Vale dos Vinhedos, Bento Gonçalves

  • What to do: the trip has attractions along the way. Exit BR 116 to RS 437 and stop at Antonio Prado (it has the best preserved historic center of Serra Gaúcha). Also worth a stop in Vila Flores, the historic district of Veranópolis. Between Veranópolis and Bento Gonçalves there are several panoramic stretches through the Rio das Antas Valley; stop to contemplate the Belvedere do Espigão. At 5th fair, take the Maria Fumaça in the morning (available from November). If the tour is not of interest, take the guided tour with a sparkling wine tasting at Cave Geisse, in Pinto Bandeira. After the morning stroll, have lunch and take the guided tour of Casa Valduga, in Vale dos Vinhedos. At Friday, check out the hotel, go through the Caminhos de Pedra circuit and go from there to Gramado.
  • Where to stay: Dall’Onder Grande Hotel (on the street of the nightlife), Laghetto Viverone and Dall’Onder Victoria (both close to a small mall), Wine Spa (vertical and elaborated, in Vale dos Vinhedos), Lot 20 (brand new and stylish, in Pinto Bandeira).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Bento Gonçalves
  • Find out what’s open in Bento Gonçalves
  • Check out our Bento Gonçalves Guide

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Gramado (6th, Saturday, Sunday and 2nd)

With four nights, you will have three days free to stroll.

  • Distance: 110 km (2h20 by road, not counting the stops), via Sanctuary of Caravaggio and Caxias do Sul
  • Way: Follow the same road as the Caminhos de Pedra to the Sanctuary of Caravaggio. Continue on Rodovia dos Romeiros to the center of Farroupilha and follow the BR 453 to Caxias do Sul. Continue on the BR 116 to Nova Petrópolis. From there, the RS 235 leads to Gramado. Only the section between Farroupilha and Caxias do Sul is duplicated.

Lago Negro, Gramado

Lago Negro, Gramado

Gramado Attractions

  • Arrival day (Friday): have lunch at the end of the Caminhos de Pedra tour and continue your journey to be able to stop on the way, at the Sanctuary of Caravaggio, in Farroupilha, and at the Labirinto Verde in Nova Petrópolis.
  • Day 2 (Saturday): visit the classics. Lago Negro, Mini Mundo, Prawer Chocolate Factory, Castelinho Caracol, Parque do Caracol (or Cable Cars). End the day with a cocktail at Praça das Etnias and a walk through the Gramado Center
  • Day 3 (Sunday): super attractions day. Go to Snowland, Lavender Park, Steam World and Fashion Museum. If you are not interested in Snowland, replace it with GramadoZoo.
  • Day 4 (Monday): take an agrotourism tour on one of the colony’s “lines”.

Where to stay in Gramado

  • See the pandemic numbers in Gramado and Canela
  • Find out what’s open in Gramado and Canela
  • Check out our Lawn and Cinnamon Guide

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Aparados da Serra (3rd and 4th)

  • Distance: 115 km from Gramado (1h45 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: Leave by Canela. The RS 020 goes to Cambará do Sul. The route is done entirely on a single track.
  • Why choose this stop: choose to follow this itinerary and make this stop in Cambará do Sul to enjoy the great structure of the Aparados da Serra National Park, which offers self-guided trails to stunning viewpoints. If you are not interested in hiking, however, consider the alternative tour (see here).

Itaimbezinho Canyon

Itaimbezinho Canyon, Cambará do Sul

  • What to do: on the afternoon of the day of arrival, take one of the trails canyon of the fortress (18 km from the center) – the Mirante trail (3.5 km total) or the Tigre Preto + Pedra do Segredo trail (3 km total). If you arrive early, you can do both. On the 4th, do the two trails at the top of the canyon of Itaimbezinho (20 km from the center) – the Cotovelo trail (6 km total) and the Vértice trail (1.5 km total). Both have well-marked routes and access by car.
  • Where to stay: Parador Casa da Montanha (comfortable huts and bungalows on the edge of a small valley, one of the most charming mountain hotels in Brazil), Cambará Eco Hotel (near the center, by the lake; conventional hotel, 3 floors), Recanto do Lago (huts by the lake, out of town), Aires of Patagonia (resort style, out of town), Pousada Serra Overview (comfortable, praised service, in the center).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Cambará do Sul
  • Find out what’s open in Cambará do Sul

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Return stop: Beach in Santa Catarina

Choose one of these two coastal destinations to enjoy the beach before returning to São Paulo.

Florianópolis (5th, 6th and Saturday)

From São Paulo to Gramado by car: oysters in Florianópolis

Florianópolis: oysters in Santo Antônio de Lisboa

  • Distance: 325 km from Cambará do Sul (4h45 on the road, not including stops)
  • Way:: go down BR 427 to BR 101, which leads to Santa Catarina beaches. The first 55 km are covered by a single track.
  • Distance to São Paulo: 700 km (9h30 trip, not counting the stops)
  • What to do: on the afternoon of arrival (Thursday), visit the Azorean village of Santo Antônio de Lisboa and watch the sunset eating oysters, either there or in nearby Sambaqui. The next day (Friday), take the beach (Jurerê, Lagoinha or Praia Mole) and then have a late lunch at Costa da Lagoa. On Saturday, take the boat trip to Campeche Island and have a late lunch at the Public Market (see here).
  • Where to stay: Selina Floripa (relaxed, on a large plot in front of Praia Mole), Sunflowers of the Lagoon (bed and breakfast at the water’s edge in the center of Lagoa da Conceição), Mercure Convention (hotel on the way to the northern beaches and Lagoa da Conceição), Antares Club Hotel (standing in the sand at Lagoinha beach), Jurere Beach Village (apartments with equipped kitchen, walk in the sand in Jurerê), Valerim Florianópolis (economic, in the Center), Blue Tree Premium (next to the mall, in the Center).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Florianópolis
  • Find out what’s open in Florianópolis
  • Check out our Florianópolis Guide

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Bombinhas (5th, 6th and Saturday)

Bombinhas Beach

Bombinhas Beach

  • Distance: 375 km from Cambará do Sul (5h45 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Road: 70 km not duplicated
  • Distance to São Paulo: 650 km (9h of road, not counting the stops
  • What to do: take advantage of the afternoon of arrival and the 6th to enjoy the main beach, Bombinhas, and the little beaches hidden away ahead (Lagoinha, Embrulho and Sepultura). Then on Saturday take a stroll through the other beaches of the peninsula (Quatro Ilhas, Mariscal, Zimbro, Conceição, Tainha).
  • Where to stay: Vila do Farol (inn with hotel structure, on the main beach), Pousada Palmeiras (access to hidden beaches), Boulevard Bombinhas (in Lagoinha’s hidden beach), Dubai Bungalows (access by foot to Bombinhas and Quatro Ilhas).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Bombinhas
  • Find out what’s open in Bombinhas

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Alternative lap: without Trimmed

If you do not like the hiking program in Aparados da Serra (or if the stop in Serra Catarinense already fills the quota of mountainous landscapes on your trip), go straight from Gramado to Santa Catarina, making two stops on the coast.

Click on the blue names for the stop information.

Florianópolis + Bombinhas

  • Go from Gramado to Florianópolis (450 km away, 5h40 by road). Sleep the 3rd, 4th and 5th in Florianópolis.
  • Follow from Florianópolis to Bombinhas (80 km away, 1h30 by road). Sleep on Friday and Saturday in Bombinhas.
  • Return from Bombinhas to São Paulo on Sunday (650 km of road, 9 hours of travel not counting the stops).

Florianópolis + Balneário Camboriú

  • Go from Gramado to Florianópolis (450 km away, 5h40 by road). Sleep the 3rd, 4th and 5th in Florianópolis.
  • Follow from Florianópolis to Balneário Camboriú (85 km away, 1h10 road). If you want, take the beach in Bombinhas halfway. Sleep on 6th and Saturday in Balneário Camboriú (with children, stroll on Saturday at Beto Carrero World).
  • Return from Balneário Camboriú to São Paulo on Sunday (620 km of road, 8 hours of travel not counting the stops).

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Sao Paulo to Gramado in 9 days (roundtrip)

In this itinerary from São Paulo to Gramado by car, you leave Saturday morning and are back home on the Sunday of the following week, at night. All shifts are done during the day. You never travel two consecutive days. You sleep at least two nights at each base, to have at least one full day to tour the place.

As time is short, you will need to choose between stops. But count on Bóia to choose the stop that best fits your traveler’s profile.

  • One-way stop: Balneário Camboriú, Blumenau or Bombinhas (2 nights)
  • Gramado (4 nights)
  • Return stop: Praia do Rosa or Florianópolis (2 nights)

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Choose one way stop

Choose one of these stops and stay 2 nights, to be able to rest from the long commute. You will arrive on Saturday afternoon and have Sunday free to stroll.

Balneário Camboriú (Saturday and Sunday)

Beto Carrero World

Beto Carrero World: 40 km from Balneário Camboriú

  • Distance: 620 km from São Paulo (8 hours on the road, not including stops).
  • Way: BR 116 (Régis Bittencourt) to Curitiba, then around Curitiba and down BR 376 to Santa Catarina, ending at BR 101. Route completely duplicated.
  • What to do: on Sunday, go to Beto Carrero World (40 km) or, if you don’t want to leave Balneário, make the circuit of Parque Unipraias.
  • Where to stay: Ibis Styles and BRUT by Slaviero (new & stylish), Mercure Camboriu (comfortable), Hotel Melo (economic).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Balneário Camboriú
  • Find out what’s open in Balneário Camboriú
  • Check out our Beto Carrero World Guide

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Blumenau (Saturday and Sunday)

Eisenbahn Brewery, Blumenau

Eisenbahn Brewery, Blumenau

  • Distance: 640 km from São Paulo (8h30 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: BR 116 (Régis Bittencourt) to Curitiba, then around Curitiba and down BR 376 to Santa Catarina, ending at BR 101. At the height of Navegantes, take BR 470. The last 50 km are still in the process of duplication.
  • What to do: on Saturday, visit Vila Germanica, which hosts Oktoberfest. On Sunday, go to Pomerode (45 km) to make the Enxaimel Route circuit (a nucleus of historic houses of German colonization in the district of Testo Alto (afterwards, visit the Schornstein brewery).
  • Where to stay: Ibis Blumenau and Slaviero Essential (functional and very central), Ibis Budget Blumenau (economic), Glory (the city classic)
  • See the pandemic numbers in Blumenau
  • Find out what’s open in Blumenau

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Bombinhas (Saturday and Sunday)

From São Paulo to Gramado by car: Bombinhas

Bombinhas

  • Distance: 650 km from São Paulo (9h by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: BR 116 (Régis Bittencourt) to Curitiba, then around Curitiba and down BR 376 to Santa Catarina, ending at BR 101. Exit the road at the height of Porto Belo. The last 15 km are on a single track.
  • What to do: if you want to boost your instagram, do a tour of the peninsula’s beaches on Sunday. But if you decide to take the day to enjoy the real beach, enjoy the main beach of Bombinhas and its hidden beaches just ahead (like Lagoinha, Embrulho and Sepultura).
  • Where to stay: Vila do Farol (inn with hotel structure, on the main beach), Pousada Palmeiras (access to hidden beaches), Boulevard Bombinhas (in Lagoinha’s hidden beach), Dubai Bungalows (access by foot to Bombinhas and Quatro Ilhas).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Bombinhas
  • Find out what’s open in Bombinhas

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Gramado (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th)

With four nights, you will have three days free to stroll.

Distances

  • In Balneario Camboriu: 510 km (6h30 by road, not counting the stops)
  • In Blumenau: 575 km (7:30 on the road, not counting the stops)
  • In Bombinhas: 500 km (6h45 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: Follow BR 101, which is entirely duplicated to Rio Grande do Sul. At Terra de Areia, take BR 453 (Rota do Sol). At the height of Tainhas, exit to RS 020, which passes through São Francisco de Paula and reaches Gramado via Canela. The last 130 km are single track

From São Paulo to Gramado by car

From São Paulo to Gramado by car

Gramado Attractions

  • Arrival day (Monday, mid-afternoon): a cuca at Praça das Etnias and a walk through the Gramado Center
  • Day 2 (Tuesday): visit the classics. Lago Negro, Mini Mundo, Prawer Chocolate Factory, Castelinho Caracol, Parque do Caracol (or Cable Cars)
  • Day 3 (Wednesday): super attractions day. Go to Snowland, Lavender Park, Steam World and Fashion Museum. In October, do this tour on Thursday, as Snowland will only open on Wednesdays from November.
  • Day 4 (Thursday): take an agrotourism tour on one of the colony’s “lines”.
  • Alternative: exchange the tours on the 3rd (Wednesday) or on the 4th (Thursday) for a tour to Bento Gonçalves.

Where to stay in Gramado

  • See the pandemic numbers in Gramado and Canela
  • Find out what’s open in Gramado and Canela
  • Check out our Lawn and Cinnamon Guide

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Choose the stop of the lap

Choose one of these stops and stay 2 nights. You will have a whole day to rest or stroll before the return journey.

Praia do Rosa (6th and Saturday)

Praia do Rosa

Praia do Rosa

  • Distance: 380 km from Gramado (5h15 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: Go back through RS 020 and BR 453 to BR 101. Go north and exit the road at the height of Garopaba. There will be 145 km on a single track (130 km to BR 101, and 15 km from BR 101 to Rosa).
  • Distance to São Paulo: 750 km (10h30 trip, not counting the stops; it’s a very hard ride)
  • What to do: on the afternoon of arrival (Friday), enjoy the main beach. The next day (Saturday), if you don’t want to repeat the program, you can take a tour of the beaches between Garopaba and Imbituba: Silveira, Ferrugem, Barrinha, Lagoa de Ibiraquera.
  • Where to stay: Green Farm of Rosa (wide terrain that goes to the seaside, individual chalets), King’s Way (a mountain inn on the beach, best viewpoint of Praia do Rosa), Village Praia do Rosa (complete houses, with barbecue, next to the beach), Villa Agrifoglio (airy rooms and complete chalets, near the access to the north corner of the beach, more peaceful).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Garopaba and Imbituba
  • Find out what’s open at Praia do Rosa

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Florianópolis (6th and Saturday)

Left corner of Praia Mole, Florianópolis

Florianópolis: left corner of Praia Mole

  • Distance: 450 km from Gramado (5h40 by road, not counting the stops)
  • Way: Go back through RS 020 and BR 453 until BR 101. Go north to the entrance to Florianópolis. The first 130 km are on a single track.
  • Distance to São Paulo: 700 km (9h30 trip, not counting the stops)
  • What to do: on the afternoon of arrival (Friday), visit the Azorean village of Santo Antônio de Lisboa and watch the sunset eating oysters, either there or in nearby Sambaqui. The next day (Saturday), take the beach (I suggest Jurerê, Lagoinha or Praia Mole) and then have lunch at Costa da Lagoa (see here).
  • Where to stay: Selina Floripa (relaxed, on a large plot in front of Praia Mole), Sunflowers of the Lagoon (bed and breakfast at the water’s edge in the center of Lagoa da Conceição), Mercure Convention (hotel on the way to the northern beaches and Lagoa da Conceição), Antares Club Hotel (standing in the sand at Lagoinha beach), Jurere Beach Village (apartments with equipped kitchen, walk in the sand in Jurerê), Valerim Florianópolis (economic, in the Center), Blue Tree Premium (next to the mall, in the Center).
  • See the pandemic numbers in Florianópolis
  • Find out what’s open in Florianópolis
  • Check out our Florianópolis Guide

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