domingo, fevereiro 16, 2014

Brazil Travel Trips

Um amigo vai com a family ao Brasil em Abril. A viagem foi um pedido da filhinha dele que se apaixonou pelo filme Rio. E eu fiz uma listinha pra eles que divido abaixo com voces.


For the very first visit I would recommend the following places: 
-          Rio: the city of Rio and some of the beaches in the coast of the Rio’s state
-          Salvador and the surrounding beaches
-          Minas Gerais:  Ouro Preto, Tiradentes, Mariana, Diamantina
-          The Iguaçu waterfalls

But the final itinerary  depends on the time you are planning to stay there.

- Air France and Lufthansa have direct flies to Rio.
- Swiss flies (from Zurich) to Sao Paulo only, and the connections between Sao Paulo and Rio are good with flights every hour.
Local airlines: TAM and GOL serve majority of the big cities.

And here goes an overview of the main places to visit in Brazil.

The country’s central area, southeast and south

The state of Rio de Janeiro
- Rio de Janeiro (the city), aka “Rio”: it's mix of mountains, landmarks, beaches and life style is unique. Sugarloaf, Corcovado mountains,  Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and the city’s iconic landmark, the enormous Christ the Redeemer statue sitting atop Corcovado mountain are a must see. But they are just the beginning! I recommend to explore other spots like the rain forests nearby, the Arpoador, the Leblon, Santa Tereza and Lapa (especially in the evenings) neighborhoods, have a drink at Bar dos Descasados at Hotel Santa Tereza, watching the beaches,  go to a samba-school training, rent a boat and spend some time at the Guanabara Bay, go to Tijuca Forest National Park. Rio is all about enjoy the life and relaxing. Just be prepared for the hot weather and keep yourself safe (= don’t carry ANY shiny / valuable stuff on the streets)!!
- In the Rio de Janeiro coast:
- Angra dos Reis: Nice beaches and small islands.
- Ilha Grande: Including the beach of Praia Lopes Mendes.
- Paraty: Colonial city in the Bay of Ilha Grande, mixes tropical forests, waterfalls, emerald sea and coastal mountains.

The state of Sao Paulo
- lhabela (some kms south of Patary): it’s an island in the Sao Paulo coast, excellent for sailing and hiking. Don't miss the Praia do Bonete (reachable by boat).
The state of Minas Gerais, the Royal Road (Estrada Real)
- Ouro Preto (= meaning “black gold” ): it's one of Brazil’s best-preserved colonial towns. The city contains well preserved Portuguese  colonial architecture, churches decorated with gold and the sculptured works of Aleijadinho.
- Tiradentes
- Mariana
- Diamantina
- Inhotim: for modern art

- Brazil's capital was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and has beautiful modern architecture buildings. My favorites: the Brasilia cathedral,  an incredible game of concrete, curves and light and the Don Bosco Sanctuary with all its "turquoise". 

The states of Mato Grosso / Mato Grosso do Sul
- Pantanal: a water world full of wildlife.
- Bonito: caves, waterfalls and wildlife.

The state of Parana
- Iguaçu waterfalls @ Foz do Iguaçu
Iguaçu Falls is a series of  waterfalls located on the Iguaçu River, straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina. The falls in and of themselves are a breathtaking spectacle, but their beauty is all the more enhanced by the surrounding national park the and it's wildlife. The gateway to the falls on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguaçu.

The state of Santa Catarina
- Florianopolis: it’s a beautiful island with very nice beaches.

Brazil's northeastern coast

The state of Pernambuco
- Recife: historic old town, beaches and vibrant culture
- Olinda
The state of Bahia and it's coast
Salvador: Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia, with an attractive colonial town, a vibrant musical scene and loads of exceptional beaches all around. The beaches range from calm inlets, ideal for swimming, diving and sailing, as well as open sea inlets with strong waves, popular with surfers. There are also beaches surrounded by reefs, forming natural pools of stone, ideal for children.
- Peninsula do Marau and it's beautiful beach “Praia de Taipu de Fora”
- Caraiva
- Trancoso: including the "Praia do Espelho",  a desert beach with cliffs, corals and cristalin water.

The state of Ceara and it's coast
- Fortaleza, the state capital, is ugly but serves as the jumping-off point for beautiful beaches, rolling dunes and rustic fishing villages up and down the Ceara coast, including Jericoacoara and the super rustic but lovely Ginjoca.

The North of the Country

- Maranhao
- Sao Luis
- Lencois Maranhenses
- Manaus
The capital of the Amazonas state in northwestern Brazil, Manaus is an interesting destination because it serves as a gateway to the Amazon rainforest.  The Teatro Amazonas or Amazon Theatre is an opera house located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest and is a must see.
Amazon River
Amazon Forest

The main archipelago:
- Fernando de Noronha: Fernando de Noronha is a beautiful archipelago with pristine beaches, landscapes and wildlife, situated 354 km (220 miles) off the northeastern coast in Brazil. Only the largest of the 21 islands is inhabited with a population of about 3,500. The islands are a Mecca for divers and snorkelers with warm waters year-round and very good visibility even at depths of 50 meters. Don't miss “Baia do Sancho”.

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