Brazil Travel Guides for Backpackers

Things to do in São Paulo, Brazil

Every time we think about Brazil we imagine beautiful beaches, like in Rio de Janeiro or Bahia. And sometimes we forget a place that has a lot to offer: the city of São Paulo. Known as the “stone jungle”, the city that never sleeps, it is the largest city in Brazil and the economic capital of the country. Sao Paulo is a cauldron of cultures that offers many things to do, and you should include in your visit to Brazil. Those planning a trip to Sao Paulo can get a little lost in this sea of options, so I have some tips for things to do in Sao Paulo that will help you.     1- Walk along the “Paulista Avenue” It’s the main avenue of São Paulo, it’s the financial heart of the city and the main tourist spot. With almost 3km, the avenue offers a huge variety of attractions. From museums, theaters, cultural centers, shops, to cafes and restaurants. Also watch out for the parallel streets, which are full of bars and restaurants On Sundays only pedestrians can walk on it, people go there to ride bicycles, to walk, and enjoy. There are also a lot of shows and a lot of art. Getting to know Paulista is a must-see trip to São Paulo.   2- Visit the MASP The São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) its located in the heart of Avenida Paulista. It is one of the main sights of the city. The building has become a postcard for its modern architecture. It also has one of the largest art collections in the country, with many exhibitions. 3- Get to know Vila Madalena and Batman Alley The Vila Madalena neighborhood is one of the most iconic of São Paulo. The neighborhood is hip, with many shops, thrift stores, restaurants, and art galleries. For those who like street art, that’s where Batman’s alley is. Graffiti is everywhere there, and it’s possible to take amazing photos. There you can also see the art of great artists, like Kobra. 4- Get to know Ibirapuera park and its attractions The Ibirapuera is one of the favorite places of “paulistanos”. With a large green area and many attractions, people go there for walking, jogging, cycling, picnicking. It is still possible to visit the cultural spaces, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Ibirapuera Auditorium, which are programmed throughout the year and are often free.   5- Go to São Paulo Municipal Market Known as ‘mercadão’ the place is for those who like gastronomy, there are so many options that it is difficult to choose. It has snacks, delicacies, cheeses, sausages, fruits, and many other things. Oh and don’t forget to try the famous bologna sandwich, you won’t regret it.   6- Visit the Sé Cathedral Regardless of your religion, visiting this place is a must. The architecture is amazing and imposing. The Sé Cathedral is full of beautiful stained glass and sacred art. Also, it is located at ground […]

What to see and do in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Outside the traditional circuit of tourism in Brazil, Belo Horizonte is an excellent destination option to get to know the Brazilian culture better. Located in the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil, Belo Horizonte is a large city that hasn’t lost the charm of a country village. The capital of Minas Gerais brings together the best of the state: impeccable cuisine, beautiful architecture, great parks and a lot of culture. Must see attractions in Belo Horizonte Lagoa da Pampulha Called affectionately by the locals as BH, the main postcard of the city is Lagoa da Pampulha, a beautiful lagoon located in the city center. In addition to enjoying nature and relaxing, you can find a lot of attractions around it to visit. There you can see the first three works created by architect Oscar Niemeyer, composing the “Conjunto Moderno da Pampulha”. Formerly used as a casino, the Pampulha Art Museum houses an extensive collection of contemporary Brazilian artwork. The building called “Casa do Baile” (House of dances) is landscaped by Burle Marx and houses exhibitions and events about architecture. The St. Francis of Assisi Church is one of the most famous spots in the city and also has gardens created by Burle Marx. Inside, you can admire tile panels created by Cândido Portinari. Circuito da Liberdade In the city center, visit the “Circuito da Liberdade”, which brings together 16 institutions in a historic area. There are several museums and cultural centers, many within historic palaces, forming a beautiful architectural ensemble. Built-in 1898, the Liberty Palace catches the eye of those passing by. The lush architecture is complemented by richly decorated décor and English-style gardens. The space can be visited free of charge on Sundays. Delicious and typical food Cosmopolitan, Belo Horizonte offers a multitude of restaurants, from the most traditional to the most refined. The cuisine of the world is present, but the star is the typical food of Minas Gerais, called as “Comida mineira”. Cheese bread, pork rinds, “cachaça” (a typical brandy) and other delicacies can be tasted in many places around the city. It is in the Central Market that you will find all the flavors of Minas Gerais gathered. The traditional space brings together dozens of merchants selling cheese, fruits, spices and even local crafts. A real party for all the senses! On Saturdays, it is worth checking out the Tom Jobim Fair, on Candaraí Avenue, 3km from the city center. About 30 exhibitors are selling the best of local and international cuisine. All accompanied by a good Brazilian popular music! Be sure to do as the locals and enjoy a late afternoon in a typical bar, sipping a cold beer while enjoying some snacks. After all, BH is known as the “world capital of bars”! Instituto Inhotim Just 62km from Belo Horizonte is the largest collection of contemporary art in Brazil. The Inhotim Institute brings together more than 500 works, exhibited in galleries, rooms and also outdoors. Visited by people from all over the world, […]

Best Things To Do In Natal, Brazil

Natal is one of the finest cities in Brazil and there are many things you can do in Natal. Tourist attractions abound here including works of nature for you to experience. It is a suitable place to spend a few days or spend your holidays with your loved ones. Here you will see beautiful things and engage in interesting diverse activities. The best things you can do in Natal are: Tour the Newton Navarro Bridge This bridge is a kind of something to see and pass through. The bridge is beautiful and connects to the sea for navigation. You will cross a river at Catamaran and get an awesome view of this bridge. Driving a buggy will enable you see more of the bridge. The view consists of surrounding beaches, sand dunes, lagoons and palm trees. This bridge is a spectacular engineering project that tops the Pontengi River. It is one of the largest you can find in Brazil. You may drive through it as you head for Natal when you come from an airport there which is the Natal International Airport. The view of the surrounding beaches and the ocean is amazing. Take photos of the bridge through its huge twin pillars. The width of this structure is 72 feet while the length is 5840 feet. Look upwards towards the bridge when there is light coming from the lanes on the sides and pause in the middle. Take photographs from there and get that magnificent view. You may cross the bridge to get to the Redinha Beach. As you go north, you may take part in a kind of sports using Arabian camels. However drivers who have authorisation from the tourist board are available. Visit the largest cashew tree in the world This cashew tree is among the most famous things that Natal is known for. Every country have a particular landmark for identifying it like a unique occurrence, a work of nature or synthetic artifact.  Tourists come to China for their Great Wall, United Kingdom for their Big Ben, Australia for their Great Reef and Natal for their largest cashew tree. This is not just a cashew tree but rather the largest in the planet. The Cashew Tree of Pirangi is within Pirangi do Norte which is a district within the province of Rio Grande do Norte. You can get to the tree through the Pirangi Beach which is a popular beach in Natal. This huge cashew tree made the Guinness Book of Records as the largest on the planet. The crown of the cashew covers  8000 square metres.  This cashew tree is 500 metres in circumference  and covers an area of land that 70 cashew trees will cover. It is a difficult thing to find the major trunk of the tree among the others. Luis Inacio a fisherman planted this tree in 1888. The tree has many branches. Explore the Natal Dunes The dunes in Natal is among the most attractive landscapes you can find in Brazil. Tourism have made this place a playground with an industry that focuses on entertaining tourists. The buggy rides of this […]

Brazilian culture, history and a beach garden you find in Santos.

Nothing makes me happier and more inspired than writing about my city. I don’t know where you, reader, are accessing my post. One thing is sure: you must finish reading and come to Santos! I am Brazilian I was born and always lived in Santos, a coastal city in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Santos is a city of immense historical value for Brazil. Located on the island of São Vicente, founded in the 16th century, it houses the largest port in Latin America. It has always been and continues to be the scene of important political, social, and cultural manifestations. Due to its historical grandeur and the preservation of old buildings, Santos is a constant scenario for movies, commercials, and TV series recordings.  And by the way, Keanu Reeves will come to Santos to record a TV series in July. It’s incredible! But let’s go back to talking about Santos and its attractions for the tourist. There are over 6 miles of beaches framed by the world’s most extensive beach garden, according to the Guinness Book. Do you want to meet Santos? So, come with me because I’m going to show you my favorite places in town. The Orquidário You, tourist, have to know the Orquidario, in Santos. The Orquidario is a small park that has many species of trees, plants, and orchids, as well as free animals. It is a pleasant walk for families, and for those who like to be in contact with nature. For me, for example, it's lovely to spend the afternoon taking pictures or reading a book in the shade of the enormous trees. Monte Serrat Santos is a beautiful city. This tour gathers history, panoramic views of Santos, religion, and sport. There are many stories and legends about the holy Our Lady of Monte Serrat, patron saint of the city.  Some of them relate Monte Serrat and the chapel as places used by escaped slaves to hide, before the abolition of slavery in Brazil. Monte Serrat houses the chapel, and a disabled casino – gambling in Brazil is prohibited.   Via Crucis – Monte Serrat. Faith and history.  If you're in good shape or have a fair amount of the courage to take on the challenge, go up the 423 steps to get to the top. Along the way, you can enjoy graffiti, houses of the locals (very friendly with the tourist) and the scenery of the city and the harbor. In the curves of the way, we find the Via Crucis. They are small altars with images of the last moments of Jesus and places suitable to light candles. If you do not feel like climbing the stairs, there is a funicular tram to take the ride in a more comfortable and fast way. Inquire at the ticket office about the value of the ticket, which is charged only to go up – the descent is free. The Monte Serrat Chapel is a symbol of faith in Santos. The beach gardens. […]

What to do in Brasília: architecture, nightlife, and nature

Unless you’re an architect, if you’re planning a trip to Brazil, it’s unlikely that you’ve considered a stop by Brasilia, the futuristic capital of the country. Most tourists who travel to Brazil choose to visit our main postcard landscapes, such as Rio, Salvador or the extensive coastline of the northeast region. But who would blame them? Indeed, Rio makes for an unforgettable experience of Brazilian culture, energy, and nature. And the stunning northeast is not only a natural paradise but also the cradle of our history. But why visiting Brasília might be a good idea? Brasília has much more to offer than its imposing buildings designed by world-famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, or its unusual urban planning created on the shape of an airplane, by Lucio Costa. Those features definitely make the city an interesting destination, though. Once you land in this vast expanse of dry plains in the heart of Brazil, you’ll probably feel like you’ve never seen such a cold, retro-modern city (yes, these two words actually go together to qualify Brasília). Sober straight lines, with a curve here and there are the signatures of Oscar Niemeyer. And you can easily see the white buildings looking like spaceships everywhere in the central “Pilot Plan”, where the government and administration are located. However, what makes Brasília such a special place, are actually the people who helped to build the “Brazilian dream” 59 years ago, and their offspring. During its construction in the 50s, the city has attracted immigrants from all over the country to work on the new capital. This rich cultural mix has boosted creativity and biased the population’s lifestyle. This is why visitors can feel an artsy atmosphere anywhere they go. From the “botecos” (bars and bistros that are located in basically every residential block) to theater companies, samba hot spots, and local garage bands, Brasília has it all. Below, are my personal highlights that should not be missed in case you visit the young Brazilian capital. Architecture The National Museum with the Metropolitan Cathedral on the background (Picture by Mariana Freitas) One cannot go to Brasília and don’t see Niemeyer’s work of art. A tour of the “Esplanada dos Ministérios” is mandatory. It’s the heart of the city. It’s also the main axis of the airplane that shapes Brasília and divides the city in the South and North wings. The wings are residential and commercial areas, while downtown is home for the administrative buildings, museums and different sectors that concentrate the main services on the same neighborhood, such as the hotel’s sector or the banks’ sector. Don’t miss out: Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Square): The concentration of the three branches of Brazilian government: the Planalto Palace (where the president works); the Federal Supreme Court and the National Congress. Honestino Guimarães National Museum: The modern round shape building is impossible to be dismissed. It holds exhibitions of international contemporary artists and music festivals on the external area. The Metropolitan Cathedral: The Cathedral was Brasília’s first monument. […]

Dive into nature – best hikes in Florianópolis

Florianópolis is the epitome of paradise! It is a little bubble inside of Brazil, especially in terms of security and quality of life. It combines the pros of a city with incredible nature. Apart from 42 marvelous beaches, dunes and Lagoons, Floripa is hilly and has a lot of hikes to offer. The tracks allow you to escape into nature, recharge your batteries and simply enjoy the present moment. My top five hikes are: Trilha da Boa Vista This hike offers an incomparable view! It takes you from Barra da Lagoa across the top of the hills through the so-called “Mata Atlântica” vegetation to Galheta and further to Mole beach. The easiest way is to start in Barra da Lagoa! After crossing the blue bridge and walking past the cute little Brazilian houses, the track leads up on the hill. There are several rocks on the way providing awesome views over Barra da Lagoa, up to the beach of Mosambique and the small mountains behind – 12 km of sandy beach. The view over Barra da Lagoa Once you get to the top, the path continues along the plateau. The Lagoa on the right-hand side, the ocean and cliffs on the left. Accompanied by the smell of nature, of the Mata Atlântica, so healing! Before starting the descent, the most magnificent view is waiting for you: A huge rock plateau. Up there, you can overlook almost the whole southern island! The beaches, the ocean, the Lagoa- amazing! Looking over the south of the island I can also recommend watching the sunset there. To do so, you do not even have to do the whole trail. From Fortaleza da Barra, it is possible to hike up to the rocks in 20 min. After absorbing the peace and magic, the path leads down to Galheta Beach. Do not get scared, if you see naked people around, it is the only nudist beach in Florianópolis. Nevertheless, you can also jump into the ocean with your swimwear on, or just go on to Mole Beach, where you can strengthen yourself with healthy meals or juices at the Baruk Café. In total, the hike takes around 1,5-2 hours Trilha da Gurita e Alto Riberão This trail starts at Lagoa do Peri. After an exciting, mostly flat hike of almost an hour, you get to the waterfall Gurita. A perfect place to take a refreshing bath and a break! Afterward, you can either turn around or continue walking up the hill to Alto Riberão (30 min climb). I definitely recommend the second option. Not only the hike itself is amazing, with great views of the Lagoa do Peri and various fruit trees around, but the village up there shows a part of Floripa, you will not find anywhere else. For me, the place is really special. Probably, because it is so rare not to see the ocean and the horizon. Surrounded by the tops of the mountains, you […]

Dizzy Rio. Five iconic places

Brazil is not just another half-globe. It’s another world. I can call it fancy and chaotic one. It is the land of love, hope, and coffee. I have been dreaming of Brazil since the very childhood. I have been watching numerous Brazilian novels when I was 12. So, I fell in love with Rio long before my arrival here. A dream came true in spring 2012. The tickets had been bought. The “Windsor Copa Hotel” had been booked. I had a dream so I wasn’t confused by long twenty hours flight and two interlinings. First impressions of Rio The love of life was springing here. Bronzed and smiling buddies were playing football just here on Copacabana beach. Striking Latina girls were the best samba dancers. Groovy music was playing everywhere. Rio was the city like no others I had visited before. The downtown area and colonial buildings were living in harmony. An affluent Rio part was situated just near the favelas. In these deprived city areas hungry and poor people were struggling for their living every day. I decided to become a full-time Rio explorer. Of course, I had some trips across the suburbs but I spent most of my holidays in the Brazilian capital. Sometimes there was rainy weather but that fact didn’t darken my mood at all. You’ll see some cloudy days on my photos. Five must-sees in Rio All these places can be clichéd for sophisticated travelers. But for me, they were brand new and unbeaten. Here’s my own glance at well-known places. It is just based on my personal impressions. Cristo Redentor Almost two million tourists visit the Cristo Redentor Statue every year. The Corcovado Mountain top has been the tourist magnet for Christian pilgrims and tourists more than 80 years. The place was unreal one for me. I was astonished by Rio cityscapes from above. While standing on the viewpoint I was feeling levitation. The city streets looked like the ant-nest. There were high buildings, crowds of people, streets drowned in green trees somewhere under my eyes. The main Rio places such as Copacabana beach, Formula 1 tracks or Sugar Loaf Mountain were clearly visible. And Jesus Christ who was gazing at big city vanity with all His wisdom. Early morning is the best time for coming here. There are no crowds of people hunting for a cool selfie. It is possible to get there by subway or bus. You should take buses ? 570, 583 or 584. The tickets are not expensive at all. Just 5 Reals (1.5 USD). Subway price is just the same. Then you should proceed to Corcovado. The funicular train will be the best way to get here. It takes 20 minutes and 75 Reals (15 USD) to reach the mountain top. The way lies through the romantic Tijuca Park. Pao De Acucar This was a little bit bizarre mountain standing proud from blue Atlantic waters. The Corcovado aerial views were not enough for me so I had taken the […]

5 Things You Should Do When Visiting Gramado and Canela

Gramado and Canela are two small cities in south Brazil and are one of the most visited places in Brazil, especially for those who are looking for a cold-weather destination. The two neighboring cities are almost built for tourism, there is so much entertainment combined that you would need at least a week to visit everything, so here are a few things you should definitely do. The food The local food is definitely one of the main attractions, there are a variety of restaurants and coffee houses in both cities and although the food is more expensive than the average in Brazil, the dishes are large and totally worth it – and very often you can find promotion in a lot of restaurants – ,  and you can find dishes of the French, Swiss and mainly German cuisine, which is a very strong culture in this region. The classic dinner in this region is the fondue and for breakfast the famous Colonial Coffee, the climate is perfect, and the variety is amazing. Free tourist attractions This is a very expensive region, but there are a few tourist points that are free: Just walking around sightseeing Gramado and Canela is worth it, the German architecture is all around in the houses, buildings and local establishments. Some spots you should include in your itinerary, in Gramado: Covered Street, Saint Peter’s Church, Black Lake (you can rent a pedal boat), Ethnic Square (you can buy typical food from local immigrants). And in Canela, the Cathedral of Stone in the main street steal all the attention. Choose at least one of the parks, museums, and attractions There are a lot of attractions and entertainment for people of all ages, depending on your time I would recommend you do the research and choose the ones that call out to you. My favorites are: Mini World, located in Gramado. This park has replicas of constructions of the world 24 times smaller than the original constructions, and today is one of the most visited places of the city, with several curious scenarios of our daily life; Caracol Park, located in Canela the park is the home of the Waterfall of Caracol, with 130 meters high. There are panoramic viewpoints and a staircase that leads to the end point of the waterfall and allows you to observe it from below. You can also go on a ride in a cable car that leaves from the Serra Park and offer a privileged view of the waterfall. Go to one of the chocolate factories Gramado is filled with handmade chocolate factories and visiting one of them and their manufacturing process should be in your itinerary, and of course, trying the chocolates is part of the local tourism. Lugano, Florybal, Prawer, Plateau, and Caracol are the main factories in the city. Special dates The region lives on tourism, so during special dates, the whole city engages on the decoration and special events. Keep in mind that the prices go up during […]

4 Things You Should Know Before Going to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.

The Iguazu Falls are stunning, without a doubt one of the most beautiful and full of good energy places I have ever visited. It is not for nothing that in 2012 the Falls received the title of one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” by the New Seven Wonders Foundation. And it is the third destination that most receives foreign tourists in Brazil (according to a survey conducted by the Brazilian tourism ministry in 2017), losing only to Rio de Janeiro and Florianópolis. But what should you know before going? Geographic Location and the best season to visit Foz do Iguaçu is a city in the south region of Brazil, and it is on the border of Argentina (Porto Iguazu) and Paraguay (Cidade do Leste). So yes, you can not only visit the triple border but also spend some time on those three cities in three different countries. About the time of the year, there is no need for worrying, you can go in every season and you won’t regret it. But if you can choose, there is a difference: during the summer, you will find the falls with its maximum volume of water; and during the winter, with less volume, you will be able to see better and more defined waterfalls. The parks The main attraction are the national parks were the falls are. There are two national parks that you can visit, the Brazilian and the Argentinian. Even though they look very similar, they are very different, and both equally deserve a visit. I still can’t decide which one I prefer, the Brazilian side has more structure, and you can follow the trail and find some observatory spots and walkways over the water, that provide you with a very close view of the falls. The Argentinian side is bigger, so most of the falls are in this park. There are three important trekking trails in the park, the longest is the one that leads to the Devil’s Throat, the biggest falls in the park and a mandatory stop for everyone. Don’t forget to bring with you something to eat and drinks, princes in both parks are very pricey. And you will get wet at some point. The local residents There is no way to miss them, once you get in either one of the parks you will see a lot of coatis. You will also see a lot of signs saying to stay away from them, that’s because they can get very aggressive trying to steal food. And this is no joke, I saw at least 3 foods “robberies” by these animals and countless attempts. They were everywhere, and it only took someone holding some food to a group of coatis approach and try to steal. So be careful and don’t eat seating down. Other places that you should pay a visit Buddhist temple Chen Tien temple is located in Foz do Iguaçu. It’s a great place to disconnect and get a little into the Buddhist culture. […]

Traveling to interior of Brazil – Maringá City

Brazil is very vast in cultures and biodiversity. This is reflected in its forests and beaches, as well as in the diversities in its great capitals. But in addition to the big cities and beaches, there are lots of cool things to see in the inland cities. If in addition to adventures, you want to travel to find peace and tranquility, Maringá city is a great option for this and thus to start exploring more the inner cities. This city is located in the state of Paraná in the south of the country. I moved recently to this city, I’ve been here for six months and I’m really enjoying it. The weather as you would expect is tropical, yet it is a pleasant climate because the city is full of trees. This small town has many nice places to stroll, theaters, parks, and bars are the main attractions that I found here. And I’m sure you will too. I’ve visited many places since I have been here. And now, I’ll show you all that I liked visiting. Japan Park   It’s a beautiful place! This park truly enchanted me. It is all green landscape with beautiful flowers is a great view. There is a restaurant in the center of the park near the lake where you can see beautiful colorful carp. Japan’s park reflects the history and presence of immigrant families from Japan who for more than a hundred years have made this region their home. Parque do Ingá For those who want to take a walk or run or simply be in contact with nature, this is the ideal place. Ingá Park is a forest reserve of 47.3 hectares located in the city center and is one of the most frequented places in the city. Inside you will find a Japanese garden, a lake with paddle boats and kayaks and a cave of Nossa Senhora Aparecida. There is an Around the park, there are a 1,8 miles track and an area with exercise equipment. There is a small museum of biology with some rare species of animals and insects Alfredo Werner Nyffeler Park This park has a hiking trail inside, around a large lake for fishing on Sundays and two football fields. It is very common to find families picnicking under the surrounding trees. It is a great place to take kids to enjoy space with recreation. Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Glória (Our Lady of Glory Cathedral)   The Cathedral of Maringá is undoubtedly the main postcard of the city and is very famous for being the highest Cathedral in Latin America. Its structure is in the shape of a cone with 114 meters of height that holds a cross of 10 meters. Its diameter is 50 meters its interior has the capacity of 3500 people. It is lovely both inside and out. The night’s turns lure with its colorful lights and mirrors of water that make it magical. It is a great place to connect spiritually and also […]

How to get to Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar) is the second most important place to visit in Rio de Janeiro after the statue of Christ the Redeemer. This is written in all guidebooks, but for me, it is the first! I am ready to climb this mountain at least every day. For a photographer, there are the most beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro. How to get there Public transport Bus #107 and #513 goes here, get off at Urca stop. Then you need to go about two hundred meters in the direction of the traffic and on the right you will see the ticket office where you can buy a ticket to the cable car for 110 reais up and down. In my opinion, a little expensive. But there is a way out of this situation. You can climb on foot to the top of the mountain Urca and then get with half of price to Sugar Loaf. Climbing there is fun and almost easy. Metro. The nearest metro station is Botafogo. Taxi You can use applications such as Uber (UberEnglish, Uber for women, 99). Nearby Sugar Loaf there is a parking lot. The cost was about 2 reais (0,5 dollars) for two hours when I was there last time. How to avoid lines Buying online is very convenient. Please use the official website where you can buy tickets with a10% discount for 99 reais. Cost and timetable Opening hours: from 8:00 to 21:00. Ticket offices are open until 19:50. The gates to trekking Urca Mountains close at 18 o’clock (winter time). Price: 110 reais (27,5 $). Half price discount for students (have to show the document) and for people over 60 years old. Children up to 6 years old can go for free, from 6 up to 12 – half price. Remember the start and end time of the cable car: • Praia Vermelha / Mount Urca – 08:10; • First departure Mount Urca / Sugar Loaf – 08:20; • Last Departure Praia Vermelha / Ur?a Mountain – 20:00; • Last Departure Urca Mountain / Sugar Loaf – 20:20; • Last departure Sugar Loaf / Mount Ur?a – 20:40; • Last departure Mount Urca / Praia Vermelha – 21:00. Departure every 20 minutes or when it is filled with 65 people. There is a helicopter trip on Mount Urca where you can book a flight. various cost and duration: • 6-7 minutes costs 88 euros, • 12-13 minutes – 190 euros, • 15-16 minutes – 220 euros, • 21-22 minutes – 275 euros, • half an hour – 305 euros. (Please double check the price due to low or high seasons). Trekking So, we are leaving from the tickets office and go in the direction to the Sugar Loaf. On the left, we pass a white building and there is an entrance gate with security. This is also the entrance to the trail. Here you can see people jogging. The first ten minutes are very easy, you can hear the sound […]

What To See in Salvador, Brazil

Known as the most black city outside Africa’s continent, Salvador has more than 80% of the population declared as black people. This city was the first capital of Brazil, received many slaves centuries ago and now is one of the most mixed-cultures places in this country. Salvador is located in Bahia’s state, which is part of the north-eastern region. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Salvador is the seventh city in Brazil that receives foreign tourists looking for a leisure trip. That’s why is so important to research tips about this city to have an amazing experience. Things to do in Salvador, Bahia – Brazil For the first time in Salvador, the tourist might feel a mix of excitement and anxiety with so many options of fun things to enjoy in this city. With that in mind, it’s recommended to stay at least one week there to meet the city very well. Historic Center Once you have arrived, the first place to visit should be the Historic Center. There you can see a lot of the past in Salvador and feel like you’re a part of that place too, starting for the Model Market. 1.Model Market Also known as “Mercado Modelo” in Portuguese, the Model Market is a place where you can find since clothes to typical foods, as the famous Bahian chili peppers. It was built in 1861 and has suffered two fires, but now is working safely. Here comes one tip: when you get there, remember to bargain. The sellers usually can make good discounts. 2.Lacerda’s Elevator After visiting the Market Model, the next stop is the Lacerda’s Elevator, which is located in front of the market. People must pay a symbolic value to go up, currently R$0,30. This place is a common elevator, with 72 meters in length, but the magic happens when you leave it: an amazing view of the Bay of All Saints shows up. It’s a postcard of Salvador and every tourist needs to see it. 3.Pelourinho To finish the Historic Center, the last stop is Pelourinho, considered by Unesco as a patrimony of humanity. It’s a famous place in Salvador because of the big and colored houses. Walking through the streets, people can see more than 800 big houses built centuries ago, a diversity of restaurants, listening to people playing different instruments and watching performances commonly related to Afro-Brazilian religions like Candomblé. Many people say that if you want to feel the energy of Salvador, you must go to Pelourinho. Bonfim’s Church Salvador has 372 churches and one of the most famous is the Bonfim’s Church. It was built in 1772 with a neoclassic style inside. This is the place where happens the “Lavagem do Bonfim” when religious and tourists go there to watch Bahian women cleaning the temple with “água de cheiro” (a mix of flowers’ water and sap lavender). This event occurs every second Thursday of the year. Besides, Bonfim’s Church is the place where people can put the famous colored bracelets and make […]

Ibitipoca: a secret paradise in Brazil's countryside

Brazil is well known for its wonderful beaches, the mighty Amazon Rainforest, the enchanting city of Rio de Janeiro and countless numbers of beautiful landscapes. The state of Minas Gerais, in the countryside of Brazil, may not be in everyone’s travel guide when choosing to visit this country, but let me tell you something, there is gold hidden there. After living in Minas for most of my life I can say that the hospitality of its people is something that really touches the visitor’s soul, their mountains and waterfalls are a world to be discovered. Discovering Ibitipoca State Park One of those secret paradises in Minas Gerais is the Ibitipoca State Park (Parque Estadual do Ibitipoca). The Park is a pleasure for all, from the ones who prefer adventurous hiking up the hills, or getting into dark caves to those who would rather just enjoy the sun and the amazing landscape by the lakes and waterfalls. The water itself is a delight for the eyes, with a lovely golden colour that works as a mirror for the sky reflecting every ray of sunshine and cloud above it. The park has three main circuits. The Water Circuit This one is pretty much a walk along the river and is also the shortest and least challenge path among the three, that doesn’t mean that you don’t see much. If I had to pick one of them, the Water Circuit would be my choice because there are so many points of interest in the 5 km of hiking, besides if you get really hot you can always enjoy a refreshing bath in the natural swimming pools or wash your soul in the stunning waterfalls. The “Pião’s” Mount Circuit Pião in Portuguese means “spinning-top”, and describes the shape of the hill that you will conquer. If you like climbing, this is your cup of tea. The biggest challenge here is the steep hiking, but the prize you will find at the top is a 360-degree view of the “seas of hills” landscape, that’s how local people from Minas call their panorama. On the peak of “Pião”, you will also find the remains of an old chapel where the inhabitants from the village of Conceição do Ibitipoca used to go to pray once per year before the building was destroyed by lightning. Although you will bearly see water on this hike the three caves on the way are an exciting part of this circuit. It normally takes around 5 hours of trekking at a relaxed pace, from the starting point to the peak is 5.6 kilometres, and the easiest way is to return along the same path. The Sky Window Circuit This poetic name matches the beauty of the circuit. The highlight is when you find out how ingenious nature can be by framing the sky where the river head meets, glistening rocks and luscious vegetation in perfect harmony with the four elements, as the wind is a constant presence at such altitudes. Before you […]

How to travel to the Lake District, Brazil: unusual destinations

The region of lakes, as it is known as the Coast of the Coastal Shallows of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the most beautiful in Brazil. With lush beaches and a distinctive climate, this region is a privilege for visitors every year, especially on protracted holidays. Whenever there is opportunity, the Carioca and even outsiders, heads towards the beaches of the Lakes Region. All the way is reached by unique beauties, starting already at the intersection of the Rio-Niterói Bridge. Look up and see the Guanabara Bay on a breathtaking day! All the way to the city of Arraial do Cabo is lush, as enjoyable as the city. One of the most striking features of the Lagos Region is the originality of the beaches, with transparent and very cold waters. Another characteristic of this region is the climate very similar to the Northeastern region of Brazil. Salinas de Araruama A little known area of the general public is the Salinas area and it was the one I liked the most. For those who do not know, the economy of the Lakes Region was based on the production of Salt. That is why there are still abandoned Salinas in the city of Araruama. Telling the history of the region was what I loved the most. We can travel looking at every detail of that place. The Salinas is on the shores of Araruama Lagoon, another popular tourist spot. When you arrive you are faced with totally open areas still with remains of saline activity. These areas are beautiful throughout history, which count and are scary for every detail. What struck me most were the huge windmills that worked like water pumps. It’s scary looking at them, because of their size. Another very interesting thing is the images that can be seen as they arrive. In times past, they functioned as places of water retention, so that their evaporation would result in salt. Worth knowing, besides being charming, is historical. Praia Seca The beaches are undoubtedly the biggest attraction of the Lakes Region. It is because of them that hundreds of people, even thousands, make sense for this part of Rio de Janeiro at holidays and holidays. There is no way to choose the best beach or the most beautiful beach. All have in common a scenic beauty being necessary to visit each one of them. It is practically impossible to elect one. Everything in this region is beautiful. Every part, every detail and every corner makes us want to drop everything to live there. One of the hottest and quietest beaches to visit is Praia Seca, which has typical vegetation, the Restinga de Massambaba. One of the few still remaining in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The familiar atmosphere of this beach and the connection with the dunes make it an unforgettable destination. Parque das Dunas, em Praia Seca And speaking in dunes, though not as sought after as the beaches, is wonderful and absurdly beautiful. It was the […]

A practical guide to visiting Praia do Forte, Bahia

If you want to experience the authentic culture of Brazil, but avoid the chaos of the big cities, then Praia do Forte is the perfect destination for you! With endless beautiful beaches, traditional Bahian cuisine, live samba music, and all kinds of leisure activities, Praia do Forte is one of the most famous exotic beach destinations in the state of Bahia, situated in northeast of Brazil. The warm Bahian atmosphere caters to both solo travellers and families. Transport The best option for tourists who want to explore outside of Praia do Forte village is to rent a car at Salvador International Airport. Taxis are also available which I recommend when going to the airport. The cheaper option is public transportation. A main bus line crosses the entire coast from Salvador to Praia do Forte in an hour, called Linha Verde. These are big blue buses written ‘LIS’ on them, which you can find at the main bus station in Salvador, and it is the most convenient. Another bus line which travels the same path is called Linha Branca, but it is only for the brave, and best not to take it, as it is a van that gets jam-packed to the brim.  Trust me when I say, avoid the Linha Branca. Accommodation Tivoli Ecoresort If you’re looking to stay at a hotel, Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte which has 5 stars and includes many amenities is perhaps your only option. Shanti House Apart Unlike most touristic destinations, there aren’t any other traditional hotels in Praia Do Forte, instead, there are a range of pousadas, or privately-owned apartments and room rentals available. When I had first arrived, I stayed at Shanti House Apart where I rented out a studio with a small kitchen inside. Activities Beach The first thing that captures the attention is the scenery; coral reefs stretch alongside the shoreline, forming many natural salt water pools. Known for its curative properties, you may bathe in them and soak the Bahian sun. Keep in mind to not get sunburnt! If you’re a surfer, then Praia do Forte is the destination for you! A reef break forms a canal in the middle which takes you to the line-up, and also has waves breaking on both the left and right sides. Don’t be alarmed by the sight of massive sea turtles as there are many of them but are completely harmless. Surfers should also visit Itacimirim beach, a great surfing spot about 13km away from Praia do Forte.      Further down Praia do Forte beach, many other aquatic activities are offered such as banana boat and stand-up paddle rentals, and snorkelling. Two main environmental projects are operating in the area, Projeto Tamar, that works on the preservation of sea turtles, and Projeto Baleia Jubarte, which works on the protection of whales. You can visit their museums to find out more about their works. Whale watching is a major low season activity; from July to October, humpback whales visit the Bahian litoral coast for reproduction. You may […]

3 places you must see in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil

Foz do Iguaçu is a city like no other in the whole world. First of all, it’s located in a triple border, being the Brazilian currency with Argentina and Paraguay – and making it possible to visit three different countries in a single night. In the second place, it is home to the Iguaçu National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage, because it harbours the largest expanse of Atlantic Forest remaining in the world. In this amazing place, you will find a border’s typical cultural diversity, an extremely humid and hot climate and many leisure options in nature, with levels of adventure for all tastes. In this article, we will show you three must do’s in this unique place, so you can be sure you’re not leaving anything important behind. The unbelievable Cataratas do Iguaçu Inside the National Park, after a magical walk through the woods (you can choose an adventurous trail with a guide or the sidewalk trail, which also has a strong contact with nature), there is a big treasure: the set of about 275 waterfalls on the Iguaçu River. With a breathtaking view along the whole walkway that takes us over the river, we can feel more closely the waters that fall from the top, run in the river and spread through the air – prepare to get soaked! You will contemplate the beauty and different feeling of being in the middle of such a powerful place. Natural Heritage of Humanity and one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the Cataratas do Iguaçu are definitely a must-see of every traveller on this earth. I have done this tour a few times already and I keep repeating because at all times I am out of breath with the beauty in Brazilian fauna and flora. It’s important to say the climate It’s very hot and you’ll probably get plenty of sunshine, so do not forget the sunscreen, a hat and a bottle of water. But if you want to avoid the extreme jungle experience, the milder weather season is between April and September. If you prefer not to get wet, you better use a raincoat – still, I do not think you can hide from the humidity. Actually, it’s very nice to be all wet because of the heat: dress in appropriate clothing so will be comfortable to live this experience! Children and the elderly can go also, as we have already proven in my family. You can buy tickets through the site or at the park entrance, then a bus will take you to the common trail and you can prepare for an intense moment of renewal amid the wild nature! Also, if you want something more, you can buy a special ticket, the “Passaporte Maravilha” (wonderful passport, in English), which includes the entrance to the Iguaçu Falls, a panoramic tour in Itaipu (the famous binational hydroelectric power plant) and 3 Borders Landmark Entry. I would recommend it for a full tour, but know you will be very tired at the end […]

10 secret tips if you are in Florianópolis for New Year's Eve

Florianópolis is the best beach destination in Brazil! It is a city literally on an island almost the size of NYC full of beaches for all tastes. And the traffic jam. Due to many nature conservation areas, hills and a strong environmental community, it remains with few and small roads. During summer, especially between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the island population increases 3 times with visitors. Can you imagine how things get full and stuck this time of the year? I have lived in Floripa [city nickname] for 16 years and I decided to share secret tips on how to survive during this special peak of season time. Hopefully, I can contribute to a stress-free great time. Party until sunrise on NYE It is a tradition to choose one of the 42 beaches on the island to spend New Year’s Eve, an occasion to take your own drinks to toast at midnight and to listen to music. But the way back from the beach can be as worse as if it were a daily rush hour. I recommend to stay at the beach all night and come back only after 6 a.m. You must see the first sunrise of the year, it is wonderful! Sunrise at Mole Beach on January 1st. Credits: Sissa Granada Stay in the neighborhood you want to enjoy most of your time Not to say it will be healthier, choosing a walking distance hotel from the beach you want to go will bring peace to your life. If you want to surf and do watersport, stay close to the southeast part of the island. There is only one road to reach surfer’s famous beaches of Mole or Joaquina. If you aim the tranquility of wild beaches from the south of the island, look for places like Pântano do Sul or Açores. If traveling with the entire family, book 1 year in advance If you want to go to the North kids-friendly beaches, with no waves, and with warm water, a must do is to plan one season ahead to stay at Daniela or Cachoeira do Bom Jesus beaches. It is usually the most expensive area to stay and traffic is stuck because there is the top luxury beach Jurere Internacional close by. The further north you go, the smaller roads can be as if it were in a small countryside city. Go to the beach really early. Or really late Florianópolis had in 2009 the title of the city with the worst traffic jam in Brazil. So if you want to go to the beach which is 20 minutes away, by car, a must do is to leave home around 7 am. After 8 am, you will probably make it in 40 minutes. After 9 am, you will be stuck and may take 3-4h to reach your destination. Another good time to go to the beach is after 5 pm. In this scenario, you will find a beach with plenty of space to lay down. This is […]

Búzios: great moments, beautiful beaches.

Búzios is a perfect attraction if you enjoy beaches, nightlife, gastronomic centres and some light adventure. It is a resort city all planned for tourism and events. In South America, Búzios is known mostly because of the Argentines, that really love the destination. Búzios attract many cruises too during the summer, being one of the most important stops for cruises in Rio de Janeiro. The city is a popular national and international destination and you may know this beautiful place because of Brigitte Bardot. Búzios was her landscape during her visit to Rio de Janeiro in 1964 and after this occasion, the city was uncovered. Búzios was the “secret BB paradise”.   Location and temperatures. As I said, the city is located in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, South America. There are high temperatures, not a cold winter and hot summers where the temperatures can reach around forty degrees Centigrade, our spring and autumn are not intense.  These pieces of information are good to know because it is interesting to see the best season to go there. Our summers are really hot and as Búzios is known by the beaches, it is when the city is almost full of people and the prices are higher. So if you enjoy peace of mind, try to run from months like December, January, February and March, that is our South Hemisphere summer. How to get there. It is about two hours and a half by car from Rio city centre. The city is located in a region known by “Sun Cost”, where you can find beautiful beaches and places with breathtaking sea views. So, if you want to go there and have enough time to discover Rio de Janeiro state, it is a good idea to rent a car because you can go stoping in the road to enjoy all the other cities in the way. However, if you want to take a bus, you will take around three or four hours to get in Búzios and the price is around 90,00 BRL (23,00 USD), this price can vary depending on the day of the week and the season. All this ways to get there is from Rio de Janeiro city, where there are two airports, the international airport, Galeão or “Antonio Carlos Jobim” and the national one, “Santos Dumond”. There is a bus company called “1001” that does this route, Galeão – Búzios during some seasons. So if you want to go directly from the airport you may have this option depending on their schedule, this information you can see in their site or in their stands at Galão airport. Beaches that you must know. Now that I introduce about some important pieces of information about the city let’s start to talk about the beaches. There are more than twenty beaches in the city with easy access. Geribá Beach Firstly let’s start talking about Geribá that is the most known beach, there is infrastructure for tourism, many hotels, guests houses, spas, hostels and […]

5 Must-Do Cultural Tours In Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is one of the most diverse metropolises in all of Latin America. This diversity is largely the result of the large-scale immigration which occurred in the first half of the twentieth century. Dozens of nations are represented in the city; with Portuguese, Bolivians, and Japanese currently being the largest communities. Japanese culture is heavily represented in the Liberdade neighborhood, located in the central area of the city. The Kantuta fair, held on Sundays in Canindé, north of the capital, is the ideal place to get to know about Bolivian culture. The heritage of the Portuguese colonizers can be found in several places around the city. If you have already visited the main sights of Sao Paulo, try a cultural immersion following the 5 routes below. Portuguese Food And Historical Places The Portuguese presence is especially noticeable in restaurants and confectioneries, which have multiplied in recent years. Paulistanos (as the locals from Sao Paulo are called) and tourists flood Casa Mathilde, Manteigaria Lisboa, and B.lem to indulge in pastéis de nata (cream cake) and other delights. Fish and pork specialties can be found at renowned locations such as A Bela Sintra and Tasca da Esquina, or at more economical places like Gajos and Ora Pois. Casa do Grito However, the Portuguese presence in Sao Paulo goes far beyond gastronomy. There is much history spread throughout the city, starting with the Ipiranga Museum, which celebrates the Independence of Brazil. The museum is unfortunately currently closed for renovation, but it is possible to visit Casa do Grito, a wattle and daub house which is depicted in Pedro Américo’s famous painting of the Proclamation of Independence. Contrary to what the picture implies, however, the house was actually built in 1844, long after the act commanded by D. Pedro II in 1822 that changed the history of Brazil. Solar da Marquesa The historical importance of Casa do Grito is undeniable, but going to the Ipiranga neighborhood just to see it is only worth it if you are really interested in the Brazilian colonial period. A more interesting alternative is the Solar da Marquesa, in the city center. This house belonged to Maria Domitila de Castro e Mello, the Marchioness of Santos, who was a lover of Dom Pedro I and one of the main characters of the monarchist period. The construction is the last representative of the urban residential architecture of the eighteenth century in Sao Paulo. The façade maintains its neoclassical characteristics. The upper floor conserves the pylon and wattle and daub walls of the XVIII century. Several construction techniques have been used over time and are preserved in some sections of the walls. Solar da Marquesa is located at Roberto Simonsen Street, 136, near to others must-see attractions. Liberdade Neighborhood The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil more than a century ago, in 1908. While many moved inland to work on the coffee plantations, some of them settled in the capital, and in the 1950s the Liberdade neighborhood gained its first […]

Not so common destinations: Brazil's underrated cities

What is the first image that crosses your mind when you think about Brazil? Maybe the paradisiac beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, or the astonishing landscapes in Corcovado Mountain, or even the luminous skyscrapers of the Brazilian city that never sleeps, São Paulo? If that’s so, I understand. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are the two most famous Brazilian cities around the world and they have a reason to be that famous: both are breathtaking and so much fun! Foreigners often come looking for one of these places to go, as they match every expectation brought by that first image that pops up into someone’s head when they think about Brazil. However, what most of them don’t know is that Brazil has a lot more to offer. There are other Brazilian cities, not so common destinations for foreigners, but common places of tourism for locals, that offer as much fun and wonderful experiences as Rio and Sampa – sometimes even cheaper experiences! — and are often ignored. Although Rio de Janeiro is indeed one of the most beautiful places to visit in Brazil — I’ve been enchanted by it several times — and indeed there’s always something new to discover in São Paulo, I can’t help but cringe every time I hear someone talking about oh, how much they know Brazil, when in reality they solely have visited the two most obvious destinations and nothing else. I get it, there’s not that much information about other places and touristic propaganda is heavy on those two capitals, but let me show you how much of Brazil you are about to miss if you’re only focusing on Rio and Sampa. And don’t get me wrong, you should still visit those two because they are awesome places, but trust me, they are not the only thing Brazil has to offer. Here are three other beautiful places I think are worthy of a chance in your trip planning: The Brazilian Venice: Recife Of course, the first place I’d mention would be my hometown, Recife. It is the capital of Pernambuco state, located in the Northeast of Brazil. And I’m not solely mentioning it because of my connection to this place, but because it is a singular historical and cultural patrimony worth being remembered and visited. Even if I had not been born here I’d be proud of it anyway. Recife was the very first city to arise in Brazil Colony (back in the XVI century), together with her sister Olinda (neighbor town). Therefore, Recife has an arsenal of places for those who like to explore local History: places like the Ancient Recife, the Brennand Museum, the Forte do Brum, the first synagogue of the Americas, Kahal Zur, and so many others. Known as the Brazilian Venice, Recife is built on top of the “mangues” (subaquatic vegetation), between the Capibaribe and the Beberibe rivers. The view from any one of its bridges is romantic and charming, as is the Catamaran Boat Trip down the […]

INHOTIM: A unique combination of Nature and Art in MG – Brazil

The Inhotim Institute It’s one of the biggest collections of contemporary art of the world and they are distributed at an incredibly beautiful botanical garden that holds rare species and from all continents. It’s definitely a must-see, there’s nothing like it. From one exposition to the other your eyes and mind will rest admiring the landscapes and gardens that were designed to take the most out of the botanical collection. The art is everywhere and is captivating, a lot of them are also interactive and will awake your senses, for example walking on glass (with shoes of course), planting flowers, hearing different sounds and more.                                            Tamboril – The centenary tree Desvio para o Vermelho from Cildo Meireles                                            A Lama Lâmina from Matthew Barney                                            Árvore Suspensa from Giuseppe Penone Where it is, where to stay and how to get there The Inhotim Institute is located in the city of Brumadinho, 60 km from Belo Horizonte, the capital of the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It opens from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and weekends and holidays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The cost is R$44,00 per person but students with identification, elders, handicappers and children from 6 to 12 pay half of the price. On Wednesday the entrance is free (YAY!). You can buy the tickets at the entrance or online on their website. You can stay at Brumadinho or Belo Horizonte but if you stay at BH you will have to take a ride of 1h30min on a bus, van or car to get there and to come back every day that you go to Inhotim (and is very unlikely that you will go just one day, it is veeeeery big with a lot to see). If you want to stay at Belo Horizonte there is a bus that departs from the Belo Horizonte bus terminal every day at 8:15 am and returns at 4:30 pm (from Tuesday to Friday) and at 5:30 pm (at weekends and holidays) and it costs about R$68,00 the round trip. Personally, I didn’t like the idea of those long rides and I chose to stay at Brumadinho city in a hostel called Hostel 70. The staff was very friendly, the price was very good and the place was simple, cute, comfortable, clean and with a nice breakfast. They offer rides to Inhotim for R$10,00 and besides that, every day they offer activities like tours to waterfalls, high rocks with beautiful views of the sunset and moonrise, reiki, get-togethers with food and happy hours. They have shared rooms with shared bathrooms and also private suites if […]

Ilhabela on a Weekend

Ilhabela is one of the stops along the “green coast route” (Costa Verde, in Portuguese), a route shared by the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, famous for its mountains covered in the remaining parts of the rainforest, as well as its long beaches and amazing tracks. This island, located just across the city of São Sebastião, is more than just its beaches. Full of nature, great food, incredible sights and gorgeous beaches, the small city of Ilhabela (literally translated as “beautiful island”) has lots of great experiences to offer to its tourists. As a frequent visitor of this island, I do admit that 2 days are not enough to explore all its beauty, but, for those looking for a weekend escape or a quick overview of the island, you can find below good suggestions to get to know a little bit of this incredible place. How to get there Getting there is pretty simple. If your driving along the Green Coast Road, you will find that one of its cities is São Sebastião. The city has signs indicating the ferry that takes you to Ilhabela. If you decide to take your car into the island, it costs around USD 8, but if your crossing by foot, it’s free. If you’re coming from the city of São Paulo, you can take the bus at “Terminal Rodoviario Tiete” (TRT), where busses are leaving every 2 hours. Both busses to São Sebastião and Ilhabela cost around USD 20 and end up by the ferry, and from there, you can simply cross by foot. Once you’re on the other side, you can either get a cab or a bus. Getting around  Using the public transportation inside the island is very simple. Busses go South (Borrifos) or North (Armação) and all beaches are along this route. you can hop on any of these busses and hop out once you get to the beach you’d like to visit. It’s also very easy and safe to ride a bike. And you can rent it on some shops like Maremar   Beaches you can visit around town Now that you know how to go to places, it’s crucial to tell you which places to go. Bellow, I’m describing a few interesting beaches to go. These are my favorites, but of course, any place you go will be pretty interesting, safe and with great things to do. One of the busiest beaches of the island is called Curral beach. There are some beach clubs along it, and some nice restaurants to have beers and some snacks. A cool beach for sports lovers is the Perequê beach. people can enjoy paddling, as well as playing beach volley, kayak and sailing. One cool thing about this beach is that it’s pretty close to the city so, during summer, you can easily stumble into concerts and parties promoted by the city. Viana is one of those tiny beaches with a great (but a little expensive) restaurant. Perfect to enjoy the […]

A weekend in Belo Horizonte

Choose a new destination! Travel around the world is the dream of many people these days. And some destinations are almost a unanimity among travelers. When foreign people plan a trip to Brazil or even Brazilians planning their vacation, Belo Horizonte, or Beaga, how we residents like to call it, is never on the map… I can understand that Brazil’s beaches are to die for… The warm waters and the jaw-dropping landscapes are a true paradise on Earth, I cannot deny. But that’s not all Brazil has to offer! Between the mountains, there is a state so charming, with the most wonderful sunsets, food, and friendly people.  This state is Minas Gerais, the second most populated state in Brazil. And guess what city is its capital? That is right, Beaga, Brazil’s sixth largest city and one of the inspirations to build Brazil’s capital, Brasilia. Belo Horizonte is not a destination very seek, maybe because it has no beaches, maybe because it is a (really) young city… Maybe because it is not as popular as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro or Bahia, but here in this article you will have a chance to know Beaga a little better and maybe come to visit and see all of its Wonders for yourself! Beaga is a 120 years old city, designed at first to be Minas Gerais state capital. It began as a little village, called Curral Del Rey, the name of the mountain chain that surrounds the city on the south side. The city features a mixture of contemporary and classical buildings and going through some traditional neighborhoods, you can also feel the air of a countryside city. Beaga is also known as the capital of bars, the famous botecos, which are a great option to enjoy a good drink literally in every corner of the city! One other thing that cannot go without mention: the gastronomy, that I truly believe it is the best in the whole world!   Let’s start with the gastronomy! Minas is well known for its delicious food: rich, diversified, with ingredients found in abundance in the rural environment and that you will only find here. To say a few, there are bread cheese, piglet to pururuca, beef stew with potatoes,  tropeiro beans with torresmo, canjiquinha with ribs, chicken in brown sauce and angu, chicken with okra, among so many others… All over the city, there are bars and restaurants to try Minas’ typical food, that I’ll tell you further. Starting the walking tour Beaga is a city very easy to know and a great place to start our adventure in is in one of the city’s most traditional neighborhood: Savassi. It is a central district, with a lot of classical buildings, wooded squares, museums, restaurants and, of course, botecos. The region can be known by foot, so people can enjoy its charm in a calm and inspiriting walk. Walking through Savassi you will get to Liberdade Square, an architectural heritage with buildings signed by Oscar Niemeyer. Liberdade Square houses the cultural circuit […]

The best and essential of Timbó: a hidden gem in southern Brazil

Timbó is considered a small-sized town by Brazilian standards, with about 40 thousand inhabitants. Until not long ago, it was virtually out of the spotlight, even to other southern Brazilians. Just very recently, with the popularization of biking and the strengthening of the Cycling Tourism in the European Valley Project, the town began to gain more attention both in Brazil and abroad. The European Valley Circuit is a joint initiative of the municipalities of Apiúna, Ascurra, Benedito Novo, Doutor Pedrinho, Indaial, Pomerode, Rio dos Cedros, Rodeio, and Timbó – this last one being the headquarters of the project – and you can find out more about it here (only in Portuguese). Anyhow, even if you’re not a bike fan, Timbó still has everything it takes to win your heart. Colonized by Europeans, mainly Germans and Italians, in the XIX century, it still preserves the slow-paced lifestyle of the countryside. At the same time, it’s a fast-growing city, mostly due to a strong industrial economy, which draws migrants from other Brazilian regions in search of work, and gives Timbó a very interesting cultural scene. So, it doesn’t matter if your passion is on nature, food or music. Timbó has it all. So here’s a starter guide for you to spend some unforgettable days in this lovely hidden gem in the European Valley region, in the South of Brazil. What to do Thapyoka Tourist Complex This is the city’s main postcard. It’s a meeting point for the locals and the first place you should go to start your tour. The complex is a collection of attractions that include a square, museum, bar-restaurant and historical architecture. Take a stroll along the bridge, find the perfect spot for your photos and stop by the restaurant to have a drink by the sound of the water and view of the river. Immigrant’s Museum This is the original house of one of the families that first arrived in Timbó in the XIX century. It has a collection of furniture and utensils perfectly arranged as if there was still a family from the past living there. The tiny museum is right beside Thapyoka restaurant and it should take you about half an hour to visit it. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. There’s a small entrance fee of BRL 2.00. Artisan’s House Across the street from Thapyoka restaurant, you’ll find a large square with a typical half-timbered house right in the middle. That’s the Artisan’s House, a small souvenir shop where you can find a variety of products handmade by local craftsman and craftswoman. It’s open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ecopark Freymund Germer – Blue Hill (Morro Azul) The highest point in Timbó, this mountain is 758m high. You can either go by car or even cycle or walk the 7km from base to top. There’s a barbecue and camping area at the entrance of the park. At the tip, there’s an […]
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