Do you know the difference between Hotel and Motel in Brazil?
Check this out and you might be surprised!
Last week I read an article from Brazil that the motels are changing their decorations and removing mirrors from the ceiling for the World Cup... This way they will be able to offer accommodations for tourists that don't know what they are about.
Do you know the difference between Hotel and Motel in Brazil?
Check this out and you might be surprised!
I wrote a blog about the World Cup in Brazil at the end of April and I received a few requests to break down the cities so I did it today... But, as I received these requests from my followers from my other blog, I posted them only there.
If you would like to check them out, I would love to hear from you giving me your feedback.
I write my blogs for you, so it will be you that I will think about when I write anything and I will only listen to my followers when they request me to talk about an specific city or place to visit in Brazil.
Here is the link: http://belcrisc.wordpress.com/ There will be a breakdown for the twelve cities where the World Cup will take place and I hope you will enjoy them.
I broke down the cities separately and this is the complete blog with all the cities! http://www.isabelcanzoneri.com/1/post/2014/04/lets-go-to-the-world-cup-brazil.html or http://belcrisc.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/lets-go-to-the-world-cup-brazil/
Enjoy and have a great day!
Is there any other Event as excited as this? Perhaps not… at least not for soccer fans! So, let’s talk about the cities that will be hosting this huge event in Brazil.
A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about the world cup, informing you that people in Brazil were upset about the World Cup being held in Brazil and protesting on the streets. That’s because of the bad public services that are considered priority by the population: Education and Health Care.
I agree that Education and Health Care are very important and that the government should and need to address those issues immediately. However, the World Cup is happening regardless and protests are probably not going to help with anything. Hopefully after the games Government will improve the lives of people by investing the revenue in the more than needed areas.
So, with that said, let’s have fun in Brazil. I will give you an overview of the cities that will be hosting the games so you know what to expect and what to do in each city and surrounding areas.
As you are getting to know Brazil a little better, you will find out through the World Cup, that Brazil is not as bad as someone would think. Of course there are many concerns about security but let’s be honest, there is no place in the world that we can say it is free from violence, of any type. We don’t know much about them because we are not living day by day in these other countries. But if you live or visit the country even for a week or so and you know the language and watch the local news, then you will find out that even the United States is full of crimes, every day. So let’s not worry so much.
I’ve been seen some news about Brazil here from a very respected media in the USA that not even my friends and family in Brazil know about it. Seems to me that someone is getting the news from the worse newspaper and sending here perhaps to try to boycott this event and scare people off. That’s my opinion, I’m sorry if I offend anyone. That’s not my intention so let’s put this way. It might be because of language barrier.
So, to keep safe and enjoy your time in Brazil, just use common sense and check out my tips and I found another great source of information from the LAPD about crime prevention and travel tips from them as well. And here is another one from SDPD. I’m sure you can find them in all cities’ PDs. Use them for your own protection. They apply to any place you live or visit. Brazil is not different guys, just unknown, and that’s what scary us, the unknown.
Okay, now that you feel more secure to travel to that beautiful country, let’s talk about the cities where the World Cup 2014 will take place. Here they are: Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Salvador, Recife, Natal, Fortaleza and Manaus. In this map from the FIFA’s website you can have a better idea where they are located at.
These are all great city with many attractions. Let’s start with Porto Alegre and make our way up to Manaus.
Oh, and before I forget, I need to mention that the World Cup will coincide with the festivities of June called Festa Junina or June Festival! They are everywhere… in little squares or streets, schools… they draw a lot of people to them. It is a family oriented event where kids and adults dress in costumes, woman and girls dress in colorful skirts or dresses and man and boys pants with checkered shirts with hats and they have mustaches and fake freckles painted in their faces. Girls also have the freckles painted in the face, to represent country people. I found another thing for you to familiarize what it is about, just click in this link from YouTube. It is a lot of fun. These festivities are to celebrate Saint John. It has music, dance, games and the decoration is very colorful with little flags. Oh, and they have all kinds of food made with corn: corn cakes, pamonha which is like tamales but sweet, cural, which is a type of flan and many other things. All made with corn! And of course Pop Corn! You also have to try the “Quentao”, which is a drink made with Brazilian rum and ginger! It is delicious. You are going to have a lot of fun, that’s for sure!!
*the above carton is created by Mauricio de Souza and it represents our Festa Junina. He is the creator of "Turma da Monica"!
Porto Alegre is the capital of Rio Grande do Sul. People in this city, as you will find out, are very friendly and fun, like most Brazilians. The majority of the population is European descent because when the process of immigration started a lot of people from Germany, Italy and Poland, made their way and established themselves there.
They are called “gauchos” and have very typical costumes. One of them is the way they drink tea, the so called chimarao. You will see people drinking tea everywhere with cute little cups that I’m sure you will bring one home! Come on, it is something you will not find in many places in the World.
The churrascarias (barbecue places) are another huge part of the lives of these people and the servers wears a traditional pair of pants called bombacha. You will see them all over the place. Even in other churrascarias in other states.
The gauchos have their unique costumes and are citizens very proud of their culture and state. You will see many presentation of their “danca gaucha”, gaucho’s dance, in restaurants, shows.
There are incredible museums and great hotels there. And you can visit some of the cities in the surrounding areas always referred to as Serras Gauchas. They are Gramado, Canelas, Bento Goncalves, Caxias do Sul among others. They are very cute and they are destination for romantic couples or honeymooners. The predominant style is German and Italian.
Curitiba is the capital of Parana (state I was born). According to some magazines, Curitiba is one of the best cities to live in Brazil. It is a very clean city. People often refer to it as a city model. Like Porto Alegre, Curitibanos descend from European.
There are many attractions in Curitiba to visit, such as parks, museums, historic constructions that are worth seeing. While there, visit the Botanic Garden, a “Opera de Arame” and the Santa Felicidade neighborhood with many Italian restaurants.
Oh, and sometimes it can snow a little bit there. Not as much snow like you have in the US or other countries but yes, you might get some.
And as you are there, how about visiting Iguacu Falls? One of the most monumental waterfall in the world and it will be totally worth seeing it. If you can, try to see if from both side, Brazil and Argentina. You can drive to the other side easily.
*Check with your travel agent about Visa, if it is necessary. I don’t think you will need it because my husband, who is American, didn’t have a Visa and we had no problem when I took him there.
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. In fact it is the third biggest city in the world. Did you know that?
Everybody knows that the traffic in Sao Paulo is bad but Sao Paulo has its beauty and charm too, with interesting places to visit, such as Teatro Municipal, MASP Sao Paulo Museum of Art, Park Ibirapuera . Museu de Arte Moderna, Obelisco de Sao Paulo, Avenida Paulista Aveneu (the financial center of Sao Paulo), Museu da Lingua Portuguesa (Museum of the Portuguese Language), Pinacoteca do Estado, Edificio Italia (Italia Building), Edificio Copan (Copan Building), Estacao da Luz (Luz train station), Praca da Se (Se Square), Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market), Largo de Sao Francisco (Saint Francis ), Monumento da Independencia (Monument of Independence), Museu do Ipiranga (Ipiranga Museum), Estadio do Pacaembu (Pacamebu Stadium), Estadio do Murumbi (Murumbi Stadium) , Instituto do Butanta (Butanta Institute).
There are also some interesting neighborhood to visit such as Liberdade (Japanese immigrants), Bexiga (Italian immigrants), Higienopolis, Cerqueira Cesar, Vila Madalena, Moema and Jardins.
Sao Paulo prides for its nightlife and the nightlife in these neighborhoods is intense. With plenty of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, Paulistas spend their nights in these places with their friends. And there are no funnier people in the world like people from Sao Paulo.
An interesting fact about the river that cuts the city and stretches all the way from the Guarulhos International Airport, actually it goes beyond GRU, all the way to the other extreme of the city is called, well, there is two names for it (from GRU until Rodovia Castelo Branco it is called Tiete River and from that point forward it is called Pinheiros River). In the past it was source of fresh water and people would swim on it. Salesopolis is the city of the rising river and the rising location was discovered only in 1954 where it was still a clean river. Unfortunately now it is completely polluted due to the industry and wastewater discharges. Despite that, you still see families of capivaras here and there swimming along it. The last time I visit though, I realized that they have them in an enclosure, a very large are for them to grow as many time they would cross streets and get hit by cars. I’m against any kind of captive for animals, but I have to admit that sometimes, it is better for them and for their own safety. We are invading their lives and space!
Typical food in Sao Paulo is very diverse with see food, pasta, meat, salads. Rice and beans are part of the daily diet, not only in Sao Paulo, but in the entire country. Also a variety of stews, including feijoada (black beans, all kinds of pork meat on it and served with rice, collard greens, chop filet, fried egg and “farofa”, and moqueca (seafood flavored with coconut milk) is always part of the menus in restaurants.
If you are going to Sao Paulo and have some extra time I strongly suggest you to go to Campos do Jordao! It is about 90 kilometers from Sao Paulo and it is worth seeing it. In July they have the Winter International Festival. The style, like the cities of Serras Gauchas, which you will know about when you get to Porto Alegre in this blog, is European.
Rio de Janeiro
I guess I don’t need to say much about Rio. Who doesn’t know the most famous city in Brazil. Rio is one of the most visited cities in Brazil and it is known for its beaches Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra da Tijuca, among others. Ipanema and Leblon are the best ones in my opinion, with beautiful people.
Carnival here and in Sao Paulo is the most beautiful festivity in the country and attracts millions of people from all over the world every year to see it and to participate in it.
Ask any musician about Bossa Nova and they will tell you all about it. The Girl from Ipanema is one of the songs that every musician knows as well and it was written by Tom Jobim and interpreted by many other musician in Brazil and around the world.
Rio is home of famous landmarks and among them it is the giant statue of Crist Redeemer, Corcovado Mountain, Sugarloaf (Pão de Açúcar), Sambodromo (where the Carnival takes place), Maracana Stadium and more.
Rio is also known for its favelas (slams) and Drug cartels. About a couple of months ago I came across with an article which lead me to a Facebook page promoting certain type of accommodations that some of the favelas were or are offering for tourists during the World Cup.
Come on, seriously? I’m not saying that people who live in favelas are all bad people. No way, most of the people who live in such places are really wonderful people that happened to have no other place to live due to high cost of living and or lack of work or whatever other situation they have.
But, on the other hand, everybody knows that in those same favelas, live the worse drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro and very often there are “wars” between the different favelas because the leader of one wants to control the other and their war starts and believe me, you don’t want to be caught in the middle of a gun fire. So, please, don’t be fooled by such invitation. I wouldn’t. Perhaps if I knew the Leader of the favela that is offering the deal, then I would consider… but only if I was a personal friend of the leader, because then I would know that I would be protected by him and his group, other than that no thank you.
If you have friends in Rio, connect with them and they will give you all the tips so you can feel comfortable and safer.
If you stay in the neighborhood Lourdes or Savassi, you will enjoy alamedas with trees all over with stores with famous clothes and charming cafes where you can relax.
Pampulha has many architecture from Oscar Niemeyer. He is famous for his work in many cities in Brazil.
One of the best things about Belo Horizonte are not the places but the people. They are very sweet. They speak very calmly.
The hotels in Belo Horizonte are business oriented and most hotels are in Downtown and has easy access to other areas of the city. A lot of people fly to BH every day for business purpose so the hotels are discretely decorated and has good services, such as gym, business center and Wi-Fi.
The gastronomy is very good with delicious and distinct flavors.
Some good options for your to enjoy are in the Praca da Liberdade (Liberty Square), with gardens inspired by Versailles Palace (France). There are museums such as Memorial Minas Gerais, Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB) and the Church of San Francis of Assis.
There are many bars and it is said that if you visit BH and don’t go to a bar is like going to Rio and not walk in Copacabana or Ipanema.
I found a very useful website that is in English for you to be familiarized with Belo Horizonte. It has lots more information for you. http://visitbh.pbh.gov.br/
You will probably going to find Brasilia different from all the other cities in Brazil. It is a flat land with lots of interesting architecture. Oscar Niemeyer, Lucio Costa, Burle Marx and Athos Bulcao are all over Brasilia’s architecture. Brasilia is an art itself in the form of an airplane. So much so that the addresses are South Wing, North Wing (Asa Norte, Asa Sul).
Most of the hotels are located in the Sectors North and South that are also near the Mane Garrincha Stadium, around three kilometers. Food I’m not talk about the food again. Everywhere you go in Brazil, the food is just delicious and restaurants in Basilia are no different.
You can do your tourist thing visiting Congresso Nacional, Palacio Itamaraty, Palacio do Planalto, Catedral Metropolitana and Memorial JK.
Cuiaba is the capital of Mato Grosso and it is a huge center of agro business in the country.
Warm all year round and it doesn’t rain much in June or July.
Cuiaba is a typical country city and has its tourist attractions such as museums, parks, Jaguar Ecological reserve among other. But if you are in for a great adventure I suggest you to go see Chapada dos Guimaraes which is approximately 70 kilometers from Cuiaba but it is worth seeing it. I refer to it as Brazil’s Grand Canion!
Salvador is a mixture of race, religion and colors. Music and traditional culinary are a huge part of the Bahia culture.
Wherever you go in Salvador you will see people doing Capoeira. Capoeria is a type of martial art dance that brings a lot of fast and vigorous movement. It is fascinating to watch it. It is part of their culture.
There are many attractions for your to see there, like churches, beaches, Pelourinho, Igreja e Convento Sao Francisco, Catedral Basilica, Elevador Lacerda (Lacerda Elevator). This elevator connects the High City to the Low City. And of course the Model Market, Church Nossa Senhora da Conceicao da Praia, Arte Sacra Museum, Convento de Santa Teresa D’Avila, Carlos da Costa Pinto and Museum of Modern Art. At the end of the day, don’t miss the Sunset at Farol da Barra and don’t go home without a suvenier from Igreja do Senhor do Bonfim. This little ribbon has all kinds of colors and each color represent a different Saint from a religion from that state. It is to be wore on your wrist with three knots. With each knot, you have one wish, so you can have three wishes!
Because of its growth the traffic is not good and unfortunately the violence increased but I would say it is no different from big cities in Brazil. You just have to stay alert like you have to at any other place that you’ve never been to. Enjoy it!
Again, another city with beaches and more beaches! Sun, hot weather, friendly people, good food! What else do you want?
Here you will find many museums among them, Instituto Ricardo Brennand and the Oficina de Ceramica Francisco Brennand. A must see is Recife Antigo with its baroque constructions and great restaurants.
You also want to go to Olinda (only 10 kilometers away) and Porto de Galinha (around 80 Kilometers away), which are not far and you are sure to be enchanted. Olinda is one of the hot spot for Carnival where gigantic pupets are part of their festivities for the Carnival. Basilica de Sao Bento and Convento Sao Francisco are things you can go see in Olinda as well.
You don’t need much to be happy in Natal. With tons of things to do from beaches to gigantic dunes that you can explore in a buggy, which you can chose to be regular or “com emocao” (with emotion), which means that high speed limit and radical curves!, restaurants, resorts, etc… you will have plenty of things to do in Natal. There is a huge cashew tree of Pirangi do Norte and it is about 28 kilometers of Natal. It has the size of a soccer field. It is the biggest fruit tree in the world by the Guinness Book.
Again, do your research and enjoy!
The combination of sun and warm weather year round, sea, hotels “pe na areia” with lots of things to do, make Fortaleza one of the most perfect places for those who enjoy the beach. People from all over the world visit Fortaleza and love it. The food, as everywhere in Brazil, is something I love! The people in Fortaleza are very friendly and will make you feel home, wherever you are. Although English is not spoken by many you will probably not have problems with the language in the hotels.
At Avenida Beira Mar you will feel as you were in Copacabana, RJ. If you are going only to watch the World Cup I would suggest you to stay near Avenida Beira Mar but I have to say that Fortaleza has many other great beaches and other places to visit that are a little farther that are worth to visit so if you have some time, do a research on them and go for it!
What can I say about this place?! Wow, it is going to be the adventure of your life! You will be close to one of the most incredible rainforest… the Amazon! Now that will be an adventure. If you enjoy wild life, you couldn’t ask for a more and you must go there! You can’t go to Manaus and not visit at least the encounter of the waters, which is amazing! You must have heard of them and if not, please, check them out. Rio Negro and Solimoes! These two rivers meet to form the Amazon river but what makes this extraordinary is that the water do not mix immediately. It is like seeing oil and water together.
From downtown you can take a boat and go check it out. There are packages to go into the forest as well so, take your must have friends with you, sunblock and insect repellent and hat!
Perhaps you will be better off wearing long pants with thin material as it will be hot and the mosquitos don’t give mercy to anyone! If you are that adventurous you could spend one night in the forest. They have accommodations that might interest you. I have to tell you though, that some accommodations might be expensive but what the heck, you will be in the Amazon rainforest, perhaps the only opportunity of your life! If you decide to do that, be aware that some accommodations are designed for those people who really enjoy the wild life so there might be not hot water or electricity so ask about that before you book so your vacation will not turn to a nightmare. Yellow fever vaccine is advised ten days before your trip. You’d better check into that as well.
Most restaurants in Manaus will be nearby downtown in the neighborhoods of Adrianopolis and Nossa Senhora da Graca.
As you can see, there are many other things you can do nearby the cities you are visiting! I hope you will enjoy and please, when you come back, feel free to send me your pictures and tell me about your great adventure in my Brazil!
I hope you will enjoy this post!
PS: if you would like to Google to see pictures of the city, just write the name of the city and add pictures next to it in the search box. I did that for you already, so if you click on the cities it will take you to the search and you will see the photos!
I happen to know a lot of people with SCI (spinal cord injury), because the I'm the Manager at a place that offers accessible accommodations, and people come from all over the world for therapy in Carlsbad.
I met JD and his mother Sherry about a year ago when they came and stay with us for about five months.
DJ history is no different from many other heartbreaking histories of people that suffer an accident and get themselves suddenly paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Being paralyzed doesn't mean that these people are disabled. They can do almost everything we do on a day to day basis and sometimes they do even better. You can see examples like this that are extreme talented people and great athletes!
JD is a very bright young man that got hit by a truck in front of his house almost three years ago.
Insurance doesn't cover alternative treatment like therapy or any expense related to these type of injury so it is very difficult for the family to maintain and pay for all the extra cost of any treatment so they rely on friend and family to help and fundraisers are another way to keep up with the high costs of surgery or any other treatment.
I can only imagine how it is to suddenly be in a wheelchair. We take things for granted. As we are not around these people all the time, we have no idea what they go through when their life change in a split of a second living them paralyzed. Some lose movement of part of their body, depending on the level of the injury.
They have to learn how do do things in another way. They need help to do things that before they did with closed eyes, like scratch their head, nose, face.
When I see people talking on their phone or texting when they are driving, it gives me chills. A split of a second, it's all what takes for a life change accident happen and the journey these people go through it is so hard. This was not the case of JD or many other people I got to know and became friends with. Accidents happen all the time even when we are paying attention let along when we are distracted by a cell phone or anything else. Life is too precious. There is nothing in our lives that cannot wait a few minutes or hours or even a day.
Check out JD's fundraiser's website and if you can, help by donating, even a small amount or share the information with those who can give a little, it would be wonderful.
On my last visit to the dentist the hygienist recommended me to use one of those powered and rechargeable toothbrush.
I was somehow a little upset because I though she was trying to sell me something I didn't need.
Note, she didn't pull a powered toothbrush from her drawers and handed it to me. She gave me a flyer or little folder with information on those products from an specific brand. Well, she probably was trying to sell the product, I guess.
I went back home and did a further research in those toothbrushes and tabled the subject.
The other day I went to a store and for no specific reason or further notice I grabbed one of the brands that was on sale and brought home. I read on the little manual that I could return it withing 60 days if I was not 100% satisfied (gross, I thought). That was part of their Satisfaction Guaranteed! :-)
Okay, so now I had it and I wanted to see how it would work.
I was a little concerned that I would receive a shock when I would use it. Oh well, I'm a traumatic post induced accident creature, what can I say? :-) This is a funny history.
Anyway, I charged the thing and when it was ready I went to try it.
I will never use stop using them again! The cleanliness sensation was felt immediately! It was like I went for a dentist visit for hygiene and they brushed my teeth with their little machine.
As there was two of them, I asked if my husband wanted to try it and he got hooked too. So now, we both have one and I will use it as recommended, twice a day and in between I will use the regular one.
Love it and recommend it!
I’m not a gym rat or a super fit person. Yes, I go to the gym on a regular basis, four to five times a week, depending on my work schedule. So I guess I fit in the average crowd.
I don’t think it is a bad thing taking your kid to work out with you. However, sometimes I think, fathers want their kids to grow their muscles way ahead of what I would consider normal.
First of all, I believe a ten year old child should be doing things that are more appropriate for their age, like playing soccer, basketball and all that great outdoor sports.
Yes, I’m suggesting you to go play with them instead of bringing them to your world. For that you will have a better time.
Okay, let me explain my why I’m talking about this. I was working out at the gym yesterday and I couldn't miss this big guy doing his routine exercise right in front of me. He was working out on this shred shoulder machine and he had two forty five pound on each side. He had his kid with him, a cute sweet looking skinny boy, probably 10 or 11 years old. No more than that.
I’m 5.1 with 105 pounds, so I’m not a big girl. That boy was shorter than me and I don’t need to say his weight was way lower than mine. His father, on the other hand as a tall guy, I’m a bad guesser but I would say that if I get close to him my head would probably fit under his arm if he extended his arm on a 90 degrees angle, so you figure his height and I’m not going to guess his weight as I would never get it. He was not fat but he was not that fit either.
When he finished his set he instructed the boy to remove one of the 45 pounds free weight and leave one on each side.
Then, for my surprise and disbelief it was the boy’s turn. I was in shock. Seriously, I really was. That skinny boy was going to do his first set with 45 pound on each side of the machine!
No, that was not possible that that father wanted his child to do a shred shoulder with that much weight on it.
The boy positioned himself and could barely reach the two handles and his proud dad was there instructing him how to place his feet, his body, etc.
Another girl passed by them and looked at me and rolled her eyes and shook her head. I return the head gesture.
The kid made an extreme amount of force to lift the weights and his little body was all shaky in the first attempt. I was almost jumping from my machine and grabbing the father’s shoulder and throwing him out of the gym. That’s what I wanted to do.
The body of the boy was all over the place. He shredded in a weird way for three times and couldn’t do anymore.
When he literally dropped the weights down he put one little hand on his back and another on the back of his neck. My heart broke instantly and although I’m not a mother I had a mother instinct right there and I wanted to run to him and hug him and tell him that he didn't need to do that, that he didn't need to please his crazy father and that he would get stronger in the appropriate time, at with the right age, not working out in the gym, not now.
I can’t stop thinking about that poor kid and I regret I didn't break the rules of etiquette. I should have talked to the father but I was concerned I was going to do something way out of line. Perhaps I should talk to my friend Elaine about this one.
How could his father not realize that that was too much for his kid, for any kid for this matter?
When I go to the gym I see all kinds of people doing their routines without any knowledge of what they are doing but to I see a father pushing their child to an extreme like this it’s not acceptable.
I think gyms should have age appropriate rules for machines or at least someone from the gym should be watching this discrepancies and approach whoever is doing an exercise incorrectly and help out.
Gyms here are different from Brazil. In Brazil when you sign up in a gym, you are assigned to a professional that will put a program together for you and go over the exercises and machines with you and then you receive a workout sheet marking the order of the exercises, how many times, how much weight you should do, etc. You will stick with that program for a certain period of time and then when it is time to change they will come to you and go over the new exercises and machines and so forth and so one. And whenever you have a problem or doubt you just check it with them or they come see you on a regular basis to correct your position etc.
It is probably like what they do here when you hire the personal trainer. But in Brazil it is a standard.
I can’t say how many times I see people wandering around the gym trying to figure out the machines. Some give up and go to another machine, some manage to figure it out and do the exercise, but I wonder if they know what is that for, what benefit they will get from it. No wonder why most of people that go to the gym can’t get the results they expect. They don’t have any instruction. It’s all a guessing game and that’s probably the reason many people give up after they go for a couple of months.
Ahhhh, look at this picture!!
Fernando de Noronha is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Brazil. It’s been featured in various famous world travel magazines. It is an ecological sanctuary and it is protected by IBAMA as a National Marine Park.
It is an archipelago that belongs to the State of Pernambuco that occupies an area of 17km2 and has 21 island and islets although only Fernando de Noranha is inhabited and its population is approximately 3,000 inhabitants.
There are many ways to explore its attractions: by boat, by jeep or buggy, or simply on foot. It is ideal for those who enjoy a good walk, snorkeling, diving, take great photography or simply relaxing, enjoying silence and peace with the sound of the ocean and its natural beauty as a gift for your eyes.
Dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays and even sharks made this place their home and a huge variety of colorful fish that can be seen swimming in the clear warm waters.
I’m all for nature and as an animal lover, to see the Dolphins and other animals in their habitat is something that is priceless to me. The amount of Dolphins you can see playing around, jumping and spinning in the air in the Dolphin’s bay is unbelievable. Precious!
From December to June or July is the time when sea turtles go there and to other beaches, to rest or to make their nest and place their eggs. Unfortunately among other factors, natural predators are a big problem as the birds take advantage of the opening of the nest and they catch little turtles before they can make their way to the water when their nest is opened. Thanks to the great work of Project TAMAR, many of the little turtles are able win this battle and survive. Visitors can make arrangements with them to go see when they open the nests. It’s a great experience for adults and kids and they learn about the importance of protecting the species and environment. Kids get very excited and perhaps a new future Marine Biologist will come up from the experience! For more information about visitation to this great project check out their website http://www.tamar.org.br/base_ing.php?cod=20.
The access to Fernando de Noronha is made exclusively by the cities of Recife, capital of Pernambuco and Natal, capital of Rio Grande do Norte. So if you are visiting other cities, be aware that you will have to take a connection flight in one of these two cities.
By the way if you will be in Recife or Natal anyway for the connection flight, I suggest you to take a couple of days to visit the city. Natal and Recife are great places to visit as well. Natal has beautiful white dunes that end in the beaches and you can rent a buggy and explore the area and have lots of fun. Recife is a great option too, with its beautiful beaches, some really famous that drowns tourist from all over the world. So do your research and decide for yourself.
Oh, and if you are going to the World Cup to watch the games in these two cities, it will be another great opportunity for you to go and visit Fernando de Noronha.
The visits in Noronha are controlled and you pay an environment tax at the airport on your arrival, so be prepared for that.
For me the best time of the year to go is September, October and November as it is low season, it doesn't rain and the visibility of the sea is 50 meters.
I have a friend who says: “I pay more but I don’t give up on comfort”.
So every time I travel I think of her and her “quote” or when I talk to another friend about travelling, we always joke and say her quote, as we both know her.
The same is valid for the other group of travelers who, like another friend of mine would say and I quote “you will stay all day out and go back only to sleep, so why pay more?” He has a point too.
Whatever your choice is, I’m absolutely sure you will love Noronha!
The prices of the Pousadas varies and some are simpler than others and there are a few options that are more expensive and of course offers the luxury you are looking for and it is up to you to decide whether you want to treat yourself with a five star accommodation or prefer to stay in a more modest one. It will depend on your budget. Everybody can visit and be happy in Noronha!
If you go for a more upscale I suggest you to go for Pousada do Ze Maria. It has great location and you are going to love the accommodations and amenities. They combine comfort and elegance with simplicity and has great atmosphere with very helpful staff. Ze Maria, the owner, is a very cool and laid back guy that understands the art and concept of receiving well a guest and he makes sure the services provided have high standard and quality. The rooms are decorated with great taste. Everything is just beautiful with all the attention to details. No wonder why artists and other famous personalities in Brazil stay there.
At Pousada Ze Maira the food is out of this world and if you like seafood you will be in paradise! Seriously!
And every Wednesday and Saturday from 8pm there is the famous Ze Maria Gastronomic Festival where it is served a rich banquet with dozens of dishes to please all palates, especially the paella, various fish, shrimp and other seafood, in addition to bread flour, jack-fruit rice, meat, pasta, salads and Japanese food, with fresh fish. Then there are the marvelous desserts, including pies, cakes, mousses, fruit salads and other options.
They suggest to book in advance by phone +55(81) 3619-1258 or by email.
Check them out on Facebook and Twitter and see for yourself. Visit their website too!
Their website here: http://www.pousadazemaria.com.br/index-en.php
When to go: Dry/high season (from September up to March) and rainy/low season (from April up to August)
See some pictures of Pousada Ze Maria bellow and check out his website for more information!
Fernando de Noronha bellow... enjoy! *All rights reserved to Pousada Ze Maria and photographer Jose Henrique.
Only one month to my trip now and I’m getting really excited about it.
That’s because I know I will have great time with my family and friends. I miss them a lot as I go there only once a year… but it is wonderful every time I go. I always have a lot of fun.
We will spend the New Year’s at the beach at my brother’s apartment. Spending New Year’s at the beach in Brazil is so much fun.
Most people dress in white… I mean, ALL white. It is a tradition. Heck yes, that’s a must and I’m not different, so yes, I will be in white!
There are some superstition and some people, no, a lot of people offer flowers, perfume or other little gifts to Iemanja, the Goddess of Water, the mother of all Gods in a religion named Umbanda. I may talk about it at another time when I write something about traditions in Brazil. Anyway, the way they offer her these gifts is that they go into the water at or around midnight and leave the flowers and gifts there in little boats or straight in the water for her to take.
This is way for them to thank her for what she did for them and/or to ask her other favors for the New Year. You know, love, money, success, health…
Another thing a lot of people do, including me, is to jump 7 waves! It is to bring luck or to take away the lack of luck… I don’t want to say the other word because it attracts it! God forbid! Knock in the wood!
Now I got all into the superstition thing, let me go back to what I really wanted to talk about when I decided to write this blog. It’s about my trip!
Travel is a passion of mine and that’s the reason every time I have the opportunity to travel I don’t think twice and now I have the perfect excuse to travel more when I go to Brazil because I want to show my husband and you all the beautiful places we have there. The ones that I’ve been to or not, yet!
So, after spending a few days at the beach in Sao Paulo with my family I will take my husband to a trip that I think it is worth driving to get at our destination. There is a paradise between the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and I’ve been there before a couple of times but I want him to experience it as well.
We will leave my brother’s on January 2nd and start to make our way to Angra dos Reis in Rio de Janeiro.
We will spend a night in Sao Sebastiao in the North Coast of Sao Paulo. I wrote about it in aprevious blog. It is a shame we don’t have a lot of time, otherwise I would stay longer in this little hidden paradise at Praia do Toque Toque Grande. I’m so looking forward to my stay there and spend some time with Edson and Renata Pavao.
I love the beaches in the North Coast because they are not as crowed and they are simply beautiful.
From there we will hit the road! No, not from that song (this is one thing I always get upset when I don’t know what people are talking about, so here it goes, I’m talking about the song that says: “hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more… ). I’m talking about the highway I mentioned in a previous blog and that I think is so worth to drive on! Rio Santos Highway!
We will drive in this highway by the ocean passing by the cities of Caraguatatuba, Ubatuba and reach the state of Rio de Janeiro at Parati, a cute little city full of culture and cute old buildings with its historic town.
From Sao Sebastiao to Parati it will take about two hours and a half, maybe a little less. Then, from Parati to Angra, our final destination, it will take another one hour and a half.
Angra is located 151 Km from Rio de Janeiro and 411 Km from Sao Paulo.
This time I will stay in Angra dos Reis the three days I will spend there, instead of spending a night and then visit Ilha Grande and stay for another night in Ilha Grande, like I used to do. The reason for that is because the beautiful place I chose this time is just wonderful! Right there in the waterfront, surrounded by lush vegetation Pousada Jamanta has large and comfortable suites perfect for couples, with private balcony, air conditioning and ceiling fan, frigobar, TV and DVD and electronic safe. They also have flat type apartments for four, five or six people, with mini kitchen and ocean views!
There is a cute little church that was built in 1780 that is just in front of the pousada… in this small island! It is called Ermida do Senhor do Bonfim.
There is one thing that I’m very excited about and I’m sure I will jump right in! I’m going to dive with them and see all the cute colorful fishes, sea horses, sea turtles and other marine animals of our diverse and beautiful fauna.
Pousada Jamanta even have their own operator diving, boat, watercraft rentals, maritime private area, pool, canopy beds, private dock, wireless throughout the inn, game room, steam room, grills, restaurant, rent kayaks and masks and fins, self parking and ramp access to the sea for small boats for their guests to take advantage. Guests can take the boat and visit islands and beaches around and do whatever they want.
Another great thing about them is that if you are visiting from Rio, they can offer you a private transportation with bilingual driver (Spanish and/or English). You can contact them directly at email@example.com or click here to send them a message through their website.
I’m so looking forward for this trip! I will sure post more pictures at Brazil for All’sFacebook page. For now, check out the pictures from Angra and from the Pousada Jamanta and start planning your next trip!
Thank you for visiting and reading my post. Talk to you later!
Hi my friends! It’s been a while but as promised, here is my post about my trip last month. I hope you will enjoy it.
As I said I would, I will post pictures of my trip and they will be at the end of this post.
We arrived in Brazil on December 26th and my brother was waiting for us at the airport, taking us to my mother’s house, where we stayed most of the time we were there. The traffic was not bad as most of people were traveling so it was all good and we made pretty fast from the airport to my mom’s.
I didn’t sleep very well in the plane so I was pretty tired after almost 20 hours travel, counting airport time, so around 8pm, Brazil time I was in bed. Woke up 10:30am! I needed that sleep!
We went to rent a car because it would be hard to stay there without a car, not much for me, but more for my husband. When I go by myself I don’t rent a car as I don’t go any place and stay most of the time with my mom. Boring, I know… but I’m a home buddy.
Okay, so my husband is a gym fanatic so I had to find a place for us to work-out and we found one near my mom’s. It was a new and pretty good one. But, as he lifts a lot of weight I decided to use one that was farther but that had everything a bodybuilding guy needs and we would use Bio Ritmo when we came back from the beach on January 6th until we left on January 12th.
On Saturday, December 28 we had lunch at my sister who lives in a city nearby or perhaps was on Sunday. I don’t know anymore. I lost track, at last, I was on vacation.
On December 30th we went to my brother apartment at the beach. I didn’t want to risk and face all the traffic on the 31st, because usually, those who doesn’t have a house e at the beach or don’t rent a place or stay in a hotel, they go on the 31st and spend the night at the beach just to participate in the festivities and then they go back home on January 1st. The traffic can be really bad. A trip that takes about one hour can take four to 10 hours easily. It’s crazy!!
It was so hot at the beach. December is summer time in Brazil. It is hot and humid. We met a gentleman, named Valdemar Santos, who was a sand sculptor and he made one just for us in 15 minutes. My husband love the attention he was receiving from strangers at the beach. People in Brazil is very friendly and they like to interact with foreigners.
At Christmas and New Year’s Eve, dinner is served around 10:00 pm and my sister in law this time made a delicious meal for us, a traditional meal which consists in turkey or ham as the main dish. We had ham and it was delicious.
In my last blog I talked about the traditions for the New Year. Yes, as I said I dressed in white and I went to the beach a little before midnight to see the fireworks… oh, yes, I forgot to tell you about the fireworks. It’s part of the celebration.
I took some pictures of the little boats that devotees of Iemanja take to the beach and leave in the ocean as an offer for her. Some people, who doesn’t bring a boat, ask those who have if they could stick their prayers and notes with requests or thanks in their boats. They always let you if you ask.
After the midnight celebration at the beach we went back home. Most people stay longer walking alongside the beach, talking, taking pictures, drinking, celebrating.
Next morning we left to continue our trip. The good thing is that we were not taking the same road to Sao Paulo. The traffic just to leave my brother’s till a certain part of the road was terrible. After we took the direction to Rio Santos traffic was much better.
We drove on Rio Santos Highway for a couple of hours and we arrived at Riviera de Sao Lourenco. Riviera de Sao Lourenco is a very modern neighborhood with everything you need from supermarket to hotels and pousadas. I drove around it just for my husband to have an idea about it. He really liked it.
A few miles away we stopped at a McDonalds for a quick lunch and we were back to the road. We didn’t have any reservation for January 1st but I was certain that we would find something on our way to Sao Sebastiao and we did. We found this place in Boicucanga across from the beach called Casa de Pedra Pousada and Restaurant. The accommodations were simple but decent and clean. It rained a lot at night and we loved it. We love thunderstorms and heavy rain. Oh, and although the hotel was right there by the road, there was no noise from the traffic. I was surprised. The breakfast was simple too but with lots of fruit and a variety of bread and cakes.
We hit the road in the morning around 10:30am and we got to our hotel around noon… too early for check in (check in was 4pm), but we could enjoy the facilities while our room was ready. So we changed by the pool and stayed there for a while. Boy it was hot. Ilha de Toque Toque Boutique Hotel didn’t disappointed, the views were amazing and the staff was very helpful and nice. Gustavo was the first person who greeted us. And there was “Alemao” a sweet old dog that hangs out laying down on the floors in the shades to cool down from the hot weather.
We had lunch at the restaurant and it was just delicious. After lunch, while we were still waiting for our room my husband found a book about Brazil in the reception and I ended up reading it as well. I have to say that besides some things that the author, Michael Palin says about Brazil’s costumes, which I didn’t agree with him, was pretty good and I recommend it if you want to have a sense of that country. It is pretty accurate and I have to take my hat off for the guy. He also has some videos on YouTube documenting his trip.
It was almost 4pm and another couple arrived to check in. They were also instructed to hang out around the facilities as their room was not ready yet.
We were pretty tired from the road trip and it was 5pm that our bedroom was ready. Andre, the Manager, took us to our room and when he opened the door I was speechless. The room was very well decorated and the view! Unbelievable! It was totally worth the wait. I went straight to the balcony. Very private with a bathtub/jacuzzi! We left the room only to have diner and we came back to enjoy our room and the views. For some reason I woke up around 3am and I got up and looked outside. My God, I could not believe what my eyes saw!! There were so many stars in the skies I could not believe it. I could see the milk-way! Seriously, with naked eyes… all white and bright. I got out the way I was born and brought a towel and thrown it in the chair and laid on it. My husband, who loves all things related to astronomy, joined me. There we were, three in the morning, watching the falling stars in the milk-way. It was one after another! I don’t know how many we saw during the time we stayed there. It was gorgeous and I will never forget.
I took some pictures form my cell phone but they didn’t come out good so I gave up and just enjoyed the show the universe was presenting to us.
At some point I heard a noise next to our room and I could only see two shiny lights… eyes of an animal… I don’t think it was a monkey. It was too slow. I believe it was a “bicho-preguica”, I think the translation for it is sloth.
I took a picture from my cell phone but the only thing I could see was two little shiny eyes and its form. It was too dark and because he didn’t run way or jump immediately made me think it was a “preguica”. Preguica is a mammal that is not afraid of humans when we cross its path and is very slow when moving around.
We woke up and had a delicious and abundant breakfast. At 2pm we left this little paradise but we will certainly go back and spend more time. We were now off to continue our way, at that time, to our final destination, Angra dos Reis.
The traffic was a little heavy every time we would approach a beach city but it was not bad. As expected, my husband loved the views I kept talking about before our trip. The road really opens up to gorgeous view from Sao Sebastiao till Angra.
We arrived at Pousada Jamanta almost 8pm. Dinner time… we were hungry! Unfortunately, we could not order regular dinner as you can only reserve your dinner until 7:00pm. However, they gave us a menu and told us we could have burgers, fries or other type of sandwiches and salads. They also gave us a menu from a pizzeria nearby but we opted for what they had.
Next morning we were having breakfast and the tour’s coordinator stopped by our table to inform us that there was a cancelation for a tour and he wanted to know if we would like to go. We said yes and after breakfast we headed to the pool area to wait for the boat that would take us.
Leandro was the sailor who would take us on the tour and we were ten people in total. We would spend all day and would come back at 5pm.
When everybody was in the boat he explained the tour which I translated to my husband. We would stop in a couple of islands and in a couple of beaches, one which we would have lunch. There was fruit and water in the boat for snacks.
At lunch time it was fun to watch a couple from Ireland to try to communicate with the waitress. They talked to us and to another group of foreigners to find out about the food. They told us they had been in Brazil for a couple of weeks and there had been a lot of mimics and surprises when the food arrived.
We loved the tour and Leandro was a sweetheart and very professional. We were back to the pousada at 5 as he said we would. I found out that I had to leave a day earlier as I had a meeting so we packed and next morning we were on our way to Rio de Janeiro. I didn’t want to drive as I’ve never drove in Rio and the traffic there is pretty crazy. People don’t respect red lights.
We didn’t have reservation as we didn’t plan to go there, so when we arrived and drove around to find an accommodation. I didn’t want to stay in Copacabana as I don’t like that area. Instead we passed it and drove to Ipanema, a much better location in Rio and we found a hotel at Rua Maria Quiteria.
We dropped our luggage in our bedroom and went to the beach, which was crowded as anything. A guy from one of the tents in the beach that sells drinks and snacks offered us chairs and umbrella to rent, which we gladly accepted. You can each or not from them, it doesn’t matter, as long as you pay for the chairs and umbrella. So, we stayed there for a couple of hours and went back to the hotel to shower and then we went out for dinner. We ended up, by chance in a bar that I’ve been before and I loved it, the Barthodomeu. It has live music and the food is good with reasonable prices. The hotel we stayed at was a block away from it, in the same street. It was perfect. Then we stopped in another place for acai and that’s how our night ended.
Next morning, after breakfast, business completed and we were on our way back to Sao Paulo.
I was worried because I didn’t want to end up in the “linha vermelha”, red line but thankfully I did not get lost and the trip to Sao Paulo took about five and a half hours.
Our next week consisted in trips to the gym, relaxation and a gathering with my best friends. We meet every year, sometimes individually and sometimes in groups, depending on my time. It is our annual get together and this time it was awesome and I already miss them.
On our way back to my mom’s from our gathering something happened and I will talk about it later. Not fun… scary!
On Sunday we got our stuff together and it was time to say goodbye to my family. This time, when I said good bye to my mom, I felt terribly sad as I saw a lot of pain in her eyes and that hurt me deeply.
I’m so looking forward to see my family and friends again at the end of the year!
I will talk to you again soon about my views for the world cup.
See you later!
Yes, this time the choice is Rio de Janeiro.
I know, I know, you probably know more things about Rio than I because the City of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most well-known cities in the world.
I want to talk about the cities in that State. Cities that you probably never heard of and that is there just waiting for your visit, to explore and discover its beauty, for you to fall in love with. There are many interesting places to visit in Rio de Janeiro.
Let’s start with Angra dos Reis. Angra is located 151 Km from Rio de janeiro and 411 Km from Sao Paulo.
If you are in Sao Paulo and decide to visit, I strongly recommend you to take Rio Santos Highway because it will give your eyes beautiful gifts for you to see and never forget. This trip is a must if you would like to see some gorgeous landscaping and beautiful beaches. The road will open to the ocean and the Atlantic Rain Forest many times and each time with a different perspective. There are many view points on the way for you to take pictures and register the trip. It’s beautiful and worth driving.
If you prefer to fly to Rio and then take a cab or a bus, you can do that too. It is a closer drive from Rio to Angra. When you get to Angra, you will see why that place is a destination for all the rich and famous from Sao Paulo and Rio and even Hollywood. Seriously, this place is magic.
Besides its beauty, it is a very interesting city and very important for the history of Rio de Janeiro, with many constructions for the centuries XVII and XVIII worth to be seen like Convento Nsa. Sra. do Carmo e Capela da Ordem Terceira, Praça Lopes Trovão, Igreja de Santa Luzia, Convento São Bernardino de Sena e Capela da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência, Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Ermida do Senhor do Bonfim, Igreja Nossa Senhora da Lapa , Igreja da Ribeira, Igreja da Piedade, Casa da Cultura, Edifício do Paço Municipal, Câmara dos Vereadores e Antiga Cadeia Municipal, Prefeitura Municipal, Casario da Rua do Comércio, Colégio Naval, Ruínas do Forte do Leme, Ruínas do Engenho Central de Bracuhy, Vila Histórica de Mambucaba, Cais de Santa Luzia, Monumento aos Náufragos de Aquidabã, Mercado de Peixe, Chafariz da Carioca.
You will be pretty busy so have a few extra days to explore everything.
Now, did you know that it has 365 islands around it? Yes, it is true. We have a saying that Angra dos Reis has an island for each day of the year! It is true, right?
With more than 2000 beaches, Angra dos Reis is a perfect destination for nature lovers.
Here are some of its islands for you to explore further when you are in Angra: Ilha Comprida, Ilha da Gipóia, Ilha de Cataguás e Ilha do Pelegrino, Ilha de Cataguases, Ilha de Itanhangá, Ilha de Paquetá, Ilha de São João, Ilha do Maia, Ilha dos Meros, Ilha dos Porcos, Ilha Francisca, Ilha Grande, Ilha Sandri, Ilhas Botinas,
Ilha Grande means Big Island and as the name states it is big, and it is the biggest of them.
You can stay in Angra and visit these islands or maybe you would prefer to stay in an Island. Not every island has accommodation though but there are plenty options that will fit your style and meet your expectations.
If you go in the high season, chances are that the city will be packed and of course the prices are higher then. The high season in Brazil goes from around December 15th to the end of February. The holidays are also considered as high season. July is also high season because it is school break in Brazil and although it is winter time, you can expect to have same prices as December, January and February.
Whenever I go to Angra I spend a couple of nights in Ilha Grande. I love that island. It’s so peaceful and relaxing that if you do not extend your stay you will certainly go back many times.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Next time you will find out a little more about other cities with hidden paradise. You will be surprised with my choice!
Welcome to my World. I hope you will enjoy the trip!