Archive for March, 2008

Brazil in pictures: Florianópolis

Brazil in pictures: Florianópolis

I have put together five photo albums from our recent trip to Florianópolis. They can be seen at my Flickr page.

The first album is dedicated to the north of the island, with photos of Santo Antônio de Lisboa, the Projeto Tamar in Barra da Lagoa, and the beaches of Jurerê, Canasvieiras, Ingleses, Brava and Santinho.

surfistas / surfers

The second album is dedicated to the centre and the Lagoa da Conceição, with photos of the Mercado Municipal, of the Lagoa and of the Mole beach.

praia Mole

The third album is dedicated to the south of the island, with photos of Armação, Ribeirão da Ilha and Pântano do Sul.

Armação

The fourth álbum is dedicated to the Campeche beach and the idyllic Campeche island.

praia do Campeche

An the fifth and final album is dedicated to the Joaquina dunes and its sandboard artists.

dunas da Joaquina

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March 28, 2008 | By More
Map of Florianópolis

Map of Florianópolis

On the following map of Florianópolis I have identified the most important beaches on the island, as well as the main towns and other points of interest.


Ampliar el mapa

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March 26, 2008 | By More
Dengue fever epidemic in Rio

Dengue fever epidemic in Rio

Dengue fever is endemic in Brazil and each year it reaches epidemic proportions. In 2008, dengue fever is being felt in earnest in Rio de Janeiro, where the epidemic is particularly virulent this year. From the beginning of 2008, and only in the capital, there have been more than 50.000 cases of the disease with 51 people dying as a result. In the whole of the Rio de Janeiro state, more than 75.000 cases and 83 deaths [figures updated on April 15]. The public health system has collapsed and health assistance is precarious. The army has been sent it and field hospitals have been set up.

Most cases are concentrated around the capital, Rio de Janeiro. Of all the main tourist destinations on the state of Rio, only Angra dos Reis should be avoided at all costs, as the outbreak is quite virulent there as well. Paraty, Ilha Grande, Búzios, Cabo Frio and Arraial do Cabo are ok.

The situation is not likely to improve until the end of the rainy season, between June and July. You are strongly advise to reconsider a trip to Rio de Janeiro (the city) until the situation has improved considerably. The fact that famous (and wealthy) people have caught dengue fever in the city should give an indication of the size of the problem.

For more information, you are advised to read the post I wrote a few weeks ago: 10 facts about dengue fever in Brazil

March 24, 2008 | By More
Destination: Florianópolis

Destination: Florianópolis

Ilha do Campeche

The island of Florianópolis, object of desire of Argentinians, Uruguayans, Paraguayans as well as thousands of Brazilians (mainly from Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo), is a well-rounded holiday destination that touches on the heavenly in some places. The combination of an excellent quality of life with beautiful beaches and hills make of Floripa, as it is known familiarly, the guarantee of a succesful holiday.

Joaquina

The island is roughly divided in three main regions: the north, where the beaches popular among Argentinians are; the centre, where the capital of the state is found as well as the Lagoa da Conceição; and the south, with beautiful beaches that attract less visitors than their northern counterparts.

dunas da Joaquina

1. WE LIKE THE MOST

The beaches, the gentle nature of the natives, food, landscapes, affordable prices, safety.

2. WE LIKE THE LEAST

Poor infrastructures; it seems hard to believe that a tourist destination that generates so much revenue should have a road network in such a precarious state. Going places during the high season is torture. Getting to some of the beaches, hell. We also profoundly disliked all the building work completed and in progress in environmentally protected areas.

praia Brava

3. HOW TO GET THERE

By car, bus or plane. The first option is chosen by many Argentinians, Uruguayans and Paraguayans. There are regular bus services from Porto Alegre, Curitiba and São Paulo. The main Brazilian airlines all fly to Florianópolis airport. As well as numerous charter flights from Argentina and Chile.

praia Mole

4. CAREFUL WITH

The high season: a sizeable part of the island becomes a gigantic traffic jam; water supply to the northern part of the island becomes a problem too.

5. FAVORITE PLACES

Campeche island, Campeche beach, the Joaquina dunes, the Lagoa da Conceição

sandboarding, dunas da Joaquina

6. PIECE OF ADVICE

  • around the Lagoa da Conceição, and especially in the part known as Canto da Lagoa, there are numerous restaurants popular among Brazilians where few foreign tourists venture.
  • one of the traditional dishes of the island is the seqüência de camarâo, several servings of prawns [shrimps] cooked in different ways, accompanied by fish and crab. It is found all throughout the island, but the most traditional place to eat the seqüência is the Lagoa da Conceição.
  • although it is not impossible to travel by public bus throughout the island, it is an exercise that demands quite a lot of patience. If you are in Florianópolis for a short stay, our advice is for you to rent a car. For longer stays, when you will only be visiting one beach per day, you can use the public transportation system.
  • crime rates in Florianópolis are lower than in other big Brazilian cities; it doesn’t mean crime doesn’t exist but, in this regard, Florianópolis is much safer than São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Recife.
  • during the coming weeks we will publish detailed information on the blog on the beaches and places of interest of Florianópolis. Links to the new material will appear here as the entries are published.

7. ACCOMMODATION

We have full listings of accommodation for Campeche, Canasvieiras and Praia dos Ingleses.

Armação

8. WEATHER FORECAST

The weather in Florianópolis for the next 10 days

surfistas / surfers

9. GOOGLE MAPS

Florianópolis

10. PHOTO ALBUMS

North (Santo Antônio de Lisboa, Jurerê, Canasvieiras, Brava, Ingleses, Santinho, Barra da Lagoa), Center (Mercado Municipal, Lagoa da Conceição, Praia Mole), South (Armação, Ribeirão da Ilha, Pântano do Sul), Campeche and Campeche island and sandboard in the Joaquina dunes.

Ilha do Campeche

OTHER BLOG ENTRIES ON FLORIANÓPOLIS:
Map of Florianópolis
Brazil in pictures: Florianópolis
Florianópolis North: what to do and where to go
Florianópolis Centre-Lagoa: what to do and where to go
Florianópolis South: what to do and where to go
Ilha do Campeche
bar do Arante, Florianópolis

March 19, 2008 | By More
Reviews: <i>Pousada Tanto Mar</i>, Arraial do Cabo

Reviews: Pousada Tanto Mar, Arraial do Cabo

Arraial do Cabo

NAME: pousada Tanto Mar

WHERE: Arraial do Cabo, Río de Janeiro

WEBSITE: www.tantomar.com.br

IN ENGLISH: no

PRICES ON THE WEBSITE: yes

LOCATION: at the top of the Pontal do Atalaia, with a spectacular view of the city and the praia dos Anjos. [Google Maps].

THE BUILDING: two houses built on the top of a hill. The main building has a large dining room, kitchen ,reception, a common room and three rooms. The other building hosts the rest of the rooms. There is a swimming pool and a games room with billiards, table football [foosball] and a ping-pong table, as well as a large garden.

THE ROOMS: comfortable, with no outstanding features.

PRICES IN NOVEMBER 2007: We paid R$110 per room per night – prices for the low season.

BREAKFAST: included on the price. Quite good, with the added bonus of taking it from the dining room that overlooks the bay.

FOOD: during the low season the pousada serves no meals; just some frozen pizzas and basic sandwhiches.

RECEPTION: friendly.

OUR OPINION: excellent value for money in Arraial do Cabo. With just two snags. First the pousada is only recommended for those driving a car, you can’t get there walking. You will need the car for absolutely everything, whether you want to have lunch or go to the beach. Second, it is a pousada only recommended for those seeking absolute peace and quiet. No buildings or shops nearby.

Pousada Tanto Mar, Arraial do Cabo

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March 17, 2008 | By More