Archive for November, 2008

Maranhão, images of a Brazilian paradise

Maranhão, images of a Brazilian paradise

images of Maranhão / imágenes de Maranhão

I’ve just received Blurb’s website you can preview the first 14 pages of the book. Here’s a photo with the thumbnails of the entire book:

full index / índice completo

The book is divided in three parts. The first one is dedicated to the Lençóis Maranhenses, the second to the cities of São Luís and Alcântara and the third block has photos of the festas juninas and the wonderful Bumba-meu-boi.

images of Maranhão / imágenes de Maranhão

images of Maranhão / imágenes de Maranhão

images of Maranhão / imágenes de Maranhão

The book can be purchased through Blurb, where you will be able to see all the details. Books are sent from the US and Europe to destinations throughout the world.

November 30, 2008 | By More
bus transportation in Brazil

bus transportation in Brazil

Purchase your Brazilian bus tickets from abroad with our search engine.

What with rocketing airfares, more and more people are turning to buses as a means of transportation in Brazil. Finding your way through hundreds of bus companies, bus stations, infinite destinations and information hard to come by is definitely no easy job. Hope this entry can in some way help alleviate your pain – for finding up-to-date and reliable bus information in Brazil can certainly become a very painful process.

There are a handful of online sources you must know if you are to embark on a bus journey in Brazil.

1. ANTT (for all destinations)

The one and only country-wide official source is the website of the Agencia Nacional de Transportes Terrestres (ANTT), the Brazilian’s government official body for road transportation. Unfortunately, it’s an incredibly unfriendly site, even more if you are a foreign user with no grasp of Portuguese. Never mind the fact that can be infuriatingly stubborn. If the spelling of your destination is different from the one held at the ANTT database, you will be going nowhere. At Link: buses in Brazil I gave a step-by-step guide on how to search at the ANTT site.
2. Socicam (for Aracaju, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo)

Much friendlier than the ANTT site is Socicam‘s own website. It would be my number one choice if it wasn’t for a small detail: its restricted coverage. Socicam is a private company running the bus stations of the following cities:

Angra dos Reis (Río de Janeiro), Aracajú (Sergipe), Fortaleza (Ceará), Guarujá (São Paulo), Mogi das Cruzes (São Paulo), Niteroi (Río de Janeiro), Poços de Caldas (Minas Gerais), Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo), Rio de Janeiro, São Carlos (São Paulo), São João da Boa Vista (São Paulo), São José dos Campos (São Paulo) and the three bus stations in São Paulo (Barra Funda, Jabaquara and Terminal Tietê).

So Socicam is only good if your origin or destination is one of the cities I’ve just mentioned. For as long as your starting point is one of those bus stations, your search will be succesful – your destination doesn’t need to feature on the list. For instance, you will find information on the São Paulo – Florianópolis route although the Florianópolis bus station is not run by Socicam.

To search for a route, choose Consulta de partidas de ônibus on the left sidebar. Choose your starting point from the Cidade de origem pop-down menu, and your destination from the Cidade – UF de destino menu. Quite straightforward, specially if you compare it with the ordeal that a consultation on the ANTT site is. If you are lucky, your search results will show the webpage and contact details of the company operating the route you were searching for. Unlike the ANTT site, Socicam only informs the details of the companies, no information on timetables or prices to be found here.

Linhas Rodoviárias , a site with bus travel information

3. Linhas Rodoviárias (for São Paulo)

Excellent resource for departures from São Paulo to any state in Brazil and international destinations too. We have full details at Linhas Rodoviárias , a site with bus travel information.

4. Terminal Novo Rio (for Rio de Janeiro)

If you are travelling to or from Rio de Janeiro, you might as well check the incredibly simple to use Terminal Novo Rio website. It’s by no means a pretty website, but hey, nothing beats simplicity. Type the name of your destination (or point of origin) at the PARTIDAS NOVO RIO box and off you go. The search results show the company (or companies) operating the route, including a link to their website. If you want more info, we’ve already devoted a blog post to the Rio bus station: Terminal Novo Rio.
5. Rodoviária de Porto Alegre (for Porto Alegre)

The Rodoviária de Porto Alegre (Porto Alegre’s bus station) website in another useful source of information for trips on the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Click on Horários de Ônibus and then select your destination from the Porto Alegre para menu, the day of the week at the Dia da Semana menu (choose any day / qualquer dia if you prefer) and the departure time (Horário do Dia).
6. Rodoviária de Curitiba (for Curitiba)

The Rodoviária de Curitiba (Curitiba’s bus station) is another site that combines ugliness with friendliness (if that could ever be possible). Simply select your destination from the De Curitiba para drop-down menu and off you go. The results page has a valuable link to the bus company running the service.
7. DETER (for the state of Santa Catarina)
A very useful tool for trips that begin and end within the State of Santa Catarina. Go to DETER‘s website and choose Consulta de Horários de Partida de Viagens. Write your departure and arrival points, and off you go.

Below there is a series of blog posts we’ve written with information on how to get to a few destinations in Brazil:


from Angra dos Reis to Paraty
from Angra dos Reis to Rio
from Brasilia to São Paulo
from Buzios to Rio
from Campinas and Viracopos airport to São Paulo
from Curitiba to São Paulo
from Curitiba to Foz do Iguaçu
from Curitiba to São Paulo
from Fortaleza to Natal
from Foz do Iguaçu to Curitiba
from Foz do Iguaçu to Rio
from Foz do Iguaçu to São Paulo
from Natal to Fortaleza
from Paraty to Angra dos Reis
from Paraty to Rio
from Porto Alegre to São Paulo
from Rio to Angra dos Reis
from Rio to Buzios
from Rio to Foz do Iguaçu
from Rio to Paraty
from Rio to Salvador
from Rio to São Paulo
from Salvador to Rio
from São Paulo to Brasilia
from São Paulo to Campinas and Viracopos airport
from São Paulo to Curitiba
from São Paulo to Foz do Iguaçu
from São Paulo to Porto Alegre
from São Paulo to Rio


from Buenos Aires to São Paulo / Rio
from São Paulo to Santiago de Chile
from São Paulo to Paraguay
from Montevideo to Porto Alegre and São Paulo

I’d been meaning to write a post like this for a long time. But it was only this week, when fellow blogger Gene suggested the topic that I decided to have a go at it. From Goiáis, where he lives, Gene writes a blog full of useful information for anyone planning a spell in Brazil: Expat American Living in Brazil.

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November 29, 2008 | By More
from São Paulo to Santiago de Chile

from São Paulo to Santiago de Chile


Brazilian airlines TAM and Varig, the Chilean LAN and the European Swiss have direct flights to Santiago de Chile from São Paulo’s Guarulhos airport. Aerolíneas Argentinas and GOL have flights with connections in Buenos Aires.


Chilebus has two services per week leaving from Terminal Tietê in São Paulo on Tuesdays and Sundays. The buses leave at 14:30 horas and the trip goes on for 52 endless hours. One way costs R$330 and return is R$627. Airfares have to be way above those prices to make the bus trip worthwhile.

Apparently Pluma travels to Santiago as well, but there are no details on its website.

November 27, 2008 | By More
the best coffee in the world?

the best coffee in the world?


Do not let Colombians be upset by the title of this blog post. There is a slight touch of irony on it.

Brazil is the main coffee producer in the world. In 2004 it was responsible for 35% of the world exports. Its fame is due to the quality of the beans grown and the great variety of types of coffee.

The main coffee-producing states, in order of importance, are Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, São Paulo, Paraná and Bahía. The best quality coffees are found in the south and the Cerrado region of Minas Gerais, and in the Mogiana region of the state of São Paulo.

Museu do Café / Bolsa do Café, Santos

In general, Brazilian coffee is known for its soft taste, pleasant flavour and balanced content. It is neither to acidic nor too bitter.

The importance coffee had for Brazil is seen in its history. It was coffee that brought waves of Italian and Japanese immigrants to São Paulo, and it was the commodity behind the growth of the city.

Museu do Café / Bolsa do Café, Santos

Don’t be surprised if, when ordering at a café the quintessential Brazilian cafezinho (expresso coffee) you feel let down. For a long time, the best Brazilian coffee beans were exported, while Brazilians drank a substandard product.

Thankfully, the last few years have seen a renaissance of coffee within Brazil, of which the opening of gourmet cafés is an unmistakeable sign.

Museu do Café / Bolsa do Café, Santos

The best cafés are found in São Paulo (the Octavio Café is unmissable), Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Curitiba. Santos is known as the “city of coffee” and is host to one of the most interesting museums in Brazil, the Museu do Café.

cafés / coffees

November 26, 2008 | By More
links: João Pessoa

links: João Pessoa


[Photo by Edgley Cesar reproduced under a Creative Commons licence]

To make up for the absence on this blog of a specific post devoted to João Pessoa, I am publishing a blog entry with links to sites of interest.

Information on the capital of the state of Paraíba is hard to find. The official website Secretaria de Turismo de João Pessoa does not contain a great deal of practical information. Bom Guia, a portal covering the whole of the stage, has a contrived design. And João Pessoa Turismo cannot be viewed correctly using Firefox. João Pessoa will need quite a lot of hard work if it ever wants to attract a substantial amount of foreign visitors to the state.

At our Accommodation in Brazil blog we have a full listing of accommodation in João Pessoa.

A group of individuals shared the same thought and created Paraiba Paradise, the best source we know on all things related to João Pessoa. Shame on the authorities and congratulations to them.

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November 24, 2008 | By More