Archive for December, 2008

January 2009 desktop calendar

January 2009 desktop calendar

The Brazil Travel Blog brings you every month a calendar for you to use on your computer desktop.

On January 2009 we begin a visit to idyllic Ilha Grande.


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Remember, a new calendar every month!

December 30, 2008 | By More
<em>Doce de espécie</em>

Doce de espécie

doce de espécie (Alcântara)

If you go to Alcântara, state of Maranhão, you have to eat one of the most scrumptious sweets prepared in Brazil: the doce de espécie. It is a coconut cake so good, so delicious, that it itself it becomes a reason to visit Alcântara. You will also find the delicacy in São Luís, but it is made in Alcântara.

doce de espécie (Alcântara)

In Alcântara it is the kids that go after the tourists carrying the doces in large tupperware containers. If you are lucky, the sweets will have just left granny’s oven. If you make the mistake of buying just half a dozen, you must know that shortly after that you will be running after the kid to buy another half a dozen. Do yourself a favour and order the dozen from the start.

Destination: Alcântara
Destination: São Luís

December 29, 2008 | By More
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Brazilian christmas

I’d like to wish a Merry Christmas to all the readers of the blog, and my best wishes for 2009. Thanks for being here during 2008. Hope 2009 brings lots of happiness to your lives – if part of it can be had while travelling throughout Brazil that’d be great!

I’m also taking a few days off. I’m not going anywhere but want to prepare some new texts for the blog. I will reply to queries as usual.

Greetings everyone!

December 24, 2008 | By More
how to get to Belém do Pará

how to get to Belém do Pará

Next year’s edition of the World Social Forum will take place in the city of Belém, capital of the state of Pará, in the north region of Brazil. This blog has an entry with information on the city (Destination: Belém). I have put together this new entry with information on how to get to Belém.

I can’t give detailed instructions for every single country on the globe, so I’m just focusing on three entry points to Brazil: São Paulo/Río de Janeiro, for those coming from the south of the continent, Europe, North America and Asia; Manaus, for those coming from across the Andes and the United States (Delta has a direct flight from Atlanta to Manaus and Tam from Miami to Manaus); and Fortaleza for those arriving from Europe (TAP has a direct flight from Lisbon to Fortaleza).

From Belém there are only direct international flights to French Guiana (Cayenne) and Suriname (Paramaribo), of no interest whatsoever for most travellers. To find out more about direct flights from your country to Brazil have a look at the list we prepared at D Airfare: Direct flights to Brazil.


Among all the main Brazilian airlines, only Gol and Tam have flights to Belém both from São Paulo and Rio. Check their sites for more info.

1.2 BY BUS
Departing both from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, bus companies Itapemirim and Transbrasiliana have buses to Belém. The price of a single ticket is R$370 from São Paulo. The trip lasts 51 horas. We advice you to compare the cost of flying with the cost of a 2-day trip (you will have to have breakfast, lunch and dinner during that time).


Both Gol and Tam have direct flights from Manaus to Belém.

The boat departs from the port of Manaus and it takes three days to reach Belém. Prices start from R$250 sleeping on a hammock on what could be described as third-class accommodation. If you want a cabin, expect to fork out a minimum of an additional R$200. There are several boats doing that route during the week (there are no daily sailings).


Both Gol and Tam have direct flights from Fortaleza to Belém.

3.3 BY BUS
Two companies travel from Fortaleza to Belém: la Itapemirim and Expresso Guanabara. The price of a single ticket is R$195. The trip takes 24 horas. During the last couple of years buses have been robbed at gunpoint on the stretch between São Luís and Belém. We advice you to avoid night travel at all costs.

We have an entry dedicated to Belém here on the blog: Destination: Belém.

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December 23, 2008 | By More
penguins in Ilha Grande

penguins in Ilha Grande

Penguin-watching is definitely not part of any tourist offering in the Ilha Grande. In fact, nothing could sound more unlikely than the match of a tropical island with penguins (unless, of course, you happened to be a scriptwriter for Lost). But hey, on our recent trip to the island we got to see penguins not once but twice. The first time near the Bananal, the second time near Palmas.

penguin, Ilha Grande

The poor things looked quite weak and, above all, lost. I mentioned the appearance of Magellanic penguins along the Brazilian coast in Penguins in Brazil.

destination: Ilha Grande
map of Ilha Grande
Ilha Grande: photo album

December 22, 2008 | By More