Archive for May, 2009
This is a summary of the most recent posts published at D Airfare, our blog on Brazilian aviation news with tips on how to find the best deals to fly to Brazil.
Great news, we are seeing cheaper fares to the US.
On the news section we read that Pluna is increasing its frequencies to São Paulo, that Tam got official permission to fly to Portugal, that Azul is announcing a new flight from Campinas to Maringá, that Delta is postponing its LA – São Paulo and that Air China changing its mind again once again!
Gol is offering flight deals once again (and twice in a short space of time, new Gol deals) and so is Azul (that run yet another promotion days later: Azul, new promotion for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Copa has excellent deals to South America and the Caribbean. Lufthansa and Swiss offered deals to Europe.
American is resuming its daily flights to Recife and Salvador.
And Varig is going to fly to Aruba.
Tam and Air Canada signed an agreement.
Having just revisited our favourite destinations in Brazil (10 must-see places in Brazil) it is time now to turn to the beaches. This is the 2009 version of our now two years old top 10: beaches. As drawing up an ordered list of 10 beaches is no mean task, I’ve decided to give three medals in order of preference and then present the remaining 7 beaches in pure alphabetical order.
If you click on location on the map you will be taken to a Google Maps page showing the exact location of the beach.
1. THE MEDAL WINNERS
Arriving in Fernando de Noronha is neither easy nor cheap. Once in the island, getting to Sancho beach is not that simple either. You can either descend through a metal stair placed on crack on the cliff, get there by boat, or walk from Porcos beach (access through this path has been closed for quite a while now). But the reward is worth the effort. Sancho is a crescent-shaped beach, with a massive cliff as a background and crystal-clear waters where you will want to dive as soon as you reach the beach. Half of what Sancho has to offer is found under the sea level. Sancho on its own would make a trip to Noronha worthwhile. More information at: destination: Fernando de Noronha.
Access to the second beach on our ranking is not easy either. To reach the island of Campeche you need to board a boat and face the waves for an hour or jump into a rubber dinghy for a swift five-minute sail to the island. To ensure the survival for future generations of the idyllic island the time visitors are allowed to stay in the island is limited – and strictly enforced. The beach at Campeche island is dazzling. Both literally, as its whiter than white sands will blind your vision, and figuratively, as the combination of the white sands and turquoise waters is breathtaking. No other Brazilian beach gets as close to the Caribbean as Campeche Island. More information at Ilha do Campeche.
One never tires of contemplating the imposing presence of the Morro do Pico, the serene keeper of Conceição beach. Another Noronha jewel, with one of the most beautiful beach landscapes of the entire Brazil. More information at: destination: Fernando de Noronha.
2. FROM FIFTH TO TENTH (in strict alphabetical order)
Bainema (Boipeba, Bahía – location on the map)
Barra do Sahy (Barra do Sahy, São Paulo – location on the map)
Cachadaço (Trindade, Río de Janeiro – location on the map)
Domingas Dias (Ubatuba, São Paulo – location on the map)
Forno (Arraial do Cabo, Río de Janeiro – location on the map)
Mangues (Ilha Grande – location on the map)
Porcos (Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco – location on the map)
3. HONOURABLE MENTIONS
There is only room for ten beaches on our ranking, but there are plenty more beaches we really like. In alphabetical order:
Amor (Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte)
Bahia dos Golfinhos (Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte)
Caçimba do Padre (Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco)
Coqueiros (Trancoso, Bahía)
Félix (Ubatuba, São Paulo)
Ipanema (Rio de Janeiro)
Lopes Mendes (Ilha Grande, Río de Janeiro)
Moreré (destinos: Boipeba, Bahía)
Paraty-Mirim (Paraty, Río de Janeiro)
Pitinga (Arraial d’Ajuda, Bahía)
Quarta Praia (Morro de São Paulo, Bahía)
I’m taking a holiday break to spend a few weeks back home in Spain. During that time I will post a weekly entry and I will do my best to release and reply to all the questions that arrive to the blog via the commentary box. Back at the end of June.
The Brazil Travel Blog brings you every month a calendar for you to use on your computer desktop. As I’m going to be away on holiday I’m bringing forward the realease of June’s calendar. This time round we are going to the Third Beach at Morro de São Paulo.
Remember, a new calendar every month!
So you’ve been posted to São Paulo or are attending a congress at the city and have a few days in your hands? Here’s a few ideas of what you could with with your spare time.
1. IF YOU HAVE JUST THE ONE DAY
You could go and visit Santos historical centre, where you shouldn’t miss the excellent Museu do Café (Coffee Museum) – and take a ride on the streetcar/tram too! You could drive to Santos (between an hour’s drive and two hours depending on where you are in São Paulo). Alternatively, take one of the frequent buses running from the Terminal Jabaquara bus station (at the end of the blue line of São Paulo’s subway). The bus will leave you within walking distance of the centre of Santos.
1.2 Zu Lai Buddhist temple
If you have your own transportation you could spend the morning at the Zu Lai Buddhist temple. Getting there following the Raposo Tavares motorway is a piece of cake – look for the signs when you approach km 25.
1.3 Valley of the Temples
With a bit more time you could make an extension to the previous visit and reach the Vale dos Templos (Valley of the Temples) in Itapecerica, where you can find a real-size replica of Kinkaku-ji golden temple – minus the gold, of course. Get to Itapecerica and then follow the signs.
1.4 Embu das Artes
Embu das Artes is a town on the outskirts of São Paulo where every weekend takes place and incredibly popular and open-air arts and crafts fair. Follow the Regis Bittencourt motorway until you reach Embu and then ask for directions. The fair takes places on Saturday and Sunday, no point in going to Embu any other day of the week. You could possibly get there by bus (have a look at EMTU; if you’ve spent a bit of time in São Paulo you’ll know information on public transportation is anything but cryptic).
2. IF YOU CAN AFFORD TWO DAYS OFF
2.1 Campos do Jordão
A piece of Central Europe a couple of hour’s drive from São Paulo, that is what Campos do Jordão looks like. Don’t be put off by the fact that Campos is where the well-off go to show off their motorbikes, imported cars and winter clothing. There’s more to Campos than that – including some great nature walks and excellent local beer too. You can get to Campos by car or by bus from Terminal Tietê bus station (line blue of the São Paulo subway). Campos looks its best during the winter months, when it can get really chilly – zero degrees temperatures are not unheard of.
2.2 Costa dos Alcatrazes
All right, a freezing-cold weekend up in the mountains is not what you were dreaming of when you headed for Brazil. Do not despair as we have excellent news for you: there are some stunning beaches just a couple of hour’s away from São Paulo. They are found along the Costa dos Alcatrazes, a stretch of road at the foot of the Serra do Mar, the mountain range that goes along the coastline and provides a fantastic landscape of mountains, rainforest and beaches. Choose a place to stay and then get to know the different beaches nearby. Barra do Una, Juquehy, Barra do Sahy and Camburi are our favourite beaches. Not forgetting the most famous of all, Maresias, to which we devoted an entire blog post. You can reach the Costa dos Alcatrazes using the bus, but if you have your own means of transportation you will make the most of your short time there.
A bit further north, where the state of São Paulo meets the state of Rio de Janeiro, you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the south east of Brazil. Have a look at the blog post we dedicated to Utatuba for more information. If you drive, it will take you at least three hours to reach Ubatuba.
If pot-holing is your thing, then you should head to the PETAR caving complex in the south of the state of São Paulo. Although we haven’t been there ourselves we left some basic information at PETAR, a pot-holer’s paradise.
3. IF YOU CAN AFFORD THREE DAYS OFF
Excellent news. If you can take at least three days off you couldn’t go anywhere more beautiful and spectacular than Paraty, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. You could take the bus to Paraty (5 hours, leaves from Terminal Tietê bus station in São Paulo) or drive along the beautiful Rio-Santos motorway. Paraty is one of our top-three destinations in Brazil, shall we say more?
São Paulo’s top ten
five reasons to love São Paulo
five reasons to hate São Paulo
youth hostels in São Paulo
Accommodation in Barra do Sahy and Barra do Una
terminal Tietê bus station in São Paulo
Brazil in pictures: Kinkaku-ji temple
PETAR, a pot-holer’s paradise
Embu das Artes
Beaches on the state of São Paulo
Brazil in pictures: Zu Lai temple
São Paulo traffic images live on the Internet