Archive for August, 2009
The Brazil Travel Blog brings you every month a calendar for you to use on your computer desktop. In September we enjoy a view from the air of the city of Salvador de Bahia.
Remember, a new calendar every month!
Acre is on the westernmost part of Brazil, bordering with the state of Amazonas to the north and with Peru and Bolivia to the south. It is one of the most remote and unexplored Brazilian territories and most of its area is covered by the Amazon jungle.
Up until the beginning of the XX century Acre belonged to Bolivia. In 1903 it became a Brazilian territory and only in 1962 it reached the status of a state within the Brazilian federation. The population of Acre barely reaches 700,000 inhabitants. Its economy has been historically linked to rubber tapping. Chico Mendes, murdered in 1988, became the symbol of the fight for the preservation of the Amazon. Although the state has seen environmental crime of the sort that is it rampant in other Brazilian states, the rate of deforestation is below the average for the Amazon region.
Rio Branco is the capital of Acre. As it is the case for the remaining states we are presenting on this series, one of the main obstacles to the development of a tourist industry are the high transportation costs. A flight from the southern regions of Brazil to Acre can cost as much as a ticket to the States.
The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism has included a tourist route in the state of Acre. The Caminhos do Pacífico (Pacific Ways) includes visits to the capital, Rio Branco, and to Xapuri, the birthplace of the fight for the defence of the Amazon region, where the house of Chico Mendes is located. There are forest trails to be discovered in Xapuri, as well as a close contact with the daily life of the rubber culture.
The state of Acre is home to the National Park of Serra do Divisor, on its border with Peru. The park has no tourist infrastructure and can only be visited with an authorization from IBAMA.
The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism hasn’t elaborated any videos to popularize the tourist attractions of the state of Acre (videos were preparaded for most Brazilian states). In the Ministry’s tool for travel professionals, Brasil Network, there is no information on Acre. It would seem selling Acre as a tourist destination is far from being a priority.
For the European tourist arriving in Brazil, attending the Oktoberfest in Blumenau, state of Santa Catarina, won’t probably rank high among its priorities. After all, they have the real McCoy less than a couple of hour’s away from most European airports. German beer is not an item that populates the imagination of the visitor when it comes to Brazil. However, the Oktoberfest in Blumenau (the biggest of its kind in Latin America) is as legitimate a representative of the cultural diversity of Brazil as capoeira in Salvador or samba in Rio de Janeiro.
[photo by ariel martini reproduced under a Creative Commons licence]
Blumenau’s Oktoberfest takes place in an area of heavy German colonization. The 2009 edition will take place between 1 and 18 October and it will be a very special edition as it happens one year after the catastrophic floods that devastated Blumenau and its region. Spirits – no pun intended, should run high. At the party’s website you will find lots of detailed information.
Hidden somewhere at the Brasil Network website – the Ministry of Tourism tool for travel professionals, there is a little gem: the Brazil Diving Guide. It’s a 42-page booklet on PDF format with a wealth of information on diving in Brazil. Diving sites, shipwrecks, wildlife. The whole lot. The copy borders on the reckless at times (comparing Maracajau to the Great Barrier Reef is likely to create very disgruntled customers) but it is nonetheless a helfpul source. It can be downloaded clicking here.
Much as I try, I can’t see why this valuable material is not made openly available to independent travelers. We know the Ministry of Tourism is mostly interested on wealthy foreign tourists but it is quite a mistake to make independent travel and wealth incompatible. Well, never mind. That’s why we have independent travel blogs for.
The cities that will host the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil have been chosen. They are Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaos, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo.
It is almost certain that the World Cup final will take place at the Maracanã stadium in Rio. São Paulo and Belo Horizonte are fighting for the right to host the opening game.