Archive for January, 2010
On 10 facts about dengue fever in Brazil, our main entry devoted to dengue fever on this blog, we explained how the dengue epidemic coincides with the rainy season. What with the rainy season well under way, dengue is back to the headlines: Risco de dengue deixa em estado de alerta 17 capitais, diz ministério. Alert on 17 capitals due to the risk of dengue fever. Among the capitals mentioned there are plenty of important tourist destinations such as Aracaju, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Maceió, Manaus, Natal, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahía, São Luís, Recife or Vitória.
- Do not panic. Dengue fever is endemic. It appears every year in most of the country.
- Be informed. Read 10 facts about dengue fever in Brazil to know more about the disease and to learn how to prevent becoming a victim of dengue fever.
- When you reach your destination, seek up-to-date information locally. There isn’t a single online source with up-to-date information on dengue fever on all the destinations mentioned above.
Welcome to the Brazil Travel Blog and our special report on the São Paulo Indy 300 race.
1. THE DATES
The São Paulo Indy 300 race will be held on Sunday 14 March 2010 (training sessions on the previous day). There is a full schedule of events at the race’s official website.
2. THE CIRCUIT
The race will take place on a makeshift circuit on the north of the city of São Paulo. Among other places, the drivers will race their cars through the São Paulo sambadrome (the carnival will be over by the time of the race).
Take a virtual lap at the circuit with the following video:
3. HOW TO GET TO THE CIRCUIT
4. TICKET SALES
Tickets will be sold from the beginning of February. Check the official website for more information. Ticket prices from R$100 to R$500 (on the left sidebar of the blog you can check the current exchange rate of the Brazilian real).
5. WHAT TO DO IN SÃO PAULO
Our main entry on São Paulo is Destination: São Paulo. At São Paulo’s top ten I pointed out a few outstanding highlights in the city. And if you have a few days to spare, you could do much worse than having a look at our suggestions of São Paulo getaways.
6. ACCOMMODATION IN SÃO PAULO
You can search for accommodation in São Paulo through our Hotels Combined search engine, a unique free tool that searches multiple hotel reservation websites simultaneously to help you find the lowest rate instantly. It eliminates the need to search major websites one by one in order to compare prices and availability. An amazing time and money saver!
The results open on a new page.
We have also published a blog post on youth hostels in São Paulo.
The guide contains maps and information on accommmodation, shopping, food and fun in São Paulo. As well as the online guide, you can download a PDF guide here. It is a bilingual Portuguese/English edition.
It is São Paulo rightly claiming its place among the top gay destinations in the world.
These are times when the url of a hotel has become a commodity (Trip Advisor is charging hotel owners a fee if they want their url to show up along the reviews). For that reason we understand that having as complete as possible listings is of great help to travelers. More often than not, the listings we come across are quite limited and only include a small number of hotels and pousadas.
We hope the project will be of help to Brazilian readers.
New listings at Accomodation in Brazil
We have now a handful of new listings at Accomodation in Brazil. Hotels and pousadas in Canela (Rio Grande do Sul), Guarapari (Espírito Santo), Ilhéus (Bahia), Itacaré (Bahia), Maceió (Alagoas) and Pirenópolis (Goiás).
1. Jungle Lodges in the Amazon are for rich foreign tourists.
The name itself used by many hotels, “Jungle Lodge”, in English, says it all. Most jungle hotels cater for the foreign English-speaking crowd and quote their services in dollars or euros. Reaching Manaus and staying at a jungle lodge is not within the reach of most Brazilians. And those Brazilians that could afford it are frankly not too interested on nature experiences, they’d rather spend their holidays at a luxurious pousada at the beach or shopping in Miami.
Unfortunately, Jungle Lodges do not have the backpacking crowd in mind.
2. Location, location, location.
It pains me to say so, but there are some beautiful jungle lodges, highly recommended in many guides, that are just a few miles from that eyesore that it is Manaus. Anyone staying at those hoteles will see the city lights at the end of the day, will hear the boats up and down the river and even the planes approaching Manaus international airport. If they wander too far from the hotel they might hit a paved road.
Few hotels give precise details of their location. For that reason I decided to spend some time researching the location of most hotels and making it available on a Google Maps mash-up. I haven’t been able to locate precisely some hotels (either because there aren’t high-res images available or simply because the information I could gather didn’t help me find the hotel). For those hotels I’m just giving its approximate location.
View jungle lodges on a bigger map.
I recommend you open the map on a full page.
The hotels for which I’m giving their accurate location are: Acajatuba Jungle Lodge, Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge, Amazon Rainforest Adventure Station, Ariaú Amazon Towers, Amazon Mainan Lodge, Pakaas Palafitas Lodge, Pousada Uacari and Tiwa Amazonas Ecoresort.
If you are going to spend a small fortune to turn your Amazon dream a reality it might help knowing where you are heading too. Needless to say, the further away from civilization, the likelier you are to encounter wildlife and experience a true jungle holiday.
As you can imagine, nobody turns up at a remote jungle lodge asking whether there are any rooms available. Most hotels offer packages to their guests, including accommodation, meals (you won’t find any bars or restaurants near jungle lodges!) and jungle trips. When you purchase your package, make sure you understand what it is and it is not included. Likewise, most hotels include the transfer in/out to and from the hotel on their packages, but do make sure this is included.
4. Not all jungle lodges are the same.
For the reasons explained at number 1, a few jungle lodges have developed a business model that will not thrill those seeking a jungle experience as authentic as possible. We are talking about hotels with plasma TVs and DVD players on all rooms, gyms, spas, business centre, internet café, souvenir and jewelery shops and the likes. Outstanding among them are the Ariau Towers hotel and the Jungle Othon Palace.
A jungle lodge for which I’ve only heard praise – coming from people with environmental concerns I trust – is the Pousada Uacari at the Mamirauá ecological reserva. Although it is not, by any means, a luxury resort, its remote location makes it a costly choice. It would definitely be my choice if money wasn’t a problem and you were after a genuine Amazon experience.
If you have stayed at a jungle hotel and want to send me your opinions, you can use this blog’s contact address.
“cheia” and “seca” on the Amazon region
the Meeting of the Waters and the Janauary Ecological Park, near Manaus
tourism on the Amazon region is a foreign affair
the Amazon: a new threat in the shape of a gigantic bridge
destination: Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós
Destination: Ilha do Marajó