Archive for February, 2010

links: Ilha do Mel

links: Ilha do Mel

To make up for the absence on this blog of a specific destination card devoted to Ilha do Mel, I am publishing a blog entry with links to sites of interest.

HOW TO GET TO ILHA DO MEL

Boats for the island depart from Pontal do Sul. During the high season there are also boats from Paranaguá. To get there, you either take a bus from Curitiba or, if you have an entire day to spend, the Trem da Serra (train that links Curitiba and Paranaguá). The links I’m showing below containg full schedules for the boat and the buses and train.

ACCOMMODATION

Our Accommodation in Brazil blog has a full list of hotels and pousadas in Ilha do Mel

PORTALS

The government of the state of Paraná has a website devoted to the coast of the state. Within the site, a section on Ilha do Mel.

There are also some private portals, including Ilha do Mel.net, Ilha do Mel.com.br and Ilha do Mel.com.

WEATHER

Average rainfall and temperatures for Ilha do Mel (data from nearby Paranagúa) at weather.msn.com

VOLTAGE

Voltage on the island is 110.

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

There is a limit to the number of tourists that can stay in the island at any given time: 5,000. If you’re heading to the island during the holiday season, make sure you do so with your accommodation booked in advance. That will prevent you from being stranded in the continent if the limit is reached.

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February 26, 2010 | By More
destination: Brasilia

destination: Brasilia

Congresso Nacional, BrasiliaProcuradoria Geral da RepúblicaSantuário Dom Bosco, BrasiliaOs Candangos, Brasilia
Museu da República, BrasiliaJuscelino Kubitschek, BrasiliaPonte JK (JK bridge), BrasiliaSupremo Tribunal Federal, Brasilia

Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, is a unique and spectacular city. Hardly visited by locals and foreigners alike, its World Heritage Status should grant it the recognition it deserves. It is a true Brazilian jewel. Brasilia is 50 years in 2010, the perfect excuse for a trip there.

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1. HOW TO GET THERE:

Brasilia is quite isolated from the big Brazilian cities. Our advice is to reach it by plane. Brasilia’s international airport is on the outskirts of the city. The main Brazilian airlines fly to Brasilia. There is a new shuttle bus from Brasilia airport to town.

By bus it’s a 16-hour journey from São Paulo. Both Real Expresso and Rápido Federal go to Brasilia. The links explained at bus transportation in Brazil will help you find departures from other cities.

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2. WHEN TO GO:

There is hardly any rain in Brasilia between May and September. Heat can be high and relative humidty reach extreme low values. Due to the lack of rain, the vegetation turns yellow. We advice you to avoid Brasilia during the period between May and September.

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3. CAREFUL WITH:

The heat during the dry season. If you are on foot, distances are long, always carry water with you. There are hardly any shops along the Eixo Monumental, where most monuments are found. Brasilia was not designed for the pedestrian.

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4. WE LIKE THE MOST:

The feeling of being on a planned city, a extremely rare occurrence among the chaotic urban growth in Brazil.

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5. WE LIKE THE LEAST:

As soon as you leave the planned sections of the city, you come across a Brasilia full of large mansion houses and further away, a Brasilia of never-ending misery.

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6. FAVOURITE PLACES:

The Metropolitan Cathedral, the Praça dos Três Poderes, the Eixo Monumental, the Dom Bosco Sanctuary, the JK bridge, the building of the Procuradoria Geral da República.

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7. PIECE OF ADVICE:

  • you can see all the basic sights on one day. If you have two days at your disposal you can see pretty much everything. We have given you the rundown of Brasilia sights at the post sighsteeing in Brasilia.
  • if you can, visit Brasilia during the weekend. Hotel prices drop, the heavy traffic of the week is gone and if you are driving a rented car you’ll find parking spaces everywhere.
  • most hotels in Brasilia are concentrated on the North and South Hotel Sectors, two areas quite close to each other, near the TV tower and well located if you are planning on visiting the city – which you certainly are.
  • Brasilia is one of those cities where hiring a car is an excellent idea. Distances are too short for public transportation but too long for walking. A car will allow you to visit a bigger number of sights on the same day. And you’ll be able to go to places where the public transportation system won’t take you.
  • finding your way around Brasilia is not difficult. Most sights are found along the Eixo Monumental. Interpreting Brazilian addresses is quite another skill. Brasilia’s streets sport names like Shn Qd 5 Bloco I, Asa Norte or SCE/Sul, Trecho 2, Conjunto 35. In case of doubt, ask for directions, locals know how to read those addresses.
  • most monuments can be visited for free. Check out the times and other restrictions in advance. The Palácio do Planalto (presidencial palace), for instance, can only be visited on Sundays. Alvorada Palace can only be visited on Wednesdays.
  • for those not keen on hiring a car, there is a hop-on hop-off tourist bus called Brasília City Tour. It will take you to the most important tourist sights.

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9. ACCOMMODATION:

During the week, political activity in Brasilia keeps the hotels packed. During the weekend, the rooms empty and the hotels lower their prices considerably.

You can search for accommodation in Brasilia 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.

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10. HEALTH:

You don’t need any vaccines if you are planning to visit Brasilia. However, cases of yellow fever are regularly reported on the areas around the city, so if you are thinking of getting out of town, it might be a good idea to get the shot.

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11. LINKS:

The best official page is Brasilia e Região Convention & Visitors Bureau. It has no English version. On the tourism section you will be able to download a few guides with relevant material.

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12. WEATHER FORECAST:

The weather in Brasilia for the next 10 days.

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13. CLIMATE:

Average temperatures and rainfall in Brasilia at weather.msn.

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14. GOOGLE MAPS:

map of the Brasilia.

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15. PHOTO ALBUM:

Brasilia photo album (click on the link to go to the album)

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RELATED POSTS:
Brasilia 50, our free photo ebook on the Brazilian capital
map of Brasilia
hotels in Brasilia
a new shuttle bus from Brasilia airport to town
sighsteeing in Brasilia
Brasilia wonders: JK bridge
Brasilia wonders: Santuário dom Bosco
Brasilia wonders: the Esplanada dos Ministérios
World Heritage Sites
Website on the Cultural World Heritage Sites in Brazil

February 22, 2010 | By More
the notorious staircase at Sancho bay, Fernando de Noronha

the notorious staircase at Sancho bay, Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha, Brasil

The best things in life are free, to a point. To reach the most beautiful beach in Brazil, Sancho bay at the Fernando de Noronha archipelago you either take a boat and approach the beach from the sea or face the two sets of staircases inside a crack on the cliff and go down the beach that way. The following video shows the way down the cliff. Flip-flops/thongs are not a great idea, by the way. A secure foot goes a long way granting you security as you descend through the stairs.

To the administration of the archipelago: it would be nice if a minute fraction of the money collected through the environmental tax was used to mantain the staircase in pristine order.

Our main post on Noronha is destination: Fernando de Noronha.

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RELATED POSTS:
destination: Fernando de Noronha

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February 18, 2010 | By More
daylight savings time 2010 comes to an end

daylight savings time 2010 comes to an end

Brazilian summer time comes to an end at midnight on Saturday 20. This change applies to the South, Southeast and Centre-West regions of the country (the states affected by the change are: Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as the Distrito Federal). Clocks will have to be put back one hour.

The easiest way to find out what time it is on any Brazilian state at a given time is to use the tool I explained at What time is it in Brazil?

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February 15, 2010 | By More
happy 2010 carnival!

happy 2010 carnival!

Carnival 2010 is here. We are going to be visiting a couple of Brazilian destinations during the carnival break –you will read about them in the coming months. We’ll be back on Wednesday 17.

In the meantime, to all of those who will be spending the carnival in Brazil, have a whale of a time!

carnaval 2009, Mocidade AlegreAcadémicos do Tucuruvicarnaval 2009, Vai-Vai
carnaval 2009, Mocidade Alegrecarnaval 2009, Pérola Negracarnaval 2009, Académicos do Tucuruvi
carnaval 2009, Mocidade Alegrecarnaval 2009, Vai-Vaicarnaval 2009, Vai-Vai
carnaval 2009, Império de Casa Verdecarnaval 2009, Sabrina Sato, Gaviões da Fielcarnaval 2009, Leandro de Itaquera

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RELATED POSTS:
dates of the 2010 carnival
carnival in Salvador 2010
tickets for the São Paulo 2010 carnival at the sambadrome
Rio Carnival 2010: ticket prices

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February 12, 2010 | By More