Archive for May, 2011

Amazon riverboat trips

Amazon riverboat trips

Amazon river / río Amazonas

Many tourists choose to embark on long boat trips along the Amazon as part of their Amazon experience. They can range from a couple of days to more than a week. For them, Lonely Planet’s tips for Amazon riverboat trips will be quite useful.

Manaus, Brazil

Long boat trips along the Amazon are not really our cup of tea. While interesting from a sociological point of view, they don’t allow for a close contact with the jungle. That’s why we recommend navigating shorter distances allowing for exciting encounters both aboard and on land. We have a particular soft spot for Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós, where you can feel what navigating a giant river is like while at the same time you can leave the roustic comfort of your boat and get your boots dirty in the jungle.

Manaus, Manaos

At riverboats across the Amazon – schedules / timetables we gave details on how to find out the specifics about boats going up and down the Amazon region.

——————————
RELATED POSTS:
an Amazon adventure: trips around Alter do Chão
“cheia” and “seca” on the Amazon region
tourism on the Amazon region is a foreign affair
riverboats across the Amazon – schedules / timetables
destination: Algodoal
destination: Belém
destination: Ilha do Marajó
destination: Manaus
the Meeting of the Waters and the Janauary Ecological Park, near Manaus

May 30, 2011 | By More
spectacular 360º panoramic photos of Rio de Janeiro and the Iguassu Falls

spectacular 360º panoramic photos of Rio de Janeiro and the Iguassu Falls

It is not the first time we bring to the blog spectacular photos found across the internet (a few weeks ago we saw virtual walkthroughs: Jericoacoara, Morro de São Paulo, Paraty, Porto de Galinhas and Rio de Janeiro and 360-degree photos of Manaus and the BR-319 across the jungle).

Today’s selection deserve special attention both for their quality and their spectacular nature. The photos belong to the Russian company AirPano, specializing in aerial captures. Its website contains a beautiful selection of shots from all corners of the world.

Iguassu Falls 360º

iguazu 360

Rio de Janeiro 360º

rio 360

If you click on the photos you will go to the page where they are hosted. The mouse controls movements in all directions. With the wheel mouse you can zoom in or out. There are shots taking airborne and shots taken from ground level.

Two fantastic documents that help portrait in all its glory the grandiosity of two of the best-known Brazilian destinations.

——————————
RELATED POSTS:
destination: Iguazu Falls
destination: Rio de Janeiro

subscribe to the Brazil Travel Blog by Email
follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Twitter
follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Facebook

May 25, 2011 | By More
low season in Rio de Janeiro – a thing of the past

low season in Rio de Janeiro – a thing of the past

Copacabana y Leme

Two features in the press have focused on a recent Rio phenomenon: the high occupancy rates of its hotels (you can read the notes in Portuguese at Cheios o ano todo, hotéis do Rio não sabem mais o que é baixa temporada and Com indústria e Copa, turismo de negócios supera o de lazer).

Rio’s increasing popularity is keeping hotels full even in dates where movement was traditionally low. The association representing Rio hotels estimates the occupancy rate for 2011 could border on 80%. The interesting fact is that this is happening at a time where leisure tourism is losing its importance. It is estimated business travellers will account in 2011 for 65% of the hotel rooms.

This is bad news for those wanting to holiday in Rio. High occupancy rates and the stronger role played by business travellers means expensive rates all year round. Rio hotels are right now among the most expensive in the world. At budget accommodation in Rio de Janeiro we tried to help you find affordable accommodation in the city. But always bear in mind that “cheap” in Rio is likely to be “expensive” by your travelling standards.

——————————
RELATED POSTS:
sky-high prices, a new Brazilian reality
destination: Rio de Janeiro
48 hours in Rio de Janeiro – what to do, where to go
hotels in Rio de Janeiro
budget accommodation in Rio de Janeiro
the Rio de Janeiro subway
map of Rio de Janeiro
a new Rio pass is launched
the new official Rio Guide
Rio de Janeiro’s Michelin guide for free
hang-gliding in Rio de Janeiro
Rio bus station: Terminal Novo Rio

subscribe to the Brazil Travel Blog by Email
follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Twitter
follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Facebook

May 19, 2011 | By More
unreasonable expectations: the Amazon is not a zoo

unreasonable expectations: the Amazon is not a zoo

Quite often one senses a feeling of frustration in the tales of those travellers who are returning from the Amazon – the ellusive wildlife of the region being the reason for that feeling. After all, they probably thought, if the Amazon is one of the regions of the planet with the richest biodiversity it shouldn’t be that difficult to see animals -the more exotic, the better- everywhere. Lonely Planet summarized well that feeling:

Many travellers leave the Amazon underwhelmed, having come expecting a Discovery Channel-like encounter with jaguars, anacondas, and spear-toting tribes. That simply doesn’t happen – surprise, surprise – much less on the schedule or budget of most travellers.

Manaus, Brazil
monkey business, Amazonas
Canal do Jari, Brazil

The foundations for that frustration is the assumption that the Amazon is an open-air zoo.

Manaus, Amazonas
Manaus, Brazil
Canal do Jari, the Amazon, Brazil

Unfortunately the reality is somehow different. Biodiversity exists, there is absolutely no doubt about it, but it is found spread along the giant extension of the Amazon region. To see wildlife in the Amazon (animals in particular) you need quite a lot of time, generous amounts of patience, the best possible guide and a reasonable budget. And always bear in mind luck plays a role (during our 2009 to the region we saw more wildlife in Manaus city than in the proper forest).

In the Amazon it is much easier to take delight in the awesome variety of plants and trees.

Floresta Nacional do Tapajós, Amazon, Brazil
vitória-regia, Amazonia, Brazil
Canal do Jari, Brazil
urucum (Bixa orellana), Amazon, Brazil

If you arrive in the Amazon with the right expectations you will appreciate much better whatever wildlife encounters you are lucky enough to have. If a zoo-like experience is what you are after then you should head to the equally fantastic Pantanal, where spotting animals is much easier.

——————————
RELATED POSTS:
“cheia” and “seca” on the Amazon region
the Meeting of the Waters and the Janauary Ecological Park, near Manaus
Jungle Lodges in the Amazon
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: Manaus
destination: Belém

subscribe to the Brazil Travel Blog by Email
follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Twitter
follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Facebook

May 16, 2011 | By More
tickets for the Rock in Rio festival are sold out

tickets for the Rock in Rio festival are sold out

rock in rio

There are no tickets left for the giant music festival that will take place in Rio in September (the 2011 edition of the Rock in Rio festival will take place… in Rio de Janeiro!).

We are told that four days it was all that it took for the 600,000 tickets to be sold out ( Rock in Rio anuncia ter vendido todos os 600 mil ingressos para o festival).

A sizeable number of those tickets are now in the hands of ticket touts, unashamedly announcing the sale of those tickets on the internet (Cambistas virtuais já anunciam ingressos para o Rock in Rio com ágio de até 480%). Be careful if you approach ticket touts (an illegal activity in Brazil), you might end up paying up to 480% more for a forged ticket that won’t get you anywhere near the music stage.
——————————
RELATED POSTS:
destination: Rio de Janeiro
hotels in Rio de Janeiro
budget accommodation in Rio de Janeiro
the Rio de Janeiro subway
map of Rio de Janeiro
the new official Rio Guide
Rio de Janeiro’s Michelin guide for free
Rio bus station: Terminal Novo Rio

May 12, 2011 | By More