Archive for November, 2011
[see also our five reasons to love São Paulo]
1. A city where the car is king. São Paulo was designed with the car in mind –in that regard, it is no different from many American cities. The pedestrian, the cyclist, the public transportation user, they are all nuisances in the way of the private vehicle. When it comes to assign public investments, cars rule.
2. A city damaging to your health. São Paulo’s atmosphere is so polluted that the mere fact of living in São Paulo takes two years away from your average life expectancy. And pollution keeps growing year after year.
3. A dirty city. São Paulo is a city where litter strikes you. There is rubbish everywhere.
4. An ugly city. I can’t blame anybody who’s been to São Paulo for a day a found it one giant eyesore. They were probably unlucky and no one took them to the nice corners of the city. But corners they are. Overall concrete, tarmac, dirt, electricity wires come together to create a urban landscape as ugly as sin.
5. Unequal city. Class differences that are the backbone of Brazilian society are as evident in São Paulo as anywhere else in Brazil. Ostentatious display of wealth and slave labour are found in the same city.
It is for these reasons and a few other that a recent survey showed that, if given the chance, 57% of the inhabitants of São Paulo would move somewhere else. Some figure it is and a powerful statement of where things stand when it comes to quality of life.
[see also our five reasons to hate São Paulo]
1. Open city. Being an stranger in São Paulo is an absolutely irrelevant condition. The prosperity and the identity of São Paulo were built with the contribution of inmigrants from all over the planet. A stranger is nothing more than a paulistano (citizen of São Paulo) who’s been around for a shorter time. Contrary to what is the norm in most Brazilian tourist destinations, where there is a clear-cut distinction between locals and visitors, in São Paulo the clothes, the colour of the skin or the accent are unlikely to raise any eyebrows.
2. The melting pot. Cultures intertwine in São Paulo like nowhere else in Brazil.
3. Culinary paradise. The overwhelming diversity of São Paulo restaurants is a true joy. Contrary to what the mainstream media might lead you to believe, you can eat really well in São Paulo at affordable prices (well, that was certainly the case not that long ago before prices rocketed in the largest Brazilian city). Just run away from the usual suspects recommended in the “best of” lists.
4. Tolerance. Though tolerance is far from being exercised by the entire population of São Paulo, it shows considerable health in the city. It is no wonder that the most popular festive event of São Paulo is, by a long mile, the Gay Parade.
5. Splendid graffitis. São Paulo graffitis help smarten up a city that has more than its fair share of eyesores. Passion for graffit has put São Paulo at the top of the worldwide street art league.
Although traces of European colonization in the southern region of Brazil are well-known by tourists, there is a town in the Mantiqueira Mountains, in the state of São Paulo, that is hardly ever visited by foreign tourists: Campos do Jordão. A two-hour drive from the city of São Paulo, Campos do Jordão is a place where the visitor will find Central European architecture, mountains, cold temperatures, a fireplace at their pousada, artesanal beer and German sausages… a tad fake, if you ask me.
Campos do Jordão features as one of our recommended São Paulo getaways.
The Pantanal is probably the most outstanding nature destination in Brazil in terms of wildlife. Needless to say, it’s a birdwatcher’s paradise. Our Pantanal handbook contains all the info you need about this wonderful destination. Today we are presenting a selection of shots taken over a short period of time in Northern Pantanal.
Our friend and experienced diver Gabriel went to Noronha and sent us a handful of underwater pictures. Thrilling stuff.
Fernando de Noronha ranks at the top of our 10 must-see places in Brazil and also at our top 10 Brazilian beaches. A brilliant destination, both underwater and above it. Our main entry for Noronha is destination: Fernando de Noronha.