Archive for January, 2012

Brasilia, 25 years as a Unesco World Heritage Site

Brasilia, 25 years as a Unesco World Heritage Site

Os Candangos, Brasilia

The government of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, wants to dedicate 2012 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the city’s designation as a World Heritage Site. The reasons for Unesco’s decision can be read at its website:

Brasilia, a capital created ex nihilo in the centre of the country in 1956, was a landmark in the history of town planning. Urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer intended that every element – from the layout of the residential and administrative districts (often compared to the shape of a bird in flight) to the symmetry of the buildings themselves – should be in harmony with the city’s overall design. The official buildings, in particular, are innovative and imaginative.

When we visited Brasilia its spectacular cathedral was undergoing renovation work. For that reason we couldn’t contemplate it at its very best.

catedral metropolitana, Brasilia

Now that restoration work is completed I’d love to invite you for a beautiful virtual walkthrough inside the cathedral on the following 360° image of the cathedral of Brasilia.

Brasilia is one of the Brazilian destinations we have covered at length here at the Brazil Travel Blog. At destination: Brasilia you will read the basics while at sighsteeing in Brasilia we gave you a complete round-up of the main tourist sights in the city. And we gave a free photo ebook to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Brasilia.

Brasilia is a must-see place in Brazil (it features on our very own 10 places in Brazil) and we encourage you to include it in your itinerary around the country.

destination: Brasilia
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

January 30, 2012 | By More
carnaval de rua 2012, the Rio carnival on the streets

carnaval de rua 2012, the Rio carnival on the streets

carnaval de rua 2012

Over the last few years the Rio carnaval de rua, the carnival on streets, has experienced booming popularity. Admittedly, the carnival on the street lacks the sumptuous visuals of the Sambadrome parades. But it is no match when it comes to force, energy, espontaneity and popular participation. To take part in the street carnival, after all, no purchase of expensive tickets is required. Actually, you don’t need to purchase any tickets at all.

The official website of the Rio tourism authorities has just launched the official guide to the Carnaval de Rua Rio 2012 where you will find the dates and locations of the street parties. The core of the party are the blocos, carnival groups parading throughout town.

destination: Rio de Janeiro
dates of the 2012 carnival in Brazil

January 27, 2012 | By More
rubber and sustainable development in the Amazon

rubber and sustainable development in the Amazon

Maguary, FLONA do Tapajós, Brazil

During our trip to wonderful Alter do Chão (more info at destination: Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós) we saw first-hand how rubber is extracted in the Amazon and learned about its importance both for the local communities and the environment. Seeing with your own eyes how rubber is harvested (or “tapped”) leads you to a better understanding of the importance of natural rubber for the preservation of the forest. Rubber prevents the advance of deforestation and intensive agriculture. Local communities preserve their rubber trees as they provide part of their income.

Don’t miss the chance to visit a local community along the Amazon and its tributaries. There are Sustainable Use Conservation Units, Family based agriculture Settlement Projects and Private Reserves in the states of Acre, Amazonas, Pará and Rondônia.

the Amazon: an index of blog posts

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January 23, 2012 | By More
Rio de Janeiro as seen by its population

Rio de Janeiro as seen by its population


Professor Bayard Boiteaux’s blog released a few months ago the results of a survey where cariocas (inhabitants of Rio) where asked how they see the place where they live from a tourist point of view: Como o carioca percebe o Rio,como produto turístico?

Here’s the translation of some of those findings. In brackets, the percentage of replies for each option.

What is the tourist icon of Rio de Janeiro?

  1. Corcovado Mountain (40%)
  2. Sugar Loaf Mountain (28%)
  3. Maracaná (10%)
  4. Copacabana (8%)
  5. Floresta da Tijuca (6%)
  6. Sambadrome (5%)
  7. Botanic Gardens (3%)

Do you see Rio as being a tourist city?

  • Yes (70%)
  • No (30%)

Which tourist sights have you visited?

  1. the beaches (50%)
  2. Quinta da Boa Vista (22%)
  3. Sugar Loaf Mountain (15%)
  4. Corcovado Mountain (12%)

What are the main problems of Rio?

  1. traffic (35%)
  2. dirt (28%)
  3. safety (20%)
  4. rocketing prices (14%)
  5. public transportation (3%)

What are the most positive aspects of Rio?

  1. the joyful nature of its population (30%)
  2. informal character (25%)
  3. natural beauty (20%)
  4. wide range of leisure activities (15%)
  5. football (10%)

Always interesting to learn how the inhabitants of a tourist destination see themselves. Our HQ for all the info regarding Rio de Janeiro is this blog’s entry: 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
double-decker hop on-hop off tourist bus for Rio de Janeiro

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January 19, 2012 | By More
Brazil needs new strategies to attract foreign tourists

Brazil needs new strategies to attract foreign tourists

carnaval 2009, Vai-Vai

The title of this blog post is not my own. It is rather a statement by the World Tourism Organization (Brasil precisa de novas estratégias para atrair turistas, diz OMT). One day, with plenty of time in my hands and the stimulus to do so, I am going to write a thorough analysis of everything that is wrong with the way Brazil sells itself abroad. Let me be clear, the “new strategies” do not involve circus acts (spending a fortune on a billboard when so many basic things are needed is not the way forward) or plagiarism (I’m still awaiting for a contact from the Brazilian goverment to explain the unauthorized use of blog content I was victim of).

Unless a radical change takes place in the way the promotion of Brazil as a tourist destination is conducted, all that Brazil will be able to celebrate is achieving the figure of 5.3 million foreign tourists – a record-number reached in 2000 and matched just now in 2011), a figure that leaves Brazil as an insignificant player in world tourism. The new strategies must above all embrace the way travelers of the XXI make their travel plans.

January 16, 2012 | By More