Archive for April, 2012

dengue fever epidemic declared in Rio de Janeiro, no need to panic

dengue fever epidemic declared in Rio de Janeiro, no need to panic

Río de Janeiro

The authorities of Rio de Janeiro have just declared a dengue epidemic in the city, something of an annual event.

This year’s epidemic seems of a smaller scale than in preceeding years:

  • 12 deaths have been registered as well as 50,000 cases. Readers of this blog will remember previous epidemics with hundreds of deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases.
  • the declaration of the epidemic comes at the end of April, when the rainy season is coming to an end and the number of cases drops drastically.

Should you cancel your trip to Rio because of the dengue epidemic? In questions of health we’ve always believed that everyone should make their own mind based on their tolerance to risk. To those affected, it doesn’t matter much whether the number of victims is large or tiny. We personally wouldn’t cancel our trip to Rio but like I’ve just pointed out, that’s a decision based on our own personal tolerance to risk – which might be different from yours.

We encourage you to read 10 facts about dengue fever in Brazil, a text we wrote with the help of a medical specialist on the issue. After reading the text, you’ll be better prepared to make your own mind.

a word of warning on accommodation in Rio de Janeiro during June 2012

April 30, 2012 | By More
Google’s homage to Brasilia on its 52th anniversary

Google’s homage to Brasilia on its 52th anniversary


For those who were not surfing the internet on Saturday, here’s the beautiful homage Google paid to the 52th anniversary of Brasilia in the form a doodle (you can see it here) formed by the silhouettes of some of the best-known buildings in the city.

Memorial JKCongresso Nacional, BrasiliaCatedral Metropolitana, BrasiliaSupremo Tribunal Federal, Brasilia

Here at the BRAZIL TRAVEL BLOG we paid our very own homage to Brasilia on the occassion of its 50th birthday: a e-photobook you can view and download for free: Brasilia 50, our free photo ebook on the Brazilian capital. Brasilia features on our list of 10 must-see places in Brazil and for that reason we have covered the destination in detail. The starting point to all the information we have on the capital of Brazil is destination: Brasilia.

For those interested on an alternative take, in English, on what Brasilia means 52 years later: An irreparable mistake, Brasília, 52, may only be feasible in 150 years.

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

April 23, 2012 | By More
a new infrastructure for Noronha: two different island experiences in the making?

a new infrastructure for Noronha: two different island experiences in the making?

Fernando de Noronha, Brasil

It wasn’t that long ago that we mentioned how the national park of Fernando de Noronha was going to be run by a private company: news from Noronha: paradise to be run by private company and off goes a year of accumulated garbage.

The first results of that move can now be seen, with the construction of the first catwalk leading visitors to the different points of interest on the main island (there is more detailed information, in Portuguese, as well as photographs at Nova estrutura turística do Parque Nacional Marinho Fernando de Noronha é pioneira no país).

If all the announcements made become a reality, the experience of visiting the national park will be improved bit time for many visitors. Of particular importance is the construction of three Information and Control Centers (one on the high end of Sancho Beach, another one at Sueste Beach and the third one at Leão Beach). Visitors will find at those centers maps, restooms, lockers, bike and diving gear hire.

The question I added to the title of the post occurred to me while reading the following dialogue at the Facebook profile of the company running the park:

The tourist observes:

The beaches of Boldró, Conceição and Porto are covered with garbage, beer cans and so on.

The responsible for the company replies:

Those beaches belong to the Environmental Preservation Area and are not under our responsibility. Get in touch with the administration of the Noronha District, who are responsible for garbage collection and maintenance of the beaches.

Just picture the scene. The tourist arrives in the most expensive destination in Brazil. Pays two hefty taxes, the new entrance fee to the National Park and the environmental tax. The benefits deriving from the National Park entrance fee soon become obvious. While the use being made of the money paid on the environmental tax becomes a mistery (we gave some hints to help you decipher the mystery at the dark side of Fernando de Noronha)

Fernando de Noronha, Brasil

During their stay in Noronha, the tourists will move between two different domains. One clean and well-preserved and the other one leaving a lot to be desired. It will have a smashing time visiting the National Park but God forbids they should have an accident while on the other side of Noronha (a Brazilian tourist suffered a traffic accident in Noronha. As the local “hospital” is not prepared to deal with serious cases, a hospital airplane had to be called in from the continent. Problem is, when the plane reached the island, several of the lights signalling the airport’s runway were not working and the plane had to return to the continent. The tourist died the following day as a results of his serious injuries: Turista de SC morre em acidente em Fernando de Noronha).

There will be two types of beaches. The ones within the National Park, full of facilities, and the ones outside the National Park, where cans of beer might form part of the landscape.

And the tourist will not understand a thing.

It is time for pressure being put on the administration of the island of Noronha to reveal where the money collected through the environmental tax goes. And it is also time for the local administration to ensure tourism in Noronha doesn’t become a tale of two different experiences. The most beautiful and expensive Brazilian destination deserves a little more care.

Our main blog post on the Brazilian paradise is destination: Fernando de Noronha.

the dark side of Fernando de Noronha
Noronha: ready to fork out a further R$130?
five days in Noronha for R$900 total – how we did it
pay your tax online… not!
news from Noronha: paradise to be run by private company and off goes a year of accumulated garbage

April 17, 2012 | By More
Restinga de Jurubatiba National Park open for visitation on 4-wheel drive or boat

Restinga de Jurubatiba National Park open for visitation on 4-wheel drive or boat

See map on a larger window

Restinga de Jurubatiba National Park, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, one of the youngest national parks in Brazil, will open for visitation using 4-wheel drives or boats. The buggy or 4-wheel drive ride will visit 13 km between the lagoons and the sea. The boat trip will go from Paulista lagoon to Carapebus lagoon.

The Brazilian authorities are trying to establish the rules governing the visitation of the park. The companies providing tourist services will be based in the town of Quissamã. The park will be open for visitation from Thursday to Sunday and during bank holidays too. Visitors to the park will not have to purchase any packages.

In spite of its youth the park faces serious threats deriving from economic and human activity around the park (Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, no Norte do Rio, tenta sobreviver numa área de pressão social e econômica). We hope
sustainable tourism will help the park face the threats.

April 13, 2012 | By More
restaurants in the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, a new tourist attraction

restaurants in the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, a new tourist attraction

Río de Janeiro, Brasil

Rio is the most touristic city in Brazil and to defend its status it needs to reinvent itself the whole time. Thanks to recent changes in some favelas of the city after the near-military occupation of the territories by the police, new business opportunities have emerged in what can only be described as tourist no-go areas not than long ago. Tourism has benefited from the new-found peace.

In this context is where the emergence of home-run restaurants in the favelas should be seen. They offer a basic and honest fare and base their success on the authenticity of the experience. Newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo wrote recently about the phenomenon in With the police occupation, homestyle restaurants have become a tourist attraction.

destination: Rio de Janeiro

April 10, 2012 | By More