Archive for May, 2012

Brazilian soccer championship 2012 – the calendar

Brazilian soccer championship 2012 – the calendar

Gaviões da Fiel, Corinthians

For those of you keen on attending a soccer/football (futebol in Portuguese) match while in Brazil, the Brazilian Federation of Football’s website contains all the information you need on games listings.

The teams taking part on this year’s first division are, grouped by states (in brackets, after the name of the team, the city and the stadium where they will play this season. Do remember some well-known stadiums are undergoing renovation work for the world cup):

  • BAHIA: Bahia (Salvador, Pituaçu).
  • GOIÁS: Atlético Goianiense (Goiânia, Serra Dourada).
  • MINAS GERAIS: Atlético Mineiro (Belo Horizonte, Independência), Cruzeiro (Uberlândia, João Havelange).
  • PARANÁ: Coritiba (Curitiba, Couto Pereira).
  • PERNAMBUCO: Náutico (Recife, Aflitos), Sport Recife (Recife, Ilha do Retiro).
  • RIO DE JANEIRO: Botafogo (Rio de Janeiro, João Havelange o Engenhão), Flamengo (Rio de Janeiro, João Havelange o Engenhão), Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro, João Havelange o Engenhão) and Vasco (Rio de Janeiro, São Januário).
  • RIO GRANDE DO SUL: Grêmio (Porto Alegre, Olímpico), Internacional (Porto Alegre, Beira-Rio).
  • SANTA CATARINA: Figueirense (Florianópolis, Orlando Scarpelli).
  • SÃO PAULO: Corinthians (São Paulo, Pacaembú), Palmeiras (São Paulo, Pacaembú), Ponte Preta (Campinas, Moisés Lucarelli), Portuguesa (São Paulo, Canindé), Santos (Santos, Vila Belmiro) and São Paulo (São Paulo, Morumbi).

Newcomers this year are Portuguesa, Ponte Preta, Náutico and Sport Recife, two teams from the state of São Paulo and two teams from the city of Recife.

I’ve prepared a GoogleMaps mash-up with the main 1st division soccer stadiums in Brazil:

View larger map

A few clarifications:

  • the Brazilian league is known as the Brasileirão
  • unless there is another ongoing competition (Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana) there is usually a round of games during the week (Wednesdays or Thursdays) and another one during the weekend (Saturdays or Sundays). During the weekend all matches are usually played at the same time, either four o’clock or six o’clock.
  • unlike the European national championships, the Brasileirão begins in May and ends in December. Halfway through the season, coinciding with the beginning of the European leagues, there is a real exodus of players, bought by European and Asian clubs. Often the squad that begins the league is quite different from the one that finishes it.
  • at local derbys (clásicos) emotions run high. You are advised to be careful, as violent clashes between rival fans are frequent, especially on the way to the stadium. Get away from conflict as fast as you can, the police do not deal with troublemakers on a kind fashion.
  • in general tickets are much more affordable than in Europe.

We have a brand-new blog devoted entirely to the FIFA World Cup 2014: the World Cup Brazil 2014.

Museu do Futebol (football/soccer museum)
Morumbi stadium (São Paulo FC)

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May 28, 2012 | By More
an end to the Rio hotel saga, for the time being at least

an end to the Rio hotel saga, for the time being at least

Copacabana y Leme

1. Prices spiraling out of control

It is not the first time we discuss hotel prices in Rio de Janeiro here at the BRAZIL TRAVEL BLOG. Quite likely it won’t be the last either. Flávio Dino is the president of Embratur, the government’s agency responsible for the promotion of tourism in Brazil abroad. He’s not someone likely to shoot himself on the foot. He recently criticized openly the attitude of Rio hotels saying they are practicing “abusive rates”. So much so that the European Union’s delegation to Rio+20 cancelled its participation on the event due to rocketing accommodation costs. Embratur’s chief believes it was a very serious situation. Only three months ago the agency he presides met with representatives from Rio hotels to prevent a dramatic price increase.

The case reached the international media (Mission Impossible: Rio in June). Only after the image of Rio had been tarnished an agreement was reached and hotel owners agreed to more reasonable prices. The damage was done.

The incredible thing is that, not taking into account the prices practiced during the dates of Rio+20, five-star hotels in Rio de Janeiro were already the most expensive in the planet. This was the conclusion of a survey carried out by internet hotel booking company, after analyzing prices charged by 142,000 hotels in 19,800 cities worldwide. The company also ranked the Brazilian cities with the most expensive accommodation. Heading the list, Angra dos Reis, Búzios, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Campinas. The note on the survey was published by Rio de Janeiro’s newspaper O Globo: Cinco estrelas do Rio, os mais caros do mundo.

Jardim Botânico

2. More affordable accommodation in on the increase

It couldn’t be otherwise. Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo reflected recently on the rise of the number of youth hostels in Rio de Janiero (read the article, in Portuguese, at: Hostels são repaginados no Rio, de olho na Copa do Mundo). According to the paper, Rio has now 65 youth hostels, many of them opened recently.

The proximity of the World Cup and the Olympic Games have produced a sharp increase in hotel prices. Coupled with that, the reality of the Rio hotelling sector, where the low season is a thing of the past. No wonder many new youth hostels are opening their doors offering a more affordable accommodation alternative for many travelers.

There are many decent people running their hostel business in Rio. Make sure your choice of hostel includes one of those decent folk rather than the few rotten apples in the basket.

3. What’s in store for the World Cup and the Olympic games?

If Rio (and other host cities) hotel owners insist on their current strategy of drawing up to the very last drop of blood from city visitors (we know there are Brazilian hotels planning to force World Cup fans to book rooms for the entire period of the World Cup at the host city where they are located rather than individual nights) we will find an scenario familiar to South Africa (World Cup 2010) or the Ukraine (Euro Cup 2012) where some host cities contemplated how hotel bookings all but vanished.

People want to visit Brazil during the World Cup. But they are not willing to ruin themselves in the process.

May 22, 2012 | By More
20 reasons to visit Bahia

20 reasons to visit Bahia

Today we pay homage to the state of Bahia on the ocassion of the celebration of the 1st Tourism Fair of Bahia.

With you, 20 images that represent 20 reasons to visit Bahia.

1. Sunset | Praia do Forte
Praia do Forte, Brasil

2. The “Quadrado” after sunset | Trancoso
O Quadrado, Trancoso

3. Festivals | Arraial d’Ajuda
Arraial d'Ajuda

4. Time standing still | Boipeba
Boipeba, Brasil

5. The Caribbean | Morro de São Paulo
Garapuá, Brasil

6. This is where Brazil started | Porto Seguro
Coroa Vermelha, Porto Seguro

7. A tropical castle | Castelo Garcia d’Ávila, Praia do Forte
Castelo Garcia d'Ávila, Praia do Forte, Brasil

8. Crystal-clear waters | Boipeba
Boipeba, Brasil

9. As soon as you spot the “fitas” you will know you are in Bahia | Salvador
Salvador de Bahía, Brasil

10. Relax, you are in Bahia | Santo André, north of Porto Seguro
Santo André, Porto Seguro, Brasil

11. Historic heritage, where gold shines | church of San Francisco, Salvador
Salvador de Bahía, Brasil

12. Environmental preservation | Projeto Tamar in Praia do Forte
Projeto Tamar, Praia do Forte, Brasil

13. Religious architecture right by the green sea | Santa Cruz de Cabrália, north of Porto Seguro
Santa Cruz de Cabrália

14. Where tourism hasn’t left its mark yet | Caraíva

15. Palm trees | Arraial d’Ajuda
Arraial d'Ajuda

16. Religious feelings | Arraial d’Ajuda
Romaria de Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda

17. Perfect beaches | Bainema beach in the island of Boipeba
praia de Bainema, Boipeba, Brasil

18. Amazing nature | a spectacular gameleira tree in Praia do Forte
Praia do Forte, Brazil

19. Any minuscule piece of land, tiny as it might be, it’s fit for the national passion | Caraíva

20. The smile | Salvador
Salvador de Bahía, Brasil

The links on the names of the destinations will take you to the information we have on them at the BRAZIL TRAVEL BLOG. Bahia is a Brazilian state that concentrates a sizeable number of tourist attractions. You can spend an entire trip to Brazil touring them. We haven’t mentioned the Chapada Diamantina as we haven’t visited the region.

May 17, 2012 | By More
1st Tourism Fair of Bahia (Salão Baiano de Turismo)

1st Tourism Fair of Bahia (Salão Baiano de Turismo)

Salvador, Brasil

We’re heading to Salvador de Bahiaa this week. The 1º Salão Baiano de Turismo, the Bahia Tourism Fair, is taking place from 17 to 19 May. As it was the case for the veteran Tourism Fair of São Paulo, the event will provide and excellent chance to talk about tourism, learn more about the myriad Brazilian destinations and rethink the way Brazil sells itself.

Salvador de Bahía, Brasil

We have been invited by the Secretary of Tourism of Bahia to take part on a round table along with Ricardo Freire (from the most important Brazilian travel blog, Viaje na Viagem) and Alison McGowan (from Hidden Pousadas Brazil). We will debate on a topic close to us all: the independent traveller.

salao baiano de turismo

If you are going to the fair, the round table will take place on 18 May at 17:00. You will find all the info related to the fair at its official website.

We are delighted with the iniative of Bahiatursa (the official tourism agency for the state of Bahia), placing the independent traveller at the core of the discussion.

May 14, 2012 | By More
weekly shot: the magical “igapó”, the flooded forest

weekly shot: the magical “igapó”, the flooded forest

"igapó", Alter do Chão, Amazon, Brazil
"igapó", Alter do Chão, Amazon, Brazil

Sailing on a small boat through an igapó, the flooded forest, it’s a magical experience. The flooded forest is made possible by the changing levels of the Amazon river (at “cheia” and “seca” on the Amazon region we gave more details of the phenomenon).

We have published quite a few blog posts here at the BRAZIL TRAVEL BLOG on the Amazon. Here’s the index of blog posts on the Amazon.

May 11, 2012 | By More