Archive for September, 2012
As the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics approach it is time to refresh our list of must-see places in Brazil. Choose any of the listed destinations – a handful of them if you can afford too!, and the success of your Brazilian trip is guaranteed.
Click on the names of the places to go to their full destination cards here at the BRAZIL TRAVEL BLOG, and find out more about them. Some of the destinations are really well-known. Others fall within the hidden jewel description. I have only included places I have been to (places I’ve read/heard about but I haven’t visited didn’t make it into the ranking).
1. Fernando de Noronha (Pernambuco)
Visiting paradise comes at a price. The most outrageously expensive Brazilian destination is also home to the most wonderful beaches in the entire country.
2. Paraty (Rio de Janeiro)
Colonial architecture, tropical rainforest and secluded beaches. And just a few hours away from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. Paraty should feature prominently on any trip around Brazil.
3. Lençóis Maranhenses (Maranhão)
One of the few Brazilian destinations that can rightly claim its uniqueness: a vast expanse of sand dunes and lagoons that make for a mesmerizing landscape. To be enjoyed between June and September.
4. the Pantanal (Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul)
Heaven for wildlife lovers doesn’t get closer than this. Head to the Pantanal for a wildlife experience that can rival many African destinations.
5. Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós (Pará)
You can’t contemplate a trip to Brazil without a true Amazon adventure? Then head to Alter do Chão, where you will discover the Amazon at its best.
6. Iguaçu falls (Paraná and Argentina)
Another Brazilian must. No amount of touristification (and the falls are nowhere near Niagara Falls on that regard) can detract from the sheer beauty of the falls and the surrounding jungle.
7. Ilha Grande (Rio de Janeiro)
Beautiful beaches and extraordinary natural landscapes. To be consumed along with nearby Paraty if possible. Best avoided during the high season.
8. Brasilia (Distrito Federal)
Disneyworld for art and architecture lovers. Come and see what a 50-year-old planned city looks like.
9. Curitiba (Paraná)
Wildly regarded as a model for all Brazilian cities. Curitiba contains quite a number of pleasant surprises for the visitor.
10. Boipeba (Bahia)
Should be placed, by right, at a higher ranking on our list. But the stupidity of some humans (a shopping mall in a secluded off-the-beaten track island???) brings it down to number 10.
From October 2012, Spanish airline Iberia is scheduling an additional weekly flight on its Madrid /Barajas – Río de Janeiro /Galeão route, turning it into a daily service.
The airline, flying also to São Paulo, uses a A340-300 on the route.
Iberia’s fares are usually among the least expensive on the Spanish-Brazil route. However, the service provided by the Spanish airline is way below that of its main competitors.
On Saturday this week I’ll be in Rio de Janeiro to take part in the Seminário Viajosfera, an event organized by Ricardo Freire, author of the best known Brazilian travel blog, Viaje na Viagem. I’ve been kindly invited to take part in a round table where I’ll share my experience of creating products for my readers (I’m going to talk about my experience of creating the Guía de São Paulo, a guide to São Paulo in the Spanish language). The event is going to bring together in Rio a sizeable number of travel bloggers.
Rio’s edition of VEJA magazine made a passing mention of the event, on a text where we are mencioned along Ricardo Freire and the New York Times’ Seth Kugel.
Today I’d like to recommend an article by Alison McGowan, director of Hidden Pousadas Brazil on how Brazil can profit from lessons learnt in the run up to the London Olympics and attract more independent travellers. Head to The effect of the World Cup & Olympics on tourism for the full article.
I can only share with enthusiasm the way Alison defends the role of the independent foreign traveller. Although an estimated 70% of those foreigners travelling to Brazil do so in an independent manner, the institutions responsible for the promotion of Brazil abroad keep focusing exclusively on tourists arriving through travel agencies and package holidays. A sad mistake.
I recently wrote an article with the title O viajante independente também existe (the independend traveller does exist) for Viaje na Viagem, one of the most influential travel blogs in Brazil. In the article I outlined three fundamental steps to be followed in the direction of increasing the support for the independent traveller:
- First, there needs to be recognition of the existence of the independent traveller. Marketing strategies must reflect the reality of travellers making their way to Brazil in an independent way.
- Second, there needs to be an investment on internet tools that do respond to the needs for information of the independent traveller.
- Third, there needs to be support for those that work to help independent travellers. New Zealand, Norway, even Colombia, have strategies in place to support travel bloggers. Embratur, the body responsible for the promotion of Brazil abroad, has never extended its hand to travel bloggers (in spite of the fact that supporting bloggers would take a minute fraction of what the body spends on travel agents and print journalists). Travel blogs are one of the most important sources used by independent travellers researching a trip to Brazil.
Will we see substantial changes in the coming months and years? I would love to be surprised, as my faith on any positive outcome is non-existent.
Since other airlines are doing it – mostly the big shots from the Gulf, Turkish Airlines plans on extending its Turkey to Brazil flight to reach Argentina too. From November, Turkish will fly Istanbul-São Paulo-Buenos Aires and viceversa.
The airline currently flies to Brazil four times a week on a Boeing 777ER. In fact, Turkish Airlines has expressed its intention to increase those frequencies to offer a daily flight between South America and Europe no later than 2013.
Turkish joins Emirates (flying from Rio to Buenos Aires) and Qatar (flying from São Paulo to Buenos Aires) in offering a top-class experience to passengers from Brazil and Argentina.