When in November 2001 I boarded the VASP flight (remember VASP?) taking me from São Paulo to Foz do Iguaçu, I could have never imagined I was inaugurating a glorious decade of non-stop travel throughout Brazil.
It was only in March 2007 when I decided, following on the success of my Spanish-language De viaje a Brasil, to share my knowledge of Brazil with other travelers interested on the country. Reliable information was hard to find and I was being offered a fantastic chance of being useful to others. The Brazil Travel Blog was born.
My trips throughout Brazil have brought tremendous rewards. On my very second trip, to the then unheard of ecotourism destination of Bonito, I met my wife-to-be Cecília, travel partner ever since as well as my true soul mate. Travel and blogging also brought me in touch with wonderful people who would eventually become my friends. Our friendship will certainly outlive blogging.
Today, that joyful trip comes to an end. There will be no more Brazil Travel Blog as from today (the current content of the site should remain online for a good while). The main reason for my decision is time. Or rather, the lack of it.
It might sound odd to call it a day at a time when exposure for Brazil is at an all-time high. But then, I would urge everyone to be cautious, the tourism flow associated with a major sporting event is, to a great extent, unrelated to “ordinary” tourism during the rest of the year. For Brazil to make justice to its tourist potential, many things need to change. And the sign on the wall is that, unfortunately, that is not about to happen. Tourism is still taken care of by technocrats who understand very little of the way travel has changed in the last decade.
People like Alison McGowan and her Hidden Pousadas have done more for foreign tourism in Brazil that the torrents of money spent on press trips and glamorous first-class travel for the politicians calling the shots. And very much like ourselves and the Brazil Travel Blog, Alison is battling it alone.
There is a bunch of people who have been working for nearly a decade in close contact with foreign tourists planning a trip to Brazil (count Alison in, Ricardo Freire has also made valuable contributions to the debate; Michael Sommers is, in our opinion, the best foreign pen writing on travel and Brazil). We have developed a unique awareness of the areas where Brazil could massively improve its tourism status among the world nations. But to date, our know-how has been largely ignored. Brazilian authorities state again and again their belief that the travel agent is the unique piece in the travel business of the XXI century. A real pity, as research has shown that the vast majority of those visiting Brazil are independent travellers. There is a very real sense that Brazil is failing to fulfill its potential (in spite of the short-term success associated with the large sporting events hosted by Brazil).
Anyway, I would not like to end the Brazil Travel Blog on a sour note, it would not do justice to a blogging experience that has been a true pleasure to conduct.
So, here’s a shortish list of outstanding destinations you might want to consider for your next Brazilian trip!
Thank you, Brazil, for the Amazon at its purest in Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós, for the pristine beaches of Boipeba, for two outstanding urban destinations like Brasilia and Curitiba, for that paradise called Fernando de Noronha, for the superb Pantanal and for the unique Lençóis Maranhenses. Thank you for having the chance to witness the bumba-meu-boi once in our lifetime.
As from now, our blog, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts cease to be updated. However, we will continue curating stories about Brazil on our Flipboard’s Travel Brazil magazine. Check it out here! We are still blogging about Brazil on our Spanish-language De viaje a Brasil. The core of the work we do know is focussed on Spain and Barcelona (check out our Barcelona in 15 walks).
Today’s blog post consolidates texts from all our sources on Brazil published during the months of April and May.
We saw a visual update on how the building of the world cup stadiums is progressing at photos of construction work at the World Cup Stadiums.
We began the month with a cool video shot in the streets of São Paulo, I Charleston São Paulo.
Then we went to Rio de Janeiro for a virtual tour of its Municipal Theatre.
On a pilot’s day at work in 8 minutes we spent the day flying the Brazilian airspace.
We had a look at the World Cup stadiums, April report issued by the government.
We went on a photo tour of Brazil that started with the blog post Brazil! and continued with moonlight, wildlife in the mist, family reunion, Amazon sunset, a room with a view, slippery when wet, unexpected find, colourful steps and volare.
Finally, and after 20 years, Air Canada announced its return to Rio de Janeiro.
Today’s blog post consolidates texts from all our sources on Brazil published during the month of March.
As part of our series Brazil 10 where we take you on a themed and visual tour of Brazil, we published a series of photos of beach vendors.
Uruguay’s BQB is trying to fill the gap left by Pluna and is announcing the launch of two new Brazilian destinations: Foz do Iguaçu and Curitiba.
An open secret no more; the official announcement was made and Tam confirmed it is leaving Star Alliance and joining Oneworld.
It happened in Rio de Janeiro and it is happening in São Paulo too, where the number of youth hostels doubled in a year.
Argentina’s national carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas announced flights to three new Brazilian destinations.
For those looking for alternative ways of touring Rio, we published a unique and extraordinary way of seeing Rio de Janeiro.
For motor fans, there will be yet another exciting final race of the F1 championship. More details at 2013 GP Brazil Formula 1 – tickets for sale.
And continuing with the big sporting events, we know the date for the World Cup Brazil 2014 final draw.
We rounded up the month with the announcement of a new international route to as Air Canada intends to fly to Rio de Janeiro.
Today’s blog post consolidates texts from all our sources on Brazil published during the month of February.
On our warm up to the carnival period we had a look at images of the São Paulo carnival.
Two announcements were made on the intention to build new hotels at Guarulhos international airport and Santos Dumont domestic airport.
Rio is an endless source of wonderful images, as proven by the latest fantastic video of Rio de Janeiro we showed you.
As usual, we reported the end of daylight savings time 2013.
FIFA released information on the World Cup 2014 match times.
We rounded up the month going on a street tour of São Paulo to check out why the largest Brazilian city can be described as the graffiti capital of the world.
Today’s blog post consolidates texts from all our sources on Brazil published during the month of January.
We opened the month with the news that Aeroméxico plans to fly from Mexico City to Rio de Janeiro.
Howard Jacksons was our guest blogger at guest post: “Fortaleza”.
A new direct air link between Brazil and a neighbour was established, as TAME flies from Ecuador to Brazil.
Rio de Janeiro will be host to a mass event in July and for that reason we issued an accommodation alert for Rio de Janeiro in July 2013.
There’s talk of a new direct flight from Paris to the Brazilian capital as Brasilia could be the new destination for Air France.
What with Pluna gone, other airlines are trying to fill the gaps left by the Uruguayan airline. So we learnt that BQB will fly from Uruguay to Brazil.
A new law means that EU tourists can no longer stay in Brazil beyond 90 days.
Three announcements for projects for the Iguaçu region were made. Will they ever come true?
We had seen the official posters for the host cities of the World Cup 2014 and now it was the turn of the official poster of the World Cup 2014.
To round up the month, and given that carnival 2013 will be in February, we paid attention to the two best-known carnivals in Brazil, with mentions to carnaval de rua 2013, the Rio de Janeiro carnival takes to the streets and the carnival of Salvador de Bahia 2013.
Happy carnival to all you dear readers of the blog.