After visiting fancy Leblon & Ipanema, bohemian Santa Teresa, the busy Centro and other nice neighbourhoods in Zone Sul, we decided to see how the less fortunate inhabitants of Rio live. There are currently 500 favelas in Rio, all perched on mountain slopes, often very, very close to the most expensive neighbourhoods. Continue Reading →
The cheapest flights in Brazil leave at unholy hours, so again we left the very cosy Trip Hostel in Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro at 04:00 am and we finally hit our pillows precisely 24 hours later in Lima at 02:00 am local time. This budget journey included a 12 hour stop-over in Sao Paulo. Any stopover in a city of 17 millions has to be superficial and unrewarding, but truly there is not much to see no matter how hard the Lonely Planet and the Tourist Office try to promote the historic center. Continue Reading →
We arrived on a Saturday, just in time to join in some of the typical weekend activities. One we learned of by chance, was eating Feijoda on a Saturday, a black bean stew with a variety of meats, like tongue and pork cut-offs. It is served with rice, fried manioc flour, a green vegetable called kale and pieces of oranges. Gilles simply loved it – hey, it was lots of meat! Heidi would prefer a vegetarian version.
Going to Rio for the first time is simply exciting: will the city live up to its reputation and our expectations? After a few conversations with fellow travellers, we found out that flying in Brazil can be cheaper than taking a long distance bus. This is especially true on routes starting & going to Rio de Janeiro. So instead of spending 27 hours on a bus from Salvador, it took us 1 hour and 50 minutes and we actually even saved 12 Reals per person flying!!! Continue Reading →
One of the things we did not want to miss while visiting Brazil was its beautiful, postcard-like beaches. We followed the recommendation of several fellow travellers and decided to head for Morro de Sao Paulo, an island two hours from Salvador by boat. Continue Reading →
There have been several highlights during our stay in Salvador de Bahia apart from visiting the Pelourinho … which is by the way far less interesting and not as well preserved than the colonial laid-back city of Olinda!
Salvador is a must on every tourist´ agenda for many reasons. Firstly it hosts the second largest Carnival in Brazil, secondly for its old colonial historic centre, the Pelourinho and above all, its unique cultural background. Nowhere in the Americas have the descendants of African slaves preserved their culture more strongly than here! It is obvious in the music, the cuisine, the religion or types of dance of this Bahia town – at times we almost forgot that we were in Brazil! Continue Reading →
If you wonder what makes Fernando de Noronha such a desired holiday destination: it is a beautiful island with 11 golden sandy beaches without any people, great landscapes and very good snorkelling. Most of the island is a Marine National Park that is protected by IBAMA. They also run a project to save and protect turtles, including a museum and lectures. There is also a bay that is off-limit to the public where dolphins come to feed every morning and the rest of the day you may encounter them while taking a boat trip. So the “environmental tourist” feels that this is what you pay for. Continue Reading →
Two weeks before we actually went to Fernando de Noronha, we had never heard of this island, but fellow travellers in Venezuela raved about it. So we checked the ThornTree forum from Lonely Planet and no superlative seemed to be able to describe this island 17 km2 small 370 km east of Brazil shores: “most beautiful beaches”, “best diving spot in the world”, “a small place in paradise” … Continue Reading →
The good news is, there is a direct flight from Manaus to Recife … The bad news is, the plane stops at Santarém, Belem, Sao Luis & Fortaleza before reaching Recife, each a 50 minutes flight and every flight the same sandwich. When we arrived in Olinda at about 05:00 pm, without our luggage, thanks to TAM, we had been going for 13 hours. However, our backpacks were delivered to the hotel the same evening! Continue Reading →