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Category Archives: Travel

About Salvador Carnival Brazil

The best time to take Brazil vacations is Carnival! And the best place to enjoy Carnival is Salvador da Bahia, where anything goes. Carnival in Bahai is not a matter of nubile, scantily-clad women wearing feathers on top of floats like in Rio’s Carnival. It’s a matter of you doing your thing in the streets til you drop of exhaustion. Rio’s Carnival is less than a kilometer of grandstand-lined street Rua Marques de Sapucai but Bahia’s Carnival is kilometers and kilometers of streets packed with people, not to mention blocks and blocks of stands. Bahia’s Carnival has two parts: there is a parade consisting of trio electricos, which are semitrailors loaded with sound equipment with bands playing on top and also the barracas. The trios electricos parade moves slowly along two circuits, one near the city center from Campo Grande (Salvador’s central park) to the Praca Castro Alves; and the other circuit running from along the Ocean from Barra to Ondina. They are called trios because the first trio in 1950 was a 1929 Ford with two musicians and a driver. The trios are the base of the blocos, which are groups of paraders arrayed in similar getups usually consisting of shorts and a t-shirt. You must join a cheap all inclusive bloco to parade inside the rope lining the streets; the non-bloco members must remain outside the roped off areas surrounding the trios. The other part of Bahia’s Carnival consists of the barracas, which have their own sound systems and are scattered all over Salvador, turning the entire city into a huge block party. The barracas are accompanied by vendors of beer and batidas (killer-strength cachaca fruit mixtures).

Charter For Cheap Flight to Brazil

The charter plane is more often than not taking vacationers to a beach resort or such-like. The passengers have paid for a vacation, but you only want the flight, right? The good news is charter companies hate empty seats and they often sell vacant seats for massive discounts.

I have in fact used a charter flight to Brazil and it only cost me $450 for a round trip. I was only going one-way, but still purchased the ticket as it was worth forfeiting the return flight (since then I have discovered an even cheaper way, but more on that later). The message then, is clear, when you are thinking of looking for a cheap Brazil flight, think charter, as it is a real opportunity to buy discounted tickets.

Here are some of the airports in Brazil which have regular charters from the USA and Europe (the airport code is in brackets).

Of course, Rio de Janeiro (GIG), but places on these flights are snapped up quickly, don’t dawdle.

Other airports to consider; Salvador (SSA), Florianopolis (FLN,) Joao Pessoa (JPA), Natal (NAT) , Recife (REC), Fortaleza (FOR).

Ultimate Surf Vacation

With so much competition sprouting up, many people have begun to ask the question — “What is the Ultimate Surf Vacation?”. To answer this query we set out to explore the options. First and foremost, the baseline requirement of course was the presence of world-class waves, solid consistency and variety for all levels and types of surfers. Next, we searched out spots which had something more to offer than just waves, as today’s high-end surf traveler is more demanding in terms of leisure options. Only a destination with access to other day time outdoor activities, as well as great nightlife and dining, is able to fit the bill these days. Finally, the resort needs to have high-end accommodations, as today’s surf travelers no longer are content with tents and hammocks. Luxury villas and amenities such as high-speed wireless internet, international phone lines, and direct beach access are crucial.

After much analysis and research, we are happy to report that in a crowded field of many, one surf resort stood out head and shoulders from the rest — NEXUS Surf in Florianopolis, Brazil.

Florianopolis is an enchanting island located just off Brazil’s southern coast. It is generally considered the surf capital of Brazil and hosts South America’s only WCT Pro Tour event. It is known for its excellent tubular waves and has 42 beaches around the island to choose from.

In addition to great surfing, Florianopolis offers kitesurfing, river rafting, horse back riding, paragliding, snorkeling/diving and much, much more. Then there’s the nightlife — some of the world’s best, with a huge array of bars, clubs and lounges where locals party in true Brazilian style until the wee hours of the morning.

Tour Brazil Without Problems

This depends on what you want to do. Also note that accommodation across Brazil as well as flights increase dramatically during Carnival.

Climate wise the main problem to worry about is rain. Taking southern Brazil out of the equation, temperatures very rarely go sub 15 degrees during the year. July, August and September are the dry months in the Amazon and the Pantanal regions and therefore the most popular with travellers. For those travelling to the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, the weather is unpredictable and so it can rain at any point of the year, although it rarely gets cold.

Rio de Janeiro and Salvador are two of the most popular destinations for the nationwide celebrated carnival in Brazil. The two carnivals vary greatly with the Salvador carnival being more traditional than that of Rio de Janeiro. With this comes a big difference: Rio de Janeiro’s is celebrated in the streets and in the stadium while Salvador’s is only in the street, greatly affecting the price. General entrance tickets to the stadium cost upwards of US$ 70 and can reach over $500, even more if you want an allocated seat or box.

Brazil has numerous bus companies as well as low cost airlines. It is usually possible to turn up at the bus station and buy your bus ticket on the day if taking a short distance bus; for long distance buses you should book in advance. When travelling a long distance be sure to compare airline prices as well as buses because in many cases the former can be cheaper. Between Amazon cities travel by boat, but be sure to buy your ticket from an authorised vendor.

In the big cities and tourist areas you will find many people who speak English including all those who work in tourism. It is always advised to learn a little basic Portuguese because outside of the major tourist destinations, English is in short supply. While a lot of people will be able to make their way around using basic Spanish and be understood by the nationals, this isn’t always the case in the opposite side.

Brazil Vacation

Don’t go without checking the climate and holiday schedule.

Since Brazil is located in the Southern hemisphere, the seasons are the opposite times of year as those in the United States. Brazil’s summer runs from December 22 to March 21 and winter goes from June 22 to September 21. Since Brazil is so large, temperatures vary widely, especially during winter months. Rainy seasons are also at different times of the year. Besides the weather conditions, you will also want to check the holiday schedule. There are quite a few Brazilian holidays related to historical events or religious celebrations. You certainly don’t want to travel to Brazil when most things are closed or overly crowded.

Don’t act like an ugly foreigner.

The term “ugly” refers to your attitude. Don’t be ethnocentric. Respect the local culture. Participate in and learn from the traditional events and activities. Mingle with the people. Get to know some of them. It’s not that hard. Brazilians are very friendly and usually go out of their way to befriend strangers. Try learning a little Portuguese both before you depart and during your trip. Sure, you’ll make mistakes but you will also make friends. Many things will be different. Don’t criticize. Take note and learn what it means to be Brazilian.

Don’t forget to get a tourist visa to Brazil.

On more than one occasion I have seen tourists barred from entering a plane destined for Brazil because they did not have the appropriate visa to Brazil. While there are many countries in the world that allow U.S. citizens to enter without a visa, Brazil is not one of them. The visa applications process it pretty straightforward.

Booking a Holiday in Brazil

1. This is only my opinion but Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful and spectacular cities in the world. If you have travelled across the world to this the city then visiting the Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar) is a must. This peak is very recogniseable and whenever you see it on TV you instantly know that you are viewing Rio. If you are a seasoned climber then good luck to you, I prefer the gass panelled cable car to reach the top.The Rio-Niteroi bridge is located across the Bayand an awesome place to view Sugar Loaf Mountain. If this is not enough to whet your appetite then how about indulging yourself in the stunning natural harbour and beautiful surroundings such as the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema.

2. Iguacu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil, is considered one the great natural wonders of South America. No matter how you choose to spell it you cannot help but be inspired these magnificent falls which change depending on whether it has rained or not. These impressive falls are bigger than the Niagra falls, spread for over 2 miles in the shape of a horse shoe.

3. Salvador Bahia is an exotic tropical city which is near the equator. Here you can enjoy the sandy beaches which are lapped by the warm turquoise waters of the ocean. If you are old enough to remember the young lady eating a coconut chocolate bar, then the beaches here are reminiscent of the taste of paradise.

4. The Amazonas territory is said to be over 95% rainforest, and is so called after the Amazon River.This is also where the highest mountain in Brazil can be found. It is quite something to ponder when you realise that the Amazon rainforest here in Brazil makes up over half of the planets remaining rainforests. The rainforest is truly a most stunning place to visit with it’s flora and fauna and amazing natural beauty.

All about Backpackers and Brazil

The main language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese, unlike the Spanish spoken in the rest of South America. If you take the time to learn a few key phrases in Portuguese, the people will be even friendlier as well as patient with the language barrier. You will need a visa to spend time in Brazil. For United States citizens, that will cost you $100 (free for Europeans!). You will also need about $35 a day to live on while in Brazil. Your best bet is not to visit during December through February, as this is summer in Brazil and prices tend to go up when the country goes on vacation. If you want to be in the country for Carnival, however, you’ll need to spend the extra money and travel to Brazil in the end of February.

One problem that Brazil tends to bring up for backpackers is the large distances between cities and regions. This is not a country that is easily seen on foot or even by bus or train. Most of the inner sites in Brazil require plane transport, and you can find some discount airlines that leave from some of the bigger cities in Brazil. It’s also important to take a good guide book with you that includes plenty of maps, books such as those by Lonely Planet tend to be the most accurate and up to date. You will also want to be prepared for the extreme weather and heat that is common in Brazil. Remember, the Amazon River is located in this country and rainforests abound. That sounds romantic, but dehydration can be a major issue as can heat stroke.

If you enjoy the beach life, Brazil is definitely for you. You can spend days on the beach in hotspots such as Rio de Janeiro. This is by far the touristiest area of the country, so try to get out and about to other areas. Salvador da Bahia and Recife are worth a visit. Sau Paolo and Brasilia are not so hot and probably should be avoided. Remembering to bring all of your necessities with you, including enough money to get along and your passport, as well as an open mind will make your trip to Brazil a memorable and interesting journey.

All Inclusive Vacation Packages

Here are a few ways that can help you get everything from your vacation while also saving:

• If possible, try to get a small room where your family can fit into. Getting a big room can eat up a big part of your budget and the money paid for the hotel rates could have been paid for more important things like food and transportation.
• Try traveling off season. Go to a place or a resort not during the holidays or the traveling season. You will find dozens of cheap accommodation deals. There are tons of advertisements set up by hotel chains just to attract guests during the off season. You can always call a travel agent to find out when the off season begins, or you can just surf the Internet for information regarding this.
• There are times when some days are cheaper and other days are not. Hotel rooms are usually cheaper during the weekdays compared to the weekends.
• Choose to stay in smaller hotels rather than in big hotel chains. Large hotels attract big clients so their prices may be a little higher compared to smaller hotels.
• If you have kids, try to save by availing of kid’s rates. There are some resorts that attract parents because of kid’s rates. So try to take advantage of this one.
• Research about all inclusive vacation packages. You can save a lot if you buy a vacation package. Vacation packages may cost a little more, but you and your family can get a lot in return compared to putting up a vacation by yourself. Vacation packages already include deals like travel arrangements, hotel reviews, entertainment and food all for the price of one.
• You always have the option of trying out the travel section of auction sites. Here you can buy non-refundable tickets at very affordable prices.

Brazil Surf Camp

Much more than your run of the mill Brazil surf camp, Nexus takes things to the next level for its clients. Deluxe beachfront accommodations in private residences, expert surf instruction or guided surf tours (depending on ability level), private rental car, VIP nightlife tours, access to a number of outdoor adventure sport options, breakfast service, local cell phone use, and continual access to the expert and dedicated Nexus team, whose aim it is to make sure you have the best time possible while vacationing in Brazil.

Already featured in Riviera Magazine and in a case study by Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (Entrepeneurship Seminar), Nexus caters primarily to higher end, young professional clients who love to surf (or have a burning desire to learn to surf) but are not willing to sacrifice the other aspects which make a vacation special — excellent dining options, some of the world’s best nightlife, a mesmerizing culture, stunning natural beauty, high-end accommodations options, and the convenience and well thought out organization that such a traveler expects.

Testimonials of customers who have experienced Nexus’ Brazil surf holiday to date have been “three thumbs” up, and it’s no wonder why, as the Nexus team really goes out of its way to make sure that all the leg work is done prior to a client’s arrival, allowing him or her to sit back, relax, and see the best of what the magical island of Floripa has to offer, both in terms of surf, culture, nature, beaches, dining and nightlife. Again, much more than a regular surf camp, Nexus brings you a truly personalized Brazil surf trip that will be one to remember.

Guided Tours of Brazil

Most guided tours of Brazil begin in Rio de Janeiro, the largest city in Brazil. After getting you settled, your tour guide may begin by taking you on a spectacular two-stage cable car tour of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. At the top of the mountain, you’ll need to have your camera ready to take mountaintop pictures of Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Beach and the lovely Guanabara Bay.

While still in Rio de Janeiro, many guided tours will take you to see the sights of the city, including a visit to the H. Stern Gem Factory the largest jewelry factory and store in the world. You may also visit the Corcovado Mountain, ascending the mountain by means of a cog railway. At the top, you’ll have a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro from the site of the statue of Christ the Redeemer, sitting 2,300 feet above the city.

While in Rio de Janeiro, many guided tours will introduce you to traditional Brazilian cuisine, shopping areas, music venues and areas for further shopping and sightseeing on your own. Another common site for guided tours of Brazil is Foz do Iguar, the fourth largest city in Brazil, located in Southern Brazil. There you will see the stunning Iguassu Falls, a waterfall with a flow capacity equal to three times that of Niagara Falls. The falls marks the demarcation between Brazil and Argentina. Perhaps you’ll stay in a hotel overlooking the waterfalls.

Many guided tours offer you the opportunity to spend a couple of days at the waterfalls, including walking tours of the Brazilian side of the falls and a motor coach tour of the Argentine side of this spectacular place. You can walk through the Foz do Igua National Park with views that take you to spots directly over the falls including one called the evil Throat?

Take an early morning flight out of the falls area, where many guided tours of Brazil will take you to Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon River valley. You may stay at a hotel on the Rio Negro just before it meets with the more expansive Amazon River.

Guided tours of this area of Brazil would be remiss if they failed to take visitors on an actual Amazon River tour. So hop on an Amazonian riverboat for a day-long tour down the Amazon River. Many such tours will let you stop off for an amazing hike through the jungle and a picnic lunch in this pristine area of Brazil.

Guided tours of the city of Manaus are also available, where you can see the Indian Museum, the municipal market and a famous Italian opera house. Then it’s off to fly to Brasilia, Brazil planned, national capital. You’ll go on a lovely tour of the city, including the President’s residence, the Military Ministries, the Itamaraty Palace and many other sites of interest.