2017 seems to be the year of travel and unique experiences! This week we go to Brazil, the largest country in South America. There’s Samba music wherever you go…even the hotel staff break into song and dance at the slightest chance 😉

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo are the 2 main entry points into the country. Brazil’s Amazon forests account for 25% of the world’s rainforests.

FOZ DO IGUASSU: The city where you would stay to see the world famous Iguassu Falls. The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along 2.7 kilometers (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River. Iguazu Falls separate two famous national parks in two different countries, the Iguazu National Park in Argentina and the Iguazu National Park in Brazil.

FUN FACT

Did you knowA local legend states that once a handsome god planned to marry a beautiful young girl forcefully. She however managed to escape with her human lover through the river. The God, furious, split the river into two and created the dangerous water falls so that they would die in the extreme pressure of water

 

 

 

Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, Iguazu Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption which left a large crack in the earth. During the rainy season of November – March, the rate of flow of water going over the falls reach 450,000 cubic feet per second.

You can see the falls from the Brazilian and the Argentinian side.

 

 

 

Whatever your budget, you’ll find the perfect place to party here, as you rub shoulders with up to one million fellow revellers, here to enjoy the distinct Bahian rhythms, and non-stop ‘festa’ atmosphere!

BEST TIME TO GO

The best times to see Iguazu Falls are in the spring and fall. Summer (JANUARY) is intensely tropically hot and humid, and in winter the water level is considerably lower.

 

 

THINGS TO DO AROUND IGUASSU

Iguassu National Park – See the falls from the Brazilian side. You can take a helicopter ride over the falls and go under the falls as well with a speed boat tour.

Day trip to Argentina – The Argentinian side offers a great experience of the falls as well.

Parque Des Aves –BIRD PARK – An aviary with exotic birds including the beautiful Toucan.

 

 

WHERE TO STAY

Luxury – Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas (approx.. AED 1000/night)

Mid-range- Wyndham Foz do Iguacu (approx..Aed 400/night)

GASTRONOMY

Brazilian food includes staples like Tapioca, a starch extracted from Manioc. Salgado, fried Cassava (like French fries) and Coxinha which is a popular chicken snack.

Moqueca (a stew of fish, onions, garlic and tomatoes)

Vatapá (coconut milk, dried shrimp, peanuts and dende oil).

 

 

SALVADOR DE BAHIA

Founded in 1549, Salvador was the capital in the heyday of the slave trade. The legacy remains today in its large black population, and the resulting culture in many ways outshines the rest of Brazil; in music, many of the greatest names from the mid-20th century to the present hail from Salvador, such as Dorival Caymmi, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso.

In literature, the late Jorge Amado was also from the region. It’s a vibrant, exciting city, and its people are quite friendly.

Salvador sits on a peninsula on the northeast coast of Brazil which shields the large Baía de Todos os Santos (“All Saints Bay”)

from the Atlantic Ocean and has a tropical climate including rainforests and lush vegetation.

Take in the view from the Elevador Lacerda as you soar the 82m that separates the Lower Town (Cidade Baixa) from the Upper Town (Cidade Alta).

THINGS TO DO AROUND SALVADOR

Map of BrazilCarnival from Feb 24 – 28: While Rio’s carnival is world famous for its samba school parades, Salvador in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, is arguably home to the country’s best ‘carnival of the people.’ All of the action is in the street here, where you can choose to follow performers on ‘trio electricos’ (huge floats mounted with loud speakers) around three different circuits; pay to be part of their ‘bloco’ (special VIP area) and get even closer to the music; or stay put at one of the numerous ‘camarotes’ (pop-up venues) set-up around the circuits, and enjoy perks like all-inclusive drinks and top DJs.

Whatever your budget, you’ll find the perfect place to party here, as you rub shoulders with up to one million fellow revellers, here to enjoy the distinct Bahian rhythms, and non-stop ‘festa’ atmosphere!

DAY TOUR TO PRAIA DO FORTE

Whale watching and turtle conservation tours in Praia do Forte.

PELORINHO – Sometimes called the “city within a city,” this old part of Salvador is worth visiting for its cobblestone streets, pastel-colored buildings, churches, restaurants, shops and nightlife

MODELO MARKET – A colourful market for local produce that is located on the All Saint’s Bay.

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS

Tucked away in a little street, Dona Mariquita restaurant serves traditional Bahian food.

Restaurante Casa de Tereza is a great place to experience Chef Tereza Paim’s traditional Bahian recipes laced with Spanish, Italian and Portuguese influences.

RIO DE JANEIRO

We’ve all seen pictures of Christ the Redeemer from where you get a spectacular view of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Catch a Samba show while there or stroll along Copa Cabana and Ipanema beaches.

THINGS TO DO AROUND RIO:

  • Take a cable car ride up to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain and then travel by cog train through the Tijuca Rain Forest to the top of Corcovado Mountain to stand at the foot of the statue of Christo Redentor.
  • Rio’s neighbourhoods are delightfully lovely – like the bohemian Santa Teresa area that you can reach by tram.
  • If you are keen, you could also tour the favelas (shanty towns) of Santa Marta.

 

Gastronomy : LA BOCCA, OLYMPE (French and Brazilian)

WHERE TO STAY

LUXURY: Copacabana Palace (approx.. AED 900/ night)

Midrange: Sofitel Copacabana (approx.. AED 700/night)

 

 GETTING THERE

To Rio De Janeiro : Emirates, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines from Dubai.

To Salvador and Foz do Iguacu: Tam Airlines (domestic carrier)

Photo credit : Brazil Map by Migy Blanco

Andrea Bailey

Andrea Bailey

Andrea Bailey is a Dubai based travel writer. She is also a travel consultant with Travel Counsellors and specializes in cruises, family holidays and honey moons. When she’s not out and about discovering destinations and different cuisines of the world, you would probably find her busy with her 3 daughters and her other passions involving art and music.

As a mosaic artist, she has travelled to Italy and studied ancient Roman techniques of the art form and as a jazz flautist she has had the opportunity of performing across various Dubai venues.