A Deluxe Tourism – What is it?

Yoga on the beach

Yoga on the beach

I was recently asked to give an example of a deluxe package in Brazil. That made me wonder how could I ever describe it? What does deluxe really mean when it comes to services? What is deluxe for me doesn’t even count, what matters is what deluxe is for you as a traveller. It’s totally worthless to try to convince a traveller to spend a holiday in an ‘All Inclusive’ resort if for him/her deluxe is a synonym of a daily morning yoga on a silent beach. Deluxe isn’t always assosiated to high cost and shining gold, it’s raither something you give high value for. In today’s world it often means environmentally conscious choices and experiences that take you beyond the ordinary.

Wild nature

Wild nature

What is deluxe in Brazil then? There are excellent hotels and charming pousadas in Brazil, really chic ones, but I still would say that when it comes to accommodation Brazil is far away from some other destinations offering number of top level options. So honestly, if deluxe for you is a six star resort with superb service quality and wide range of activities, try some other destination. In my opinion deluxe in Brazil is made of experiences. Brazil is a country of colors, tastes and sounds. If you combine these elements with your own interests you will have your deluxe experience that naturally with a standard that fits both for your needs and for your budget. Our role is to listen to you and help you to create a deluxe experience that really matches your expectations.

Colors of Brazil

Colors of Brazil

For me deluxe is a distant place, where I can feel myself totally disconnected from my daily routines. Often life in this serene place is raither simple, but that simplicity is part of my deluxe experience. Thanks to this conversation, we at Brazil Diversity, have decided to introduce new destinations and itineraries for you. They will take you beyond the material luxury so that you can really experience the most precious wonders created by The Mother Earth!

Now, what is deluxe for You?

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Active beach holiday in Itacaré

Itacaré

Itacaré

Itacaré is an extremely popular beach destination located in southern Bahia. It was just an another tiny fisherman village, which due to tourism transformed itself to a small village with large number of restaurants, hotels, pousadas, shops and other facilities. Itacaré is located roughly 70 km north of Ilheus, the principal gateway to the attractions of the famous Cacao Coast. The closest airport is also located in Ilheus and a transfer from the city can easily be arranged, either on before hand or upon arrival.

Hiking the paths of Itacaré

Hiking the paths of Itacaré

Itacaré is a destination for an active holiday maker. It offers a large number of eco-tourism adventures out of which the most popular activities are surfing, hiking, raftig, rappeling and tree top walking. In the region of Itacaré the eco-activities are usually combined to the beaches and the most popular excursion is a hike that through the Atlantic rainforest vegetation takes you to the beaches of Jeribucaçu, Engenhoca and Havaizinho allowing you to visit the waterfall of Engenhoca as well. A light leisure walk to the beach of Prainha can easily be done either on your own or accompanied by a tour guide. By planning it in before hand you can also try out tree top walking before reaching the beach. If you are a surfer Itacaré is a paradise for you. Most of the beaches have raither strong waves, being Tiririca the most popular one when it comes to surfing.

Itacarezinho

Itacarezinho

For those who just want to relax and prefer a quality resort with top amenities, we recommend staying at Txai Resort located at the beach of Itacarezinho. It’s a long white sand beach with limited infrastructure and guaranteed rest. Even if you didn’t stay at Txai we do recommend you to visit Itacarezinho, which is located about 15 km of distance from the village. This beach is ideal for both long walk (3,5km) and a refreshing bath in the sea. It’s just a perfect escape from the raither growded and touristic beaches of Itacaré.

Prainha

Prainha

A full day excursion from Itacaré to Taipú de Fora and Barra Grande is also offered by the travel agencies. To be honest I don’t think it’s worth it or better say the peninsula of Maraú, where these two villages are located, is worth much more than just a quick one day visit. If possible, forget about the excursion and combine Itacaré with Barra Grande and Taipú de Fora by staying at least 3 nights in this lovely peninsula. I’m absolutely positive that you will not regret it!

Itacaré

Itacaré

When the night falls, Rua Pituba,  the main street of Itacaré is filled with both locals and tourists. There are a large number of restaurants for all tastes and budgets, choose the one the most fits for your needs and enjoy the relaxed atmospheare of this lively village. After having had your dinner it’s time to enjoy some local rhythms. The night of Itacaré starts late and goes on until the first rays of sun rise from the horizon and it’s time to start an another day full of activities.

Area view

Area view

Then, what  do I sincerely think about Itacaré? If you are looking for night life, activities, water sports and eco-tourism, then yes Itacaré is your place. But in case you prefer pristine beaches, hideaway bays and full relaxation consider spending most of your time for example in Barra Grande or Taipú de Fora and just extend your stay to Itacaré before leaving southern Bahia.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Maria Farinha - A good tourist class pousada with prime location, just a step of away from the main street and the beach of Concha. Very clean and well kept property.
  • Pousada Bambu - An another recommended pousada with excellent location and good value for money.
  • Txai Resort – For those who want to rest and relax, a luxurius Txai Beach Resort facing the untouched beach of Itacarezinho is the number one choice.
  • O Restaurante – An excellent restaurant serving typical Bahia meals. Highly recommended.
  • Restaurante Tia Deth – A very simple, but terribly traditional restaurant serving tipical home made dishes. Don’t miss it!
  • Mar e Mel – In case you want to have a drink or enjoy a light dinner while listening to local rhythms choose Mar e Mel as your destination.
Ribeira beach

Ribeira beach

Flecheiras and Guarjirú, hidden pearls of Ceará

Flecheiras

Flecheiras

When planning a trip to Ceará you are most probably considering such well-known destinations as Jeriacoacoara, Cumbuco or Canoa Quebrada. However this sunny and windy state has many other secret places to explore, such as Guajirú and Flecheiras. These real hideaways are synonyms of tranquility and comfort. They are beachside destinations where you will not find crowds of mass tourism and other symbols of stressful life. Guajirú and Flecheiras are real hiddean pearls fo Ceará!

Guajirú

Guajirú

Flecheiras and Guajirú are two tiny beach side villages located one next to another, roughly about 150 km north of Fortaleza. The access is quite easy as the road is in good conditions and as long as you follow the sign of Traíri (the principal municipality) you won’t get lost. On your way make sure you stop in the small town of Lagoinha, just to admire the spectacular views over the beach and take some incredible photos in your album. If you are not in a hurry enjoy a refreshing bath in the sea before you continue yor journey. In case you are not interested in renting a car contract a private transfer taking you directly from the airport to your final destination.

Flecheiras beach boulevard

Flecheiras beach boulevard

Well, let’s get into the point. Why Flecheiras and Guajirú? These two villages are located behind immense dunes, have an endless white sand beach and enjoy such a peaceful tranquility, something that will guarantee your rest. During the heat of the day the streets of the village are basically empty, many of the stores are closed and only few tourists enjoy the rays of sun light. When the night falls the things doesn’t change too much. The stores open their doors, but the rhythm of life remains as peaceful as during the entire day. It’s simply impossible to get stressed here. Out of these two Flecheiras is slightly bigger than Guajirú, but just slightly, as the two of them are pretty small fishermen villages anyway. In Flecheiras you will find few beach side restaurants servings meals and drinks, while in Guajirú this sort of service is offered only by the few hotels located right in front of the sea.

Mundaú

Mundaú

There are not that many activities to do in these two villages, unless you want to take a buggy ride along the beach either to Lagoinha or to Jericoacoara. An alternative option is  to visit the nearby city of Mundaú and take a sunset river cruise along the Mundaú river. Even if you won’t take the sunset excursion a quick visit to Mundaú is worth it as the river view together with the dunes and the sparkling sea is simply spectacular. The lovers of kitesurf will find the winds of Ceará excellent for the practise of their favourite sport.

Guajirú

Guajirú

Beside of the activity options mentioned above my recommendation is to relax and enjoy, that’s what Flecheiras and Guajirú are made for. Lay down in a hammock and watch the sun setting down slowly. For a moment it feels like if the time had stopped and all the worries of the world disappered. This blue moment filled with tranquility and harmony is such a heavenly experience, something to be remembered long after your trip to Flecheiras and Guajirú.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada do Paiva, Flecheiras – An good tourist class pousada in the heart of Flecheiras. Pousada do Paiva has a lovely garden with many details and spacious rooms with balconies, half of them facing the sea.
  • Art Orixas, Flecheiras – A luxury hotel with art details, very stylish and spacious rooms with private pool and garden or seaview. A real hideaway for lovers!
  • Rede Beach Resort, Guajirú – A quality hotel with rustic details, excellent comfort and direct beach access. Highly recommended!
  • Restaurante Oca do Sabor, Flecheiras – One of the best, if not the best restaurant of the region! Don’t leave Flecheiras without having experienced a tasty dinner in the rustic ambient of Oca do Sabor.
  • Kalango Lounge Bar, Flecheiras –  A place to enjoy a cold drink at the end of the night while listening lounge music and watching torch fires on the beach.
Lagoinha

Lagoinha

Paradise beaches in Barra Grande and Taipú de Fora, Bahia

Barra Grande

Barra Grande

Are you looking for paradise beaches? If so, pay a closer look for Barra Grande and Taipú de Fora, both located in southern Bahia, in the peninsula of Maraú.

These two villages are like  post cards from paradise, perfect places to relax and forget the stress of every day life. If you enjoy simple life and the lightness of being this is your destination, no need to rush and run from one sight to another or fight for a beach chair. No, here you can just lay down and watch how the palms trees gently swing in the warm winds of Bahia.

Taipú de Fora

Taipú de Fora

This paradise destination is located about 200km south of Salvador, 150km north of Ilheus and 70km north of Itacaré, an another popular beach destination in southern Bahia. So knowing these details it’s easy to find out the best way to reach this lovely peninsula. First thing to do is to take a flight either to Salvador or to Ilheus, then a transfer to Camamu and again either a regular boat or a speed boat to Barra Grande.  We do recommend a speed boat as it takes only about 30 min compared to 1½ hours of a regular boat. For a foreign tourist even the price difference is not that significant. The alternative ways to reach Barra Grande are either a bimotor flight from Salvador to the airport located at Kiaroa Resort or a raither tiring 4×4 land transfer via Itacaré all the way to Barra Grande or Taipú de Fora.

Central square

Central Square

As soon as you arrive to Barra Grande you will realize why I’m comparing this peninsula to paradise on earth. Barra Grande is a lovely mixture of sandy beaches, palm trees, transparent waters and tropical climate. It’s also the principal village of Maraú peninsula, while the famous reefs creating natural swimming pools are located in Taipú de Fora. Where should you stay then? In case you are simply looking for relaxation and enjoy spending plenty of time in your resort opt for Taipú de Fora, but if you raither prefer village life with dining options, bars, restaurants, stores and other activities outside of you hotel or pousada stay in Barra Grande. Barra Grande is a lovely village with sandy streets, charming restaurants and a main square around which the warm nights of Bahia can be enjoyed.

Ponta do Mutá

Ponta do Mutá

During your stay you will surely enjoy the sun and the beaches, but don’t forget to take some of the principal tours. In case you are staying in Barra Grande take a tour to Taipú de Fora and enjoy the transparent waters of this natural swimming pool by snorkeling around. During the tour you will also visit some of the view points and see the gigant bromelias growing in this peninsula. During your days in Barra Grande enjoy the calm waters of Ponta do Mutá and make sure you will stay until the sunset, which is a real spectacle on this beautiful beach. An entire day must also be decicated for an excursion to the nearby islands, one of them more beautiful than another. This tour is also an excellent way to enjoy sun and the sea.

Once you are in the region combine Barra Grande with Itacaré and why not even with Salvador, and get familiar with some of the most interesting sights of Bahia.

Island tour

Island tour

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada De Nada, Barra Grande – A stylish boutique pousada with independent bungalows facing the sea, just a short walk from the main square of Barra Grande.
  • Pousada Ponta do Mutá, Barra Grande – A sea facing pousada next to the village and just a short walk away from the beach of Ponta do Mutá.
  • Kiaroa Eco-Resort, Taipú de Fora – A luxury resort with ecological values with priviledged location at Taipú de Fora.
  • Restaurante Donanna – Tasty contemporary dishes in an open air restaurant decorated with romantic lights.
  • Restaurante A Tapera – Delicious Bahian food with goo value for price. Highly recommended!
Sunset

Sunset

New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro

Year after year the New Year’s party organized in Rio de Janeiro is among the most popular celebrations of the world. Hundreds and thousands…or better say millions of people get together on the beach fo Copacabana to have fun and admire the spectacular fireworks over the bay.

New Year's Eve at Copacabana

New Year's Eve at Copacabana

So, how to spend an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro? First of all, if your budget is raither limited or you simply prefer street parties enjoy atmospheare and the free shows in the heart of Copacabana together with the brazilians and many other tourists.  Normally several shows are organized and a huge stage stands on the beach right in front Copacabana Palace, one of the most luxorius hotels of the city.

In case you prefer something more exclusive opt for a private party with limited paid access.  Some of the most interesting ones are parties organized at the Fort of Copacabana and on the top of Morro da Urca & Sugar Loaf Mountain. Both of the places offer an exclusive area with buffet dinner, open bar, DJs, shows and most importantly amazing viewpoints for you to admire fireworks over the bay of Copacabana. An another very chic and luxorious option is the New Year’s dinner at Copacabana Palace which includes a possibility to enjoy priviledged views from the balcony of the hotel. Tickets to these parties are limited and need to be purchased in before hand.

New Year's Eve at Copacabana

New Year's Eve at Copacabana

No matter what is your choice the party will be unforgettable, something to be remembered long after.

Few tips:

  • Clothes: Get dressed in white, it’s the traditional color of the New Year’s Eve in Brazil
  • Metro/Taxi: If you are planning to take a metro later during the night purchase a special ticket in before hand. Taking a taxi  can also be a real challenge during the early hours of January 1st.

Brazil Diversity wishes you many extraordinary travel experiences for 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy 2011!

Lagoa Christmas tree 2010, Rio de Janeiro

Lagoa Christmas tree 2010, Rio de Janeiro

Next year we will be back with more interesting travel news!

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