Honeymoon in Brazil: turquose sea, white sand beaches and palm trees

During many years I worked closely with travellers looking for a dream destination to spend their honeymoon. Of course there are as many different attributes for a honeymoon as there are wedding couples, but based on my experiences I would say that 80% of all the honeymoon requests include the following three elements: Crystal clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches and palm trees. Simple, isn’t it?

Honeymoon

Honeymoon

Well once the requirements related with the natural setting has been full filled the next question coming up is often related with the accommodation. First of all it has to be private, preferably a villa or bungalow type of accommodation with a private pool if possible. Secondly the standard of the facilities and the services has to be high and offer something special for honeymooners, like welcome champagne, free candle light dinner…or at least some rose petals over the bed or the bath.

I used to ask myself what makes honeymoon so special then? Why is it different from the other trips and why people have so many expectations on it? Sometimes it sounds a like a very stressful thing to be organized, as each and every moment of it has to be more than perfect. However I do agree that the stress over the honeymoon is morely likely to happen during the preparations. Once you reach the destination with your spouse, get accommodated in your bungalow, step on that white sand beach and see how the palm trees sway in the breeze all the stress you had suddenly disappears.

Well, why am I writing about honeymoon requirements then? Simply because Brazil has several destination fullfilling these expectations, and we would like to give you some tips where to spend your dream honeymoon in Brazil. As there are as many ways to spend the honeymoon as there are couples, we haver listed below some possible honeymoon destinations with short description.

Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha

Among the top tree honeymoon destination in Brazil are certainly is the island of Fernando de Noronha, the southern coats of Bahia and the well developed region of Porto de Galinhas with large variety of accommodation option. Why these three then?

First of all Fernando de Noronha is a destination for a lover of nature and virgin beaches, which should always be the main reason when planning a trip to Noronha. The beauty and the pureness of the island are indescribable, sinceraly there must not be too many places where the conservation of the nature has been so well done as in Fernando de Noronha. Here you will be accommodated in a small pousada, whether the nivel is luxurious or raither cozy with personalized treatment, it’s up to your personal choice. Fernando de Noronha is a once in a life time experience!

Porto de Galinhas

Porto de Galinhas

The region of Porto de Galinhas has a large infraestructure when it comes to tourism. The large variety of accommodation options will guarantee the fact that during your honeymoon you will be accommodated exactly in the kind room, villa or bungalow as you wish. Here you will find bungalows with private pool, stressless all inclusive hotels and large range of other services and activities without forgetting the beautiful natural settings of this coast with plenty of white sand beaches and palm trees. Do you want to pamper yourself during your honeymoon, go to Porto de Galinhas!

Last, but definitely not least the southern coast of Bahia. I could bet that among the Brazilians themselves, such destinations as Arrail d’Ajuda, Trancoso and Maraú in the southern coast of Bahia are probably the top destinations when spending their honeymoon in Brazil. These destinations are real hideaways with magnificant nature, seducing beaches and lush vegetation. Here you will find some very luxurious, but still intime accommodation options, where you will be able to a the most romantic honeymoon ever. The southern Bahia is a place to relax and simply enjoy the pure harmony and tranquily of the region.

Maraú

Maraú

These are just three examples of perfect honeymoon destinations, of course Brazil has a lot more to offer and like I mentioned earlier it’s all up to your personal choice. Some may prefer a city break in the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro combined with a beach extention in chic Búzios or tropical island of Ilha Grande, others may prefer adventures in the Amazon…Whatever it is, you will find it in Brazil!

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Happy Holidays

We want to thank you all for positive feedback and for sharing your passion for travelling with us. More exiting news and interesting blog posts next year.

Now it’s time to wish you all…

Happy Holidays and all the best for the year 2010!

Christmas tree in Lagoa

Christmas tree in Lagoa


Rio de Janeiro in 5 days

Are you planning to visit Rio de Janeiro, but don’t know how many days you should stay in the city and what should you experience during your stay? We have retailed you an itineray including some of the most interesting attractions of Rio de Janeiro. Of course all of them may not interest you, but our aim is to give you a complete example of all the possibilities.

View over Copacabana

View over Copacabana

DAY 1:

  • Head early in morning to the Corcovado train station (opens at 08.30 am) and get to the top where the world famous Christ statue is located. After having visited Corcovado head to the downtown of Rio de Janeiro and catch one of those old fashioned trams up to the artistic neighborhood of Santa Teresa. This picturesque uphill neighborhood is an ideal place to enjoy a delicious and traditional Brazilian meal. After your lunch enjoy the views from Parque das Ruinas and visit the museum of Characa do Ceu with images of Rio de Janeiro before it became a city of millions and millions of inhabitants. After having explored Santa Teresa, the next stop is one of the most traditional landmarks of Rio de Janeiro, the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain in the late afternoon has the advantage of both daylight and sunset, which is a spectacle itself!

DAY 2:

  • Botanical Garden

    Botanical Garden

    Start you day by having a walk in the Botanical Garden, which is a real oasis in the middle of such a huge city as Rio de Janeiro. After having enjoyed your lunch participate in one of the guided Favela tours. These tours are an excellent way to see the other face of Rio de Janeiro and especially to understand a little bit better the causes of social problems in the city. In the evening participate in a rehearsal of a samba school (available from August to February) and bring a piece of carnival feeling with you.

DAY 3:

  • Star your day with emotions and try hang gliding admiring the views from the top of Pedra da Gavea and landing to the beach of Praia do Pepino. If you are not into adventures, have a walk in the downtown of Rio de Janeiro visiting the museums, churches and monasteries, or just have a relax at one of the world famous beaches. After having enjoyed your lunch have a refreshing swim in the sea and get prepared to more emotions in soccer game at the world’s biggest stadium Maracanã. If you are not into soccer, enjoy shopping in the fashionable stores of Ipanema and have a walk in the shores of the lake Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. The restaurants of Parque dos Patins located in the edges the lake are also excellent places to enjoy your dinner with live music.

Pele, the legend

Pele, the legend

DAY 4:

  • Start a day with a visit to the National Park of Tijuca located within the city of Rio de Janeiro. You can choose either a sightseeing tour that takes you to the most interesting points by car or take a light hike up to the highest peak of Rio de Janeiro, the Tijuca Peak. After the tour enjoy your lunch at one of the many sea front restaurants in Copacabana and have leisure stroll inside of the Fort of Copacabana (situated at the end of it), which is also an excellent place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious desert at the famous coffee house Confeitaria Colombo.

DAY 5:

  • Take a day trip outside of Rio de Janeiro and get an idea of the beauty of this state. Tours (private or scheduled) to Búzios or to tropical island of Angra dos Reis are ideal options and a schooner cruise in the destination allows you to enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters of these regions. Enjoy your last night in Rio de Janeiro at one of the samba clubs of Lapa, the most popular neighborhood of nightlife. Easygoing atmospheare, traditional live samba and delicious snacks/dinner are guaranteed, no matter which of the many bars you choose.
Angra dos Reis

Angra dos Reis

Obs. Activities such as Samba school rehearsals and Soccer games are not available everyday, so check the schedules and modify the plan according to them.

The best of Brazil: Iguacu, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas and Salvador

Ipanema

Ipanema

If you are a first time traveller to Brazil, it might be simply impossible to choose which of the many interesting places you should visit. In case you have enough time and not so tight budget, you could consider in combining the top four of the most popular Brazilian sights. Just like any other large country, there are certain must see destinations in Brazil as well. In the US the Big Apple, Grand Canyon and the Hollywood Hills are something to be seen at least once in your lifetime. First time visitors to India usually start with the Golden Tringle and a visit to Australia has to include at least Sydney, Ayers Rock and the Big Coral Reef.

Iguassu Falls

Iguassu Falls

Which are the top destinations of Brazil then? I would say that first of all you should visit the Marvellous City of Rio de Janeiro. Why? Simply, because it’s breahtakingly beautiful and has one of the most easygoing city life in the world. When I first came to Rio my expectations were extremely high, even so the city exceeded them and on daily basis keeps on reminding me why it’s called one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Secondly, the natural phenomenon of Iguassu Falls attracts tourists world widely. You will probably not spend more than just few days at Iguassu, but seeing this landmark is something not to be missed. After having seen Rio de Janeiro and the Iguacu Falls, you have seen two of the most famous landmarks of Brazil and it’s time to see the other faces of Brazil. Huge part of this country is covered by rainforest, so it’s something to be experienced. Even if the state of Amazonas is the most wellknown when it comes to rainforest adventures, the Amazons basis covers 9 Brazilian states. Last but not least, we cannot forget the northeastern coast with endless beaches. What wouldn’t be better place to start exploring this region than the state of Bahia. The capital of Bahia, Salvador, has one of the major airports of the northeastern coast, offers an interesting cultural program and is just a short step away from some of the most beautiful beaches of the country. It’s an excellent gateaway for the northeastern region.

The Amazon river boats

The Amazon river boats

These four destinations are spread out all over the country, so how do you combine them? Do to the distances you need at least two weeks to be able to visit these four diverse destinations of Brazil. Taking into account the fact that the airport of Guarulhos in São Paulo is the most important entrance point for the international flights, upon your arrival you could first head to Iguassu and then after connect to Rio de Janeiro. When leaving Rio your next destination would be Manaus, a gateway for adventures at the Amazon area. Last but not least you would take a flight from Manaus to Salvador, and discover the roots of Brazilian culture before heading to one of the irresistible beaches of the Bahian state. If you wish to have an active part at the end of your tour, you can always spend few days hiking at the Chapada Diamantina as well. Once your holiday is over you can fly back home via São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro if there is no direct connection from Salvador to your country.

Salvador Bahia

Salvador Bahia

Why would I recommend this kind of itinerary then? Simply because it allows you to see the top four destinations without spending too much time and money on travelling. This is because these destinations can be combined using the most economic airpass (offerred by both TAM or Gol) of four flight segments. You can connect directly from São Paulo to Iguassu, again to Rio de Janeiro, continue to Manaus and include Salvador as a last stop of your itinery (these two routes will include landing but no change of aircraft). If you purchased the flights separately, you would end up paying a lot  more than a price of an airpass. In my opinion, this is route gives you a very wide perspective on tourism in Brazil allowing you to combine the three diversities. After having discovered the Brazilian culture, explored the wildlife and felt the beaches, in your future visits you can just simply choose the part you preferred and keep on enjoying everything related to this diversity!

Brazil has it All: World Cup 2014, Olympic Games 2016 and Carnival every single year!

During the decade 2010 Brazil will have a chance to show its’ beauty, talent and joy of life for the entire world. First world class event will happen during the year 2014, when Brazil will host the football World Cup. There will definitely be no lack of emotions as football is the national sport of Brazil and the biggest passion of this nation. Thousands of fans will fill the streets, and when Brazil is playing cheering on the team will be the number one priority in the daily life of the Brazilians. But the final of the World Cup to be played in Rio de Janeiro, at the world’s biggest station Maracanã, is just a glorious beginning for the huge events of this city. Two years later, in 2016, the Olympic Games are going to be organized in the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro.

Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro

Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro

Both the World Cup and the Olympic Games are going to be big challenges for Brazil, just like they would be for any other country organizing two events of this scale within two years. However the brazilian joy of life and the willingness of Brazil to show the world that they can be the first South American nation to host the Olympics will light the way. A lot of work has to be done, and the upcoming improvements of the infraestructure are going to be benefits both for Brazilians and for the tourists as well. The events will bring a lot of publicity for Brazil, enforce the knowledge of the diverse destinations of this country and hopefully leave a positive image in the mind of each and every spectator.

World Cup 2014, Olympic Games 2016…and the Carnival every single year

The celebrations are ready to be started!

Brazil Diversity wishes you happy travelling in Brazil!

World’s Happiest City!

Beach Life

Late afternoon beach football

Rio de Janeiro was just ranked as world’s happiest city according  to Forbes.

There might be a number of social problems and a lot to be improved in the city, but there are two facts that nothing is going to take away from Rio de Janeiro.

First of all the breathtaking landscapes of this marvellous city and secondly the joy of life present in each and every day in the life of Cariocas!

Happy living in Rio de Janeiro!

Rio de Janeiro, Part II: One of the 7 wonders and other things to see and do.

Restaurants and bars:

Churrascaria Majórica –
Restaurant Arab –
Restaurante à Mineira –
Restaurante Espirito Santa –
Rio Scenariuam
Carioca da Gema

What to do and see in Rio de Janeiro? Anyone of us can probably name the three most popular sights of Rio, the world famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, the statue of Christ the Redeemer and the Sugar Loaf mountain. These three must be visited by any tourist who comes to Rio.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

There are two ways to reach the statue of Christ the Redeemer which was recently chosen among the 7 new wonders of the world. You can either take a taxi up to the hill or pick a small train from the Corcovado station that takes you up through the Atlantic rainforest area. If you are not in a hurry, we do recommend you to try this out, it’s a nice experience and worth it even if you may have to take a queue before boarding the train. Once you are up on the top you still have to ascend 220 steps (or take an elevator) to reach the feet of the statue. Together with the beauty of the statue you can enjoy stunning views over the city. For the best views, try to reach the top of the Corcovado hill during the morning, before the clouds come up. There is also a small chapel up on the feet of the Christ for those who want to get married and immortalize their love in this spectacular place.

View from Sugar Loaf Mountain

View from Sugar Loaf Mountain

Together with the Corcovado, the top of the Sugar Loaf mountain is one of the best places to enjoy breathtaking views over Rio de Janeiro. To reach the top you have to take two steps cable car from the neighborhood of Urca. In addition to the views you can also enjoy the trails surrounded by the tropical vegetation. Sugar Loaf Mountain and the smaller Urca mountain are also popular among mountain climber and together they create one of the largest urban climbing areas in the world.

Copacabana and Ipanema are the most well known and popular  beaches of Rio de Janeiro. These world famous beaches have been numbered according to life guard posts and serve as meeting points both for locals and for tourists. One of the most trendiest points, is the always crowded post number 9 located at Ipanema.  In addition to these two pearls, Rio de Janeiro has many other smaller or less famous beaches. Arpoador, which is especially in favour of surfers, is located in between of Copacabana and Ipanema. Less crowded Leblon on the other hand is the continuation of Ipanema. The beach of Flamengo is not suitable for swimming but offers one of the most beautiful beach views facing the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Niteroi.

Tram to Santa Teresa

Tram to Santa Teresa

Rio de Janeiro is a lot more than just world famous beaches and landmarks. We highly recommend you to visit the boheamian neighborhood Santa Teresa, located up hill close to the center of the city. There are two ways to get up, either by taxi or by one of the charming old style trams leaving from the feet of Arcos da Lapa, an old aquaduct and entrance to the neighborhood of Lapa. You may have to face a queue to take this pictoresque tram, but it will certainly be at least worth of one way trip. Get off at the square of Largo de Guimarães and wander around in the streets of Santa Teresa. You will find a lot small shops selling handmade items of local artist and small restaurants with delicious dishes. Walking in these streets, while the monkeys are jumping up and down in the trees and tucans hiding themselves behind the leaves, you will start  feeling like if you were in a smaller town and forget of being in a city of more than 6 million inhabitants.

When it comes to historical sights, don’t forget to visit the monastery of São Bento, church of Candelaria and the national museum of Fine Arts. Enjoy a cup of delicious brazilian coffee at the fort located in between Ipanema and Copacabana or walk through the tropical vegetation on the top of the Leme mountain to enjoy another spectacular view over the beaches. The botanic gardens of Rio de Janeiro are worth visiting as well. Jardim Botanico, as it’s called in portuguese is a huge park, where you will find parts decicated for oriental vegetation, others for the Amazon rainforest flora. Don’t miss out the orchid house either! If you enjoy football, pay a visit to the world’s largest stadium, Maracana. Assisting a local match is so much more than just a game, the stadium is full of passion when the Cariocas enjoy their favourite sports and there is no lack of emotion while the fans encourage their teams by singing.

Barra da Tijuca

Barra da Tijuca

A seeker of an active holiday will also find plenty of things to do in Rio de Janeiro. If you are into surfing try out the beaches of Barra da Tijuca and Recreo, they are just one hour away from the heart of the city and offer great waves for the lovers of surf. These beaches are also less crowded and for example a small beach of Prainha, surrounded by the mountains is an excellent place for a swim in beautiful settings. Big emotions and bird’s view over the city are guaranteed if you decide to try hang gliding at São Conrado neighborhood. You may not know, but the world’s biggest urban rainforest area is also located in Rio de Janeiro. Visiting the National Park of Tijuca, is an excellent way to escape from urban life and feel the touch of the nature. For the first time visitors, it’s recommendable to take a tour with a local guide in order to avoid getting lost. The light hikes through the tropical vegetation will take you to waterfalls and viewpoints with breathtaking views over the city.

Once the night falls, we recommend you to head to Lapa. The most trendy, slightly bohemian neighborhood full of bars and restaurants. This is were the Carioca’s go to enjoy a drink and live music. The easiest and the safest way to reach Lapa is by taxi. Don’t consider taking metro, even tough the nearest station is not that far away, at the night time walking through the empty streets of Centro may not be very wise idea. The buildings of Lapa has been refurbished respecting the old architecture, which turns it to be a culturally interesting place to visit as well. Once you reach Lapa you will see a lot of people on the streets, especially during the weekend. Just join them and start bar hopping until you find your favourite place. There are plenty of options for all tastes and budgets. Also check out our recommendations for night in Lapa (see below).

Check out our other blog post about Rio de Janeiro:

Our suggested itineraries in the state of Rio de Janeiro:

Carnaval of Rio

Carnival of Rio

Brazil Diversity recommends:

Restaurants, Bars & Shopping

  • Churrascaria PorcãoA famous Brazilian steakhouse with excellent choice of meats served right at your table. Serves also delicious side dishes and deserts. Try out Porcão located in Flamengo and enjoy stunning views of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
  • Churrascaria Majórica – A typical Brazilian steakhouse, where the quality of meat is highly appreciated. Located at the neighborhood of Flamengo and very growded especially in the weekends.
  • Restaurante Arab – Restaurante Arab serves tasty arab food and can be found both from Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and from Copacabana. We recommend you to have a dinner at Arab of Lagoa Rodgrigo de Freitas where in the evenings you can enjoy live music and stunning views over the Lagoa.
  • Restaurante à Mineira – Located at Humaitá neighborhood. A buffet restaurant specialized at delicious dishes from Minas Gerais state.
  • Restaurante Espirito Santa – This small, but charming restaurant is located uphill at Santa Teresa and is very popular especially during weekends. Espirito Santa serves Brazilian flavours and has a small terrance with few tables for those who prefer their meal at fresh air.
  • Rio Sul – If you are into shopping check out the shopping center of Rio Sul, just a short step away from Copacabana. Here you will find a large number of both national and international brands.
  • Rio Scenariuam – One of the most interesting places to explore the nightlife of Rio. Rio Scenarium, located in Lapa,  is an like an antiquarian with a large number of old items being part of the decoration. It’s a show house, where you will enjoy traditional Brazilian music, samba and forró. Like in many Brazilian bars you will also have a possibility for dining in Rio Scenarium. During the weekends, try to arrive before 11pm. just to avoid long queues.
  • Carioca da Gema – One of the most tradional music houses of Lapa. Carioca da Gema is quite small, but the quality of the music, mainly traditional samba, and the atmospheare takes it to the top of the list when it comes to nightlife in Rio de Janeiro.
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