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

Climate: Avoid the rainy seasons and find the best time to visit each part of Brazil.

Long time ago I promised to write about the seasons, but as there are so many interesting topics I totally forgot my intention to dedicate an entire blog post only for seasons. However this issue came up again sometime ago when I was wishing that central Brazil would get some heavy rains to extinguish the forest fires.

Seasons are funny. In theory there are better or worse seasons for travelling, but if we are totally honest in today’s

Eco-Adventures

Eco-Adventures

word there is no way to forecast all the climatical conditions and their consequences for the nature. This is exactly what happened in case of central Brazil as well. Basically the dry season is the best moment to hike around in such National Parks as Chapada dos Guimarães (Mato Grosso) and Chapada dos Veadeiros (Goiaís). However the extremely dry season with no rain at all for many months can cause several forest fires and damage these conserved areas. This is exactly what happened with Chapada dos Guimarães.

Anyhow none of us enjoys travelling during the rainy season, so this is basically one of the most important things to take into consideration when planning a trip. During the rainy season the northest part of Brazil receives heavy rainfalls and  just like the northeastern coast may also suffer intense floods. Naturally you don’t want to book a beach holiday if the probably of raining cats and dogs is pretty much higher than a possibility of sunbathing.

So, let’s take a look at the seasons. In the northern Brazil (See Map) the rainy season starts at the end of the year and goes basically until May. This is when it’s not worth visiting such beach destinations as Ilha do Algodoal, Ilha de Marajó and Alter do Chão, or depending on the intensity of the rains practise outdoor activities in the Amazon region . The northeastern coast is the next one to receive the rains. The extreme north of it (Maranhão and Ceará) tend to suffer for heaviest rains between March and May/June. However there are some very dry coastal areas in Ceará (like Canoa Quebrada) with very low annual rainfall. Right after follow the states of Rio Grande do Norte and Paraiba with the rainy season basically in between April and July, while Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia tend to receive the highest amouth of rainfall between May and August. In the southern the end of Bahia the rainy season may extend until September.

Cloudy day in Rio

Cloudy day in Rio

When we reach the states of southeastern and southern Brazil things change. Then the guestion is not just about the rainy season, but raither about the temperature. Yes, Brazil is a tropical country, but it’s also a huge country meaning that there are times when you simply cannot enjoy sun and the beaches in extreme south like Florianopolis or Balneario de Camboriu. During the winter months even Rio de Janeiro has a raither mild weather, which is not bad at all when it comes to a city-break, but if you are dreaming of hot days on the beach you may not get what you are looking for. In this region the highest rainfall usually occurs during the summer months, which naturally are the hottest and the most humid months as well. There may be some days with heavy rains, but a typical summer rain in Rio de Janeiro tends to be a strong thunderstorm at the end of the day, something that really doesn’t deter you from having a perfect beach holiday.

When it comes to eco-tourism destinations thing get even a little bit more complicated. Like I mentioned earlier the rainy season hits the Amazon region during the first six months of the year. Other eco-tourism destinations that should be avoided during the beginning of the year are Chapada dos Veadeiros, Lencois Maranhenses, Pantanal and Jalapão. However when it comes to eco-tourism it’s highly recommended to visit these and some other destinations like Bonito, Iguacu Falls, Chapada dos Guimarães, Delta de Parnaiba and Chapada Diamantina right after the rains, when the level of water in the waterfalls is highest and the nature is very much alive thanks to the rains.

For more details and full information about best travelling seasons check out our specific destination guide divided into Beaches, Eco-tourism and Culture.

How to plan your trip to Brazil?

I find planning a trip entertaining. Maybe that’s why I ended up working in travel industry, which is full of changes, unexpected situations and challenges. On the other hand it’s also a very rewarding industry with huge cultural diversity and many very open minded people working on the field. Planning a trip may sound easy, but when it comes to creating an itinery in a foreign country it may not be that simple after all. This is why I wanted to share some of my tips with all of you who are planning to travel to Brazil, simply because I want you to see the diverse faces of this lovely country and get the best out of your stay in Brazil.

Ten things to take into consideration when planning a trip to Brazil.

1. – Destinations – First step is to choose your destination. What are you looking for? Do you prefer spending your holiday laying down on a beach and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters? Or maybe you enjoy an active holiday diving, hiking and surfing around. On the other hand you might enjoy observing the nature or spending your spare time in the pulsing nights of a tropical city. Choosing destination is basically the first thing to do. To ease your task, we have divided the top brazilian destinations into three categories: Beaches, Eco-Tourism and Culture.  Pick up the category that mostly fits into your needs and go through our suggestations or opt for a quick  search that takes you directly to a specific beach, eco-adventure or city break type. If you prefer a combination of these styles check out our itinerary suggestions or contact Brazil Diversity.

2. Seasons – Once you have decided what sort of holiday you are looking for it’s time to take a look at the seasons. To guarantee an unforgettable holiday it’s essential to pay attention on the weather, in case of Brazil especially on the rainy season. Brazil is a tropical country and you will always find a place to enjoy the sun, however you need to check when the rains tend to occur and when the temperatures are at lowest. Heavy rains  may not only destroy your holiday, but also close roads and cause complications when trying to reach your destination. Low season may also offer more attractive rates, but remember spending as little as possible is not always the best option. If you want to economise check out the weather conditions and try to take advantage of the middle season, that usually offers good rates and less crowded attractions. Finding out best seasons it easy. Brazil Diversity has included season recommendations in the description of each wonder, check them out!

3. Public Holidays – You may not know the dates of all public holidays in Brazil. Actually they even vary depending on the state. Now you may ask what they have to do with your vacation plans. Well, public holidays, not only New Years Eve and Carnaval, have all to do with your holiday, especially at the moment of making plans. In Brazil the hotels and pousadas usually not only increase prices but also sell packages with minimu stay during the public holidays. So if you planed to stay in a certain region only during few nights you will most probably find it extremely complicating to find an accommodation option during a long weekend or another public holiday period. If you were lucky enough to find something you would end up paying an extra price for that. This is why it’s good to take public holidays into account when travelling to Brazil and of course, if your budget is very tight it might be best to avoid these peak seasons. For further information and exact dates contact Brazil Diversity.

4. Distances – Brazil is a huge country, something that should be taken into consideration when planning an itinerary or a combination of several destinations. In a map the distances may not look that long, but believe me or not, they are! And it’s not only about the distance, it’s also about the transportation options and the condition of the roads. Public transportation may always not be as good, quick and direct as you are used to in your home country. The lack of infrastructure may also double the travelling times. Study these issues, check out the distances and opt for the best ways to get transfered from one place to another when planning your trip.

5. Transportation –Like I mentioned transportation is worth paying attention to. Basically there are no passanger trains in Brazil, so all long distance transportation is done either by road or by air. The busses are in general spacious and in good condition, though this means of transportation is very time taking, due  to several stops, heavy traffic and lack of  highways. Air transportation reaches all the mayor cities of Brazil and is a quick and easy way to move from one place to another. If you go through the offers and book early enough you will also be able to find quite nice deals and taking a plane can end up being a really good and time saving choice, and in some cases not even that much more expensive. Another option is to take a look at the airpasses offered by both GOL and TAM. They are a good option for a traveller who is planning to take several long distance flights in Brazil. Planning is essential in this case as well, because all the airpasses have to be purchased in before hand outside of Brazil. We have discussed about transportation options in our earlier blog posts, check them out for tips and recommendations or contact Brazil Diversity.

6. Time – How many days should you stay in Brazil? Well, this depends totally on how many cities/destinations you are planning to visit? I would say that on a city-break a minimun time would be three full days per city, especially if you are arriving from a long haul destination and still suffer jet-lag. Time that you spend in a beach destination depends totally on you. Personally I enjoy seeing as many different places as possible, meaning that 4 nights in a same village tends to be pretty much the maximum for me. However I do know people who enjoy relaxing on the beach for two weeks without changing destination, so this is pretty much based on your personal choices. When it comes to Brazil’s top destinations, I would say that 5 full days in Rio de Janeiro is an ideal time for you to visit the principal sights without rush and run. If you are planning to stay for more than that, consider an option of visiting nearby destinations, such as Búzios or Ilha Grande for couple of nights. The Falls of Iguacu can be seen in two days. If you want to extend your trip to Paraguay, add one more day into your itinerary. Time to spend in each eco-tourism destinations varies as well. As many of them are located in raither distant areas , so therefore a minimum stay of 3 to 4 nights is highly recommended.

7. Booking – Book in advance! Not only because booking your accommodation and transportation in advance makes your life a lot easier, but it’s also an excellent way to guarantee the availability and the price. As we all know in today’s world there are no last minutes prices in tourism, unless we talk about charter flights and package tours. You will never know when there happens to be a congress or any other mayor event in the city, so that all the hotels are fully booked leaving you without any reasonably priced option. Planning and booking in advance means that you can enjoy stress free vacation and in the meanwhile get the best out of your holiday. If you need any tips or if you are willing to book an unforgettable holiday in Brazil, contact Brazil Diversity.

8. Accommodation – I know accommodation is something that fully depends on our personal tastes. Some may enjoy luxurous pool villas, whiles other prefer raither small ecological hideaways. When planning a trip to Brazil you will run into the word “pousada”. If you are still unfamiliar with this term, check out our earlier blog post “Pousada: what is it and why should I stay in one”. I really want to encourage all of you to stay in a pousada. Pousada is not a just a simple guesthouse with minimum infrastructure, it’s definitely not a roadside motel or a hostel with shared bedrooms and bunk beds. Today pousada is a cozy and often raither small accommodation option that differs from a conventional hotel with personalized attentions and unique characteristics often related to local environment or culture. So when booking your accommodation in Brazil, consider seriously a possibility of staying in a pousada, you won’t regret your choice. Hand picked hotel and pousada recommendations can be found from the site of Brazil Diversity. Another thing to take into consideration is that most of the brazilian hotels and pousadas ask a prepayment of 50% from the total price in order to guarantee the booking.

9. Tours and Excursions – There was a time when I loved to explore touristic sights on my own. I used to think that taking a tour is waste of money and turns travelling less adventurous. To be honest I still apply this theory of mine in many destinations like Europe or US, where it’s easy to be an independent traveller and still not miss a single point. However today I do admit that this sort of travelling doesn’t work in each and every destination, or at least not with all the attractions. By taking a tour you will get a deeper knowledge of the sight you are visiting and in case of Brazil most importantly, a tour may be the only way to reach a certain spot or destination. It may also be the safetiest, the less stressfull and especially the quickest way to visit the sight. I’m quite sure that you are not willing to lose any precious time on holidays or happy about any extra stress that might appear, so why not booking a tour. If you have a very tight schedule consider an option of booking your tours in before hand, otherwise fix the dates once you have arrived to your destination and checked the climatical conditions for the coming days.

10. Attitude – Last but not least. Now that you have planned everything and are ready to take off, remember you will be on vacation and things may not always work on the way you are used to. Relax, leave the stress back home and enjoy your stay!

Photobucket

Beaches of Maragogi and the ecological route, Alagoas

Maragogi

Maragogi

Maragogi is a sleepy fisherman village in the beautiful coast of Alagoas, close to the frontier with Pernambuco. Its’ a perfect place for relaxation in the middle of beautiful nature.

The easiest way to reach Maragogi is by car, either from the direction of the state capital Maceio or from the direction of Recife, the capital of Pernambuco. Rent a car or hire a private transfer and get transported directly to this paradise kind of holiday village with a favourable location almost in between of two important state capitals.

The turquoise waters of Maragogi

The turquoise waters of Maragogi

Just like the major part of the Alagoas coast, the region of Maragogi is also filled with palm trees. Once you see the sea shimmering in all the possible colors of blue, turquoise and green, you really start wondering if there is any other place where the natural settings could be more similar to paradise than here. Compared to many other holiday village of the northeastern coast, the village of Maragogi is still not that developed, which is fact is an advantage making your holiday in Maragogi different compared to more explored destinations like Porto de Galinhas, a popular holiday village in the Pernambuco.

Low tide

Low tide

Get accommodated in one of the pousadas located along the coast, a short distance from the village of Maragogi, and enjoy the presence of the nature. Maragogi is also an excellent destination for families who are looking for peace and relaxation, while the kids are busy with playing on the shore. During the low tide a big part of the reefs is visible and it seems like if the waves, which still last night hit the shore, have disappered. So why don’t you just walk around the beach, sit down on the shore and wait how the warm water slowly starts rising again, just like if you were in a natural bathtub waiting for it to be filled again.

Together with the sun, warm turquoise waters and beautiful landscapes, the principal attraction of Maragogi are the natural swimming pools. Make sure you take an excursion to the most famous of them, As Galés, and enjoy the colorful underwater life by snorkeling around in these clear water of Maragogi. If you arrived to Maragogi by car, don’t forget to experience the ecological route, departing from Maragogi in the direction of south. This route will show you some of the most breathtaking views while you drive along the coastline surrouded with numerous palm trees. One of the attractions along the route is a possibility for an excursion, which allows you to observe the presence of sea cows in the region.

Beach

Beach

Maragogi is a real hidden pearl of Alagoas, a natural paradise with relatively easy access, amazingly beautiful nature and fully relaxing tranquility. If you are looking for a peaceful and easygoing holiday under neverending sun with no need for shopping, night life and excessive number of activities, Maragogi might be just a perfect choice for you.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Barra Velha – A very cozy and comfortable pousada right in front of the sea with excellent level of service. Stay in Barra Velha and feel yourself at home.
  • Restaurante Calamares – An excellent restaurant on Pernambuco’s side, right after the frontier of the two states. Try out some of the delicious seafood dishes, specialities of the house.

The African Roots of Salvador, Bahia

Streets of Pelourinho

Streets of Pelourinho

Salvador, the state capital of Bahia, was also the first capital of Brazilian Republic and even today is the city with most african influence. Salvador is also the third biggest city of the country, right after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and naturally its’ airport is among the busiest of northeastern part of Brazil. In Salvador you can easily feel the african roots of Brazilian culture, hear the rhythms, taste the flavours and feel the power of myths and such african religions as candomble.

If you are looking for culture together with city life, Salvador is probably one of the most interesting brazilian cities to stop by. The main attraction of Salvador is the old town called Pelourinho, located in the upper part of the city, which belongs in the Unesco list of World Heritage sites. It’s dominated by colorful colonial style buildings, beautiful churches and lively streets. Here you will find plenty of charming restaurants, shops of local handcrafts, artists of all kind and “baianas“, the local ladies wearing traditional white dressing and often selling some delicacies. It’s not rare to find people practising capoeira or playing Afro-Brazilian rhythms on the street. It’s here, where samba-reggae was born and became famous thanks to well known Afro-Brazilian band Olodum. Up from the edge of Perlourinho you will also have beautiful view over the Baía de Todos os Santos bay and if you take an elevator down you will find yourself being in front of the Mercado Modelo market, an another excellent place to buy local handcrafts and souvenirs of Bahia.

Mercado Modelo

Mercado Modelo

Salvador has another important historical spots as well, one of the most popular being the church of Bonfim. This church is a pilgrimage destination for the Brazilians, but is worth visiting for anybody who enjoys old architecture and history. To reach Bonfim, you can either take a regular bus leaving in front of Mercado Modelo or alternatively try the touristic Salvador Bahia Bus, which works on “hop on, hop off” basis and in addition to Bonfim takes you to many other interesting parts of the city with fixed daily price. If you choose regular bus, you better be prepared to longer travelling time, due to the number of stops and depending on the type of the bus, air conditioning may not be available either. Just like in Rio de Janeiro, in Salvador organized tours to favela (=slum) can also be found. Part of the tour fee usually goes in the education or in the improvement of the living conditions of the favela inhabitants, so therefore the tours are not only a safe way to visit favela, but also a great way to make this world a better place for everybody.

Church of Bonfim

Church of Bonfim

When choosing your neighborhood in Salvador we would recommend you to stay either in Pelourinho, Barra or Rio Vermelho. In Pelourinho you will find some charming old building that were refurbished to serve as hotels and has turned out to be an excellent place to spend overnight.  Another good options to stay are the neighborhoods of Barra and Rio Vermelho, both just a short drive away from Pelourinho with large variety of accommodation options for all budget and several restaurants and bars for dining as well. The carnival of Rio de Janeiro may be world widely more famous than the carnival of Bahia, but in fact the carnival of Salvador is the world’s biggest street party and attract a countless number of participants to celebrate in the streets of Salvador. Definetely something you should consider about, if you are into carnivals!

Baianas

Baianas

Many tourists travel to Bahia planning to stay at one of the stunning beaches of the state, but once you are in Salvador make sure you stop there at least for two or three nights. Salvador is worth stopping and after having explored Pelourinho, we are sure that you are not regretting at all. We recommed you to combine Salvador with some of the many beach or eco-tourism destination located close by.

In our other blog posts we have already covered destinations that combine perfectly with Salvador, check out our related blog posts:

Our suggested itineraries including Salvador:

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Casa do Amarelinho – A small hotel located in refurbished building in the heart of Pelourinho. Excellent level of service with special charm and all the amenities you might be expecting.
  • Catharina Paraguacu – A good tourist class hotel located at Rio Vermelho. Catharina Paraguacu offers you an intimate stay in an old style building surrounded by gardens.
  • Restaurante O Nilo – An excellent restaurant serving arab food in a peaceful corner of Pelourinho. O Nilo has tables both inside and outside, but does not accept credit cards.
Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Brazil Diversity is now at Twitter!

Brazil Diversity is now publishing the latest news and travelling tips at Twitter. Receive the latest news of Brazilian tourism, discover our recommendations and find out the hottest destinations of this diverse country.

Follow Brazil Diversity at Twitter!


Vote for your favourite Diversity!

Each and every traveller is on the road seeking for something, therefore our preferred holiday type may reflect our values and spare time activities. Many of our friends also share our passion for travelling, though it doesn’t mean that our interests are equal. Among our friends, there are those who look for ultimate comfort and total relaxation on the beach, just to compense the stressfull every day life. Some choose the destination so that they practise their favourite hobby under a sunny sky…or a blue sea, and others prefer finding out as much as possible of the culture and the history of their destination.  There are travellers who travel on the other side of the globe, just to be in touch with the wildlife and those who cannot stay out of the shops, not even during the holiday and for them returning back home with a number of new items is the fullfillment of the trip. We also know backpackers, charter lovers, travellers who prefer the beach and those who prefer the mountain.

Let us know what is your favourite Brazilian diversity by choosing one or more of the following options:

%d bloggers like this: