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.

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Snorkeling in natural swimming pools of Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco

Beach

Beach

Porto de Galinhas is conveniently located just about 80 km from Recife, the state capital of Pernambuco. Recife, on the other hand is one of the principal airports of northeastern Brazil and enjoys an easy access both nationally and internationally. Getting transferred from Recife to Porto de Galinhas is simple and a rental car can be a perfect choice for those who are not afraid of driving and enjoy discovering the attractions of their own.

Porto de  Galinhas itself is one of the most popular holiday villages of northeastern Brazil and has a well developed infrastructure even for the most demanding tastes. The accommodation range  varies from a simple pousada to the most luxurious bungalows with private pool. Porto de Galinhas serves both families and singles, has a large variety of restaurants and bars for all the tastes, and pampers even those who enjoy spending time is high quality boutiques buying souveniers and items of latest beach fashion. That’s what Porto de Galinhas is all about.

Muro Alto

Muro Alto

Beside of the infrastructure Porto de Galinhas enchants with its’ natural beauty. It’s a destination of crystal clear waters, swaying palm trees and pictoresque landscapes. Some of the principal attractions of Porto de Galinhas are the natural swimming pools located in front of the village. They are ideal places for snorkeling allowing you to discover the wonders of submarine life. These swimming pools appear during the low tide and due to the proximity they can be accessed on foot. Qualifield divers will also find a number of interesting diving spots from the region of Porto de Galinhas. Another interesting place with reefs and  a natural pool is the beach of Muro Alto, just few kilometers of distance from the village of Porto de Galinhas.

Cabo de São Agostinho

Cabo de São Agostinho

When it comes to the nearby destinations one of the most interesting places to be discovered is Cabo de São Agostinho with its’ beautiful beaches of Calhetas, Paraiso and Gaibu. In the region you will also have a chance to treat your skin with a bath of argil. These destinations can be visited either on your own (if you ended up renting a car) or as part of a group excursion. South of Porto de Galinhas you will find more incredible beaches such as Tamandare with different tones of blue and green and Praia dos Carneiros, a beautiful and peaceful beach with quality infrastructure. If you end up driving down on the coast you will reach the boarder of Alagoas and an another interesting holiday destination Maragogi, which is quite a lot more simple than Porto de Galinhas, but combines perfectly with it.

Praia dos Carneiros

Praia dos Carneiros

In a nutshell Porto de Galinhas is a destination of a traveller who appreciates easy access, high quality accommodation, large variety of restaurants, and wants to have a stressless holiday surrounded by fascinating nature.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Perola do Porto – A well located pousada with excellent infrastructure. Spacious rooms with a private terrace/balcony, just a short walk away from the hearth of the village.
  • Nannai Beach Resort – A high quality resort located in front of Muro Alto beach. Offers different room types including lovely bungalows with private pools. Highly recommended.

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.

Follow the footsteps of Bridget Bardot in Búzios

Búzios bay

Búzios bay

Búzios is a real pearl of Rio de Janeiro coastline. It’s a small, but very charming and pictoresque village located roughly 2½ hours from Rio to north. The access to Búzios is simple and you have a wide choice of transportation options. If you wish not to enter to the city of Rio de Janeiro, you can always take a minibus or a private transfer directly from the international airport of Rio de Janeiro and reach Búzios quickly after having landed to Brazil. Once you are in Rio you can take a regular bus or one of the transfer services offered by diverse tourism companies, either on private or on shared basis.

Rua das Pedras, Búzios

Rua das Pedras, Búzios

Búzios is a place to relax and enjoy both an excellent level of services and the beauty of the nature. Tha bay of Búzios is extremely pictoresque and no wonder this lovely place has often been called St. Tropez of South America. In the 60´ the French movie star Bridget Bardot felt in love with Búzios and chose it as her summer retreat. Even today you can find many places, such as stores, cafes and restaurants named after her.

Beach boulevard, Búzios

Beach boulevard, Búzios

Once you reach this little paradise you will immediately realize what Búzios is made of. It’s a place of pure relaxation with no need to hurry or rush and run. You can enjoy the numerous beaches of the peninsula, walk along the beach side and enjoy fine dining on the famous street of Rua das Pedras. If you are into surfing Búzios offers you two interesting options. Best waves can be found from Geribá beach or from neighbouring Tucuns beach, which is basically a deserted beach due to the strong currents. A smaller Praia Brava beach is suitable both for swimmers and for surfers, and it fascinates you with the beauty of the bay.

On of the principal tours offered in Búzios is the schooner cruise along the coastline. It takes about 2½ hours and is an excellent way to see the beauty of this idyllyc coast and have a refreshing bath in the sea. During the high season the schooners are basically fully booked, but don’t worry there is departure almost once in an hour. If you wish to be able to sit in the shadow make sure you arrive to the port a little bit before the departure time or otherwise the only option might be simply sunbathing on the deck. The cruise has three stops allowing you to swim and snorkel on the turquoise sea.

Turquoise waters of Búzios

Turquoise waters of Búzios

Búzios has a extremely wide offer of accommodation options for all the tastes. If you are looking for a romantic escape in a boutique pousada you will find it with the same facility as a more economic but still charming place to stay in. Búzios is an excellent place to be combined with a stay in Rio de Janeiro. Such a combination will allow you to see the famous landmarks of Rio de Janeiro together with the city life and then after relax in the easygoing atmospheare of Búzios, this littel pearl of Rio de Janeiro’s coastline.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Vila d’Este – A high quality boutique pousada with prime location in front of the sea. Excellent choice for those looking for a romantic escape.
  • Pousada Abracadabra – A lovely pousada in a peaceful corner close to all the attractions of Búzios. Pousada Abracadabra offers an excellent value for money.
  • Cafe del Mar – A beautiful restaurant decorated with white colors. This is a place to relax with smooth music and enjoy the stunning sea view while tasting small, but delicious tapas and having a cold drink.
Beach, Búzios

Beach, Búzios

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.

Alter do Chão: Caribbean of the Amazonas, Pará

Beaches of Alter do Chão

Beaches of Alter do Chão

It’s not long time ago that the newspaper La Guardian chose Alter do Chão as the most beautiful Brazilian beach. What makes this choice so particular is the fact of Alter do Chão is in fact located almost 1400 km from the coast. So how can it be that the most beautiful Brazilian beach is located in inlands? Anyone visiting Alter do Chão during the second half of the year can make their own conclusion, but there is not doubt that these river side beaches are incredible and totally comparable with any other beaches when it comes to the beauty. Thanks to the clear waters Tapajós river, this region is often called as the Caribbean of Amazonas. However Alter do Chão is not just a beach destination, in fact it’s raither a destination of eco-tourism, which allows you to combine eco-adventures with relaxing holiday on one of these fabulous beaches.

Rainforest vegetation

Rainforest vegetation

Alter do Chão is a tiny village located in the edge of Tapajós River, approximately 35 km from Santarem. It’s a very popular holiday destination in the region and during the recent years both national and international tourists have found it. Alter do Chão has quite an easy access, at least once you have reached Santarem either by plane or by fluvial access. After having arrived to Santarem, you can either take a transfer organized by your hotel/pousada, or reach Alter do Chão by renting a car. Even though many of the streets are not asphalted, driving in the region is not complicating at all. Once you start planning your holiday in Alter do Chão, there are few points you should pay attention to. If your intention is to enjoy one of those incredible beautiful beaches you have to visit Alter do Chão during the dry season. This means the last six months of the year when the beaches appear. In case you are looking for eco-tourism adventures and different beauties of the nature, other seasons can be considered as well.

Rainforest vegetation

One of the most famous beaches of the area is called Ilha do Amor (Island of love). It’s literally a kind of island with white sand beaches located in front of the village. During the low tide it can be reached on foot, otherwise you will need to take a rowboat accross the river. If possible we would recommend you to enjoy Ilha do Amor during the weekdays, when it’s less crowded. Other popular beaches located in the region are a little further away. Either you have to hire a tour or a car in order to reach them. One of the closest is the beach of Ponta da Pedra, which can be reached also via fluvial access. This naturally beautiful beach is worth visiting and it’s also an excellent for swimming and sunbathing. Other interesting beaches are Pindobal and little bit further away Cajutuba, which is in beauty is totally comparable to Ilha do Amor . The last beach with basic infrastructure is Aramanai. It’s a distant, but very peaceful beach with lovely little guesthouse surrounded by rainforest vegetation and serving also delicious homemade food.

Canal of Jari

Canal of Jari

Visiting the Canal of Jari is one of the eco-tourism adventures organized in the area. This tour takes you to the other side of the Tapajós river, where you will clearly observe how the brownish waters of the Amazon river get mixed with the clear blue waters of Tapajós river. The first stop of this day trip takes you to the beach of Ponta da Pedra, where a lunch can be enjoyed as well. The next stop is on the other side of the river, where the flora and the fauna of the canal can be observed. Please note that crossing the river is not a simple journey. The winds tend to be heavy and you better be prepared to get wet before reaching the final destination. While discovering the Canal of Jari, you will see many different species of birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths, lizards and if you are lucky also the pink dolphins, typical of the Amazonian region. The families living around the Canal of Jari are a beautiful example of living in full harmony with the surrounding nature. Like we have pointed out earlier as well, eco-tourism is not the same as observing animals. When we talk about the wild life, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see some specific species. Searching them and observing the entire eco-system is part of the eco-tourism and each time you visit any of these rural areas you will certainly find something you never even expected. In the region of Alter do Chão, there is also an opportunity for guided visits to the rainforest areas. Please note that simply due to the safety reasons these areas are not recommendable to be discovered on your own, but always a with professional guide who can also provide you a large quantity of information during the tour.

Sloth

Sloth

Culturally the region has also an interesting history. During the rubber fever two important factories were established in the cities of Belterra and Fordlandia. In Belterra the typical North American style houses built in the years of glory can still be seen, but the welfare of the good old days is gone and for example Fordlandia is today basically an abandoned city. As an overall summary visiting the region of Alter do Chão and Santarem is an interesting experience, which allows you, not only to enjoy the nature but also perceive how is the way of life in these rural areas of the Amazon basin.

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Hotel BeloAlter, Alter do Chão – This cozy hotel offers excellent quality of accommodation surroundend by large tropical gardens. You can stay in a traditional room or choose an alternative option of staying at ecological “three house” with all the modern facilities. BeloAlter is located short walk or a quick drive away from the heart of the village. This is where the Prince Charles stayed during his visit to Alter do Chão..
  • Pousada Aramanai – A very small and simple, but extremely hospitable pousada with prime located in front of the Aramanai beach. A choice for those who prefer the nature and the tranquility out of modern facilities.
  • Hotel Sandis, Santarem – If for some reason you will stay over night in Santarem Hotel Sandis is a good and centrally located tourist class choice.
Cajutuba

Cajutuba

Why to travel to Brazil?

A recent research revealed what the foreign travellers most appreciate in Brazil. The top four included several facts related with the nature, but the interesting point in fact is the first position. People, was stated by most of the travellers and therefore stands at the number one position.

  1. Beach life

    Beach life

    People – Having people at the top of the list is an honour for any country. This means that the hospitality and the joy of brazilians is clearly visible for tourists visiting the country. In general the life has an easy-going rhythm and brazilians interact gladly with the foreigners. Here you will not stay at closed resort, but get mixed with the people and enjoy the same things as the brazilians do. I wonder if there is any other place on the earth where the joy of life is as visible as it is in Brazil. There may be many people with less conditions, but most of the will never lose their faith or the joy of life. If you come from a country with high level of self service you will also find it marvellous to be fully served at the stores,  bars and restaurants, and still you will not face disturbingly persisting sellers on the streets or at the beach.

  2. Country side

    Country side

    The beauty of the natureI would say that the second postition should be the beauty and the variety of the nature. As a huge country Brazil has an incredible variety of eco-systems depending on the part of the country. The beauty of the nature consists of numerous beaches, tropical vegetation, dunes, canyons, rainforest, waterfall, mountains, lagoons, lakes and rivers. There are extremely dry areas in Brazil and on the other hand a large part of the country is covered by rainforest. For sure the nature of this country offers something for each and every traveller, the question is do you really know all that Brazil has to offer?

  3. Endless beaches

    Endless beaches

    Beaches and the sea – Brazil has long coast with large number of beautiful beaches, some of the ideal for surfing, others for diving or snorkeling and almost all of them perfect for sunbathing and swimming. It’s not long time ago that I read an interesting review related to tourism in Brazil. The author said that Brazil may not have the most beautiful beaches of the world, compared to Southern Pacific of Maldives for example,  but Brazil certainly has the funniest beaches of the world. After having travelled widely around the world, I have to agree with the author of this article, Brazil definitely has the funniest beaches of the world and the best point is that many of them are among the most attracting ones as well. In Brazil beaches are like living-rooms, going to the beach is part of the culture and the daily life of brazilians. Here beaches are public and legally an access to any of them cannot be denied. This is why the coast of Brazil is not filled with resorts with private beaches, where only the clients can have an accesss. To be sincere, I think that is something Brazil should be proud of and this is why there is no other beach life like in Brazil. Being in the beach with the brazilians, you will quickly realize why people are in the top one position of the research. The joy of life is visible everywhere and there is always a beach bar to serve you whenever you are thirsty or hungry.

  4. Tropical vegetation

    Tropical vegetation

    Tropical climate – Thanks to the geographical position of Brazil, almost the whole country has tropical climate. This means that sunshine is basically guaranteed at any time of the year, at least in some part of the country. That’s why there are two basic things you should pay attention to before booking your trip to Brazil. First of all, if you have decided to travel during a specific time check out the climatical conditions in different parts of Brazil and choose your destination based on that. On the other hand, if you always wanted to visit certain area check out when is the best season to travel there, or at least when visiting those places is not recommendable and schedule your trip according to that. Right after that you are ready to enjoy the tropical climate and the sun shine of Brazil!

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