Thinking of going to Brazil
? You have maybe heard of Rio and the Amazon but not too sure where else to visit? I recently visited some of the lesser known areas of Brazil
and want to inspire you to travel off the beaten track with me.
First stop, Ouro Preto, located 2 hours drive from Belo Horizonte (Brazil’s third largest city). Ouro Preto is a beautiful, colonial town and UNESCO World Heritage Site; picture terracotta roof tiles, steep cobbled streets and Baroque-style churches. Also well known for gem mining, in particular the Imperial Topaz which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.
Great for self drive, Ouro Preto is just 2 hours from Tiradentes, a tiny village with a huge reputation as named after the national hero of Brazil, who played a major role in gaining independence from Portugal
. Visit in August for the annual food festival though make sure you book early as visitors flock from far and wide.
Next stop, Salvador
, which is reached from Belo Horizonte by taking a 1 ½ hr flight.
|Kia Roa Luxury Eco Resort
The historical area of Pelourinho is a ‘must see’ and great for photography, people watching, art, theatre and food – try the local dish of ‘moqueca’ a flavoursome seafood stew, not to be missed. Salvador
is located on the coast and home to the largest bay in Brazil and the climate here is enviable. Lowest temperature 18C at night.
Taking a 30 minute scenic flight from Salvador, I find myself being wowed by Kia Roa Luxury Eco Resort
; my expectations were high as their website is impressive, although these were exceeded. The service here is excellent and the atmosphere peaceful, the location simply stunning and a perfect destination for Honeymooners looking for a private beach holiday.
|Tivoli Eco Resort
My first coach journey in Brazil took me from Salvador to Lencois, the gateway to Chapada Diamantina
. The journey was 6 hours, the coach very comfortable and the seat similar to the size of a premium economy airline seat. For those who love the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, exploring caves, snorkelling in caves (with torch) then Lencois is a great base from which to enjoy this great expanse of wilderness.
Then my trip moved to the beautiful beaches of Brazil. Firstly, Praia do Forte, just 1 hour from Salvador and home to the Tamar Turtle Project, which is open to visitors. The village is commercial though nicely done and very, very busy on a weekend. Stay in the village for a lively break or choose Tivoli Eco Resort
for that something special.
Next stop, the ‘jewel in the crown’ of beaches of Brazil as I had heard from local Brazilian people. Fernanda do Noronha
is an archipelago of 21 islands located 500 km from the mainland; visitors are limited here in order to preserve the island and marine life and very little development has taken place. The beaches are truly breathtaking and the turquoise waters so clear, the visibility when snorkelling/diving is up to 60m in some areas. All accommodation is built away from the beaches to preserve the environment and protect the natural eco-system. It is not unusual to see a pod of wild Spinner dolphins racing along side the hull of a boat and to follow the graceful ‘flight’ of the Green turtle when snorkelling!
Final destination and beach stop took me to Jericoacoara
, or ‘Jeri’ as it is known locally (and far easier to pronounce). A 4 hour journey from Fortaleza airport, brings you to a beach sprawling as far as you can see. Home to huge sand dunes, the highest being where many people gather to watch the sunset. ‘Jeri’ is very much a place for surfers, kite surfers, football on the beach, sand surfing and concerts on the beach. Even the roads here are sand!
Brazil has so much to offer and so worthy of more than one visit. With a country 41 times the size of UK, it is difficult to see a lot of Brazil in a short time, however, TAM Airlines have an extensive network of flights and together with our knowledge, we are happy to guide you in decision making – Brazil definitely has something for everyone and luckily has good weather throughout the year.
Lisa Rudkin, Sunvil Traveller