Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hot Springs in Goiás - Brazil

Caldas Novas and Rio Quente

The Caminho das Águas (Trail of the Waters) mixes the hot waters of thermal sources with the dammed lakes of the hydroelectric power stations in the valley of the Paranaíba River. The hot waters are found in the counties of Caldas Novas and Rio Quente, which compose the third largest hotel park and the largest hydrothermal complex of Brazil. In the south, the lakes of Emborcação, Lago Azul, São Simão and Cachoeira Dourada, formed by several dams for hydroelectric power plants, are used for water sports and leisure. In the Municipality of Lagoa Santa, southeast of Goiás, the lake of the same name is a unique attraction with its hot medicinal waters.                          
Caldas Novas Entrance
Caldas Novas is a Brazilian city and municipality in the state of Goiás. Caldas Novas is considered the largest source Hydrothermal the world. The complex with numerous hot springs is responsible for the heavy flow of tourists from all over the world, and these waters have curative capacity for various ailments. In Caldas Novas there are 86 active wells, pumping an average of 1,200 m³ an hour, in a period of 14 daily hours. The temperature of the water varies between 34 and 57 °C.
It's located 300 km from Brasília, 150 km from Goiânia and 750 km from São Paulo. As of this writing only charter flights are available to the airport (CLV). If you are not on a packaged tour, the best way to get here is first go to Goiânia or Brasilia and either rent a car or take a bus to Caldas Novas.

Get Around: A rental car is the best way to get around, second best is taxi and/or very inexpensive moto taxi. You will want to visit Hot Park in the sister town of Rio Quente 15 km from Caldas Novas. An intermunicipal will take you to Hot Park and back for a very low fare.


  • Hot Park is the largest water park in Brazil - get there early you will want to spend the entire day there and be sure to bring your sun block.
  • Club Di Roma is smaller than Hot Park, but definitely worth spending a day there.
  • Nautico Praia Club is located on the 64 km2 lake Corumbá, great for jet skis.
  • Lagoa Quente is located 6 km from the center of Caldas Novas and in addition to Hot water pools has such diversions as paint ball.
  • There are many other diversions and attractions in the area.
See: If you want to see how nature has blessed the cerrado region you will visit the Parque Ecológico Serra de Caldas, the park is 123 km2 in area and has waterfalls and trails.

The Jardim Japonês is a beautiful garden and is great for taking pictures

Farmers will want to see the Museu da Soja (soybean Museum)

Rio Quente: One of the largest hot water resort complexes in the world - Rio Quente Resorts - is located 20 kilometers to the west of Caldas in the municipality of Rio Quente. With seven hotels, a convention center, and 500 square kilometers of space it receives more than 1 million tourists a year.
Rio Quente is a small town and municipality in the south of the state of Goiás, Brazil. It is the site of a hot water spa known all over the country.
Located in the municipality of Rio Quente, in the state of Goiás, Rio Quente Resorts is in one of the most centralized areas of the country. Its exotic beauty, mild climate, and rich fauna and flora, along with the thermal water springs, make Rio Quente Resorts a unique place of pleasure and sensation.

The resort has an extensive area of native vegetation, where different palm trees display their clusters and leaves. Rio Quente Resorts, and especially the Parque das Fontes (Springs Park), are habitats of various wild bird species (toucans, doves, pigeons, passerine birds, canaries, partridges, parrots, humming birds, macaws, and more).

The Hot Park is one of the top attractions of Rio Quente Resorts. It is a water park with amusement equipment and the only one in the world with natural hot waters.

The entertainment team, specialized in recreation for youth and adults, also offers children activities all day long. They range from soil and water gymnastics, games, treasure hunting, parlor games, ecological walks, art play, team contests, underwater fishing, water basketball, night walks, hunting the “Gruns,” and lunch with team supervisors.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Serra Dourada State Park: Goiás

The Serra Dourada State Park comprises a mosaic of vegetation and it is one the most conserved and diverse mountainous areas of Goiás state.

The park is located in the districts of Goiás, Mossâmedes and Buriti de Goiás, located 131 km from the capital, Goiania - Go, central-western Brazil. With approximate area of 30,000 acres, encompasses most of the area of Environmental Protection.

This Serra Dourada (Golden Mountain Range) was named after the gold pioneers found with the Indians in one mount born river, in 1725, where today is the City of Goias, involved by part of its counter forts.

Trailing this path is truly travelling back in time, not only because of the scenery and the culinary, but also because of the landscapes surrounding the cities, like the State Park of Pireneus and the State Park of Serra Dourada.

Photo flickr by LuizHenrique

Photo flickr by JoelsonPaiva

The park is situated on the plateau of Serra Dourada (Golden Mountain Range) with walk through mazes (City of Stones), superimposed sandstone rocks, undergrowth, endemic plants and rocky cerrado.

To get to the place you need to come to a trail about 40 minutes walk from the city center. To reach the top you spend on average 1h30min by a steep road, which can be done on foot or off-road vehicles. From the soil of the Serra Dourada, artists usually take colored sand to elaborate artwork and its unique beautiful color sands have thousand of hues.

Photo: Uolviagem

Most of the rivers around the region are born in the slopes of the Serra Dourada, where live almost-extinct large felines like the Brazilian panthers, of different sizes, endangered by farmers supported hunters. The Federal University of Goias has an Ecological Station in Serra Dourada for fauna and flora research and protection. Better take guides; talk first with tourism services in town.

There is a lot more to see for ecotourists in Serra Dourada, as daylong tracks, medium effort trails, camping and exploring its fauna and flora.
Search: ecological guide

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pirenópolis, Goiás

A delightful colonial mining town, Pirenópolis charms visitors with its colorful architecture, the beauty of its natural surroundings, and its serene atmosphere. Wonderfully preserved, this historic town - with its National Heritage status - takes visitors back in time with its quartzite stone streets, quaint old churches, locally-run Pirenopolis hotels and museums. The natural beauty of the surrounding Cerrado landscape (Brazilian Tropical Savannah), complete with mountains and waterfalls, complement the picturesque town.

It's a town located in the Brazilian state of Goiás at 85 miles west of Brasília (capital of Brazil). It is also well known for a popular festival involving mounted horses called Festa do Divino Espírito Santo which takes place 45 days after Easter. The feast of the Holy Spirit (Festa do Divino Espírito Santo), celebrated in Pirenópolis since 1819, brings together bands parades, fireworks, congas, dances and other events.

In Pirenopolis, it's still possible to see horsedrawn carts, eat homemade cheese and crackers, or pick fruit from a nearby tree. 

Pirenópolis means “the City of the Pireneus”. Its name comes from the mountain range that surrounds the city, that is Mountain range of the Pireneus. According to local tradition, the mountain range received this name for having in the region immigrant Spaniards, probably Catalans. Because of some similarity with their native Pyrenees of Europe, a mountain chain situated between Spain and France, they had then given this mountain range the Latin name of Pireneus.

In Pirenópolis, moto-taxis are the public transportation system and the main way, if you’re not part of a tour group, to get to the waterfalls that dot the surrounding hills.

It’s pretty quiet during the week  but the number of tourist-oriented shops and restaurants, however, indicates that this place gets filled on weekends. Its cobbled streets are filled with diners at open-air eateries, live music drifted from restaurants, couples sat sharing cold beers in the shady park and swimmers bathed in the Rio das Almas river that runs through town.

Rio das Almas

Among the colonial buildings stand out from the Church of Our Lady Mother of the Rosary, the oldest in the state of Goias, built between 1728 and 1732.

The waterfalls, numbering over twenty, are located within 15 km from the city. It's considered two must-see waterfalls: Lázaro and Santa Maria (also known as Cachoeira do Inferno), both located in the same private property, the Vargem Grande Ecological Reserve.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fans thank and say goodbye to Brazil

The Brazil received more than 1 million foreign tourists and Brazilian and foreign fans left a message of gratitude and joy, for the moments experienced during the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. 

Watch the video below:
source: Ministério do Turismo

Friday, July 11, 2014

World Cup 2014: Check out most interesting things that tourists said about Brazil!

Was asked to Joe and 11 other foreigners who visited Brazil during the World  Cup 2014 what they found most interesting or different here compared to their home countries. The answers were varied, but a point was repeated in almost all the interviews: a positive surprise to the cheerful people and their receptive way. Check out below what tourists said: 

(Photo: Chilean Richard, American Joe, Estonian Elsa and Swiss Lukas Bärtschi - their personal archive)

The american Joe Bauman found it strange to see everyone put something that looked like sand in their food. That's how he discovered the “farofa” and turned a fan of it (he said it tasted like bacon). - "I started putting farofa on everything" he said.

- Brazilians drink a lot. All social engagements involve friends and beer.

- I found it strange to see that many middle class families have maids. In the U.S., only the rich have. I was a little uncomfortable to see that a stranger was going to make my bed, wash my clothes or prepare my breakfast.

- Brazilians love to give food to the visitors. It's the way they take care of you.

- I was impressed to know that adults are required to vote. In the United States, have shamefully low rates of turnout in elections. 

- I was amazed at the natural beauty. The mountains, beaches, vegetation, everything is different from where I live. I could not believe there was a park the size of the Tijuca in a big city like Rio.

- I was impressed to know that so many constitutions were created in the country and that the current version received so many amendments. It is very different from the U.S. Constitution, which is very old and has been modified a few times.

- I found kind of gross to see that here they toss the toilet paper in the trash [and not in the toilet]. Isn't there a bad smell? 

- There are many American TV shows, but all of the 1990's. I found it funny to see that Brazilians love the show "Friends", which isn't broadcast in the U.S. for over ten years.

- Brazilian women seem to love the "gringos". Weird, huh? But I found it great. Incidentally, my favorite part of Brazil, of course, were the Brazilian girls. I fell in love. More than once. I'll definitely return one day to Brazil to meet my future wife.

- The heart and soul of this wonderful country are Brazilian. They wanted to show me everything and make sure I had a good experience - and I certainly did! 

Florent Garnerot, Canada 

- On the beach, Brazilians are facing the sun, and not the sea. I found it interesting! 

- Brazilians meet friends, drink together and share the bill. In Canada, each pays what consumes. 

- Here, couples kiss and show affection in public, which it does not happen in Canada. 

- Women always wear jewelry, makeup ... They are very fashionable

- When I want to meet friends in Canada, need to plan at least a week in advance. They need to talk to their wives, etc.. In Brazil, it is much more spontaneous 

Jesih Luka, Slovenia 

- Brazilians speak loudly, almost shouting, and very fast. 

- You eat A LOT. Very much. I spent a week with a Brazilian family and always had some food or fruit on the table.

- In Europe, everything is calmer. In Brazil, when people sing the anthem, they cry, sing loudly and with great emotion.

Richard Diaz, Chile 

- I was surprised to see how quickly you make friends here, both in the slum and in the most exclusive condominiums.

- I realized that men are very macho. They treat their partners as employees, especially in relation to household chores.

Adam Burns, Pete Johnston and David Bewick, England 

- We found it strange to see that here you eat chicken hearts. 

- Brazilians are very alive and full of energy. They are always moving. 

- They also smile a lot. 

Mohamed Moulkaf, Argeria 

- In Algeria, there are no women who drive motorcycles. 

- Almost all the shops here parcel your purchases in several times without interest. I like that. You can pay the same price parceled up into ten months. 

- The bank guards are armed in here. There, it's not like that!

Kyle Dreher, Canada 

- When you meet someone, give two kisses on the cheek. This is very different from the handshake that we do in Canada. 

- Loved the "coalho" cheese with oregano on the beach! And corn too! Every day I ate. 

- In Brazil, people enjoy life and live the present more than in Canada. There, everyone is very focused on work, money and status. 

- In the shantytown near where I was staying, fireworks was set off every hour, day and night. At first, I thought they were gunshots, but then discovered that it was a sign that the drugs were coming through there. I got used to.

Rodrigo Escobar Rebolledo, Chile

- Kindness, the way to welcome people, the joy and simplicity of the Brazilian people were what caught my attention. We were so well welcomed in Cuiabá, that this struck me. You ask something and they show you everything , also they invite you to barbecues 

- They always have a smile to show. We also Chileans are cozy, but we are more serious, formal, quiet. 

- The girls are beautiful, affectionate and friendly. I want to one day have a Brazilian wife. 

- Brazilians are very relaxed, even more than it should sometimes. Friends ask for gathering "tomorrow at 10 am" and no one appears. 

- The bad part was finding much work unfinished, at least in Cuiabá.

Elsa Saks, Estonia 

- It was strange eat rice and beans. At first I thought: "Is it serious?". But I ended up finding it super delicious.

- I liked the cheese bread. So good! Loved it. 

- Musicians are not paid by the bar where they play, but by the cover charge that customers pay. 

- Brazilians eat dinner late. It is normal to eat at 22 hours. (10 pm)

- Brazilians are not good in punctuality.

Lukas Bärtschi, Switzerland 

- It was great to see everyone on the street wearing yellow clothes, from an elderly lady with hat of Brazil to a child wearing a Brazilian selection shirt. 

- We were surprised to see how everything was well organized. The bus to the stadium, the information for the airport, everything worked fine. 

- A lot of people struggled to speak English. When I was in Brazil before, six years ago, no one spoke a word. 

- It was very special to see that each stadium served typical food of the region. And all were very tasty. 

- People are all glad and receive you with open arms.

Daniel Lane, England

- Brazilians often wear very tight clothes.

- People arrive late for everything. 

- They hug much more. 

-They say "Good beach!" to people. - People are more religious - usually we're just very religious when we want one thing: for example, that our team advance in the World Cup.

George Woolley, U.S.

- People applaud the sunset on the beach in Rio. That would never happen in the United States.

- Be able to drink beer in public is also something that does not happen in the U.S., except in places like New Orleans. 

- The fact that people are so happy to be alive is something very different and palpable.

article written by Flávia Mantovani
G1 Globo, São Paulo

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Emas National Park, Goiás, Brazil!

Photo by rotabrasil

The Emas National Park is located between the states of Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul in the Center-West Region of Brazil. Literally meaning "rhea National Park". With an area of about 132 thousand hectares, covers part of the municipalities of Mineiros, Chapadão do Céu and Serranópolis in the State of Goiás, and Costa Rica, in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. Due to its length, integrity of habitat, richness of fauna and presence of rare and threatened species, the reserve is one of the most important protected areas of the cerrado biome. It has recently been included in the priority actions for biodiversity conservation in the Cerrado and Pantanal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

At well over 1000 square kilometers of rolling grassy fields and patches of swamp forest, the park is home to a variety of large mammals, including puma, ocelot, collared peccary, white-lipped peccary, marsh deer, red brocket, gray brocket, black howler monkey, capybara, Maned wolf, Brazilian Tapir, and Giant Anteater, and it also shelters a number of threatened bird species, including the recently rediscovered Cone-Billed Tanager. But while the promise of Emas is indeed great, the bounty of the site highly dependent on season and luck, and access tightly controlled by the inclinations of a guide.

Emas National Park also holds a small jaguar population, perhaps consisting of about 10-12 animals. Only about 40% of the reserve is a good Jaguar habitat.

Photo by Andre Pessoa

Photo by André Pessoa
Here it's the namesake greater rhea:

Photo by rotabrasil

In fact, almost the entire park was wiped out by fire in 2010, decimating the once thriving Giant Anteater population. These burned areas are excellent places to find terrestrial birds that normally secret themselves away deep in the tall grass, including Ocellated Crake and Lesser Nothura, but they have also become stages for adaptation, as Coal-Crested Finch, Campo Miner, and White-Winged Nightjar have all evolved to utilize recently burned areas for different biological purposes. Towards the end of the dry season, diverse flocks of migratory seedeaters in breeding plumage surge through the park, including rarities such as Rufous-Rumped, Chestnut, Dark-Throated, and Black-Bellied Seedeaters.(BirdingBrazil)

Cerrado is the biome that covers the sprawling Planalto Central, the central plains of Brazil. It consists of several different habitat types. So unique is Cerrado that several of the Portuguese words for the habitat types have been adapted to English. Grasslands, or campo, cover much of the region. Campo sujo has shorter grass and sparse woody vegetation. Woodlands of short, twisted tree with waxy leaves and cork-like bark make up cerrado, not to be confused with Cerrado, the biome name. Gallery forests are moist forests that follow the watercourses. Some 90% of the plant and animal species of the Cerrado are found in the gallery forests. 

Indaiá Palm trees. Photo by aceleragoias
The park holds the greatest concentration of Blue-and-Yellow Macaws outside Amazonia, and blue-winged, red-shouldered and red-bellied Macaws can also be seen. The park headquarters building for scientists are visited daily by a pair of bare-faced currasows, white Woodpeckers, streamer-tailed Tyrants and other showy birds. 
In addition to the mammals and large birds, the park is known for other bird specialties. (visit: focustours)

The cupinzeiros (tall termites houses)

In the early stages of the rainy season the cupinzeiros (termites houses) perform the bio-luminescence phenomenon which consists in the irradiation of a blue greenish phosphorescent light, produced by small larvae stuck to the leafs in search for food. The result is a very beautiful night show. 

Photo Flickr by Cristina Morita

Photo by rotabrasil

Photo by aceleragoias
This park holds the largest concentration of cupinzeiros per square metre in the whole world. In about 25 million registered termites houses in preserved area, the fireflies were a sideshow, especially during spring nights. Between the holes dug in a kind of "natural building", insect larvae emit an intense greenish light and give a show to form different lighting points.

The Emas National Park is a place that requires different observation, attentive to detail, and use sensitivity to perceive the richness of life adjustments such as the Indaiá palm trees with trunks buried or trees with very thick bark to resist fire that selects life natural and at the same time makes everything grow again. 

For all this diversity, gets to be frustrating leave the park knowing that knew very little of what nature presents there. Even those who live on site and research about it, know  they don't know the Cerrado, and not knowing is an exciting feature an exciting mystery.

Visitation: With the payment of an entrance fee of R$ 6,00 (for local people) and R$13,00 for tourists, you can visit a restricted area of ​​the park without tracking guide. But the rides are more productive by hiring a good local guide who helps the tourist in the observation and interpretation of natural diversity. The municipal authorities inform the phones associations of guides. The Visitation and the need of the guide must be checked in advance, because of the impending change of management plan.

There are three types of ride / observation: 

1. Interpretive trail: identification of animals by the tracks, feces and food consumed; identification of vegetation. 

2. Motorized trail: by bus or car, for observation of animals hidden in the cerrado and those who do not have time to hide with a faster approach than in hiking. 

3. Hiking in the woods or field: where you can touch the nature, feel the way to see up close birds, lizards, armadillos, anteaters and other animals.

The trails at Parque das Emas are very extensive - some with more than 40 km, and must be traveled by car. Currently incursions walking is not allowed on some trails; overnight in the park is also not allowed, but the tourists have lodging structure in the park nearby farms and guesthouses. 

The Formoso River, and other rivers, provide conditions for canoeing and rafting outside the park boundaries. There are conservation areas outside the park that also deserve to be visited.

Cross float in Formoso River