Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Island in the Bay of All Saints called Ilha de Maré

'Ilha de Mare' is a small island located in Bahia de Todos os Santos in the City of Salvador. Ilha de Mare is well known by travelers and historians who like to know about Brazilian history due to the strong African Brazilian heritage in the island.

This island houses a quilombo (ex-slave) community. The island’s tiny community of Praia Grande was declared a ‘quilombo’ in 2004, after a long struggle for the land with a family that had long claimed ownership to it. The declaration gave the habitants rights to the land.

Of the smaller islands (meaning not Itaparica), one of the most popular as a destination via schooner or ferry boat is the Ilha de Maré (Tide Island), located in the northern area of the bay. Boats generally pull up to the praia (beach) of Itamoabo, and because there is no pier one reaches the beach by getting off the boat into waist-deep water and wading up to dry ground. Itamoabo is nice, though not particularly beautiful in and of itself, and it is lined by the usual Bahian assortment of slap-dash barracas and bars serving beer, carangueijo (crabs), and fish.

Some three hundred meters or so along the island's coast to the left (as one faces out to the water) is a truly lovely little beach called Praia das Neves (Beach of the Snows), not much frequented except during high Brazilian summer) which has several houses set up as beach bars, very sweet and organized.

'Maré' is home to a small population of fishermen. Their communities are not visible from either of the two beaches described above, and are only reachable by boat or walking (not that I'm suggesting an excursion unless one happens to be curious). From Itamoabo a small sidewalk wends its way up a hill, then back down to the community of Santana where, on the weekends, the inhabitants will be doing what the visitors on Itamoabo are doing -- sitting in simple bars drinking beer and talking.

Source: salvadorcentrql

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Brazil: Ecological Park in Marituba, Belém do Pará - A place to be happy!

A must to see and to visit place that you will love in your trip to Belém, State of Pará, north of Brazil is the 'Terra do Meio' Rural Restaurant that is located in an ecological park in Marituba, 15 minutes of Belém, with 200,000 square meters of rivers and forest.

Two kilometers of trails. The silence all the time is broken by the singing of birds, or the talk of the visitors. And the subject is always the same: the plants, the trees, the birds and perhaps a distracted agouti, eating lunch under a chestnut tree or cumaruzeiro.

It also has a canoe trip along the river and refreshing bath under the flooded forest of trees or amidst the Mururé mat.

You may even give food to the fish. Food that fish likes. Fish and turtle.

It's program for man, woman, boy and girl, big and small. What the ancients called family.

Credits: Photos by Marcia MonteiroBittencourt and terradomeio

Friday, October 2, 2015


  • Duck in tucupi: Consisting of duck, tucupi and jambu. The tucupi is a yellow broth extracted from cassava and so it needs to be cooked for a week. The duck, then roasted, is cut into pieces and boiled in tucupi where it soaks for some time. The Jambu is boiled in salted water, drained and placed on the duck. It is served with white rice and cassava flour.
Photo: Marcos Issa/Argosfoto by portaldoxingu
  • Maniçoba From Tupi Mani, goddess of cassava. It's usually served in a typical clay pot or porcelain. It takes at least a week to be done, because the leaf manioc (cassava plant) after ground must be cooked for at least four days with the intention of eliminating hydrogen cyanide containing. After that it's added the jerky, bacon, tripe, calf's foot jelly, ear, foot and salted pork ribs, smoked sausage, and pork sausage, virtually the same ingredients of a complete feijoada. It is served with white rice, manioc flour and hot peppers to taste.
Photo by skyscrapercity
  • 'Carurú' it's made with okra, dry and whole shrimp, green seasoning (basil and chicory), fine dry flour and palm oil. After boiled okra, green seasoning and shrimp in the water, add the flour and make a porridge. Next, add to the porridge the well drained okra, shrimp already sauteed with all the spices and finally, palm oil.
Photo: Gabriel Gonçalves/ G1) by globo
  • Tacacá of Indian origin, is an almost liquid porridge, served in bowls and sold by "tacacazeiras", usually at dusk at the corner of the main streets of Pará cities, especially Belém. It consists of a mixture that takes tucupi, tapioca gum cooked , jambu and dry shrimp.
Photo: Jean Barbosa - Paratur by turismoparaense
  • 'Vatapá': The vatapá  of Pará does not take fish or peanut or cashews nut. In the broth of heads and salted shrimp shells cooked with basil, endive, garlic and parsley, wheat flour is added and / or rice, thus obtaining a porridge. Add up the pure coconut milk, already boiled shrimps and palm oil.
Photo by wikipedia
  • 'Chibé': A porridge with a slightly acidic taste made from cassava flour and water. Very nutritious because after being processed, cassava surpasses, twice, or more to the amount of most of their nutrients.
Photo: blogmanueldutra

Monday, September 21, 2015

Belém, Capital of Pará State

Belém, streets lined with mangos trees

Belém is a Brazilian municipality, the capital and largest city of the state of Pará in the country's north. This is an important destination, as it acts as the gateway to the majestic Amazon River, which remains one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions and with a busy port, airport, and bus/coach station. It is the second largest city in the North Region, second only to Manaus, in the state of Amazonas.

The city of Belém is modern, but retains much of its historical charm and beauty. Many of the main streets are lined with trees, while the city center is bustling with tall buildings and the hubbub of a thriving metropolis.

The sloping central park is quiet during the week and bustling on weekends, when locals come out in masse for free performances and tasty street food. Nightlife tends toward the bohemian intellectual sort: art-house theaters, small music venues, heady cafe-bars.

Belém, literally Bethlehem is also known as the Metropolis of the Brazilian Amazon region or the Cidade das Mangueiras (City of Mango Trees) due to the vast number of those trees found in the city. Brazilians often refer to the city as Belém do Pará ("Belém of Pará") rather than just Belém, a reference to an earlier name for the city, Santa Maria de Belém do Grão Pará, and also to differentiate it from a number of other towns called Belém in Brazil. It is named after Santa Maria de Belém in Lisbon, also better known by its shortened name, Belém.

The capital of Pará is full of indentations and recesses forming islands all around it. There are 55 of these islets, most of which are wild and uninhabitable, although some are home to small populations called ribeirinhos.

These include the islands of Mosqueiro, fringed by 14 freshwater beaches, and Caratateua which receive a large number of visitors in summertime. In addition to these and also near Belém, is the island of Tatuoca which is the location of one of the seven geophysical stations in the world, and the only station in Latin America.

Today, the most important exports coming out of Belém are aluminium, iron, nuts, wood veneers, hardwood, pineapples and cassava, amongst others.
The climate of Belém is typically tropical, with rain, heat and humidity all year around. There are certain months that are wetter than others (namely December to May), but there is no dry season. Daily high temperatures average around 26 degrees Celsius (or about 79 degrees Fahrenheit) all year around. This climate creates the ideal environment for tropical rainforest vegetation to abound, giving the city a really beautiful aesthetic aspect.

The Ver-o-Peso (Portuguese: "see the weight") market in the old port center is a major tourist attraction.

Interestingly, Belém has a huge Indian cuisine culture. This is a favourite amongst locals as well as international tourists. The local Amerindian culture extracts colors, scents, flavors, and native tastes from nature to produce a rich and exotic cuisine, adding up to the most authentic of regional cuisines. One such dish, "Cupuaçu", comes from the Cupuaçu tree, found in the Amazonian woods. Cupuaçu is easily identified by its smell and sour taste and is highly appreciated by both locals and tourists. Its pulp is also extracted to make juices, candies, jellies, liquors, and ice cream. Açaí is a palm tree with a long, thin stem. Açaí, also known as Jussara, is purple in color with a delicious taste. Long prized by the local population, it recently it has also reached the national menu.
Freshwater crab, a traditional local delicacy, is a very popular dish in the city's cuisine. Found only in swamps, its well-tempered meat can be served in different forms: as a shell, the so-called unha (the claws) or toc-toc. "Maniçoba" is one of the highlights of the local cuisine. Its preparation is time-consuming and its final appearance is quite surprising for those who have never tried it, due to the dark look of the cooked maniva (ground manioc leaves). But this first impression ends quickly, after you taste the dish with its seemingly awkward ingredients. Maniçoba is often served in ceramic dishes, and can be eaten with rice or with manioc flour and capsicum.

Popular tourist attractions here include:

The Amazon Biopark Zoo – surrounded by jungles and rivers, the fauna and flora in this natural area are a true wonder. Located less than 15 kilometers from the center of Belém, in the Tenoné neighborhood.

The Rodrigues Alves Wood–Botanic Garden – Inspired by the Bois de Boulogne Park in Paris, it is a little piece of Amazonia preserved in the middle of the city. It has 2,500 native species, an orchidary, lakes, caverns, waterfalls and even a replica of a mountain. 

The Ver-o-Peso Market – Created in 1688, as a result of the Portuguese deciding to levy a tax for everything entering and leaving Amazonia. Despite resembling a large retailer, the mixture of colours, fragrances and objects is very interesting as well as folkloric. A variety medicinal herbs, various regional fruits, arts and crafts, domestic utilities, meats, fish and seasonings and spices can be found there. The Market brings together two thousand stalls and traders in every part and is located near to the old Mercado de Ferro (Iron market), on the quays.

The Estação das Docas Complex: It reopened the windows of Belém to Guajará Bay. The restoration project covers the area of old warehouses of the Pará Docks Company. Constructed from prefabricated metal structures in England and that were built at the beginning of the twentieth century in Belém. There are 18 thousand square meters of urbanized area, with coffee bar services, various restaurants, stores, travel agencies, banks, in addition to an auditorium and two memorials: The Porto Memorial and the Fortaleza de São Pedro Nolasco Memorial. There is, also, a fluvial station and extensive external area.
The Goeldi Museum 
Cidade Velha is an old part of the city that boasts beautiful French architecture. 
The Mangal das Garcas Park
Forte do Presepio
Algodoal Island
Catedral da Se
Emilio Goeldi Museum
• Mosqueiro: The river island of Mosqueiro, 67 km (42 mi) north of the heart of the city, attracts beach tourists in the dry season.

The Estação das Docas Complex. Photo: inspiringadventures
Photo: wikimedia by Cayambe. The Docas Complex

Belém, Teatro Paz (theater). Photo: wikimedia by Celso Roberto de Abreu Silva
Ver-o-Peso Market

Belém, Icoaraci. Photo by Rui Santos via Panoramio

Açai berries. Close to the fort of Castelo is the site of the Feira do Açaí, a market supplied by boat with the fruits of the açaí palm, a common local tree, which are used in the making of ices and fruit drinks. Photoplanetware

Carimbó it is a circle dance of the coast of Pará, Brazil. The name also applies to drum used in this dance style.The most extraordinary manifestation of artistic creativity of Pará people was created by the Tupinambá Indians who, according to historians, were endowed with an unusual artistic sense, coming to be considered in the tribe, as true demigods. Photo: agenciapara

Distant 50 Km of Belém do Pará, Mosqueiro is the portal of one of the prettiest freshwater beaches in Brazil. Photo: Natal Jordão vy panoramio

Mosqueiro Island, freshwater beach.

Belém is home to a part of the Amazon in Mangal das Garças, set on the banks of the Rio Guamá, in the historic center of the capital. The site is a revitalized ecological park, occupying an area of 40,000 square meters in the vicinity of the Navy Arsenal. Photo: Reprodução guiadasemana

Mangal das Garças Park

The Amazon Biopark Zoo. Photo: holidaycheck

The Rodrigues Alves Wood–Botanic Garden. Photo: juremajosefa

Search: wikipedia and brazilorg

Monday, August 17, 2015

Brazil: Pará State

Complex Ver-o-Peso focuses crafts, cuisine and other local products. Photo: gazetadopovo

Pará  is a state in northern Brazil. It borders the Brazilian states of (clockwise from north) Amapá, Maranhão, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Amazonas and Roraima. To the northwest it also borders Guyana and Suriname, and to the northeast it borders the Atlantic Ocean. The capital and largest city is Belém, the 11th most populous city in the country.

Pará is the most populous state of the northern region with a population of over 7.5 million, being the ninth most populous state in Brazil. It is the second largest state of Brazil in area, with 1 247 689.5 km² (or 481 735.6 square miles), second only to Amazonas. Its most famous icons are the Amazon River and the Amazon Rainforest. Pará produces rubber (extracted from natural rubber tree groves), tropical hardwoods such as mahogany, and minerals such as iron ore and bauxite.

Every October, Belém receives tens of thousands of tourists for the year's most important religious celebration, the procession of the Círio de Nazaré. Another important attraction of the capital is the Marajó-style ceramics, based on pottery from the extinct Marajó indigenous culture, whose designs have gained considerable international fame.
Belem, capital of Pará. Photo: wikipedia

Before the 1600’s, the English and Dutch explorers that made their way to this part of South America by boat invaded it in search of its valuable pepper, annatto seeds and the Guaraná tree. The annatto seeds were valuable as colorants, sunscreen and insect repellent while the Guaraná tree has many herbal uses; including weight loss, increase in libido, antibacterial properties, the thinning of blood and pain relief. Then, during the earlier part of the 17th century, Portuguese colonizers arrived in the area now known as Pará and founded Presépio Fortress (the modern Castle Fortress). The city of Belém would eventually stem out of this location.
Castanheira - Para symbol tree. Photo: AdairGallo

Alter do Chão is located 45 minutes southwest of Santarém in the state of Pará, Brazil on the river Tapoajos.  The place is beautiful year round but June – December is the driest time to visit and from August when beautiful sandy beaches start to appear. Photo: hiddenpousadas

Pará’s climate is tropical; typical of its equatorial positioning. It's very humid and moist, with no dry season. This gives the tropical rainforest vegetation the ideal amount of moisture in which to thrive, creating a dense, lush landscape that is absolutely breathtaking for locals and visitors alike. The Amazon is home to an astounding variety of species; both plant and animal. This diversity and abundance gives this state a priceless quality of beauty and intrigue, attracting tourists from all over the world to explore the unique splendor.

Pará’s major exports include iron ore, aluminium and wood, amongst others.

Visitors to Pará are urged to visit some of the following popular attractions:

• Estação das Docas (Station of the Docks)

• Teatro da Paz (Peace Theatre) – dating back as far as 1869

• One of the many river tours that are conducted on a regular basis

• Mercado Ver-o-Peso – the largest free fair in South America

• The Zoological Park and Gardens

• Mangrove of Herons Garden – a contemporary-styled park in the Cidade Velha area of Belém.

Estação das Docas (Station of the Docks). Photo: turismoemfoco

Mercado Ver-o-Peso. Photo: elinaldoblog

searches: wikipedia and brazilorg