Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Welcome to crystal-clear waters, rich marine life - Fernando de Noronha

Cachorro Beach. Photo by EduardoMurici
Fernando de Noronha is, strictly speaking, an archipelago made up of one 11-square-mile chunk of volcanic rock and 20 smaller islands, three degrees south of the equator, 354 km (220 mi) offshore from the Brazilian north-eastern coast, in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Noronha's natural beauty holds its own against any tropical locale in the world. With crystal-clear waters, rich marine life – including the highest known concentration of resident dolphins in the world – and spectacular tropical landscapes, it’s in a Brazilian class all of its own.

Sighted for the first time between 1500 and 1502, it has its discovery attributed to an expedition commanded by the Portuguese merchant Fernão de Loronha (then that's the reason of the archipelago's name), although there are controversies; but it is certain that the first to describe it was Americo Vespucci, in an expedition carried out between 1503 and 1504.

Administratively, the islands are a unique case in Brazil of a special "state district" that is not part of any municipality and is administered directly by the government of the state of Pernambuco(despite being closer to the state of Rio Grande do Norte).

In 2001 UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site because of the importance of its environment. Its time zone is UTC−02:00 all year round. The local population and travelers can get to Noronha by plane from Recife or Natal. 

An "environmental preservation" daily fee is charged from tourists upon arrival by Pernambuco State administration, while another fee is paid once to have access to the National Park attractions. (wikipedia).

The Two Brothers Rock. Photo via wikimedia

Forte dos Remédios. Photo via wikimedia

Ponta da Sapata. Photo via wikimedia

Sunset. Photo via wikimedia

Aerial View of Sancho Beach. Photo via wikimedia

Dolphin Bay. Photo via wikimedia

Two Brothers Rock aerial view. Photo by wikimedia

Give yourself plenty of time because Noronha is addictive. It’s a wonderful place for doing things both on water (diving, surfing and snorkeling) and on land (hiking and touring), and the average stay is four or five nights. Thanks in large part to the Parque Nacional Marinho de Fernando de Noronha and conservation projects based here, the marine and coastal environment is tightly regulated: locals joke that it’s the island of ‘No’ – no, you can’t do this; no, you can’t do that, etc.

With only between 270 and 400 plane seats normally available per day to Noronha, tourism doesn't overwhelm the islands, and it’s rarely a problem to find an isolated patch of sand on a dreamy beach, even in high season. However, it’s advisable to reserve accommodations and flights well ahead for December, January, February, July and August. The week or so either side of New Year can get booked up six months or more in advance.

Paradise comes at a premium: due to the cost of transporting goods from the mainland, prices are surreal and rooms cost about double what you'd pay on the mainland. But as a guaranteed highlight of any trip to South America, Fernando de Noronha is well worth the expense. (lonelyplanet)

Photo Gallery credit by LuMa Lima

People watching sunset

Cacimba do Padre, in the Two Brothers Rock

The spectacular extinct volcanic cone Morro do Pico is the highest point, 323m above sea level – and more than 4300m above the ocean floor. No, you cannot climb it.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Beautiful colonial Olinda - a gem in the northeast of Brazil

The most pictures here from google

It is a city in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco. It's set around a tree-covered hill 6km north of Recife.

Olinda features a number of major tourist attractions, such as a historic downtown area (World Heritage Site), churches, and the Carnival of Olinda, a popular street party, very similar to traditional Portuguese carnivals, with the addition of African influenced dances. In Olinda, admission to Carnival is free. All the festivities are celebrated on the streets, and there are no bleachers or roping. 

There are hundreds of small musical groups (sometimes featuring a single performer) in many genres.
The main outlook of the city is the Alto da Sé where you can admire the historic buildings and the ocean. Located here is the Seminary, with its Brazilian Jesuit architecture whilst nearby are the Palace of the Governors, the Contemporary Art Museum and the Eufrasio Barbosa Market.

Besides its natural beauty, Olinda is also one of Brazil's main cultural centers. Declared in 1982 a Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO, Olinda relives the magnificence of the past every year during the Rio-style Carnival, on the rhythms of frevo, maracatu and others rhythms.
Frevo dancers


The main economic activities in Olinda are based in tourism, commerce, transportation industry and artcraft. The tourist sector has a boom every Carnival when thousands of people are in the old historic town center. (wikipedia).

With twisting streets of colorful old houses and gorgeous vistas over tree tops, church towers and red-tile roofs, this is one of the best-preserved and prettiest colonial towns in Brazil. 

Walking around the cobbled streets, stopping in front of each beautifully colored house, snapping pictures at every corner is very pleasant. Olinda is photographic heaven.

The impressive historical buildings pair well with the cultural diversity of the town which can be seen everywhere, whilst the fabulous lookouts onto the ocean, the handicraft markets and its rich cuisine will delight visitors.

For arts and crafts, Olinda is considered an open air museum bringing together an historic site with more than 80 artists’ studios of national and international reputation whilst throughout the Cidade Alta there are numerous stalls of local artisans selling carvings, sculptures and embroideries.

If you are visiting the north-east of Brazil on holiday then Olinda is a must see.

Photo by Flickr MCM Photography

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Porto de Galinhas, one of northeast best beaches!

(Foto: Danilo Luiz/Divulgação) via globo.com

Porto de Galinhas is a beach located in the municipality of Ipojuca, in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. The region has pools of clear and warm waters formed between corals, besides estuaries, mangroves, white sand and coconut trees. The whole region is very frequented by tourists and surfers of various nationalities, being elected by the magazine Viagem e Turismo, Editora Abril, as the "Best Beach in Brazil" for 10 consecutive times.

According to history the town was called Porto Rico (Rich Port) due to its abundance of redwood (called Paul Brasil), until 1850 when it became a place where people traded slaves to work in the plantations of sugar cane. To evade the control of the illegal transaction, slaves were transported together with guineafowl and passwords were created by traffickers (Portuguese: "Tem galinha nova no porto"—"There are new chickens in the port"), hence the origin of the name. (wikipedia)

But there are also beaches with strong waves, perfect for surfing - Maracaípe beach is a main points. Water sports, by the way, have been gaining more and more fans in the region, transforming the beach of Muro Alto into a meeting point for lovers of water skiing, wakeboarding and jet-skiing.

Although the narrow streets and life run slowly in Porto de Galinhas, the village boils in the summer, when it receives tourists from all over Brazil, as well as foreigners from the four corners of the planet.

All are attracted by the natural aquariums, however, they are surprised by the wealth of attractions and leisure options in the region, such as buggy, raft or horseback rides, almost always framed by coconut palms, white sands and a sea of shades of green , sometimes blue.

In downtown village, walking is the best way to check out the handicrafts produced by the natives. They are ceramic chickens - the official souvenir -, embroideries, nets, blankets ... The cuisine also occupies a prominent place, with restaurants offering seafood dishes as well as regional cuisine, such "carne do sol" and "galinha cabidela" (type stewed chicken).

Carne do Sol

Galinha de Cabidela

Fotos créditos: wikipedia, guiadoturismobrasil, fotoexplorerwiki e google.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Caruaru - The Capital City Of Forró Music

It is a Brazilian municipality in the state of PernambucoCaruaru is located in the microzone of Agreste and because of its cultural importance, it is nicknamed Capital do Agreste (Portuguese for the "capital city of the Agreste region"), Princesinha do Agreste ("Little Princess of Agreste"), and Capital do Forró ("the capital city of forró"). Caruaru has a history intertwined with the most famous of northeastern music genres - the forró. Forró is the umbrella term that covers a variety of different subgenres like 'baião, quadrilha, xaxado or xote, all having in common the same basic instruments: accordion, triangle, guitar and percussion. Luiz Gonzaga (1912 - 1989) is perhaps the best-known composer of the genre and to this day there is a museum dedicated to him in Caruaru, the Museu do Forró Luiz Gonzaga, where visitors can learn more about his life and works.

The city is located 140 kilometers (87 miles) from the state capital of Recife, which has an international airport. However Caruaru has its own airport. Also it is renowned for its extensive Festival de São João ("Saint John's Festival"), which takes up the whole month of June, sometimes extending into July.


The main economic activities in Caruaru are industry (especially textiles), tourismcommerce, and handicraft, and the primary sector, especially the raising of goatschickens, and cattle, and the production of milk. Agricultural activity in the Caruaru area also includes beanscassava, and corn. Caruaru also hosts one of the biggest open-air traditional handicrafts markets of Brazil, the Feira de Caruaru. (search: wikipedia)

Pictures: Google and wikipedia

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Recife - Brazilian Venice!

Recife and its bridges. Photo: wikitravel
Recife, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco, is one of the largest and most important cities on the northeastern coast of Brazil. This lively capital, originally founded by Dutch colonizers, is brimming with a vibrant culture, an interesting old town (which includes the oldest synagogue in the Americas) and some nice beaches. 

Recife is distinguished by its many rivers, bridges, islets and peninsulas. Recife Antigo, on its own island by the harbor, is the historic old town center dating to the 16th century. To its south, popular Boa Viagem Beach is sheltered by reefs and lined by tall apartment blocks, modern hotels and restaurants. It is the fourth-largest urban agglomeration in Brazil 

It is on the Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the Capibaribe, Beberibe and Jordão Rivers, close to the eastern most point of the Americas. The climate is tropical, with two main seasons: dry (September-March) and rainy (April-August).

Due to the prevalence of waterways in its geography, Recife is known as Veneza Brasileira (Brazilian Venice).

Do not miss Olinda or Porto de Galinhas. The first is famous for its natural setting, colonial architecture and carnaval, while the second has been consistently voted the best beach in Brazil.

Photo: Skyscrapercity  by George Hamilton Paes Barreto, on Flickr.

Historic Old Town. Photo: wikipedia

Photo: huffington post by © Recife Dept. of Tourism

Bicycle path in Recife Boa Viagem Beach. Photo: wikitravel