Tag Archives: Adventure

Surf’s Up at Itacaré

2 Aug

Watching the Atlantic surf roll in on Itacaré’s picture perfect beaches is mesmerising. As the swell rises, white spray rides on top of deep blue water, leaving a champagne fizz in its wake. A short way out, toned and tanned bodies lie half submerged in the water looking out to sea, counting waves and waiting for the perfect ride. Then they begin paddling fast on the swollen wave before it breaks. It looks so simple, so effortless: in one smooth movement the surfers mount their boards and gracefully ride the wave all the way into shore. They are lost in the moment, totally at one with nature, and we are transfixed by the show.

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The Dazzling Gems of Chapada Diamantina

26 Jul

With thousands of kilometres of tropical beaches, happening cities and hedonistic festivals to be discovered along Brazil’s coastline, it might seem incredibly hard to drag yourself away and head inland. If you were at all tempted to haul yourself off your sun-lounger and hang up your dancing shoes to make just one trip into Brazil’s interior, this would surely be it! The National Park of Chapada Diamantina (Diamond Highlands) is located 300 kilometres west of Salvador and for a short time it was the diamond mining capital of the world. These days, its true value lies in eco-tourism and those who make the effort to travel here will rewarded beyond their wildest dreams. This is the Outback of Brazil: where space and big skies seem to go on forever; where larger than life landscapes filled with mountain plateaus, waterfalls, wooded valleys and underground caves stir your imagination; where a slower pace of life and laid-back attitude ensures you appreciate the smaller things; and where the range of exciting activities will leave you bewildered.

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Urban Beach Dreams – Maceió

28 Jun

Meandering along the palm-lined promenade and looking out across golden sand to painted sailboats bobbing on the clear green sea, it was easy to see why Maceió is a destination on the up.  Located in Brazil’s northern state of Alagoas, the modern city of Maceió initially thrived due to the sugar industry but is now fast becoming a hotspot with tourists in the know. The laid-back city has vibrant nightlife with excellent restaurants and bars but its biggest crowd pleaser has to be the miles of urban beaches and access to idyllic shorelines to the north and south.

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Falling in love with Jericoacoara

26 Apr

We’d heard rumours of pristine, deserted beaches hidden behind towering sand dunes. Whispers told of a chic village resort with streets of sand. Word had spread about the stunning coastal scenery, golden sunsets and fresh caipirinha cocktails served right on the beach. Reports buzzed about capoeira performances in the moonlight, hammocks swaying at the edge of turquoise lagoons, and perfect conditions for kite surfing and windsurfing. We were lured by the promise of a small slice of heaven and our expectations were sky high. Doubts crept in that this fabled village could ever live up to the hype. But upon arrival it was love at first sight and we knew that we’d be staying much longer than planned in Jericoacoara.

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Brazil’s Hottest New Beach Destination (just don’t tell anyone!)

7 Apr

Brazil has around 8,000 kilometres of coastline and thousands of beaches to choose from. Images of Brazil are synonymous with year round sunshine, tropical palm trees, golden sands and tiny bikinis. For most Brazilians the beach is a way of life and they could wax lyrical about their personal favourites for hours on end. Copacabana and Ipanema often find their way to top spots but a new generation of adventurous travellers are now seeking out more remote and rewarding destinations. You might be surprised to discover that Brazil’s hottest new beach destination it situated in the heart of the Amazon jungle. The remote and stunningly beautiful village of Alter do Chão is nothing more than a twinkle of lights in the jungle but a sense of magic fills the air.  This small slice of paradise is surrounded by virgin rainforest and filled with white sand beaches and clear, warm waters. It’s the kind of place you want to keep all to yourself but with the nickname ‘The Caribbean of the Amazon’, it’s no wonder Alter do Chão is fast becoming one of Brazil’s must visit beach destinations.

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Rio Amazonas by Cargo Boat

28 Mar

The Amazon basin has approx. 80,000 kilometres of navigable water making it the largest river system in the world.  Much of this remote region is not connected by road and relies heavily on boat travel for transportation of goods and passengers.  Its rivers are the motorways of the jungle and taking a boat trip along them is one of the most iconic and memorable journeys in South America.  Six months earlier we’d had our first taste of river travel down the Peruvian Amazon from Yurimaguas to Iquitos so we were under no romantic illusions about spending 72 hours on another packed boat departing from Manaus in Brazil! But with just 10 days to go until Christmas and spirits sky high, we couldn’t help but feel excited about the riotous carnival of river life that was about to explode before our eyes.

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Discover the Amazonian Megalopolis Manaus

28 Jan

Thoughts of the almighty Amazon have the power to excite and delight travellers like few other places on Earth can. In our minds eye we picture thick natural rainforest with giant trees and an abundance of wildlife, isolated indigenous communities with painted faces and fresh, clean waterways filling the World’s largest river system. So imagine our initial disappointment on arrival in Manaus, the Amazon’s largest city (approx. 1.7 million population) to find a sprawling, dirty hot and humid metropolis seemingly devoid of any natural flora and fauna. The frenetic streets were choked by traffic and its streets filled with rubbish and unsavory characters. On face value Manaus had limited touristic appeal but it frequently finds its way onto traveller’s itineraries using it as a base to arrange jungle trips or considering it a destination in its own right. We realised that perhaps we’d set ourselves up for a fall, with expectations so high, that Manaus was always fighting a losing battle. We knew there must be more to the city than its face value so we set out to discover what Manaus was all about.

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Angel Falls – Cascade from the Sky

10 Dec

Flying through uncharted Venezuelan territory in 1934 while looking for gold, American bush pilot Jimmie Angel nearly crashed his 4-seater plane upon noticing a waterfall nearly one kilometre high freely flowing from the top of towering Auyantepui, one of the area’s biggest table mountains. Little did Jimmy know he had discovered what would become known as ‘Angel Falls’, by far and away the highest single drop waterfall in the world, which cascades a massive 979 metres, more than double the height of the Empire State Building and 16 times the height of Niagara Falls.

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