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BRAZIL: PHOTOS AND TRIP REPORT
Here below some of the most
fascinating photos from Brazil. Together with the photogallery, you will find a funny
and interesting trip report full of info and anecdotes describing the whole travel itinerary.
If you haven't read them yet, check out all travel info and precise itinerary here: www.wildtrips.net/brazil.htm.
BRAZIL TRIP REPORT
South America had been a dream destination for us for a long time: we had often postponed the trip because of
high costs or difficulties of organization. Finally we took a flight to Rio de
Janeiro, in August some years ago. Immediately we took a cheap bus
to the city center, which turned out to be quite chaotic in the suburbs. The intense traffic passed among
ugly buildings, shacks and slums. The city center was
just as busy, but in much better conditions.
It was still early morning when we
arrived at our hostel, the Ipanema Beach Hostel, which I recommend.
Rio si huge, Ipanema was a nice neighborhood where to
stay, well connected by public transports,
safe enough and convenient to the beaches. The most important thing, however,
was the spectacular nature of the place... Brazil!
beautiful promenade with Brazilians engaged in all
beach sports, the fascinating and peculiar green mountains
known as "Pan" scattered around the city, the buildings and
favelas that clambered over the hills. A typical itinerary in Rio includes a walk along
the sea and from Ipanema we got up to Copacabana
with its spectacular arch of beach almost 5 km long. The
sea was not so inviting - it's still the ocean - and
only surfers were in the water.
The beach, however, was so
lively that our various doubts about the dangers of Rio de Janeiro
dispelled immediately. Yes, as we had read there could be
the occasional mugging, who knows maybe even violent, but on those
walks on the sea there were continuously thousands of people. Statistic was on our side.
On the beach we
could see the palm trees, the street vendors, the bars,
the sandcastles, the beach volleyball players of both sexes. There were 28 degrees -
they really face a hard winter, in Rio de Janeiro - so we drank
It was almost lunchtime when we arrived at the end of Copacabana Beach. Here
we stopped a taxi that took us to the Pao de Acucar (you can add the proper
accents and cedillas if you want), the famous Sugar Loaf reachable by cable car (another must in any travel itinerary).
Sugar Loaf there is the beautiful Playa Vermelha, where
we took some photos. From there we saw some mountaineers climb
the Pao de Azucar: awesome! We returned to Ipanema. The hostel was nice, with the
chance to meet people, ask questions and recommendations and
organize trips. So we booked, for the next day, a minibus
and boat to the tropical island of Ilha
For our first carioca evening we were
invited for dinner at a Brazilian girl who was our acquaintance.
So we learned several interesting facts about the life of Rio, from
the crazy rental price of the her apartment (of 70 square meters), which was 1000 euros per month.
By night, even if we were three
bearded men, we didn't bring with us anything of value,
following the advice of Lonely Planet, but on the buses
we noticed sweet unaccompanied damsels playing
with their iPhones. The next day the sun returned, and it didn't leave us
until the end of the holiday . In the morning we walked along the Lagoa
(A lagoon behind Ipanema and Leblon). Even here - in a
particularly rich area of the city - the Brazilians
practiced every kind of sport. At 11 AM we left for Ilha
Grande. After crossing the dirty concrete
outskirts of Rio, we reached the Costa Verde along
which runs the scenic road from Rio to San
Paulo. We had lunch in a service area with a kilo buffet: there
you could fill the plate of everything you wanted, and then you paid according to the weight of the content.
800 grams (I was hungry) of meats, salads,
snacks and savory and mysterious pies costed 4 euros. I was very satisfied. We arrived in Mangaritiba, a seaside village with a beautiful beach.
At Mangaritiba we took a boat to Ilha Grande. It was a
We arrived on the island, in Vila Abrao, and we looked for accommodation.
Hostels were full but we found a guesthouse. The nice thing was that Vila Abrao,
the only small town of Ilha Grande, had no cars: the
promenade, where you could find most hotels and restaurants,
was simply the beach. For long stretches there wasn't
even the sidewalk: you left the hotel and you immediately put your feet
on the sand. Also in the rest of the island there were paths, and not roads:
you could trek around the island in a
The small bars on the
beach were beautiful, but the nightlife was quiet, more suitable to
couples. The next morning we
took a speedboat trip that took us in different
beaches of Ilha Grande. There were white sand, palm trees and mountains
covered with rain forest. We did some snorkeling with thousands of colorful fish, starfish
and other wonders.
The following day we ventured to walk along the paths of Ilha Grande. Among beautiful views and creeks and birds and monkeys, you could spend weeks wandering
to the island.
several wonderful bays, we reached the beach of Lopes Mendes,
which has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful in Brazil.
We surfed a bit before returning by boat to Vila Abrao where we had dinner with a kilo buffet.
The next morning, quite
soon, for a ridiculously low price we took the
public boat to Angra Dos Reis, a city on the continent not
far from Mangaritiba. From there, we mounted on a bus to Sao Paulo and we got off at
Paraty, the cultural destination of our travel itinerary. The coastline
between Rio and Sao Paulo deserves lots of breaks between the hundreds of
bays, beaches and islands. The peculiarity of Paraty is that it's
a colonial town with a beautiful old center
made of stone streets and white houses with colored doors.
After having left our luggage at
Che Lagarto hostel (booked when we were in Ilha Grande)
we discovered the attractive town, following the downtown streets up to the ocean, which, in Paraty,
forms a lagoon, enclosed by some islands.
We had fish for dinner and we slept in the nice hostel. The day after we attended a guided tour
by jeep, organized in the hostel, to visit the hinterland of Paraty, between
crops, patches of jungle and waterfalls. Apart from the distillery
of cachaca (the alcoholic used for caipirinha) and a
good kilo lunch, the funniest part of the trip was to play in the
waterfalls in the forest.
We dove, we swam, we glided down natural rock slides, we jumped into the
streams using vines.
In the evening Paraty was home to the
Festival of cachaca (pronounced "cachassa"), with
After a brief walk in Paraty, we had a long trip to Sao Paulo and from there, by plane,
we were going to Foz de Iguacu. By night, we landed in
Foz de Iguacu, where a van with a driver took us to our accomodation. This Rouver hotel was quite cheap and in
a good location for transport and restaurants. The day after
we took the bus to get to Puerto Iguazu (in
Argentina) and from here to the famous waterfalls.
The Argentine side of
this natural wonder offers many paths to admire
the river and the power of the water from different amazing viewpoints. Also the fauna in the park
had its charm: we noticed turtles, catfish, coati,
parrots and colorful butterflies.
In the late afternoon
we returned to the hotel by bus. We had dinner in a restaurant near the
hotel with a churrasco. In the morning by bus we went to the Brazilian side of
Iguaçu waterfalls. Here we left our luggage in some locked cabinets, so we were able to walk free in the
The visit to the Brazilian side
is much shorter since only one path covers
the rim of the canyon where the waterfalls... fall. However, it should definitely be a part of a travel itinerary in Brazil
and it is worth all the 20 euros of entrance, not only because the
views are different than on the Argentine side, but
mainly because the belvedere that concludes the path
is something incredible.
Other activities were the boat trip to
the feet of the waterfalls, and the flight over the Iguacu by
helicopter, for the ok price of 90 euros each. After half an hour of wait
we took off. We admired the jungle and the
bends of the Iguacu river, and we saw the most beautiful waterfalls in the world flowing into the horseshoe-shaped canyon.
After the helicopter flight
we got to Paraguay, then back to Brazil, where we took the bus to the airport, which is very close to the Iguacu waterfalls.
We landed at Rio de Janeiro at
sunset and we returned to the Ipanema
Beach Hostel. The day after we
visited the Corcovado, the 710-meter high mountain in
the middle of Rio de Janeiro on top of which stands the famous statue of Christ the
Redeemer. The queue for the funicular that climbed Corcovado was rather
long, but it was worth it because the view was awesome... a must-visit for any travel itinerary.
Then we played beach tennis on the beach of Ipanema.
In the evening, we took a
bus towards the city center and, in particular, towards the neighborhood of
Lapa, which is famous for its bars and schools of Samba. In the
streets there were a lot of people, bars,
live music, street artists. The next morning we had
just enough time for one last walk in Ipanema and a
photo of the fascinating Botafogo beach, before returning to the
Airport (skirting the favelas) and then in Italy. So, our travel itinerary ended drinking white wine
on an Air France flight, to sooth our sadness for the end of a great trip!
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