By Magali Da Silva
In this short guide my intention will be giving you a brief idea about the Brazil hot spots including helpful information as well as a few tips for the traveler in general. I would like to reminder you, the reader, that if you would like to know more about the locations/cities I mention bellow, you can find specific articles for these hot spots/cities in the section “Articles/Places to Go”.
If you begin your trip departing from an airport in the United States, be prepared to remove your shoes, belt, coat, and other possible items as you approach the security screening area. If you bring a laptop computer, pay attention! Laptops are one of the most forgotten items at the security screening areas. Arrive early, at least two and a half hours, to allow ample time to go through security, especially for international travel.
You may have the opportunity to change your seat to an emergency exit row, since these rows are generally only assigned at the check-in counter at the airport. If you are planning to travel with your family, consider renting an apartment to save money, so you can enjoy more of your trip. Whenever you plan travel, focus your touring on one region at a time.
Pay attention to the airline ticket offers from internet companies. Most of the time, they not provide free consultations, and still may have hidden fees. Remember in most cases, after they sell you tickets, it is difficult to expect a real customer service. Remember the saying, “the cheapest sometimes becomes the most expensive.” The importance of a real travel agent is that they can assist you before and after the purchase, given necessary orientation, and inclusive helping you in unexpected situations during your trip.
If your destination is Brazil…
As in any of the big cities of the world, stay alert! Conspicuous tourists can be targets for thieves and hustlers. Dress modestly, don’t be obvious by wearing cameras and jewelry, and don’t go out with lots of cash. If possible, take taxis at hotels and public places like shopping malls. At the airport, take a taxi in a kiosk with credentials. For heightened security, don’t hire an independent taxi at the airport. If you go out for the day, like the beach, just take only enough cash that you will need for the day. For sure, take the normal precautions that you would take in big cities like Los Angeles or New York. Take Note for Best Choices – Climate and Weather.
In Brazil the climate varies according to latitude and altitude. Seasons are the exact opposite of the seasons in the U.S. and Europe (except in the Northern regions of the country). The average yearly temperature is about 82F in the North and 68F in the South. The following shows some recommended cities and regions to visit and tips about the weather and climate in the different areas.
* Amazon – it either rains everyday or it rains all day. The heavy rain falls from December to May. For the green lovers and eco-adventure folks! The world’s largest tropical forest covers five million square km, two thirds of which are within Brazilian territory.
* Pantanal (Central-West) – Great for the wildlife! Try May to September. For the fishing tourist, go in June to October and have fun! Other great option is Bonito, known by visitors for its beauty: Serra de Bodoquena with its caverns, lagoons, bays, waterfalls and archeological sites.
* Baroque Region and Historical Cities of Minas Gerais (South-Central) – For those who like history, tranquility, mountains and great homemade style food! Go anytime of the year.
* Terras Gauchas (South) – For outdoor activities lovers, go between Dec. to Feb. For visiting the wine counties like Caxias do Sul, go between February and March and visit during the harvest season; for Cambará do Sul National Park go between May and August; and to enjoy snow in the city of Garibaldi, go during winter season between June and August.
* Lençóis Maranhenses (Northeast) – A national park of 200sq Kilometers of Dunes and crystal water lagoons. It’s Awesome, unique! Go between June and October when the lakes are full.
* Santa Catarina (South) – Go between May and November and enjoy the whale-watching season in the south of the State. From May to August, the weather is around 58 F and in September to November it is around 82 F. In the capital Florianopolis, the weather is the same. Make note that if you have opportunity to be in this city/island you will able to enjoy great outdoor activities and a “surf” life style stay (“Floripa” as the “locals says” is one of the two host Brazil cities of the Surf WQS).
* Rio to Santos, an awesome Coastal Road –Take this road and enjoy a great car trip. It is a must if you planning a car trip. Take note and make sure to stop in Angra dos Reis – and don’t miss “Ilha Grande (Big Island) and the historical city of Paraty. If you don’t like crowded beaches, avoid the holiday periods and long weekends. For great surfing, go between June and August, and go scuba diving during December and February.
* Salvador and Recife (Northeast) – It is warm almost all of the year. Some rain in the short winter season between June and August. Those two cities have the most effervescent carnival (generally Feb. or March) in the country for the last years. Try to go during January to March to enjoy the hot weather and sunny days, beautiful people from around the globe and of course, the carnival vibe! For those that prefer not to go during carnival we advise September to November, where is not to hot and crowded and have great festivals.
* The Cocoa Coast and Itacare, in Bahia (Northeast) – Go anytime, but if possible try between Sep. and April. Today, this former fisherman village is the best place to enjoy a combination of sport radicals, top quality resorts, Brazilian celebrities, many beautiful beaches and inclusive some night life.
* Sao Paulo (Southwest) – Go between March to November. It is the biggest city in South America, the most cosmopolitan of the cities in Brazil, and the heart of the country where the economy is centralized. It has one of the best night life of the world, and the largest holistic scenario of Latin America with several options to feel good and reaching balance life.
* Rio de Janeiro and Carnaval in Rio – I have listed Rio for last because most of us and the foreigner traveler already knows that Rio is a destination full of attractions allied to an excellent infrastructure. Rio de Janeiro city is known worldwide as the “wonderful city”. Rio de Janeiro state is one of the smallest in the federation, but few places in the world can compare with its astounding natural beauty.
I would like to mention here in our Soul Brasil magazine website you can find great content about Brazil’s carnaval and the best Brazilian hot spots, but you can also educate yourself about the Brazilian culture and its people. Soul Brasil magazine reflects a little of the greatness of this land called Brazil!
Lan/Tam Airlines (Chilean/Brazilian), Azul Airlines (Brazilian), Avianca (Colombian), Korean Airlines (Korean), Copa Airlines (Panama), American Airlines (American), Delta (American), Continental (American), and United (American).
* Magali Da Silva is the official Soul Brasil travel agent and tour organizer. She has over 20 years experience in the travel industry and is a specialist in Brazil and South America. She can be contacted direct by email at magalitravel_at_hotmail.com or calling 1(323)428-1963 (U.S).