Welcome to Travel Thursday! Here you will get to read about my travels and learn about new places you may not have visited before. I am on the hunt for the best ocean views of the world so you will get to see tons of spectacular beaches, sunsets, and landscapes. You will also hear about the culture and the secrets you should know before traveling there. Are you ready for our first adventure in Brazil?
I know you must think I’m crazy to think Brazil can be an exciting place after all the things we heard this summer before and during the Olympics. Honestly, if you are careful and have a good tour guide with you, there is no reason why you can’t have an enjoyable experience. By being careful I mean don’t wear your nicest jewelry or have your camera out in the open. Every country has crime and turmoil, including the US, so please do not throw shade at this paradise because the news said otherwise.
When you think of Brazil, this first photo of Rio de Janeiro is most likely the first thing that comes to mind. The Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) and the Corcovado Mountain (Cristo Redentor) are just a couple of the main attractions you must see. The Sugarloaf Mountain is also a National Park where you can literally walk through the biological reserves and come face to face with these cute and furry marmosets. They both have one of the best if not the best views of the city of Rio de Janeiro. How beautifully blue is the water of the Guanabara Bay?!
Next, we arrive at Buzios, a mediterranean-esque beach town, just 2 hours from Rio de Janeiro. Buzios was originally made famous by the actress Brigitte Bardot and since her visit, they named an entire street after her! If you are looking for a multicultural getaway with plenty of aquatic activities, culinary delights, shopping, and nightlife, look no further. You will be sure to fall in love with the cobblestone streets, the breathtaking beaches, and the St. Tropez ambiance. Here, I also found the house of my dreams and will do just about anything to go back.
Flying a couple of hours up north, we land in João Pessoa, a coastal city in the state of Paraíba. If you like the Miami style of life, João Pessoa comes pretty close. Being steps away from the beach, surrounded by high rise buildings, and walking distance from all conveniences, it is a modern city that I believe any American could easily assimilate to. I must admit that on the safety scale, João Pessoa feels a little more secure. Here you see people dress up for dinner and live in super luxurious apartments and gated communities. However, if you take a drive a couple hours out to the coast, you can discover the more rural areas of Pitimbu, Tabatinga in the state of Amazonas, and Itamaraca in the state of Pernambuco. These areas are virtually untouched and offer a peaceful and modest way of living.
Finally, if you are more of a history buff, I recommend you visit the city of Petropolis. It is an hour away from Rio de Janeiro and is located up high in the mountains. Also known as the Imperial City, it honors the last Emperor of Brazil, Pedro II, and is where many emperors and aristocrats lived at the end of the 19th Century. Here you can visit the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcântara, the original homes of the aristocrats, and ride around the town in a horse drawn carriage. Do try to drive back before sunset as the clouds rise up and reduce visibility.
And of course, you can’t leave Brazil without trying a Caipirinha!
I hope you enjoyed this snapshot of Brazil. It is truly a world wonder not to be missed! Want to learn more about traveling to Brazil? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.