BrazilVacation.Com June Hotel of the Month: Caesar Park Hotel

Location: Rua Visconde de Piraja 414/607, Rio de Jainero, Brazil

Rooms: 222

Rating: 4 Stars

Imagine a huge, exquisite hotel right on the beach in Rio de Jainero. Imagine rooms with double sided views of the ocean, giant beds, marble bathrooms, and more amenities than you could ever ask for. Now realize your dream: Caesar Park Hotel.

We chose this as our June hotel of the month because it has so much to offer travelers in Brazil while not burning a huge hole in their wallets, and is specifically a great honeymoon choice and fantastic for children.

Standard Amenities

Beautiful beach views from most rooms

Clothing and ironing services

Telephone Lines

Minibars

Continental Breakfast

Internet

Bar/Lounge

Restaurant “Gelani” with dishes from Brazil, Italy,  and other regions

Business Center

Shuttle Service

Fitness Center

Pool

Concierge

Steam Room

Hypo-allergenic bedding available

In room safe

In room massages available

Cable

Suite Exclusive Amenities

L’Occitane Amenities

Butler service

Shoe shine service

Laundry service

Private check in

Separate living area from bedrooms

 

Visit Website: www.caesarpark-rio.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 World Cup Packages

 

The 20th FIFA World Cup is set to be hosted in 2014 in Brazil. Matches will be held in: Rio de Jainero, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, and Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo will be hosting the opening match to kick off the games on June 12, 2014.

The World Cup is notoriously difficult and expensive to attend, but it’s not out of reach if you plan carefully and keep an eye out for deals in airfare and hotels. Starting in December 2013, FIFA will begin selling tickets; around the same time travel agencies will start to offer their World Cup travel packages. Bundling your hotels, eating, traveling, and tickets into one are the best way to save in this scenario.

Between now and opening day, we’ll be posting any and all deals, tips, tricks, gossip, discounts, and news that can help ensure you’re there in Brazil watching your favorite footballers come 2014 and experience the trip of your lifetime.

Today we’re giving a heads up on the travel companies to watch for Brazil FIFA World Cup 2014 packages coming your way. The packages aren’t available yet, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as they are.

SeeYouInBrazil.Com

RoadTrips.Com

SportsTravel.Com

ToursGoneWild.Com

GlobalEventForum.Com

BenchWarmerSports.Com

OnPointEvents.Com

 

Amazonas Opera Festival

You may have been to an opera festival before, but have you ever been to one in the heart of the Amazon? Manaus, the capital city of Amazonas state in Brazil, hosts an opera festival every year between April and May and has been doing so for 16 years this year.

The Amazon Theater is host of most of the festivals main events, but there are several other surrounding vendors that host events as well. The theater is a stunning piece of Brazil’s history, and seeing it during the festival is the best way to experience the phenomenal sights and sounds it has to offer. Living up to Manaus’ vision of it standing out as a jewel in the heart of the rainforest, the theater is dotted with Italian columns and statues, beautiful French interior furniture, 198 Italian chandeliers, and an enchanting “meeting of the waters” curtain.

The official orchestra of the festival is the Amazonas Philharmonic, which is a relatively new orchestra formed in 1997 and features lead conductor Luiz Fernando Malheiro. The orchestra performs concerts of classical arias, recitals, and provides the music for full length operas held during the festival. You can catch a preview of the orchestra below.

Amazonas Philharmonic

There are a number of packages that travel companies have designed to make your Opera Festival stay an easy and pleasant one. Our favorite and most inclusive that we’ve seen so far is:

  • VisionofBrazil.Com – A 3 day package is available with meals, hotel stay, concert performances, transportation, and flight all scheduled for you. If interested, the link to this package is:  http://www.visionofbrazil.com/Destination/Manaus/Package/Opera-Festival-of-the-Amazon.aspx

Official site of the Amazonas Opera Festival

 

Welcome to Utopia: Brasilia

Brasilia, Brazil’s capital city, is a unique and very significant city. Brasilia is actually a newer and very well planned out city (some say designed with the intent of being a Utopian society), as it was only inaugurated in 1960 after the 4 year span it took to build. The fast pace in which it was built actually provided the city’s slogan “50 years of progress in 5″. In some ways, the city is also considered a memorial to President Juscelino Kubitschek, under who’s direction the city was built.

The city itself was carefully designed in the shape of a giant bird or airplane. What’s very interesting, is that the city is separated into different zones, which all serve individual functions: Hotel sector, commercial sector, residential sector, local commerce sector, and embassy sector. There’s even a modern cathedral at the intersection of where the sectors meet, which is quite a sight to see.

There’s plenty to keep you busy on your visit to Brasilia. One sight you should definitely explore is The Three Powers Square. Here sits the three highest authorities in Brasilia: Congress, The Presidential Palace, and The Supreme Court. For a really cool sight, visit The Three Powers Square when the sun rises, as it always rises directly between the two towers of congress. The flag that is hoisted here on a daily basis is also the largest regularly hoisted flag on Earth.

For all you science fiction fans, check out the Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial. This semi-creepy museum is a tribute to the late president, houses his remains, and looks like it is straight out of a 60′s sci-fi thriller. For those of you looking for a guided tour of all of Brasilia’s main attractions, you can also take a guided bus tour.

Eating in Brasilia can be quite an international fair, as you can not only enjoy a wide array of Brazilian cuisine, but also an abundance of international delicacies as well. You can also choose from dining a little cheaper at the self-service restaurants that are popular here, or eating at a table-service restaurant. Eating at one of the traditional Brazilian steakhouse restaurants here, such as Fogo de Chao, is highly recommended. You’ll never believe how much meat you can eat in one sitting until you’ve eaten at a Brazilian steakhouse!

Great hotels are in abundance in Brasilia, and there is a wide variety of options for large and small budgets. For smaller budgets, places like the Hotel Brasilia or Hospedagem Alternativa have rooms available for as low as $50 a night. For those who want to splurge on their stay, The Brasilia Alvorada Hotel or the Brasilia Palace Hotel are very centrally located and treat you like royalty.

With all that Brasilia has to offer, and just the very fact that there’s no city like it on Earth, why not book your trip now? They’d love to have you!

April 2012 Hotel of the Month: Hotel Fasano Sao Paulo

Location: Rua Vittorio Fasano, 88, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Number of Rooms: 64

Rating: 5 Stars

Hotel Fasano Sao Paulo

As if Sao Paulo wasn’t already one of the coolest cities in Brazil, it’s also home to one of the coolest hotels – Fasano Hotel Sao Paulo. This hotel features 25 floors of phenomenal rooms each with their own stunning view of the city. The rooms are decorated in a unique subtle yet stylish décor, including beautiful Venetian framed pictures, Murano vases, flat screen televisions, and Persian rugs. You’ll also find ultimate comfort is the main theme here, with 500 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets, goose down pillows, towel warmers, bidets, room service, and much more. Outside of your room, relaxation can be sought in the indoor pool, hotel spa, and massage services.

Hotel Fasano Guest Room

Hotel Fasano Indoor Pool

When it comes to food and drink, nothing beats Fasano. The restaurant and bar, located on the ground floor of the hotel, are 2 of the best the country of Brazil has to offer. The restaurant, Nonno Ruggero, offers gourmet Italian cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the breakfast is free to all guests. The bar and lounge is sensational, featuring well known performers on a regular basis, mouthwatering drinks, and an ambiance that’s like no other. No wonder it’s been voted number one bar in the world by The English Magazine Wallpaper. Take a look below:

Hotel Fasano Bar and Lounge

 

The prices are steep at this hotel, 5 Star Hotel steep, but if you can afford some luxury on your trip to Sao Paulo staying at this hotel is definitely the way to do it!

  • Amenities Include:
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa
  • Massage
  • Fitness Facilities
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Room Service
  • Parking
  • Babysitting
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Internet
  • Conference Rooms
  • Safety Deposit Boxes
  • Sauna
  • Restaurant
  • Air Conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV’s
  • Cable

 

Pantanal: Adventure Awaits You

For the outdoor enthusiasts, the daring adventurers, and the nature and wildlife lovers – Pantanal is the place. A South American region, based mainly in Brazil, Pantanal is a freshwater wetland that is teeming with beautiful animals and lush landscapes. It’s actually thought to make up about 3 percent of Earths wetlands, and has been rumored to actually be an old inland sea. All this makes it one of Brazil’s most popular tourist attractions, and one of its most exciting!

To reach Pantanal in Brazil, you’ll need to get to the gateway city called Corumba. You can reach Corumba easily by plane, bus, train, or car. Once there, you can then catch a bus to Pantanal. You’re next step is to snag a local tour guide to lead you in to Pantanal. Your best bet is to hire a tracker from one of the trusted local tour companies here. They’ll be able to take you on a safe guided tour and help you truly experience all that this beautiful area has to offer.

Now get ready to see some unique and gorgeous wildlife up close and in person. Yacare Caiman (a type of crocodile), Capybara (giant rodents), otters, Howler Monkeys,  beautiful birds of all types, and even Piranha and Anaconda are just some of the animals you’ll get to experience on your tour. When you’re not staring in amazement at all the above ground animals, take a glimpse into the waters below you – there are actually over 263 known types of fish in Pantanal! Truly amazing. You may even be one of the lucky few to glimpse an undiscovered species for the first time.

Let us not forget the fishing! If you’re a fishing enthusiast, Pantanal is the place to be! Be sure to plan your trip during the months of March through October as this is the season for sport fishing (all catch and release) in the area. Some of the species you may see are: Jau, tiger cat fish, Dourado, Pacu, and Piranha. The fishing trip of a lifetime for any fisherman!  Pantanaltours.com can help you schedule your trip today

Adventure, excitement, breathtaking beauty, and even a splash of mystery – Pantanal is one of the most memorable and unique places you could visit in all of Brazil.

Recife: The Business Professional’s Retreat

Holding the stake as of one of Brazil’s largest and most important business centers, Recife stays pretty busy. With two international ports, an international airport, and a large information technology district (“Porto Digital”) that features locations for technology giants such as Microsoft, IBM, Samsung, and Dell, this is truly a booming and ever-expanding city. The Federal University of Pernambuco, the Brazilian state in which Recife is capital, even has what is considered the best computer-science departments in Latin America. You’ll also find that the industrial area of Recife is busy manufacturing textiles, automotive parts, and even chocolate. Recife certainly isn’t “all work and no play”, however. Locals traveling business professionals play just as hard as they work.

There always seems to be a celebration of some sort in Recife, including extensive and widely popular Carnival celebrations. The parties and preparations for Carnival begin in December here, and last all the way until the week before Ash Wednesday – then the real Carnival celebration begins. The time leading up to Carnival consists of bands practicing in local clubs, bars, and in the streets, balls, and festive parties. When official Carnival time approaches, downtown Recife hosts a giant party to kick off the celebration called Galo da Madrugada. If you truly want to experience a grand and exciting Carnival, book a room at one of Recife’s many wonderful hotels and experience the party of a lifetime!

Museums, shopping, restaurants, and other cultural hotspots are also in abundance in this beautiful city. For a unique sightseeing experience, check out the Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel, the America’s oldest known synagogue. The Gilberto Freyre Foundation is also a worthwhile visit as it features book collections and arts and crafts from this famous Brazilian writer all located in his old home. All in all there are 38 art galleries, 40 cinema theatres, 25 museums, and 1 opera house located in Recife and surrounding areas. Enough to keep any tourist busy!

The cuisine found in Recife is truly phenomenal. You’ll taste a variety of flavors in the local dishes offered here that boast delightful culinary touches inherited from Recife’s Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, and Africans history. Typical ingredients found in popular dishes range from coconut, corn, and yams to lobster, goat, and beef. Many of these dishes are served with Farofa, a flour mixture containing a range of delicious spices. With over 1500 bars and restaurants to choose from you’re sure to get your fill of the array of delicious traditional and regional specialties found here!

Recife doesn’t lack in the beautiful and relaxing beach department either with 3 beaches to choose from: Boa Viagem Beach, Brasilia Teimosa Beach, and Pina Beach. Boa Viagem Beach, being the most popular of the 3 beaches, is one of the most urban beaches in Brazil. Vendors selling delicious food and local delicious coconut water are plenty. Taking a swim in the beautiful waters, mostly protected by a coral reef wall, is something you’ll want to be sure and do. Be careful not to swim past the coral reef, however, as there have been reports of Bull sharks in the area.

Recife is certainly a cultural, business, and tourism mecca. With all it has to offer, it shouldn’t be passed up during your Brazilian adventures.

Salvador – Welcome to Old World Charm

If you’re looking for some true old world charm in your travels, Salvador is the place to go. Simply follow the cobblestone streets of this friendly city to fun and adventure. Whether you’re looking to take in some rich Brazilian culture, dance the night away to some local Samba, sample some Brazilian gourmet food, explore the Amazon rainforest, or simply relax on the beautiful sandy beach – you can do it all in Salvador.

 

A great way to be introduced to the city before exploring on your own is to hire a “guia de Salvador”, or a Brazilian tour guide or to catch a ride on the Salvador tour bus. Once you have your bearings, you can choose from an abundance of attractions, such as the Igreja Sao Francisco, which is a beautiful church decorated with precious stones, gold, silver, and features beautiful ceiling art. Or maybe check out the Mam Museu de Arte Moderna, which is a modern art museum featured in multiple colonial buildings and is highly rated by tourists. One recommendation if you are still unsure where to start is to visit Salvador’s old city center, Pelourinho, and work your way out in the direction of the shore.

Now we get to the best part – the food. Salvador is widely known in Brazil to have some of the best cuisine and the best restaurants. Even the street vendors offer food so delicious that you’ll reconsider what you’ve been eating all your life until this point. Restaurants serving delicious local dishes are abound, but if you really want a memorable experience visit the Babagula dinner theatre. Not only are you presented with delicious meats one after the other by skilled waiters, but you can take in a show featuring Afro-Brazilian traditional dancing and Capoeira (Brazilian dance fighting). Delicious food and a show experience right from your table!

Of course you can’t forget about Salvador’s gorgeous beaches. The most popular are Flamengo beach and Stella Maris beach. These both are excellent spots to relax on the sand, grab a cold beer, take in the scenery, and maybe catch a decent wave or two. The waters surrounding these two beaches are actually excellent for surfing. If you prefer some calmer waters, though, and more Brazilian locals than tourists you can visit one of the other three popular beaches – Jaguaribe, Itapoa, and Piata.

Salvador is one of the most ideal vacation spots Brazil has to offer, simply because it has everything: Great food, beautiful scenery, plenty of culture and entertainment, and beautiful beaches. Not to mention the Salvador locals are thought to be among the friendliest and most laidback in all of Brazil. Who knows? You may decide to take up permanent residency yourself after your visit!

5 “Must Do” Things in São Paulo

Sao Paulo is a giant city, there’s no arguing that. For the traveler that has limited time this can be a nightmare, especially with all the attractions, museums, and events Sao Paulo has to offer. So, what to do in this busy urban city? Here’s five things that are definitely worth your while.

1. Banco Santander Building – The layout of this city is truly a thing to behold. Seeing it from ground level is one thing, but seeing it from a birds eye view is something completely different. If you don’t want to fork out the money for a helicopter ride, go to the Banco Santander building. When you arrive, take the elevator all the way to the top. The view is simply amazing, especially if you go at sunset. You’ll truly find it hard to believe that there was no admission fee.

2. Oscar Freire – Some would say Oscar Freire in São Paolo blows Rodeo Drive out of the water. Oscar Freire is a street that features all the big name designers and displays all the latest in Brazilian style. Even if you’re not a fashion enthusiast, simply go here to people watch.

3. Art Fairs- Various art fairs have a habit of springing up randomly all over the city. One of the oldest and most regular art fairs is held on weekends in a parking lot adjacent to Praça Republica , downtown São Paulo. Keep your eyes and ears open and you are sure to find more. Catching one of these is definitely worth your time.

4. Sala São Paulo – Originally built between 1926 and 1938 for use as an import/export railway terminal, the Sala São Paulo was eventually converted into a cultural center which now houses the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Not only is this building architecturally gorgeous, but the beautiful sounds one can experience here are phenomenal. It’s actually thought to boast the best acoustics in South America.

5. Mercado Municipal - Don’t forget about the food! Exotic foods and spices, miscellaneous merchandise, vendor samples, and people watching all under one roof! Not to mention the beautiful building. You are sure to see foods here you didn’t even know existed, some even fresh in from the Amazonian rainforest! The Mercado Municipal is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Fun and Serenity at Lopes Mendes Beach

To reach Lopes Mendes beach you must first take a 3 hour bus and boat trip from Rio de Janeiro to the beautiful island of Ilha Grande. Ilha Grande is considered to have some of the nicest beaches in Brazil, with Lopes Mendes being one of them. In fact, Vogue Magazine voted one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world about 3 years ago.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy here. Snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, sailing, and sunbathing should keep you busy while visiting the beach. Snorkeling is definitely something you’ll want to check out as the marine life is abundant and beautiful – you may even get a visit from a family of sea turtles! As for relaxing and sunbathing on the beautiful white sand, this beach is truly the beach to kick your feet up and get away from it all. While the beaches in Rio de Janeiro are beautiful and have no shortage in the way of fun, they are very busy. Lopes Mendes beach is a quieter and more serene beach, perfect for those who prefer a vacation away from the hustle and bustle.

If you tire of the beach, the island has plenty of other things to enjoy. Try some delicious fresh seafood at one of the 30 local restaurants. Be sure to try the Brazilian fish stew! Or maybe dancing the Samba in the main square is more your style. You can even do some hiking – Papagaio Peak is only about a 2-3 hour hike to the peak and presents an unforgettable view at the top. You may even run into some rainforest wildlife on the way up!

So remember, if in the Rio de Janeiro area or just vacationing in Brazil, don’t pass up spending a day or two on Lopes Mendes beach!