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

 

Manaus: Perfect Combination of City Living and Outdoor Adventure

Located on the Rio Negro River on the northern branch of the Amazon, Manaus is a city with beautifully designed buildings and smatterings of trees lining the streets. The weather is hot, the residents are friendly, atmosphere is relaxed, and the food offers a true taste of Brazil. Manaus is the perfect Brazilian city to visit if you want something a little in between – a little bit of city life and a little bit of rainforest. A perfect combination.

Manaus is easily reached by plane from Sao Paolo and Rio de Jainero, and is also a major stopping point for boats traveling the Amazon River. Its presence on the Amazon River also makes it a departure point for tours on the river. Its position along the river also makes its port one of the most active and important ports in Brazil. If you travel a bit further down the river you can see something unique – the “Meeting of the Waters”, which is where the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes rivers meet together.

While in the city, there are a number of attractions and local delights to experience. The Teatro Amazonas, which is a copy of the Grand Opera de Paris, is the home of the annual Festival Amazonas de Opera and the Amazonas. There’s also the Palacio Rio Negro, which is a must-see arts center in the heart of Manaus. Interestingly, the city founders actually designed Manaus to be the tropical version of Paris, and you’ll notice touches here and there that really represent this concept.

Outside of the city is where you can experience some true Brazilian outdoor adventure. For starters, taking a visit to Ponta Negra Beach is always a good choice as this is a clean and popular beach that lies west of the city and features a choice of bars and restaurants. Paricatuba Waterfall is also a tourist hotspot, located on the Negro River, and can only be reached by boat – but definitely worth the trip.

The National Park of Jau is a sightseeing adventure that should be a definite stop on your Manaus adventure as well. It is one of the largest national parks in Brazil and features a great number of trees and beautiful canopies. If you’re looking for some true rainforest adventure, Manaus is definitely the place as its forest has some of the most beautiful foliage in Brazil and also some of the most intricate canals. There are fewer animals in this are than you will find in other parts of the Brazilian rainforest, but scenery alone makes up for this.

To get a guided tour of the rainforest area of Manaus is really the best way to experience it. There are several companies in the area you can make reservations with, such as Amazon BackPackers tour, the Amazon Juma Tour, or even the Amazon Tree Climbing Tour – which actually gives you the best chance of observing some wildlife close up.

There’s no short selection of great food to consume while in Manaus. Enjoy some savory local Paella, delicious and fresh seafood, and traditional Brazilian dishes like none you’ve ever tasted. Peixaria Morongueta is a highly recommended open air local restaurant that not only features some of the best traditional Brazilian dishes in the area, but also boasts a mesmerizing view of the “meeting of the waters”.

 

 

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.