Tag Archives: travel

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Leaning into Lima

 Leaning into Lima 

By Monica Barreto

The Barretos went on R&R to Peru, my first time back since our honeymoon 25 years ago.  Let me tell you…Lima has changed!  The last time I was there, Sendero Luminoso was setting off bombs all over the place, there was a city-wide garbage strike, a cholera epidemic (so no ceviche!), there were daily power outages of 20 hours every day, and water came on for four hours every other day.  Oh yeah, and there was feces in the drinking water supply…not the best time to go to Lima.  Like I said, Lima has changed!

 I learned a lot in the six months of planning, so wanted to pass on the information to any of you that might want to go to Peru for a visit.

There are two ways to get to Lima from Brasilia.  Carson Wagonlit’s way is via Sao Paulo and a 9 hour night layover in the Sao Paulo airport.  Ah…let me think…ah, no thank you!  Then there’s my way, a morning TAM flight to Iguacu Falls, a 5 hour layover, and then on to Lima that night.

Turns out that Iguacu is literally 10 minutes away from airport in taxi.  There’s a café/restaurant right at the top of the escalator at the far end of airport that sells tokens for lockers.  The lockers are located outside on the taxi driveway, and so you check all your carry-on stuff there, and hop in a taxi.  I think the taxi was R$ 20, or maybe that was the locker?  Cheap, anyway.

You get to the Iguacu park, and you buy the entrance tickets, which includes the bus.  Get off the bus where everyone gets off, and walk the circuit.  It took me 2 hours being VERY SLOW, and I still had lots of time back at the airport.  It was a lot of up and down, but not too hard.

It’s very hot and humid, and wet, so wear shorts, flip flops, and sun glasses.  And don’t forget your camera, water and sun screen!  Leave everything else in the locker(s).

You will only be able to see the Brazil side if doing the layover, but worth it.  Argentina side would require an extra day.

Continue reading

Travel Packages to Búzios

Travel packages to Búzios

Ocean currents and breezes account for Búzios fame.

When temperatures soar beyond 40 degrees in Brasilia they are much as 10 degrees cooler in Búzios.

There are at least 22 beaches. Búzios is a fishing village that, alhough deserted by day, becames a party by night: beach-side pátios become outdoors cafés; shutttered colonial homes drop their facades to become restaurants, galleries and boutiques of exquisite taste.

for more information contact:

Travel info@ packages to Búzios – Claudio Heckmann – (61) 9562 2436 or at CVC help desk at Shopping Iguatemi.

World Cup: Things to Do, See, and Eat in Brasilia

Things to Do, See and Eat in Brasilia 2014

Click on the above link for useful information on getting out and about in Brasilia during the World Cup!

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Travel Log Destination: Patagonia, Chile

By Jayme Melofchik

My friend from college decided to pay us a visit here in Brazil and requested that we travel to the Patagonia region of South America. Patagonia encompasses quite a large area of the continent so the decision of where to go and what to do was a tough one. Being the outdoorsy type, my friend wanted a place where we could hike.  On the recommendation of a friend, I decided that we should go to the Puyuhaupi Lodge and Spa (spa being the operative word to lure me there) located in the Aysen region of Chile. Here we could experience the Patagonia of rain forests and glaciers (Tierra del Fuego would have to wait until next time). Continue reading

Foz do Iguaçu-A Story of Survival. And Ham.

By Kate Romero

We pulled the kids out of school (sorry, teachers!) this week and went to Foz do Iguaçu. To be honest, I wasn’t that excited about the trip itself, but I was looking forward to getting out of my house for a few days, so I happily packed up with no expectations whatsoever.  I was pleasantly surprised when our entire family ended up loving the trip. We stayed five days, but you could easily go for a day or two less.  We’re just a really lazy family that prefers to do a lot of relaxing along with our adventures.  We stayed at San Martin Hotel and Resort.  The San Martin is not a luxury hotel, but it definitely had it’s good points.  The pool and grounds were beautiful and we spent every evening watching the kids swim while we relaxed poolside with our books and beverages.  We were able to get a family suite, which is two rooms and one bathroom (for six people, but still, better than camping!).  The rooms were clean and functional, but there certainly was no window in the shower like the last place we stayed. Also, they were set up kind of weird. As in, we had a kid in our room.  We picked the quiet kid and let the Lord of the Flies reign in the other room. The food was average, but you could get a banana split and a caipirinha brought to your lounge chair by the pool, so who’s complaining? Continue reading

Recommendation: Pantanal Guide

We had a great guide for our Pantanal trip. He is originally from Haiti, he has lived in Brazil for the past 15 years. Speaks excellent English, French and Portuguese.  Very knowledgeable, great animal spotter and low key, we really enjoyed him.

His contact information:  Jean Duval

guiapantanalguidejean@hotmail.com

If someone is looking for a guide I would recommend him.

Dale Rubin

Travel: Rio Quente

Thinking about planning a weekend get-away? Located in the state of Goias, in what is called the Hot Waters Region, Rio Quente is a resort area just about a 4 hour drive from Brasilia. This vacation spot with an aquatic fun park at its center is guaranteed to amuse kids and adults alike. The 99 ̊F water derived from the area’s hot spring aquifers feed the 22,000 square meters of the Rio Quente resort and is said to have healing properties.

The hot springs were discovered in the early 18th century, when explorers, known as “bandeirantes”, went in search of gold and moved into the wilderness of Goiás. People started to come from all around Brazil to take ad- vantage of the therapeutic properties of the waters that are said to reduce blood pressure, dissolve kidney stones, improve digestion, relieve rheumatic diseases, eliminate stress and more! Businessmen realized how profitable this region could be and in 1997, Hot Park, the name of the water themed recreational area inside Rio Quente resort , opened up and it is now the largest hot water park in South America.

Inside Hot Park you’ll find the world’s largest man-made sandy beach on natural hot water, Praia do Cerrado, with the adjacent artificial waves that will almost make you think you are in Rio. OK, it’s a slight exaggeration but definitely a nice change of atmosphere from the government buildings of Plano Piloto. If you get sea sick from to too much ocean motion, relax with a caipirinha at the pool bar of the Parque das Fontes with its 18 hot natural sources. You can also float on an inner tube down the Lazy River, a 238 meter waterway underneath beautiful gardens.

If thrill-seeking is more your style, grab a partner and see what gravity is all about by falling down the 13 meter high half pipe on a raft built for two. Try racing one of your companions on one of three 110 meter long water slides before plunging into one of the warm pools. Note: to ride the water slides, you must be 1.3 meters high.

For smaller kids, the park also has a 3,400 square meter play area filled with mini slides, fountains and other attractions. Furthermore, the little ones can join the Team Dolphin where guardians will entertain them with treasure hunts, games and other activities.
Not included in the cost of the park are spa treatments that are available. These include relaxing massages, shiatsu, hot stone, reflexology, body exfoliation, lymphatic drainage, facial massage and hydrating facials.

Still searching for something else? The water park’s entertainment team can come up with special programs for all ages, all day long, like water aerobics, ecological walks, team games, etc. You can even go scuba diving in the hot lake. At night, gastronomic festivals and dance shows ensure your itinerary won’t be empty.

Where to stay: Inside the water park, at the Hotel Pousada or Hotel Turismo. In the nearby village of Rio Quente just 800m away: Book a package at the Rio Quente Suíte & Flat I, Rio Quente Suíte & Flat III, Hotel Giardino, and a courtesy shuttle service to the park is provided. You can also opt to stay in hotels in neighboring Caldas Novas, 18 kilometers away, which boast their own natural springs. Caldas Novas has a lake with great fishing spots, jet-ski and boat rentals. We’ve heard good things about the Golden Dolphin and the Best Western in Caldas Novas. Expats have also had success with condos on homeaway.com and getravelop.com.

For more info:

Official site (in Portuguese) : http://www.rioquenteresorts.com.br/

Site offering info in English: http://www.aguasquentes.com

Article by Anne Delhaye.