Posts Tagged ‘Pernambuco’

Hot Spots: Recife, Brazil

November 20, 2009

The Fastest Changing City in the Northeast State of Pernambuco

Often called the ‘Venice of Brazil,’ (I would like to know who in the world applied this non-sequitor to any place in Brazil) the breathtaking city of Recife still retains some of its Old World charm amidst all of the modernity of its high growth posture of the last years. The city is known for its artistic and folkloric traditions, music, dance, sculptures and paintings and I took the trouble of carrying so many of these back so that I still have them to enjoy and they are really different from any for vacation rental line those beaches and are generally of a higher standard than those of Rio.

When you decide to take a break from the wonderful yet over stimulating downtown Recife experience, you must visit the leafy suburbs which lie north of the center and which are dotted with fantastic museums and parks. To the south there is the modern beachside district of Boa Viagem. Other beaches are conveniently located both north and south of the city. Recife also offers animated, exciting nightlife which one would expect from a city of nearly two million. Boa Viagem has many bars, discos and dance halls. Forró, a local music expression, is an experience not to be missed and can be seen at Boa Viagem square or at Pavao Leao street. Boa Viagem is a safe and relaxed place, largely frequented by tourists (except on weekends, when the beach is thronged by attractive, interesting locals). The liveliest district is the Recife Island at the old town where you are guaranteed to have a good time. For those bar connoisseurs, definitely take a visit Rua do Apolo and its unique array of bars. Recife also offers excellent opportunities for shopping. From traditional handicrafts to modern conveniences, visitors can buy all of these and more at the many markets and malls around the city. The Casa de Cultura, a former prison that now houses handicraft and souvenir shops, is as enticing as it’s origin is bizarre.

If Recife has left you with remaining energy, put your feet to good use and take a walking tour of the city’s ancient monuments. There is no better way to see them. I met a friend on the beach who invited me up to his family home were they lavished me in all kinds of northeastern recipes, literally waved palm fronds over me while I was eating, were super anxious for me to try out every last kind of alcoholic beverage native to the area, and still write to me these many years later. Their sense of humor is not to be beat.

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BTOA Debuts New Brazil Tour Brochure

October 15, 2009
Gorgeous Recife

Gorgeous Recife

For those traveling to Brazil, the Brazil Tour Operators Association’s (BTOA) new 26-page brochure which debuted this week is full of information sure to guide you towards all the wonders Brazil has to offer.

The organization’s 24 active members include AAT American Adventure Tours; Abreu; Air Projects; American Express Vacations; Avanti Destinations; Borello Travel and Tours; Brazil Nuts Tours; Brazilian Vacation Center; BROL/Brazil Online Travel; Chanteclair; Cox & Kings USA; Discover Brazil Tours; Dumonde Travel, 4 Star South America Tours & Travel; Fredson Travel; Globus; HOTUR – Just Brazil Vacations; Marnella Tours; Pan American Travel Services; SITA World Tours; Skyline Travel Specialists; Tourlite International; VIP Tour Group; and Visit Brazil Tours.

Associate members include the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Bahia, Ceará, Minas Gerais and Pernambuco, plus the city of Rio de Janeiro and Iguassu Convention and Visitors Bureau.

BTOA’s “Destination of the Year” for this year is Pernambuco, a state in northeastern Brazil relatively undiscovered by North Americans. The Portuguese settled there in the 1530s and with the riches from sugar cane built ornate churches. Recife, the state’s capital, lies on almost two miles of white sand beach. Near Recife, Olinda, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has some 20 churches and monasteries built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Lining the town’s cobblestone streets are art galleries, restaurants, bars, boutiques and charming pousadas housed in centuries-old mansions. Pernambuco boasts 116 miles of gorgeous coastline. In a national survey Brazilians have voted Porto de Galinhas the most beautiful beach in the country for seven years in a row. Lying 215 miles off the coast is Fernando de Noronha, an island paradise for divers and eco-tourists. On this UNESCO Natural Heritage site, tourism is strictly controlled and only a limited number of visitors can dive in pristine waters, kayak with dolphins and snorkel with turtles.

To order BTOA’s new brochure, travel agents can email

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