Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Savory South American Cuisine

February 26, 2010

Visits to South America provide travelers with the opportunity to sample a wide choice of delicious cuisine. It is important to make every meal throughout your journey culinary event in itself.

The entertainment capital of Brazil, Rio is home to several distinctive cooking styles for which Brazil is probably best known. In the cultural melting pot that is Rio, one can taste the influence of not only Amerindian and Portuguese foods, but the cooking styles of immigrants from many other parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information on Brazilian cuisine visit one of our most popular sites, indeed, one of the most popular sites for South American food on the Internet, by clicking this link.

If you desire a real Brazilian meal with the masses we recommend “comida a quilo” restaurants (literally “food by the kilo”). These are inexpensive dining options commonplace in most cities. Food is paid for by weight and customers usually assemble the dishes of their choice from a large buffet. If you desire a slightly higher class, but nevertheless authentic, palate pleaser we suggest dining at a churrascaria, a Brazilian or Portuguese steak house. Churrasco is a distinctly South American style rotisserie, a sort of Latin American barbecue. It owes its origins to the fireside roasts of the gauchos (natives to southern Brazil traditionally from the Pampa region). Passadors (meat waiters) come to your table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of local meat.

The cuisine of Uruguay has its own version of churrasco known as asado. This Uruguayan barbecue is one of the most exquisite and famous in the world. The national obsession of Uruguay is dulce de leche, a sweet paste which is used to fill cookies, cakes, pancakes, and other South American pastries such as milhojas (a puff pastry), and alfajores (a filled layer cake). Our friends in other cities of call such as Buenos Aires tell us not to miss out on the tantalizing traditional drink, mate, an herbal tea commonly known as the “drink of friendship,” made with the infusion of the dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. So with a drink of friendship in hand, soak up the beautiful sites, enchanting sounds, aromatic smells, and delicious tastes as you travel through South America.

-Jennifer Bunin

Hot Spots: Paraty, Brazil

October 12, 2009

ParatyParaty is one of our favorite Ports  in all of Brazil and is often wrongfully considered a city that can be seen in one day. Many tourists think that its attractions are concentrated only in the Historical Center with its preserved colonial architecture, and while this is certainly one of its great enchantments, Paraty hides a natural unmatchable beauty. The Paraty Bay, with its still wild beaches and islands, is one of the most beautiful places on the Brazilian coastline. Its clear and calm waters, full of colorful fish, beckon tourists to dive and experience Paraty’s natural marine wonders. While diving and fishing are common activities among the tourists, there is one other must activity: a visit to the absolutely charming fishing village of Trindade. This village has a rich history and seven fantastic and romantic beaches. Evenings and nights are moments to enjoy the Historical Center. Take a stroll through all the small streets and observe each house with its colonial architecture. Indulge in the small pleasures such as a street show or having your caricature drawn; go in every shop and take in some of the beauty of Paraty through the local craftsmanship. Re-fuel yourself after a long day of adventures in Paraty by visiting one of the terrific restaurants of the city and enjoy some live music in one of the bars. Be sure to reserve a night to watch one of Paraty’s world-famous, endlessly entertaining puppet shows. Paraty is also a very important cultural and artistic location, so don’t forget to see the different forms of artistic expressions that exist in the city. If there is a traditional party in the city, we highly recommend you attend it. These events are can get rowdy (in the best way possible) and generally have food stands and shows with performances by local bands.

Click here for apartment rentals in Paraty and Rio.

Hot Spots: Laranjeiras Beach, Brazil

October 9, 2009

laranjeirasLaranjeiras, or “orange trees” in Portuguese, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of Santa Catarina. Located 15 kilometers south of Paraty, the calm transparent waters of the Laranjeiras Beach are greatly sought by those who have an interest in water sports. It is 750 meters (2,460.63 feet) long and offers visitors a variety of bars and restaurants as well as nearby hotels and rentals. Another exciting attraction of the beach is the fact that it is located on an archeological site in which three-thousand-year-old fossils were found. It is possible to get there from the Interpraias Park or through cable car which is connected to the LARANJEIRASCentral Beach. During the cable car descent, which takes around 15 minutes, it is possible to see several beautiful natural landscapes. Visitors can also stop and practice tree-climbing in the areas of Atlantic Forest of the Aguada Hill. There, you will find trails and belvederes that offer a full view of the sea.

Olympics and FIFA World Cup Breathe New Life into Rio’s Downtown Airport

October 9, 2009

Rio AirportThe decision of the IOC to host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has reinvigorated Rio’s status as the global face of Brazil. The city is neither the country’s capital (that would be Brasilia) nor its busiest airport (that would be Sao Paulo). Since 2003, traffic at Rio’s two airports, Galeao and Dantos Dumont, has grown from 10 million passengers to over 14 million. Until last year the downtown Santos Dumont airport was restricted to serving primarily just one route, Sao Paulo Congonhas. When permission was given for other ‘regional’ destinations to be served from downtown last year, airlines Azul and Webjet became present at the airport and passenger numbers rose over 30 percent.

Last year Galeao handled 2.2 million international passengers while Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos handled four times as many. According to OAG data for September Galeao has direct non-stop flights to just 14 international destinations, including five in Europe and four in North America. Now British Airways service to Galeao is non-stop (it used to stop in Sao Paulo until a year ago). TAM’s JFK service began last November while Continental’s Houston service began this August (having also previously stopped in Sao Paulo). In early December US Airways will begin daily non-stop flights from its Charlotte hub using a 767. A total of just 18 airlines currently serve Galeao, with US Airways making it 19 later this year.

With the incoming traffic expected to occur due to the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, it seems that Rio’s Galeao will finally live up to its potential to increase both domestic and international travel.

Hot Spots: Santarem, Brazil

October 8, 2009

SantaremA wonderful and unique place, Santarém is most definitely a must on your list of Brazilian cities to visit. Santarem is located in the state of Pará in Brazil where the Tapajós River joins the Amazon River. Situated right along Amazon, Santarem is the home of a visually stunning and interesting natural phenomenon. Both rivers run along the front of the city, side by side, without mixing. The Amazon’s milky colored water carries sediment from the Andes in the East, while the Tapajós’s water is somewhat warmer and has a deep-blue tone. It is a feast for the eyes! It is know by the locals and savvy travelers as “the meeting of the waters” by the locals. Being less populated than neighboring ports, it is easy to visit and explore the forest and there is a greater possibility of experiencing the wonders of Amazonian fauna. Santarém is not considered a tourist centre, so you may be able to make authentic contact with the local people and even expand your social network to include Brazilian natives!

By Jennifer Bunin