Saturday, October 28, 2006

Salvador - Brazil

Fist a little history:

Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia and the largest city in north-eastern Brazil, was the first town to be founded in Brazil, on March 29th 1549; and until 1763, when it was succeeded by Rio de Janeiro, it was the seat of government of the colony. For three centuries it was the principal port for the import of slaves from Africa. Blacks and mulattos now form the majority of the population, and African influence is evident in the life of the city in many different fields - in music, in religious cults such as Candomblé and Umbanda, and not least in the local cuisine, which makes lavish use of dendà oil (palm oil), coconut milk and groundnuts.

Salvador is 1649km from Rio de Janeiro, so, if you want to get there, I suggest you take a plane, by car it would take more than a day to arrive. But by plane, or by car it will be worth as soon as you see the beauties of this place.

Salvador is not only beaches, the historical center has over 1,000 buildings and churches built in the XVIth, XVIIth, and XVIIIth centuries. It has been proclaimed part of Brazil's historical patrimony and declared humanity's patrimony by UNESCO, a must see for people who want to see the history of this historical city.

Another interesting thing to see in this city is the Capoeira, a mix of dance and fight created by the slaves, nowadays it´s part of the culture of Brazil, and it´s becoming popular in the whole world. Here´s a video with a capoeira group doing some movements in the beach:

But, this blog is about beaches, so, let´s talk about them. Salvador´s shore is one of the most beautiful in Brazil, perfect for swimming and for watersports, it has some of the bests diving spots in Brazil, with a lot of interesting shipwrecks.

Wthout a doubt the main characteristic of Salvador is its cycle of popular parties that begin on New Year's day and continues throughout the summer - with its climax at Carnival, then comes the saint parties in June, the washing of the church's staircases until New Year's Eve when everything begins again.

Salvador's Carnival is becoming the biggest in Brazil. The ability to fully participate in high energy events as well as a complete integration of the city's rich and central Afro-American art, culture and music means Salvador's hotel rooms will sell out before Rio's for the Carnaval season.

I was going to list the attractions of the city here, but I found two sites that has all the info you need.
This site has info on the beaches of Salvador, such as Porto da Barra, Farol da Barra and Itapoã(this last one even inspired the music "Tarde em Itapoã" from Vinicius de Moraes and Toquinho):

And this site has every kind of tourist attractions, such as historical churches, the Pelourinho, and the Lacerda Elevator(Elevador Lacerda):

I really recommend those two pages, nice info on both.

So, this it, just a little sample of what is Salvador, cause it´s impossible to make a report good enough, to show the magic of this place, you got to see it to understand.

Bye friends, till next post.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Buenos Aires - Argentina

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is one of the most elegants city in South America. It´s a European-Styled city and it´s the most important city in the country, almost half of the population lives there.

The city is famous for it´s food and it´s culture. Eating surely is a highlight of this city, there you´ll find from famous roast meat specialties of the parrillas and asadors (steakhouses) to ethnic and international restaurants, plus traditional pubs and bars.

Museus, galleries, theaters, alternative cinema, historic buildings, these things are easily spotted during a little walk in the city, so if you are looking for culture this won´t be a problem. Also Buenos Aires is famous for it´s soccer(futebol) with two of the most famous teams in America, Boca Juniors and River Plate.

This deserves a whole post about it, but I´ll try to describe it in a few words. Actually I took this from a site on the internet.
"Romance and passion are synonymous with Argentina and both are represented through the music and dance of the tango. Tango classes are held throughout Buenos Aires and have become a favourite holiday pastime for visitors."
If you want to know more about this dance that is a symbol of this city, visit this site it has a lot of info, including where to take classes.

Here´s a list of attraction in the city:

Catedral Metropolitana
Avenida Rivadavia y San Martín, Buenos Aires 1033
Tel: +54 11 4331 2845 Fax: +54 11 43312846
With a distinguished neo-classical façade from 1822, the cathedral is the last resting place of Argentina's most revered historical figure, General José de San Martín, the leading light in the country's battle for independence.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Avenida del Libertador 1473, Recoleta, Buenos Aires 1425
Tel: +54 11 4803 0802 Fax: +54 11 4803 4691
The most significant collection of 19th and 20th century paintings by Argentine artists. Also classic works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Rodin and Monet.

Museo Histórico Nacional
Defensa 1600, Buenos Aires 1143
Tel: +54 11 4307 4457 Fax: +54 11 4307 1182
Argentine history is wonderfully illustrated here with paintings, weapons and documents charting the struggle to survive and win independence from the Spanish.

Casa Rosada (Pink House)
Hipólito Yrigoyen 211, Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires
Tel: +54 11 4343 3051 Fax: +54 11 4344 3803
Home of the President of the Republic and famous for its pink exterior, statues and lush furnishings. The museum at Yrigoyen 219 holds an unusual collection of personal effects of past presidents. Today, the Grenadiers of San Martín in their smart red and blue uniforms stand to attention around the perimeter.

There´s a lot more to see in this city, this is just a little article about it, but I hope that it gives you a better view of what is this wonderfull city.

Bye, ´till next post.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Photos of Pantanal, lots of it.

Hi Friends, this is a photoclip about Pantanal, with a song of a brazilian band called Sagrado Coração da Terra. I hope you´ll like it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pantanal - Brazil

Hi, this post is about Pantanal, one of the most immense and biologically rich environments on the planet.

The Pantanal is the world´s largest wetland system, it extends trough millions of hectares from central-western Brazil, eastern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay, but most of it´s area is located in two states from Brazil, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso Do Sul. There you´ll find millions of species of animals and plants, like Capuchin and Howler monkeys, capybaras, toucans, anacondas, and jaguars.

The Pantanal is a region of swamps and marshes - wetlands created by the seasonal flooding of the river Paraguai and its many tributaries. I´ll place here an article that will help you to understand it better:

"The rivers rise in the rainy season, October to March, flooding the area which was once an inland sea called Xaraés by the first Europeans to come across it.
In the dry season, April to late September, the land dries out, leaving only a few waterholes where a fantastic array of wildlife gather.
The Pantanal appeals any time of year, but is during the dry season that most birders, ecologists, and other wildlife fans come to see birds such as the hyacinth blue macaw, jabiru woodstork, toucans, rhea, river otters, iguanas, anacondas, cougars, tapirs, crocodiles called caimans, deer, anteaters, dourado, jau and piranha fish, howler monkeys, capybaras (large rodents) and jaguar."

How to get there:
There are daily flights from other Brazilian cities such as Rio and Sao Paulo to the gateway cities of Campo Grande, Corumba and Cuiaba, from where tours can be organised.

This is it friends, this surely is one of the most incredible places in this continent. I hopu that you´ll like it.

´Till next post :D


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hi, first post!!

Hi friends, this is the first post of this blog, so let me introduce myself.
My name is Rodrigo, I´m a brazilian, and I love to travel. This is my second blog on this subject, the other one is, a blog about islands and beaches in Brazil.

But let´s talk about this blog, it will be about travel destinations in all South America, cities such as Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Quito, and famous places like Iguazu Falls, Patagonia and Amazon.

Check it out from time to time for updates.

Bye friends and I hope you will come back soon.