How Can I Eat Like A Local In Brazil? (part 2)

Afternoon

People tend to eat rice, beans, fish, or meat and a selection of vegetables and salads. Lunch is followed by a straightforward dessert like pudim (like a flan) as well as almost always by one shot of espresso with a lot of sugar. Plus, it is common to have a specific shot of caipirinha before beginning lunch, just to increase their appetite.

Business lunches are considered a significant part of building client relationships. These ones are often far longer than one hour without any time pressure as well as with the intent of creating one friendly and relaxed environment. Commonly, an important meeting takes place at 10:30 a.m. or so., followed by one business lunch. A popular place to have one business lunch is at one churrascaria (i.e., Brazilian steakhouse with all-you-can-eat things) where the waiters serve a couple of cuts of meat on skewers other than the diverse and extensive salad bar. At lunch, people òten chat informally about life, football, travel, and culture; business comes later.

Some eating etiquettes are present in Brazil. At the dinner or lunch table, it is polite to wait until others have been served before beginning to eat. Food like bread should be eaten with one napkin — Brazilians do not usually touch food with their hands. Also, when a fork and knife cannot do the job, they use a napkin instead. Smoking at the table while enjoying food is one big no-no.

Brazilians often snack later in the day at around 3 p.m. as well as again at 6 p.m. on their way home from work. Some of the typical snacks are packets of milk biscuits and cereal bars. Other popular snacks should be salgadinhos that are savory pastries as well as pieces of bread like cheese slices of bread.

How Can I Eat Like A Local In Brazil? (part 1)

Drinking and eating in Brazil are considered as much great socializing activities as these are necessities. Rice, beans and other foods are Brazilian staples as well as being consumed just about every day. The food routine each day includes three primary meals as well as snacks in between, with dinner and lunch regarded as the time for socializing, relaxing and appreciating wholesome, traditional dishes.

Morning

Café da manhã (also, breakfast, morning coffee), is considered the day’s most practical meal in the country. It is often eaten between 6.00 and 8.00 in the morning, based on what time work or school begins. Breakfast is considered crucial here, but it is one meal of pure necessity instead of one social event. The essential drink is coffee that is often savored either black with a lot of sugar, as one pingado (strong with milk) or média that is half heated-up milk, half coffee. For people who do not love coffee, chocolate powder and dairy are natural not only for adults but also for kids, or fruit juices, particularly guave or orange.

The most typical food is French bread (also, pão francês) toasted with butter and, in some cases, eaten with ham and white cheese. Other breakfast choices include one simple, unfrosted orange or granola, corn cake, or cheese bread (also, pão de queijo). Breakfast is consumed at home before they leave for school or work, or sometimes at the local padaria’s counter.

Afternoon

It is among the most important meals of their day regarding relaxing and socializing. About 1 p.m or midday., hoards of employees leave the office as well as enjoying 60-minute long lunch while chatting about just about anything casually. One of the most popular venues for lunch is the per-kilo restaurant which serves a wide range of food options.

Brazil: What is fun to do? (part 4)

8. Why do not you clip-clop through Paraty?

Are you not inclined to join the natural wonders from Brazil (the spiders can become pretty big)? Then, Paraty should be an excellent stop for you to soak up the history. As a former gold exporter and founded in 1597, this town emulates the conventional colonial aesthetic. If you savor historical architecture, we suggest living a few days here, since it may take some time to feast your eyes properly on the many forts and churches. If you can probably weather the outdoors (this is Brazil, in the end…), you can experience horseback riding. 

9. Swim in the sand dune (what?) from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

As one of the captivating and unexpected parks in Brazil, this Lençóis Maranhenses offers you massive dunes for exploration, which can reach 130 feet. Throughout the wet season, the rains make dune valleys become lagoons, thus leaving behind pools for you to swim in. Since water temperatures can push up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be more similar to a bath than the refreshing dips, yet fun and weird nonetheless. Remember, you’ll need the jeep to get here. It will be one of your most exciting activities to do here.

10. Enjoy a journey through time from Ouro Preto

Do you find Paraty does not hold it down for the colonial history? If so, wait until you receive a load from Ouro Preto. It means “Black Gold”. It is another former site from the Brazilian Gold Rush. Plus, it may be one of the country’s well-preserved colonial towns. Churches are still adorned using gold, and modern buildings tend to adhere to historical standards, thus putting the town at the top priority from most travelers to Brazil. It is also a well-known destination for Carnaval. Great!

Brazil: What is fun to do? (part 3)

5. Enjoy diving head into Abismo Anhumas

Your trip here will provide you with snorkeling, spelunking, and stalagmites. In this place, you will explore the paradise of adventurers, aside from an incredible clear lake—but you will need to rappel to the cave’s bottom to see it. As soon as being there (good luck), you will be able to see the geological formations up close. Also, you may like climbing into the water as well as snorkeling to have a better look at the natural wildlife. You may be hard-pressed to look for a tour bus that goes this way, so you will need to be up the adventure ante. Then, hitch a ride or hire a car.

6. Enjoy trekking cliff faces from Aparados da Serra Park

It is among the first national parks in Brazil. The park manages to house and protect the Itaimbezinho Canyon. This area can be hard to access, but worth your effort for the incredible biodiversity. In the place, you can see subtropical forests, endangered species, and waterfalls. This park is currently going through conservation efforts; that is why only 1500 visitors are daily admitted. We suggest getting there early, and you should be careful that you do not get in over the head with the advanced hiking trails. 

7. Enjoy snorkeling with sea turtles from Fernando de Noronha

It is a fantastic archipelago of over 20 islands off northeastern Brazil’s coast, and one of the country’s more “secret” attractions. There will not be much civilization around since the population is not more than 3500. Thus, here, you will find the opportunity to become closer to nature. Adventurers flock to this island often for scuba diving and snorkeling due to the warm waters. If you desired to see dolphins up close, now is your chance.

Brazil: What is fun to do? (part 2)

2. Be at Florianópolis Beaches and hang ten

There’s forty two of them! Whether or not you’re merely searching for a decent story regarding how you learned or a seasoned surfer, don’t hesitate to grab a board and ride the waves at Floripa.  You know, Praia Mole could be a frequent location for the ASP World Tour competition for surfing, and the water sport secrets of Joaquina Beach spilled about the 1970s; Barra de Lagoa continues to be categorized as a fishing village. Thus it’s the proper place the cut your water sport teeth. With such a lot of spots to decide on from, you’ll notice the best one for partying, people-watching or sunbathing. If you’re around this area roundabouts forty days after Easter, consider checking the Holy Spirit Feast.

3. Let the Cathedral of Brasília humble you


If you’ve gone on cathedral tours around Europe, or Central or South America, then you recognize that they kinda begin to any or all look similar after a while. Still, such isn’t the case with the Cathedral of Brasília. It’s centuries younger than its alternative New World counterparts and downright stunning to the attention. Fashionable in style and structure, this cathedral could be a nice stop for people who get pleasure from perusing architecture while not feigning amazement at bell towers.

4. Recharge at Ilha Grande

Astonishing! Perhaps we shouldn’t tell you that this heavenly island is formerly the site of a pirate’s habitation, a leper colony, and maximum-security jail. However, that piece of history is bizarre —and additionally makes Ilha Grande appear just that a lot unbelievable. With pristine and undeveloped jungles and beaches, and a ban on motor vehicles, huge Island is a perfect recipe for solo retreats for anyone that would possibly want one. Be there and enjoy fully!

Brazil: What is fun to do? (part 1)

Brazil is considered one of the destinations which can satisfy any traveler. Also, luckily, you can say the same for its attractions. Have you been to Brazil for one year, one month, or one day? However long you stay here, you will find enough for keeping you busy throughout one lifetime, whatever your style. Are you on a budget? No need to worry! You are set. Are you searching for luxury? Well, you will find out it. Outdoorsmen, history buffs, shopaholics, adrenaline junkies, beachcombers, etc. will bask in the country’s sights to see.

Still, the cornucopia of activities and the sheer land area here can be its Achilles’ Heel at times. Having the benefits of numerous experiences at your fingertips may turn into a disadvantage. It is possibly overwhelming to determine what you desire to do. What are the best attractions here? Sit back, relax, and we are going to tell you.

You can find fun things to do amongst ethereal natural wonders of the country. Rhythm-driven festivals are also inclusive. Or else, idyllic colonial towns may be your taste. Enjoy a week-long group excursion or a solo day trip. One of the fantastic things about the attractions here is that you can find something compatible with your budget and pace with ease. On top of that, if you have a lust for life, the chance of you being disappointed by the country’s must-see will be zero.

Become soaked by its Iguazu Falls

Wherever you currently are in this country, it will be worthy of your time to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can access the falls from Foz do Iguaçu. You may want to stay overnight in the nearby town. Also, spend about two days in the park for basking in the splendor to the fullest.

Travel Rio de Janeiro – the ancient capital of Brazil

From the airport to the city center you can use a taxi or subway. For convenience, you should use the subway. Because traffic jams in Rio de Janeiro are very serious, taxi prices are expensive, while the subway system is very safe, clean and fast. Especially, the fare for a round trip is very cheap, about 3.2 reais (about 2$).

In addition, when traveling to tourist attractions and famous places in Rio de Janeiro, you can use buses, bicycles, motorbikes, long-distance taxis or kombi (a small truck). And best of all, for a destination near the city center, you should ride a bicycle, in Rio de Janeiro there are more than 60 bike rental stations so you don’t have to worry about where to rent a bike. As for remote destinations, it is recommended to use kombi, because of the bus, because the kombi move faster but cost as the same bus.

Experience booking and renting hotel rooms when traveling to Rio de Janeiro

One of Rio de Janeiro’s travel experiences, cheap, economical and safe Brazil is to book a hotel as soon as possible. Also, if you first travel to Rio de Janeiro, you should book online or contact a travel agent to ask them to book a room for you.
Depending on the needs, financial conditions and travel schedules you choose for yourself a hotel, motel as you like. If you have a lot of luxury, you can choose from 4 – 5 star luxury hotels such as Novotel Rio De Janeiro Santos Dumont, Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro, Belmond Copacabana Palace … It has beautiful architecture, also near the beach, high-class swimming pool, modern facilities, attractive resort services, … will definitely help you have a relaxing moment and interesting experiences when traveling.

If you have a moderate budget, then mid-range 2 – 3 star hotels are a great suggestion for you. These hotels usually cost between 100-200$ / night. All are fully equipped and th resort services, serving free breakfast, including single, double and collective rooms for you to choose from. In particular, there are a number of hotels near the sea and primeval forests, … suitable for you to experience both forest and sea tourism in Rio de Janeiro. Some of the high rated mid-range hotels: Arpoador Inn Hotel, Angrense Hotel, Hotel Fazenda Sitio Nosso Paraíso ….

Above are the experiences and advice on travel, sightseeing, exploring Rio de Janeiro, cheap, self-sufficient, convenient and fun in Brazil.

What should you buy when visiting Brazil?

Havaianas


Havaianas is the brand name of the world famous flip-flops and Brazil is their father. Inspired by ancient Egyptian sandals, Japanese and Greeks, the Alpagatas group brought this simple design to the Brazilian market from 1962 and immediately received the affection of many people thanks to simplicity and convenience.

Since then Havaianas has become a unique Brazilian souvenir that everyone wants to bring back. Visitors can buy sandals Havaianas from Brazilian shop systems, with many eye-catching decorations.

Gemstone


As an expensive gift and surely everyone likes it, Brazil is really an ideal place if tourists intend to buy gems as a gift. Great beautiful gems with good quality can be found all over Brazil, but Rio is still the best suggestion with gems like Esperssartita, Tourmaline, Ametist, Greengold, quartz, Topaz and diamonds.

Cachaça


Cachaca is also a gift you should bring from Brazil, this is a very popular cocktail in Brazil, made from cachaca rum, lemon and sugar. Previously Cachaca was only used in restaurants or bars but now it is available in most Brazilian families. You can also buy Brazilian travel as a gift. However, the taste will not be equal to the directly prepared cocktail glasses.
Granado Pharmácias Soap


Especially loved by girls, Granado Pharmacias soap is a very famous product with eye-catching appearance. They are put in small bags with a mild scent. Granado Pharmácias also produces girls’ soap with sparkling, attractive soap bars, remember to buy it in your trip!
Moqueca Pot
A unique gift for you to bring back- Moqueca Pot is the name of a popular clay pot in Brazil, made from clay and ingredients of a special plant. The clay after being dried is then applied with external resin to increase water holding capacity. Moqueca Pot is often used to store fish or cook seafood. The reason this pot became famous and was included in the list of souvenirs you can buy in Brazil is because the cooked food with this pot has a better taste than other cooking methods.

Rio de Janeiro to Buzios and back – Motorcycle weekend

Nearly deserted place between Arraial do Cabo and Ponta Negra where we had a Guara-Viton

 

Buzios, Cabo Frio , Saquarema, Arraial do Cabo… places where people from Rio de Janeiro like to go to spend weekends or holidays. My friend Osman, a British/Turkish expat and fellow motorcyclist had been waiting for a long time to try out his Husqvarna 610 and we decided to head out on a weekend trip.Our goal for this trip would be the area east of Rio de Janeiro, also known as “Região dos Lagos” (Region of the lakes). Osman is also an avid diver and wanted to check out some of the diving shops in Arraial do Cabo.

Day 1: Rio de Janeiro – Búzios – Arraial do Cabo

We met on a sunny Saturday morning around 7 am at “posto 9” in Ipanema and since there was almost no traffic we decided to take a small city tour and stop at a few famous spots in Rio de Janeiro before leaving the city.

First stop: Cinelândia with the Teatro Municipal

Second stop: Praia Vermelha and Sugar Loaf

After a brief moment and taking pictures at Cinelândia and Praia Vermelha we set course for the Rio – Niterói bridge, the 13 km long bridge over Guanabara bay, connecting Rio de Janeiro with its sister city Niterói.

In Niterói we took the coastal road because I wanted to take Osman to one of the forts that used to guard the entrance of the bay. I also knew from an earlier trip in 2009 that there was a connection from the fort to the Piratininga lagoon, but when we arrived at the army base, the guard told us that it was no longer possible to get permission to drive through the barracks to Piratininga because the whole area was now only accessible for military personnel.

On the way to the fort we passed the famous MAC museum (museum of contemporary arts), one of Oscar Niemeyer’s creations in Niterói.

The MAC museum in Niterói

We could not take the coastal road to Piratininga so we headed for the “old” main road leading east (the RJ-106) and actually found ourselves a decent section of dirt road before reaching it. Before continuing the long asphalt section to the região dos Lagos, we stopped at an Açaí place and had breakfast.

Most people heading for the Região dos  lagos out of Rio de Janeiro would opt for the BR-101, which is a national highway following the Brazilian coast from the north to the south, but the RJ-106 (a state road), whis is a two-lane road, has less heavy traffic, better scenery and NO pedagio (toll). Ok, here and there the tar could be in better  condition, but for the kind of trip we were on, this was definitely the better choice.

Osman – probably as happy as a pig in shit – on his Husqvarna 610 heading east. The mountains of Rio Bonito already in sight.

After about 2 hours we reached Araruama, and its big lagoon. The lagoon stretches 30 km from east to west and is 12 km wide at its widest point.

Brief photo stop at the Araruama lagoon

From Araruama it was another 60 km to Buzios, where we had lunch at the Buda Beach restaurant, which has great reviews on Tripadvisor.

A great view over the water while having lunch is always a bonus. I think the restaurant included that in their prices 🙂

After lunch we went for a tour around the peninsula. Búzios, also known as “Gringo Paradise, has over 20 different beaches and some awesome viewpoints. We stopped at a few beaches and even did some off-roading to reach one of the more remote viewpoints.

One of the many beaches in Búzios.

 

Off road in Búzios: on the way down from an elevated view point. The rain creates some tricky ruts here and there.

Day 2: Arraial do Cabo – Rio de JaneiroAfter circling the peninsula, we needed to get a move on if we wanted to make it to Arraial do Cabo before dark. The sun sets early in this part of the world. Osman had the name and address of one of the diving shops (PL-divers) and after some looking we found the place. The same people also run a pousada connected to the diving shop, and it had a closed parking for the bikes, so we felt very lucky. The pousada (pousada Suia) was very clean, had good beds and a decent breakfast. Good price – quality.

After a good night’s rest and a tasty breakfast, it was time to load up the bikes and head back to Rio de Janeiro. We were planning on checking out some 4×4 trails that I had never ridden before, and there was a real risk that the road would end somewhere in the middle of nowhere or hit a deep river, forcing us to trackback several kilometers. We wanted to be in Rio before dark so there was no time to loose.

A few km outside of Arraial do Cabo we entered the dunes. This road was familiar to me, but after about 4 km, we took a sidetrack that would take us straight on the beach and that would be the unknown part.

The sidetrack started out pretty firm, but it didn’t take long before the bike started to float from left to right and before long we were looking at a 200m wide white beach. This was what we came here for, so we hit the sand and sure enough the bikes (the riders too) had to work hard to even ride through the loose sand. It was a matter of keep going or get stuck.

Both of us made it through, and once we got closer to the water, the sand was a lot better to ride and for a moment we had a little piece of heaven on earth…


Osman and his Husqvarna on the beach. It doesn’t get a lot better than this.

This beach goes on for 40 km, but we didn’t do the whole distance because riding in this sand, the bikes use a  lot of gas and we weren’t planning on running dry before reaching a gas station.  This meant that at one point we had to get OFF of the beach, which was harder than getting on it, because now we had to ride up through the sand instead of down…

Me on the beach… perfect weather conditions and awesome scenery. What more can a person ask for?

Here’s me trying to get off the beach… riding up… got a lot of sand in my shoes here 🙂

We got off the beach without too much trouble, and circled around, taking a small aspalt road that took us into Saquarema, where we took gas. From there, it was another 60 km, which was about 50/50 asphalt and dirt of the good kind. At Ponta Negra we rode up to the lighthouse, which was another great viewpoint.

The closer we came to Niterói, the beaches gradually became more crowded, until we had to make our way between cars, bikes, bicycles, quads, buggies and pedestrians who were enjoying their Sunday afternoon on the beach.

The dirt road leading from Marica to Itaipuaçú… here we could still open the throttle.

Military police patrolling and keeping a watchful eye. Note the barrel sticking out of the window…

One more section of loose sand before getting back on the asphalt. This is hard labor people 🙂

This concludes the last dirt section of the trip. From here it’s all asphalt back into Rio de Janeiro. But first we had to get over that hill in the background.

In conclusion, here’s our route.

I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Note: This route can also be done with a normal car, except for the beach part in Arraial do Cabo (you can do the 6 km through the dunes though) and the last section of loose sand in Itaipuaçu. even with a 4×4 vehicle, you would have to get on the asphalt sooner than we did because at the end of the beach road in Itaipuaçú there’s only a small bridge over the canal, and cars cannot go there… notice there are no cars in the last picture. that would be your hint that you’re too far. (that is if you would make it through the soft sand :))

Cheers

Day Tripping at Tijuca Forest – Rio de Janeiro: another day at the office

On the top of Pico da tijuca - Rio de Janeiro

On the top of Pico da Tijuca. Sweating like a horse in almost 40°c temperatures, but no complaining from any of us 🙂

Rio de Janeiro was basking under a perfect summer day and although this time of the year most people come to the Cidade Maravilhosa to enjoy the Carnaval, two Dutch girls asked me to take them for a walk on the green side of Rio de Janeiro… the Tijuca Forest. No need to say I was more than keen… 

I picked the girls (Monique and Annette) up at Rio Hostel in Santa Teresa around 7.30 in the morning and we started the 20 km ride to the Tijuca Forest. Because of the Carnaval festivities, the police had blocked some of the streets around the Sambódromo, where the garbage left by the last “blocos de carnaval” gave the place a deserted look.

Before reaching the parking space from where the hiking trail to the Pico da Tijuca starts, we made a brief stop at the Cascatinha waterfall, considered the most beautiful one of the park.

First stop in the Tijuca Park: The Cascatinha Waterfall

Our first hike for the day was the Pico da Tijuca, a 2,5 km walk to the 1.012m high summit of the highest mountain in the Tijuca Forest. The trail winds through sometimes dense forest, but is very well indicated and maintained. The Pico da Tijuca offers an awesome view of the center and north zones of Rio. On a clear day, like yesterday, it’s possible to see the Serra dos Órgãos with the “Dedo de Deus” (Finger of God) located 50km north of Rio.

Monique and Annette climbing up to the Pico da Tijuca. Jungle trail in the middle of the city.

Almost on the top of Pico da Tijuca, climbing the 117 steps that were carved out of the rock-face to accommodate the Belgian king Albert on his visit in 1921

Next stop before lunch, was the “Vista Chinesa”, which derives its name from the chinese style pavilion where tourists can find some shade while enjoying another privileged view of the marvelous city.

The Chinese “pagoda” style pavilion at the Vista Chinesa viewpoint

The view over Rio de Janeiro from Vista Chinesa with Christ the Redeemer to the left, overlooking the Lagoa Rodrigo Freitas and the morro do Cantagálo in the middle and the Sugar Loaf in the background.

The Vista Chinesa is only one of several viewpoints scattered all across the Tijuca Forest, each one offering another breathtaking view of Rio de Janeiro from a different angle, showcasing some of the city’s most famous attractions like Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, Lagoa, Dois Irmãos, Pedra da Gávea and Rocinha.

Continuing our tour of the Tijuca Forest, we went on in the direction of the coast, heading for the hanggliding ramp of Sáo Conrado, where you can watch people of all walks of life take the plunge into the lush green scenery of the forest.

Always special to see hang-gliders take off. This is must definitely be the closest thing to being a bird…

Watching the hanggliders do their stuff is something I could do for hours, but we had another hike on our list. The Pedra Bonita trail is only 1.2 km long, considered “medium difficulty” and is one of my favorite spots in Rio.

To our disappointment, the guard at the entrance said that we couldn’t go up because of a kidnapping that had occurred at the Pedra da Gávea. The police were still searching for the kidnappers, who were supposedly armed and hiding somewhere in the forest between Pedra da Gávea and Pedra Bonita.

More people arrived at the entrance who wanted to do the trail. They had heard that the search party had ended and Pedra Bonita would be safe, after which the guard allowed us to go ahead.

Monique and Annette on top of Pedra Bonita. In the background the silhouette of the Pedra Branca massive. Rio’s other (and biggest) Urban forest.

Catching the last rays of a perfect summer’s day on top of pedra bonita with the lagoas of Barra de Tijuca and the sheer endless beach of Recreio das Bandeirantes in the backdrop.

Pedra Bonita was the perfect end to a fantastic day (especially because there was no sign of any kidnappers). As the sun was slowly setting in the west, we sat down for a while on the granite mountain surface, which was still hot from a day of Brazilian sun, and tried to take it all in.

Another Brazilian-Dutch couple joined us and we talked about how Rio de Janeiro was definitely a unique place, which would at least take a year to fully discover.

Giving the Brazilian-Dutch couple a ride to Copacabana, I returned Monique and Annette to their hostel after an 11 hour tour of the Tijuca Forest. I’m sure they will remember this day, at least until the pain in their legs and other body parts has worn off :).

I still had another 120 km ahead of me to get back home, where I arrived around 9 pm but for a day like this I would get out of bed at 4.30 am any day, even on a Sunday. I guess you could say that for me, this was just another day at the office, but people, WHAT an amazing office it is.

Give me a call next time you’re in Rio and I’ll show you around so you can see for yourself.