Monday, 24 August 2009

Kindness of Strangers : Community Tourism in Brazil

Visitors to Brazil usually list the stunning nature of Brazil as the number one attraction, but the friendly nature of Brazilians themselves comes a close second. As anyone who has visited Brazil can attest, Brazilians are fun loving and very welcoming. You will encounter this warm hospitality everywhere you go, whether it is in a small remote community or the big city. There is even scientific evidence for the “simpatico” mentality of the Brazilians: a study called “Kindness of Strangers” by Robert Levine (CSU-Fresno) published in American Scientist (2003), showed that Rio de Janeiro was the friendliest of 23 large cities in the world.

No wonder then, that there are plenty of community tourism possibilities in Brazil.

Interested to read on : Download here Kindness of Strangers : Community Tourism in Brazil (pdf)

Text by Ariane Janer from Ecobrasil institute.

See Brazil Ecojourneys site for community tourism programs.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Whale Watching Season Begins

Last week the Projeto Baleia Franca, the NGO that monitors the numbers of Southern Right Whales on the coast of Santa Catarina, made their first helicopter flight of the season.

The biologist in charge reported more than 60 whales observed on this first flight and predicted that 2009 should be one the best years in number of individuals since the monitoring started.

The record was in 2006 when nearly 200 different whales were identified in the Southern Right Whale Environmental Protection Area (that runs south from Florianopolis to Torres, on the northern coast of Rio Grande do Sul).

The tendency is that the same group returns every 3 years to our coast, so this should be a great season for whale watching in Santa Catarina.

Tips from Brazil Ecojourneys:
  • You can ocasionally spot the Southern Right Whales in Florianopolis, but their numbers are greater around Garopaba and Imbituba( around 2 hours away from Florianopolis by car);
  • They can even be spotted from the shore, but if you want a great experience, take an organised boat trip;
  • Besides whales , the southern Santa Catarina coast offers good opportunities for spotting bottlenose dolphins;
  • Because our winter can make it for variable sea conditions, allow 3 or 4 days in the region for a better chance to see whales.
Brazil Ecojourneys 4days/3 nights whale watching tour starts from Florianopolis and runs from 1st August to 31st October.