Friday, 17 December 2010

New Routes to Iguazu Falls- More Reasons to Visit!

I am asked frequently by our clients that already visited Niagara or Victoria Falls, if it is worthy visiting the Iguazu Falls.

Regarding Victoria I can give a personal view, and I can tell that I was seriously disappointed with it when I visited, having expected to see something similar to "our" Iguazu.

For Niagara, I just tell a story that became a legendary tale in Brazil: when Eleanor Roosevelt visited in 1944, her first words were: "Poor Niagara"! Enough said.

Iguazu Falls IS one of the natural wonders of the world - and it is now more accessible.

More direct flights from Brazil and neighbouring countries are coming into place in 2011, making a visit to the most magnificent waterfalls in the world (and I am NOT biased!) easier to fit into a longer South American tour.

From 16th January LAN starts a new direct flight from Lima to Foz do Iguaçu(IGU), making it even easier to combine Peru and Brazil itineraries.

The Uruguayan PLUNA will offer flights Montevideo-Foz do Iguaçu-Santiago do Chile, making it possible to combine 3 countries of the Cono Sur.

For those already travelling in Brazil, additionally to existing direct flights from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo operated by the main airlines GOL and TAM, WEBJET is now offering direct flights from Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.

Another regional airline, TRYP , offer flights from Cuiaba, an excellent option for those visiting another unmissable natural highight of Brazil, the Pantanal.

Once there , Brazil Ecojourneys can help you make the most of your stay with our Essential Iguazu package.

And if you are just entering Brazil and do not want to fly all over the country to experience the rainforest or relax on a beautiful beach, we have great Escorted Small Group itineraries in South Brazil that start from Iguazu.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Last minute availability for New Year's in Florianopolis!

Florianopolis, in recent years, became one of the hottest destinations in South America for Reveillón, rivalling Buzios and Punta del Este as the destination for the in-the-know crowd.

The most sophisticated parties are in Jurere International: either private ones in the South Beach-style mansions or in the clubs and lounge bars that line the beach front, such as Taiko, P12 Parador, Café de La Musique and El Divino Beach.

For the younger and trendier crowd Lagoa da Conceição and Praia Mole are the most sought after destinations, with Confraria das Artes and Vecchio Giorgio being the most popular places.

For the gay crowd, although Praia Mole is the hub during the day, most of the clubs are downtown. However, mega clubs from Sao Paulo also bring label parties to town every year, so there are parties for every taste, every day and everywhere during that week.


The Majestic Palace is a gay-friendly first class hotel with good facilities and contemporary design. It has a swimming pool, fitness centre, bar and restaurant and broadband internet access in all rooms. The rooms have beautiful views of the bay.

The hotel has a great location: the city’s famous fireworks display happens in front of the hotel; Praia Mole, the gay beach, is 15km away and chic Jurere International is 25 km away.

5 nights New Year’s package:

Single basis: US$ 1975.00 per person
Double basis: US$ 988.00 per person

Package includes: private return transfers from airport with an English-speaking driver, a Meet & Greet service at the airport, 5 nights accommodation with breakfast in a De Luxe room with bay views, government taxes, and New Year’s evening dinner with drinks at the hotel.

* Luxury rentals in Praia Mole from US$ 800.00/day. Availability restricted. Please consult us.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Chile, Argentina and now Brazil - Wine Enthusiast Magazine - November 2010

Some of the finest expression of methode Champenoise outside of France can be found in the wine regions of Southern Brazil. Surprised?

Check out this article by Adam Strum in the Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Chile, Argentina and now Brazil - Wine Enthusiast Magazine - November 2010

Brazil Ecojourneys
offers self-drive tours of the Wine Region of Rio Grande do Sul.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Whales in Florianopolis

The whale watching season in Santa Catarina started officially a month ago. We can already say that this will be a fantastic season, with record numbers of Southern Right whales making an appearance along our coast.

The pleasant surprise of this season has been the constant presence of whales in the beaches of Florianopolis as well. In past years the odd pair was spotted occasionally at some points around the island, but this year the appearances have been frequent.

The Southern Right can reach up to 18 meters in length and when nursing tend to stay very close to the beach.

In Pantano do Sul bay, in the extreme south of the Island, 2 or 3 pairs of mother and calf have been seen almost daily for the last 2 weeks. As Pantano is a secluded bay with calm waters, the whales are easily spotted from shore and became a local tourist attraction.

This young whale was caught in mid-jump by a tourist last week.

Brazil Ecojourneys tip:

For a closer encounter with these giants of the sea, you only have to travel a couple of hours to Garopaba or Imbituba, in the Southern Santa Catarina Coast, where you can take a whale watching boat trip.

Praia do Rosa is an excellent base for the whale watching trips. Stay at least two or three nights in the area to have a better chance of doing the boat trip, as departures are dependent on sea conditions.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Oscar Niemeyer Museu - Curitiba

Curitiba is one of the greenest and best organized cities in Brazil.

Besides its numerous parks and green areas, the city has a lot of culture to offer.

If you are in town, make sure you reserve an afternoon to visit the Museu Oscar Niemeyer (aka MON), which is for me the current unmissable attraction of the city.

Open in 2002, it houses an interesting permanent collection of local and national artists as well as great seasonal exhibitions, so everytime you visit you can have a great experience.

The building alone is worth the trip. Built in the 50s by the master of Brazilian architecture to house a School of Art, it was transformed into a museum by Niemeyer himself. An outstanding new feature is the grand hall or "the Eye", as it is known locally, inspired on the very Paranaense Araucaria tree.

The museum opens Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 6pm.

Brazil Ecojourneys tips:
Curitiba is a great stopover on your way to/from Iguazu Falls and the starting point of the most beautiful train journey in Brazil, and the World Biosphere Reserve of the Lagamar.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Lagamar Islands by bike!

Lagamar, the coastal area between Paraná and São Paulo, is one of the natural highlights of Brazil.

Besides having the largest contiguous areas of Atlantic Rainforest in the country, part of the World Biosphere Reserve, it has remote colonial towns, deep estuaries, mangroves, the Superagui National Park, deserted beaches, isolated islands and the unique culture of the caiçara people.

Lagamar is perhaps the most amazing destination in Brazil for ecotourism and, despite being a must-see destination for all nature enthusiasts, is yet undiscovered.

From the 3rd to the 6th June you will have the opportunity to explore the islands of Lagamar by bike, on a 4-day cycling trip from Curitiba, through Ilha do Mel, Ilha das Peças, Superagui and Ilha do Cardoso, already in Sao Paulo State.

For more information contact us.

For those adventurous souls that can not make it on this occasion, Brazil Ecojourneys offers a year around 5 days expedition to the Lagamar, that will show you the best of this incredible region, starting with a stunning railway journey through the Serra do Mar mountains.

Photo by Priscila Forone.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Santa Catarina hosts the surfing elite again

Starts today the only Brazilian stage of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, the Santa Catarina Pro.

The competition will be held from 23rd April to 2nd May and will attract a big crowd to Imbituba, on the southern Santa Catarina coast, to watch all the big names in the sport such as the legend Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Andy Irons, fighting for the 2010 title.

The main competition is scheduled for Praia Da Vila beach, but it might be moved to nearby Praia do Rosa if sea conditions change.

Santa Catarina surf culture is huge, having some of the best waves in the country. Now with the full support of the State Tourism board, the Santa Catarina ASP Tour stage reaches its 8th year and should be made into a permanent stop of the World Tour.

Even if you are not a pro-surfer, Santa Catarina has a lot to offer.
Surf schools offer week long, affordable courses for all levels. For those that just want to try for a day, Brazil Ecojourneys offers a 5 days program of local experiences that can include a surf lesson.

Brazil Ecojourneys tips:

  • Conditions for beginners are good year around;
  • Advanced surfers will find the best waves during our winter - June to September- when accommodation is much cheaper and you might share the water with the amazing Southern Right Whales
  • Water temperatures, even in our winter, are never as cold as Californian or English seas
  • Some beaches are closed for surfing during Mullet season- May to June. Consult us.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Green Traveler Survey

A compreheensive new survey has been published on the profile of the American "green traveler" by Community Marketing INC, from San Francisco.

Some of their findings will be a wake-up call for all tour operators that are targeting this market...

CMI is making the study available for free to the travel trade. Check the PR release below and contact Tom Roth to receive the PDF download.



CMIGreen announces travel & tourism industry’s most comprehensive survey of eco-conscious travelers – the First Annual Green Traveler Survey Report.

Study finds many kinds of green travellers, a “green action gap,” environmental practices that “need work”

SAN FRANCISCO – February 9, 2010 – Community Marketing, Inc. (CMI), the market research, strategic consulting, and communications specialists, today announced the release of its CMIGreen 1st Annual Green Traveler Survey Report — the travel industry’s most comprehensive assessment of the sustainable travel consumer.

The Annual Green Traveler Survey Report is the result of a unique, pan-industry cooperative initiative between tourism businesses and non-profit, environmental and sustainable business organizations, from the development of the survey to the interpretation of its findings.

The report is being offered FREE to the tourism and hospitality industries, in order to advance efforts toward greener travel.

To receive a complimentary pdf copy of the 150+ page report, email your request to: Include your name, title and organization. You will receive a link to download the pdf of the report, plus updates to the study, and announcements about future initiatives.

In order to help disseminate this important market intelligence throughout the tourism and hospitality industries, please forward this email and link to your colleagues.

Background info:

The CMIGreen study surveyed the purchasing habits, travel behaviour, environmental commitment, expectations and motivations of 1,736 self-defined, eco-conscious travelers to produce the report. “This is not a study about how many people recycle; there is sufficient data on that,” says Thomas Roth, President of Community Marketing. “The Green Traveler Survey Report is a comprehensive profile of green travel consumers, and it fills a need for concrete data on this distinct, desirable niche segment. Until now, no one has had a clear idea about who green travelers are or what they want. The ‘green travel’ niche has been defined mostly by spending figures.”

“Without this data, it has been difficult for tourism and hospitality leaders to understand and serve the interests of this increasingly important segment,” Roth says. “Nor has it been possible to establish consistent standards for sustainable travel. In fact, this study found that consumers are often confused and sceptical about green travel claims, which undermines many marketing initiatives.”

A broad green spectrum of eco-conscious travelers

Among the other key findings in the CMIGreen 1st Annual Green Traveler Survey Report is the broad spectrum of travelers comprising the green travel niche, from business and leisure travelers who participate in hotel recycling and towel re-use programs to voluntourists working on environmental and social development projects in developing countries.

“Marketers, sustainable program designers and other stakeholders at travel and hospitality companies need to understand the green travel spectrum in order to know where their customers fall on it, and what motivates them,” says Roth.

The study also found a gap between what green travelers say and their actual purchasing behaviour, as well as price sensitivity when it came to “green premiums.”

The 1st Annual Green Traveler Survey Report assesses green travelers’ view of the travel industry. While they may be driving sustainable travel industry practices, green travelers do not feel that the industry is very green yet. When asked to evaluate the green initiatives and messaging in each sector of the travel industry, the best answer most respondents could give was “needs work.” Airlines, cruise operators and rental car companies received a substantial number of “terrible” votes from respondents.

Respondents to the study indicated that virtually no “green brands” had emerged as leaders in the sustainable travel niche. “There are few ‘top-of-mind’ greener brands, if any, in any segment of the industry,” says Roth. “That told us that travel suppliers and destinations were failing to differentiate themselves with robust, green practices — and that their branding and messaging could be sharper and more meaningful.”

Green travelers are the future of the travel industry

From carbon offsets to organic restaurants and towel re-use options at hotels, “green travel” is the fastest growing niche in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

“As the planet continues to heat up and resources become scarcer, every other sector of the economy is going to be adopting sustainable practices — more or less quickly. It makes business--as well as environmental--sense. Eco-conscious travelers are trend-setters in our industry,” Roth says. “The rest of the market will follow.

“This is a critical time in travel and tourism,” Roth says. “In order to avoid a catastrophic meltdown of the industry — whether from government regulation, shifting consumer behavior, or both — the industry has to become authentically greener, and has to communicate that to its customers in a credible way.”

Report a business/non-profit collaboration — available free of charge

Given the travel industry’s impact on the environment — air travel alone accounts for 3-5% of global carbon dioxide emissions — the 1st Annual Green Traveler Survey Report is being released without charge to the travel and tourism industry. “Only with enough data and insight can travel leaders put the truly sustainable programs in place that will let them connect with their green travel customers.”

To receive a complimentary pdf copy of the 150+ page report, email your request to: Include your name, title and organization. You will receive a link to download the pdf of the report, plus updates to the study, and announcements about future initiatives.

In order to help disseminate this important market intelligence throughout the tourism and hospitality industries, please forward this email and link to your colleagues.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Record numbers of visitors in Iguazu Falls

Despite the economical crisis and the heat wave that is hitting South Brazil, the numbers of visitors to the National Park of Iguaçu was the highest in January since counting began in 1980.

Last month over 160,000 people visited the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls.

The Cataratas continues to be one the most popular attractions in Brazil, especially for foreign visitors, as it is undoubtedly one of the natural highlights of South America.

Source: Iguassu Blog

For more information in touring Iguazu Falls check Brazil Ecojourneys website.