Monday, 5 December 2011

Florianopolis Gay Carnival 2012 - where to stay?

Florianopolis is the 3rd major destination for gay tourists in Brazil and a favourite summer destination for Brazilians & South Americans.

During Carnival - from 17th to 22nd February, in 2012- Florianopolis is second only to Rio in the preference of Brazilian and South American gay men. In recent years major label parties and mega clubs moved their parties to Florianopolis helping to make it a big contender to be the biggest and hottest gay Carnival in Brazil.

As it becomes more and more popular, you need to book your accommodation in advance. Choosing where to stay is a critical decision, since traffic is heavy during the long bank holiday and parties happen in different locations. Here go some tips:

Praia Mole beach is the hub, both at the sand stretch in front of Bar do Deca during the day and at the themed parties of The Week club, packed with gay visitors from all over the world. The choice of accommodation and restaurants, however, is limited.

Downtown you have all the Gay & Lesbian clubs and bars favoured by the locals, as well as the street parties and traditional Carnival events such as Samba Schools Parade and the Pop Gay festival, a very camp Carnival costumes competition for drag queens. The drive to Praia Mole gay beach can be long, though.

A good compromise is to stay in the bohemian Lagoa neighbourhood, located between downtown and Praia Mole. There you will find more mid-range accommodation options and good restaurants and cafes within walking distance. If traffic is bad you can walk to Praia Mole (4 km away) and in the evening you can use direct public transport to town, avoiding the worse of the traffic.

Brazil Ecojourneys offer 5 to 7 nights packages in gay-friendly accommodation, including meet & greet by a knowledgeable guide, return transfers and a welcome information pack for the local gay and lesbian scene. They can also purchase tickets for the best parties.

Please consult prices & availability -

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Porto Alegre - a new gateway to Brazil

This week, TAP, the Portuguese airline, operated the first non-stop flight between Europe and South Brazil.

The 4 times a week flights between Lisbon and Porto Alegre , capital of Rio Grande do Sul, open a new entry point to Brazil and to a region that has been largely overlooked by most visitors to the country.

The most southern State in Brazil is well-known for its gaucho culture, the pampas and the Jesuit Missions but it has more to offer.

Porto Alegre, the capital of the State, is the entry point for the attractive wine region- an easy 2 hours drive- and also the best access to the dramatic canyons of the Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral National Parks- a 3 hours-drive through a newly built dual carriage way.

From Porto Alegre, there are direct flights to some of Brazil best natural attractions, such as Iguazu Falls, the beautiful beaches of Florianopolis and to Curitiba, starting point of the most scenic train ride in Brazil and the gateway to the World Biosphere Reserve of the Atlantic Rainforest.

In the next few blogs we will highlight Rio Grande do Sul's attractions and how Europeans can easily combine a visit to South Brazil to an itinerary to Argentina and Chile, places that also have daily direct flights from Porto Alegre.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Special Day trips in/around Florianopolis

Most people come to Santa Catarina for the beaches or the parties and end up not seeing the diversity that the region has to offer in terms of nature, culture and gastronomy.

Brazil Ecojourneys offer trips that showcase this diversity: you can choose to visit an Old Azorean Villages or a German town, to taste oysters or drink a local Bier.
On our trips you also get to know places in an active way: rafting, trekking, surfing or biking can be an enjoyable part of your holiday

orean Villages & East Coast
Fish market, Lagoa da Conceição and East Coast

Immigrants from the Azores Archipelago settled along the Santa Catarina Coast during the 17th Century. In Florianopolis they founded small villages around the island where they survived from small-scale farming and cottage fishing. They left an important cultural inheritance in terms of architecture, culinary, folklore and a very particular accent that still keep alive expressions from Old Portuguese.

Some of the villages they founded, the “Freguesias”, still have examples of the simple but charming architecture they brought to the island. These communities, with their peaceful atmosphere, are also ideal places to try the delicious local seafood.

Naufragados Beach and Oyster farms of Ribeirão da Ilha

Florianópolis in recent years became the centre for oyster production in Brazil. The old Azorean fishing village of Ribeirão da Ilha is one of the main areas for oyster farming on the Island. We combine a trip to one of the local farms with a short trek to one of the most beautiful beaches on the Island to make a full day trip of light adventure and gastronomic experience.

Deutsch Santa Catarina

South Brazil, in special the northern part of Santa Catarina State, received a large influx of German immigrants in the middle of the 19th Century. In the region known as the European Valley, a number of small villages still retain the influence of its Germanic origins in the architecture, the local dialect and cuisine.

This full day tour -which can be done by bike-will take you to rural Pomerode, which preserves its immigrant culture on hundreds of timber-framed houses, surrounded by neat tropical gardens. Afterwards taste authentic German food and beer in one the regions breweries or kaffehaus.

Rafting in Santo Amaro da Imperatriz

Santo Amaro, only 40 km away from the island, is the closest rafting base to Florianópolis. Rafting in the River Cubatão, with rapids class II-III, is ideal for beginners.
The scenery along the river is beautiful: the right margin borders the Serra do Tabuleiro National Park, the biggest Atlantic Rainforest reserve in the vicinity of Florianopolis.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Five great reasons to visit South Brazil in 2011

South Brazil is home to many of Brazil best natural attractions, from the Southern Pantanal to the canyons of Rio Grande do Sul, from the Iguazu Falls to the World Biosphere Reserve of the Atlantic Rainforest. Despite these fantastic places, the region has, until recently, been overlooked by most visitors to Brazil. Here we give you just some reasons to visit the South.

Parana State is best known for the magnificent Iguazu Falls. However, just a short flight away from the Falls, you can enjoy a spectacular train journey that links its pleasant capital Curitiba to the Lagamar, the largest remnants of Atlantic Rainforest in the country, making this region also an unmissable part of any Brazilian trip.

One of the smallest States in Brazil, Santa Catarina has a huge natural and cultural diversity. Besides Florianopolis, don’t miss the stunning Serra Geral mountains, an ideal trekking and horse-riding destination, the whales and dolphins on the southern coast, surfing in Praia do Rosa and relaxing in some of the best beaches of Brazil.

The most southern State in Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, is well-known for its gaucho culture, the pampas and the Jesuit Missions but it has more to offer. Porto Alegre , the capital of the State, is the entry point for the attractive wine region and also the best access to the dramatic canyons of the Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral National Parks.

Brazil Ecojourneys top reasons to visit South Brazil:

1) Iguazu Falls - the most magnificent in the world!
2) Lagamar Estuary- the most unspoilt natural attraction of the South and the World Biosphere Reserve of the Atlantic Rainforest
3) Whale watching in Santa Catarina- close encounter with the Southern Right Whales
4) Santa Catarina Island in Florianopolis - great parties, gorgeous beaches and preserved nature make Floripa a favourite destination for Brazilians;
5) Relaxation at the Emerald Coast - one of the most exclusive beach resorts in the country- Ponta dos Ganchos;