Brazil beyond Rio de Janeiro
When people talk about Brazil, usually, the image that comes to mind is a place like Rio de Janeiro or the Amazon. But did you know that Brazil is so much more than that? That there are actually MANY places to visit, especially beaches that offer lots of adventure. But our trip here through Brazil’s secrets won’t start at the beach. It will start with a geography class question. What is the capital of Brazil?
If you said Rio de Janeiro, or São Paulo, you got it wrong. The capital is Brasília.
Brasília attracts visitors due to its beautiful modernist architecture. Inaugurated to be the new capital of Brazil on April 21, 1960, the city had its main buildings designed by the great architect Oscar Niemeyer. The good part about visiting Brasília is that pretty much all of the most interesting things to see in the city are close to each other.
Brasília is loved by the people who live there for its sky. The city doesn’t have a beach but it is said that “The sky is Brasília’s sea”. And the reason for that quote has many colors.
From Brasília, after around 2 hours by car, you can arrive to the small and cute city of Pirenópolis. The city of Pirenópolis is known for its proximity to many beautiful waterfalls of many sizes that are perfect for the lovers of nature. Some of them are easy to arrive to so even kids can go and it is possible to swim in most of them. Some of the most known are Bonsucesso waterfalls, Paraíso Waterfalls, Rosário Waterfall and Lázaro and Santa Maria Waterfall. The small city is also the stage for the famous “Cavalhadas” and the Feast of the Divine. The Cavalhadas of Pirenópolis, considered a Brazilian Cultural Patrimony, are activities that revolve around dramatic equestrian representations of a fight between Moors and Christians for the dominion of the Iberian peninsula during the Middle Ages in Europe. They often happen in June. This small city gets completely crowded!
Now, let’s go back to Brasília, get a plane and visit the city of Natal (which interestingly enough, means “Christmas” in Portuguese). Natal is a seaside town with some luxurious hotels, but what attracts people are its dunes called “Dunas de Genipabu”. The best way to enjoy the dunes is to book a ride with what the Brazilians call “bugueiro”, a type of car called buggy. The ride lasts almost the entire day as you can stop on the beach, in a restaurant to eat and on the best part of the trip, the “aerobunda”. There is in the middle of the dunes a lagoon that is surrounded by dunes. Your mission is quite simple, at the top of those dunes, sit in a chair that looks a bit like a swing chair. And that’s it. The rest is just gravity. You descend the rope holding the chair quickly until you hit the water with your butt. That’s why the name, “aerobunda” is almost translated to “air-butt”.
From Natal, take one and a half hour trip by car to arrive to another small city, called Pipa. Pipa is a narrow town, sometimes too narrow for your car, but with a breathtaking beach. Pipa’s beach is so extensive and varies so much as you walk, that it is pretty much perfect for anything. It has perfect places to swim with children, perfect places to play, places that form natural pools and perfect places to take a boat as well. Speaking of the boats, it is possible to take a boat and try to see the DOLPHINS! That’s right. If you are lucky enough, you might see them. If you are even luckier, you might even swim with them because most boats offer a nice swim in the open sea (with a life buoy if you prefer). Pipa is also known by some people for selling the best “cocada” in Brazil. Cocada is a type of sweet drink made of coconut. Lots of people sell it in Pipa, but you do have to find the right one.
So, these are some of the great hidden spots in Brazil. Some locals don’t even know them, but the ones that do, just want to come back again and again. You should maybe try one of them when thinking about visiting Brazil.
Guest post by Ingrid from blog Dreamer on the world
Thanks again to Ingrid for this wonderful post about Brazil.