Brazil is a country with so much to offer so in order to uncover its secrets we asked Martin Johnson, Company Director at Latin Routes (who will be exhibiting at this years Luxury Travel Fair) to kindly answer a few of our questions to give us a taste of what experiences can be had when visiting Brazil.
What 5 things would you recommend to do when visiting Brazil?
Christ the Redeemer, Rio
This one is almost a staple when visiting Rio – the beautiful 30m statue on top of Corcovado Mountain, which also affords some fantastic views of Rio itself. The whole thing can be done in half a day – with a funicular railway running from a central location up through the rainforest which is a beautiful half-hour journey. We would advise going earlier in the morning to avoid queues as it can get quite busy.
Pantanal Wetlands, Cuiaba
One of the greatest places to see wildlife in South America – rivalling the Amazon, even – Cuiaba is the perfect base from which to explore the Pantanal Wetlands. There are a few ways to explore the Pantanal – you can either drive halfway into the wetlands via the ‘Transpantaneira’ (the most popular route) or alternatively you can take a canoe trip down one of Northern Patal’s smaller rivers to see some of the wildlife close up. Hiking and trekking tours of the area are also available.
Copacabana Beach, Rio
After seeing one of the most famous statues in the world, take a trip down to one of the most famous beaches, Rio’s Copacabana Beach. Once a year it plays host to one of the most extravagant new year’s parties in the world, with firework displays and thousands of residents turning up. During the rest of the year it is still one of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches, and is certainly worth a visit.
See the Amazon, Manaus
The access point to the Amazon Rainforest for a number of cruises, the opportunity to traverse the waters of the Amazon in both comfort and style is one that shouldn’t be passed up. With some of the most diverse and beautiful wildlife in the world, the Amazon is not only an experience you’ll never forget but one you’ll always regret not doing if you don’t! We sell a range of Amazon cruises including Premium Cruises from Amazon Clippers.
Beautiful Beaches, Fortaleza
Famed for its stunning beaches, Fortaleza is located in Northwest Brazil and is near Natal and Recife which are both host cities for the approaching World Cup along with Fortaleza itself. The variety of beaches have something to offer to everyone – if you’re looking for a family day out, we’d recommend Meireles which has several playgrounds and seating areas. If you’re more in to surfing and water sports then perhaps Praia de Futuro would suit you better.
Are there any secluded getaway destinations within Brazil which you can offer?
Cristalino Jungle Lodge, The Amazon
In a spectacular Jungle setting, the Cristalino Jungle Lodge is a secluded haven almost entirely isolated from the rest of society. A bird watching paradise (with over 600 species in the area), the hotel has a private reserve stretching almost 29,000 acres which has a myriad of interesting and rare wildlife – some of which can be found only in the Amazon, including over 18,000 species of butterfly, skipper and moth. The reserve is also home to Spider Monkeys, River Otters, Brazilian Tapirs as well as larger animals such as jaguars and wild dogs. This could truly be considered a destination like no other.
The hotel itself has a strong focus on being ecologically friendly and works to reduce the amount of waste produced and minimise both its’ carbon footprint and its impact on the surrounding forest. Its ethos is reflected in the private bungalows, all of which have solar water heaters and biological waste treatment. However, its attitude towards preserving the jungle does not impact how luxurious the facilities are. There is a thatched-roof patio where candlelit dinners are held, along with a common room and small library. In addition, there is a Screened Treehouse which can be used for spotting wildlife or just to soak in the beautiful views of the amazon.
Fazenda Sao Francisco
With only 10 Suites and 4 Bungalows, the Fazenda Sao Francisco is the definition of exclusive. 15km of deserted beach await you including a coral reef extending 10km out to sea. The hotel’s seclusion is matched only by its luxuriousness and range of activities – from snorkelling just off the coast to a range of options hiking in the surrounding area. Bikes are also available if you’re looking to explore more comfortably. The stunning natural beauty of the coastline make the Fazenda Sao Francisco a unique place to relax and enjoy the sun.
The rooms available are expansive and all offer beautiful views of the sea from private balconies. The level of service is exactly what you’d expect from such an exclusive, boutique hotel – personalised and professional. The Fazenda is certainly an excellent choice for those looking to get away from tumultuous city life.
Ilha Toque Toque
There are only 12 Suites available at this equally exclusive hotel which is 3 hours from Sao Paulo, set amid the Atlantic forest next to the Toque Toque Grande – a beautiful beach which, despite its name, is a mere 800m long. The hotel is the only one in the immediate area, at the top of a hill leading down to the beach itself. The pace of life is certainly slower than the average hotel – the luxuriousness combined with picturesque views of the bay lead to a greater appreciation of the surrounding natural beauty.
What luxury accommodation can customers expect to enjoy whilst in Brazil?
Brazil has some of the most luxurious hotels in the world to offer, and if you’re used to travelling in style then you’ll be right at home in these particular hotels:
The Fasano, Sao Paulo
This stylish hotel is a classic – building on the sterling reputation of the Fasano brand, this hotel more than lives up to expectations. With outstanding levels of service, top class rooms and some of the best cuisine in the city, the Fasano is certainly not one to disappoint. Stunning architecture blends with contemporary design and classic touches to create an elegant feel to the hotel.
The hotel itself is located in a fashionable district of Sao Paulo – between the Paulista and Faria Lima avenues. This places the hotel near some of the best nightlife, top quality restaurants and boutique shops – an ideal location to explore what the city has to offer.
Das Cataratas, Iguacu
Situated as close as you can get to the beautiful Iguazu Falls, this hotel offers unrivalled service in an unparalleled location. With everything you’d expect from a top-end 5* hotel, Das Cataratas has a heated swimming pool at its heart where you can relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings. A fully-equipped gym is available for those seeking some endorphins – not that you’ll need them with panoramic views of the grounds, iPod dock connecting to a Bose sound system and fresh fruit available after your workout.
Other facilities such as tennis courts and a Spa which offers a wide range of treatments will enhance your stay even further. To top it all off, there is a plethora of dining options – from the Ipe Grill, adjacent to the pool, which serves a ‘gaucho’ style barbecue and a wide range of salads and other international dishes, to the Itaipu Restaurant which offers some more traditional Brazilian dishes overlooking both the grounds and the Iguazu Falls themselves.
Ponta Dos Ganchos, Fortaleza
Arguably one of the more luxurious hotels in Brazil, even the world, the Ponta Dos Ganchos is not only right on the beach, but even has its own private island which can be reached via a footbridge. With stunning ocean panoramas and outstanding facilities, this hotel is an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
There are 25 individual bungalows each with facilities that could rival any 5* hotel. Featuring an award-winning Relais & Chateux restaurant, hi-tech gym, cinema and lounge area, the Ponta Dos Ganchos is an exercise in opulence. Additional activities include Spa treatments, massages and some of the most beautiful scuba diving locations on the Brazilian coast.
Casas Brancas, Buzios
The Casas Brancas is a polished boutique hotel with a wide range of facilities, situated down a palm-shaded street in lovely area of Armacao dos Buzios. The hotel is in a fantastic location very near a beautiful beach, perfect for sunbathing during the day or a relaxing stroll in the evening. The hotel itself is both comfortable and classy, with pastel colours and minimalist furniture, it effortlessly blends style with comfort.
The Hotel’s restaurants are a real highlight and better yet, there is a choice of three – Café Atlantico, Deck Bar and Restaurant and Rocka Beach Lounge. Each one offers something unique – the Café Atlantico is a more traditional restaurant serving some of the best traditional Brazilian Cuisine with French and Mediterranean influences. Deck Bar and restaurant is right on the beach and serves a selection of Italian dishes along with some fantastic wines. Watch the sun set over the water with a drink in hand at this fabulous restaurant. Rocka Beach Lounge is a more relaxed affair, just 5 minutes from the hotel and also right on the beach, it blends some classic seafood dishes with local and Spanish influences, served up by the resident chef Gustavo Rinkevich.