Brazil | Classic Journeys Blog
  • View of Rio, Brazil

    Travel Tips: Top Travel Destinations for 2016

    <p>It’s an exciting time to travel, and there are some amazing destinations topping our must-see list for 2016. Here we outline four favorites with destination highlights and <b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/approach/?utm_campaign=travel-tips-top-travel-destinations-for-2016&amp;utm_source=sojurn-blog&amp;utm_medium=blog/" target="_blank">travel tips</a></b>.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/brazil/?utm_campaign=travel-tips-top-travel-destinations-for-2016&amp;utm_source=sojurn-blog&amp;utm_medium=blog/" target="_blank">Brazil Travel Tips</a></b><br><br>One of our newest destinations is getting a lot of press because of the upcoming Olympics, but there’s so much more to this lush country. Of course, you want to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Rio de Janeiro, but outside the city the countryside is teeming with life, too. From Rio, take a 2.5-hour plane ride to the Mato Grosso state to a 7,000-acre private reserve in the Pantanal, where you’ll see hyacinth macaws and capybara among the 1,000 bird species — not to mention the hundreds of types of mammals and reptiles that call this place home.</p> <p><b>Travel tips</b>: A wonderful way to engage in the culture is by joining a local chef to prepare a traditional meal. And don’t miss the chance to explore Tijuca National Park — a 12-square-mile rainforest within the city of Rio — by zip-line to get up close to Ocelots and howler monkeys!<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank">DOWNLOAD AN ITINERARY TODAY FOR YOUR 2016 VACATION OF A LIFETIME!</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank"><b>Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast Travel Tips</b></a><br><br>The Dalmatian Coast is a favorite for its sweeping vistas, relaxed culture and mellow pace. It’s so easy to engage with the locals here such as the family that invites us into their home to see how they weave local silk into lace. Be sure to visit Koločep, one of 1200 islands off the coast of Dubrovnik. The island is uninhabited, but definitely not boring! There are botanical gardens, peacocks and some of Dalmatia’s best rock beaches. And did we mention the waters are clean and clear up to a depth of 30 feet?</p> <p><b>Travel tips</b>: You’ll want to make this trip before the buzz attracts the crowds. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a working olive mill and see a demonstration of an ancient pressing technique.<br><br><img alt="Croatia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oY4" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-travel/" target="_blank"><b>Cuba Travel Tips</b></a><br><br>As the climate between the U.S. and Cuba warms, it will become easier to visit the island. However, since we’ve been embarking on this trip for years, we know the best places to visit and the locals who make Havana hum. For instance, Le Patio de Pelegrin, where painter and instructor, Mario Pelegrin Pozo, turned his patio into a gathering place for local artisans and inspiring artists; Callejón de Hamel, a huge community project with shrines and sculptures considered the heart of the Afro-Cuban culture; and Hector Higüera, who will describe the trials and tribulations of running Le Chansonnier, one of the city’s finest privately run restaurants.</p> <p><b>Travel tips</b>: Don’t miss the chance for a walking tour to discover the architecture of the Vedado district with Julio César Pérez, an architect/urban planner and adjunct professor at the School of Architecture in Havana, or the orchid gardens of Soroa, where 700 species of the delicate flowers grow — some from the 19th century.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank"><b>Morocco Travel Tips</b></a><br><br>From a luxury, contemporary hotel featuring a Givenchy spa to nomadic tents made of hand-woven camel and goat hair, the accommodations in Morocco will not be the only surprises you encounter. You’ll visit a walled city with small workshops where craftsmen create wares from copper and brass and a tannery where leather has been created for centuries. You’ll wander apple orchards and olive groves — a stark contrast to the vast desert oasis and huge dunes you’ll explore on a camel. And no trip to Morocco would be complete without a visit to the Djemaa el-Fna square to see snake charmers, monkey tamers, magicians, acrobats and more.</p> <p><b>Travel tips</b>: Be sure to visit the ceramic district where artisans create exquisite tiles and intricate mosaics. While sleeping in a tent might sound rustic, we assure you you’ve never experienced something like a stay in a Berber encampment complete with colorful fabrics, kilims, carpets from local tribes and lanterns that create a surreal glow in the desert — it’s not to be missed.<br><br><img alt="Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oY9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></p>

    Read More »
  • View of Rio, Brazil

    This is Brazil's Time to Shine

    <h2>Consider Traveling to Brazil in 2016</h2>   <p>It’s the fifth largest country in the world—90 times the size of little Portugal that colonized it back in the early 16th century. But when I listen to travelers talk about their latest conquests, I hear places like Croatia and Myanmar way more often.</p> <p>Now, suddenly, Brazil buzz is everywhere, as it’s getting ready to make it’s biggest splash in a long time when Rio hosts the <a href="https://www.olympic.org/rio-2016-summer-olympics" target="_blank">2016 Summer Olympics</a>. We’ll be watching the games from the comfort of our sectional sofa in front of the big screen. But before and after, we’re making 2016 the Year of Brazil, giving it the full Classic Journeys treatment. The fact is, traveling to Brazil can just feel too big to tackle. But we’ve researched and field-tested a trip that does a great job of bringing it down to size.</p> <p>We start with Rio de Janeiro, a city that sits in a location where you wouldn’t necessarily choose to put a major city. Mountains wrap almost completely around it. There’s a major rainforest inside the city limits. The favelas (shantytowns) built up the steep slopes defy logic to prove just how much people want and need to live in Rio. Beautiful Brazilians flock to the white beaches. There’s a lazy sway to life that makes you understand why the bossa nova is the official national tempo. On top of all of that, preparations for the Olympics (and the World Cup games of 2014) have led to some major downtown overhauls that really bring the history and culture to life. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/brazil/" target="_blank">Our Classic Journeys trip</a> sets aside four good days to explore with our expert local guides. We get into neighborhoods, including the favelas. We cook with a local chef. We see the major sights, of course, from Sugarloaf Mountain and the high-up Christ the Redeemer statue to the music clubs and beaches. It’s a much more immersive look at the unique South American/Portuguese-flavored culture than regular tourists get.<br><br><img alt="View of Copocabana beach" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7m6&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rcT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>The real conundrum in a Brazilian visit is how to experience the vastness of the country and the rich eco-travel opportunities it has to offer. Look at a map of Brazil, and you see that Rio is a mere flyspeck on the southeast coast. The 3.3 million square miles that stretch to the north and west are in many ways impenetrable. The mouth of the Amazon, for example, is nearly 2,000 miles away. We are super excited about our solution: an expedition to The Pantanal, the 75,000-square-mile wetland region that is 30 times the size of the modern Everglades.</p> <p>The Pantanal is a 2.5-hour flight to the northwest from Rio, and the change in environment couldn’t be more startling and fascinating. Where Rio teems with urban life, this wide-open terrain is heavily populated with winged, finned and four-footed citizens. The Pantanal is a <a href="http://en.unesco.org/" target="_blank">UNESCO World Heritage Site</a> and Biosphere Reserve. It’s home to 700 bird species, 80 types of mammals, and much more. While mountains ring Rio, out here the view to the horizon is just about limitless. The beautiful cloudscapes and stargazing in a night sky free of light pollution are indescribable. We’re based at one of the world’s great eco-lodges, a ranch-style property set in its own 7,000-acre private reserve. And you don’t need to be a rugged outdoors person to enjoy the nature. We board all-terrain vehicles for a photo safari, climb observation towers to observe the sunsets, and canoe on calm flat waters where giant river otters live. Ranching is an old tradition in these parts, and we also saddle up on the small local horses for a ride. At night, the campfires are hard to resist. There’s a swimming pool, verandas with hammocks and comfortable air-conditioned rooms. Of all of the great eco-experiences we’ve had in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica/" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a> and other <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/walkingtours/" target="_blank">famous destinations</a>, this is one of the most unique and memorable.<br><br><img alt="Toucan" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7m6&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rcY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Our expectation is that by this time next year, traveling to Brazil will be higher than ever on travelers’ wish lists. It sure deserves to be there. For its irresistible culture and its natural splendors, Brazil is truly a gold medal destination – and you’ll have solid bragging rights for having gotten there before so many other travelers.</p>

    Read More »
  • Peruvian woman

    South America’s 5 Best Cultural Encounters

    We often call the US a cultural melting pot. And it is, since it was the destination for so many peoples from Europe, Asia, and Africa. For the same reasons, South America is an amazingly diverse stew of 385 million people who can trace their roots to Spain, Portugal, Africa, as well as Italy, Germany, Poland, Syria, Lebanon, Japan and many other points of origin. And each of these peoples have brought their own ways to enjoy food, celebrate their faiths, remember their origins and pass along their art, music and dance. Below are five memorable ways to interact with the locals in South America.<br><br><b>5. Visit the largest coffee plantation in Ecuador…in the Galapagos!</b><br>Rich volcanic soil makes the islands of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galapagos </a>perfect terrain for growing coffee, sugar cane, and all sorts of fruit. And since there’s no better way to chat up a new friend than over a cup of coffee, stop to visit a local family on their plantation. You can do that with Classic Journeys on Santa Cruz Island, where expert local guides introduce travelers to the family that owns the plantation. Learn about their organic, sustainable operation, and enjoy the chance to taste the products grown and made on the property.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Coffee plantation in the Galapagos" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001zA1t&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002m4k" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>4. Get your hands dirty working alongside an acclaimed potter in Peru’s Sacred Valley</b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Urubamba, Peru</a> is known for its colorful local markets. It’s also the starting point for an exploration to visit with locals in a remote highland village. For guests traveling with Classic Journeys, it’s also where famed potter Pablo Seminario welcomes them into his studio. That means that in one day, travelers can visit a village unchanged for hundreds of years, meet with kids in a local school, wander alongside colorfully dressed townspeople, and then roll up your sleeves in the pottery workshop of one of Peru’s most renowned ceramists, who even has a permanent exhibition at Chicago’s Field Museum.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Potter in Peru" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001zA1t&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002m4p" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>3. Wander from vineyard to vineyard with a wine expert in Argentina’s Mendoza Wine Valleys</b><br>Even if you’re not a confirmed wine-lover, you’ve probably encountered wonderful <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/argentina-tours/" target="_blank">Argentinean wines</a> over the years. Get a close-up look at the art and science of wine-making with an agronomist who’ll take you from vineyard to vineyard, down local country roads. Travelers with Classic Journeys are welcomed by a vintner who explains the winemaking process and then learn about cultivation of the region’s pre-eminent grape varieties.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/argentina-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Argentina vineyard" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001zA1t&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002m4u" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>2. Have a head-spinning day in Rio de Janeiro when you take a walk in a teeming favela, swivel and sway samba style, and then cook Brazilian specialties with a local chef </b><br>Start your day with an immersive, close-up look at contemporary life in Rio. Rocinha is the country’s largest favela, a steeply sloped and densely populated community that developed from a shantytown built by former slaves. By some counts, almost 12 million Brazilians live in favelas, and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys local guides</a> make it easy for travelers to rub shoulders with residents in the teeming streets to get a close-up look at this way of life that most tourists never see. Everywhere, the sounds and tempo of samba are in the air, and so you’ll want to stop at a local school for a fun lesson. Later in the day, join a chef in her kitchen to tie on an apron and cook some of Brazil’s favorite dishes. It’s a terrific hands-on experience that culminates in a fantastic dinner that tastes all the better for having helped in its preparation.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank"><img alt="Colorful doors in Brazil" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001zA1t&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002m4z" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>1. Watch gauchos in action on a remote Chilean ranch and savor the incredible aromas and flavors of a traditional outdoor lamb barbecue</b><br>The scale of this cinematic place could leave you with the feeling that it would be nearly impossible to live in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">Patagonia</a>. In fact, there’s a hardy population who live and work here. Visit a working estancia—a vast ranch where the sheep, cattle and horses drastically outnumber the gauchos who tend them—and you’ll get a firsthand look at life on the pampas. If you like, Classic Journeys guides can arrange for you to climb into the saddle for a guided look at the land on horseback or on foot. Either way, you’ll see how the gauchos go about their work with demonstrations of sheep shearing and the way they team up with shepherd dogs to control their flocks in the wild terrain. You’ll especially love this time at the estancia because it is an unforgettable glimpse into how man and nature coexist in ways that are unimaginable back home. Cap your day with a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">gaucho barbecue</a>, with the centerpiece a succulent lamb grilled over open fires. It’s a traditional feast that perfectly captures the rustic, natural spirit of the day.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank"><img alt="Estancia in Chile" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001zA1t&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002m54" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> 

    Read More »

SIGN UP FOR THE LATEST TRAVEL NEWS & TIPS! CLICK HERE »

Facebook Facebook Instagram Instagram Twitter Twitter