Rio’s beaches – where the sun won’t shine

“Two city guards in crisp uniforms marched across the sands and ordered Javier and his friend to stop their game, a “keep-up” between several players that is much loved by Rio beach-goers.

“It’s ridiculous. No one’s here, it’s a public beach,”said Javier, wearing swimming trunks and gesturing at the near-empty section of beach on a recent afternoon.

No matter. Under rules aimed at bringing order to Rio’s famous beaches, ball games are among the undesirable activities being curtailed or banned as the city that will host a World Cup and Olympics within seven years seeks to clean up its act. But the shock of order policy is running into resistance on Rio’s sands, amid worries that it will kill the soul and spontaneity of beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana, which have been celebrated in many a samba and bossa nova song.” – Source (more here)

This is completely ridiculous. Rio’s problems are not with pick-up games on the sand, nor with barracas, nor with boom boxes. Next, Rio’s government will want to regulate how much sun shines on the beaches per day.

If you would like to see the Rio of the past, present and future, O Globo has a Multimedia show called Rio Na Cabeça.

Praia do Forte – Getting out of Salvador

(photo: by Michael Reckling)

Praia do Forte is a little over one hour north of Salvador and doubles as a fishing town and an eco-resort. Judging by the pictures of the area, it seems reminiscent of São Sebastião on the coast of São Paulo, only the water looks better. One can find the official site here (in PT, photos from the site) with a list of all the things one can do there, such as swimming in natural pools, relaxing on the various beaches, visiting the Garcia D’Ávila Castle or the Fisherman’s village.

Also between June and October, many whales pass through the Brazilian waters off the coast and for that reason, Praia do Forte has a whale conservation center called the Baleia Jubarte Institute. If you are looking for something a little smaller, check out the Project Tamar which showcases the four kinds of marine turtles that lay their eggs on the local beach. In the case you want to do some hiking, the Sapiranga Reserve nearby comes highly recommended.

To get an idea of how Praia do Forte is situated, see this colorful map. To find out how to get there, check this out (in PT)


Floripa – The Go-to Spot

Over at Expat Brazil, theres a post on a NYT article about why Floripa (Florianopolis) is the place to be. The article it links to goes into the club scene mainly and while somewhat telling, I do hope Floripa has more to offer than chic places and cool people.

One of the places mentioned is Praia Cafe de la Musique, which if I’m not mistaken is located in Jurere Internacional (the Beverly Hills of Floripa). Last time I was in São Paulo, I visited the SP version of this club in or near Os Jardins. Not a bad looking place but a little foo-foo (or is it fee-fee?) for my taste. 

In the near future, I’m hoping to feature Floripa a little more (assuming I find the right kind of information). For now, there are a few things I do know about it. Floripa is the second most visited Brazilian location after Rio, it has 30-odd beaches, plenty of european-looking people and apparently an excess of Argentines during the summer months. 


Ilha de Algodoal – Para

“Its name is Maindeua Island, but everyone knows it as Algodoal Island. Maindeua has its origin from Tupi which means “Mother of Earth”. The island is also called Algodoal due to the abundance of a native plant called algodão de seda (cotton silk) still found in the region. The fishermen who arrived there in the 20’s were the first to nickname it Algodoal.

Algodoal is also the name of the biggest of all four villages existing in the island. The three other ones are Fortalezinha, Camboinha and Mocooca. Because it’s the biggest, the Island of Algodoal is the main village, the one with the best accommodations and infrastructure for tourists and consequently the one which receives more visitors and tourists. These four villages are separated by portions of marshy ground sectioned in some points by tide grooves.

The island’s 19km² is characterised by the tranquility and its marvelous scenery which attracts tourists from all over the world which are never disillusioned with its beautiful nature. The island’s community is formed by simple and receptive people which live mostly from fishing, subexisting agriculture and lately from tourism. Eletric energy was just introduced to the island in January 2005 and water supply is made through artesian wells which provide exellent quality water.

The existing means of transportation are bicycle, boat (motor or rowing boat) and horse and buggy. No motorised vehicle is allowed in the island.”

Excerpt taken from although I altered the translation to make more sense.

Praia da Princesa (above) – Furo Velho (below)

Here’s a presentation done by a Brazilian television show, in parts, however it seems not all of the show was recorded.

Part 2, Part 3…not available)