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BRASILIA :: BRAZILIAN AMAZON :: IGUASSU FALLS :: MANAUS :: PANTANAL :: RIO DE JANEIRO :: SALVADOR
In order to locate the capital away from the coast to Brazil's interior, Brasilia was created in 1956. The goal was to help populate the interior of the country. Brasilia was built in four years and inaugurated in 1960. The land where the city sits was once uninhabited desert but now is a testament to a planned city. Its modern architecture attracts architecture aficionados from all over the world; the city buildings are particular highlights. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to its architecture and works of art, the capital offers sports and cultural events.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Brasilia, Brazil. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Brasilia and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Brasilia insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I was born and raised in Brasilia and I am part of the first generation of the planned capital of Brazil. I started to work as a guide when I was 13 years old to practice my English, which I started to learn at the age of 9. Later on I learned German, in which I received my degree at UNB University of Brasília, I also speak Spanish since my father is originally from Argentina. I have been a tour guide for more than 30 years and also work as a simultaneous interpreter for meetings and lectures. I consider myself an ambassador of Brasilia and very knowledgeable about modern architecture since this is our main attraction here. I also give tours for farmers that come to this part of the country, I know a great deal about animals and plants that comprise the Brazilian tropical savannah (cerrados), and I even gave a bird watching tour to the former US president Jimmy Carter! I also worked for one year as a local guide in Rio in 2001, which was a great experience but I realized how much I am connected to Brasília. I love what I do.
Don’t miss this stunning architectural beauty. Seemingly plain on the outside, its white marble walls house dozens of glowing stain glass windows stretching from floor to ceiling. Absolutely breathtaking and a great piece of religious history.
Another impressive religious monument you won’t want to miss. Like so many of the buildings in Brasilia, it was designed by the award-winning Oscar Niemeyer and the glasswork inside the structure is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
If you’re looking for a place to grab a bite, stroll around, and enjoy some relaxation, head to Pontao do Lago Sul. With great bars and restaurants, views of the river and city, as well as walking paths, it’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or evening at leisure.
For authentic music performances and a less touristy atmosphere, this venue is the best. “Choro” is a style of music that has its roots in the samba and all the performers who play there incorporate that into their jazz and rock rhythms.
Enjoy refreshing modern art and learn about Brasilian culture at the same time. Like many buildings of Brasilia, the architecture of the museum will not disappoint. It’s surprisingly original and provides hours of visual appeal for any traveler.
The architecture of this unique place is a photographer’s dream come true. If you’re a fan of structure and design, you won’t want to miss this masterpiece. It’s worth making a tour reservation, as there are bits of information hidden in the designs that you’d never know by just looking.
For a little more adventure in Brasilia, take a ferry down the river or rent a bike to scope out this impressive bridge. Its design is meant to resemble the path of a skipping stone over the water, and sure to delight its viewers.
When you step into Brazil's vast Amazon you discover a place of incredible biodiversity. Travel down the Amazon and stay within the boundaries of the largest tropical rainforest in the world. Here, on the banks of the Rio Negro, you'll encounter fascinating flora and fauna that includes 250 species of mammals, 2,000 fish species, and 1,000 bird species. Also visit a native Amazon village; give piranha fishing a try; experience a monkey jungle reserve, where captive primates are rehabilitated and reintroduced to the jungle; and canoe into the jungle at night with an expert Naturalist to search for the Amazon's amazing night creatures.
One of South America's true masterpieces of nature is thundering Iguassu Falls, one of the largest falls in the world. Shared by Brazil and Argentina, Iguassu spans almost two miles with 275 separate falls plummeting an average of 300 feet to the river below. Every second, 450,000 gallons of water rush downward, creating clouds of misty spray against a backdrop of lush, green tropical vegetation. Best seen from the Brazilian side is the legendary U-shaped Devil's Throat, considered the most impressive of all the falls and which marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.
Monograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Iguassu Falls. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Iguassu Falls and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Iguassu Falls insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Despite living in Iguassu for over 32 years, I was born in Angola and after the war I moved with my parents to live in a few countries before arriving in this beautiful place at the age of 12. Here, I did most of my studies and earned a Degree in Letters, becoming a teacher but realized that my passion was nature and that's how I became a guide. I feel that I have one of the best jobs in the world because I work in one of the most beautiful places in the world and my clients are people interested in nature and are concerned about the environment and the planet.
Located near the entrance of Iguassu National Park, the Bird Park has more than 300 species of birds and was constructed with the intention of offering ideal breeding conditions for birds. Rare and colorful birds fly in the huge aviaries, which have been built to blend in with the humid subtropical forest. Visitors are able to enter these aviaries and view the birds at close quarters. They will also see alligators, anacondas, pythons, marmosets, and butterflies. At present, the Bird Park is the largest in Latin America and is internationally recognized. It is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
A joint venture between Brazil and Paraguay, the Itaipu Dam is responsible for 20% of the energy consumed in Brazil and 90% in Paraguay. Located approximately 30 minutes from Iguassu, the Dam is five miles wide and 600 feet high. It is considered second in generating capacity behind the Three Gorges Dam in China. Since it was opened for visitation in 1977, the Itaipu Dam has been visited by 10 million people from over 165 countries.
Venture to Casino Iguazu to play some roulette, black jack, poker, baccarat, or slot machines. Or maybe just enjoy its beautiful restaurant serving international dishes. Don’t forget to bring your passport, as you will need it to enter.
Perched on the banks of the Rio Negro and gateway to Brazil's Amazon rainforest, Manaus stands as a testament to the glory days of the rubber boom, when wealthy developers dreamed of transforming the city into the "Paris of the Tropics." Evidence of this opulent era can still be seen and experienced in the city's fabulous mansions and monuments. Must-see highlights include São Sebastião Square; Palácio Rio Negro, the former seat of the state government; and the famous Opera House, built from materials imported from Europe. Sampling the rich local cuisine is also a must, such as tapioquinha, a buttered pancake filled with tucumã fruit and farmer's cheese, tacacá soup, sugar cane juice, and exotic fruits like the cupuaçú and açaí.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Manaus, Brazil. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Manaus and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Manaus insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
My name is Wilmar Strapasson and I was born and raised in Brazil. I speak four languages fluently in additon to Portuguese – English, Spanish, French, and Italian. As a graduate of the Univerity of Amazonas, I found my passion in guiding in that region. I have 20 years of experience working in the Amazon as a guide, specializing in its history, geography, Amazonian flora and fauna, and I have even done some survival training in the area. I love being a tour guide, meeting new people, and introducing them to this fascinating part of Brazil.
This is a really interesting visit to discover more about the history of rubber and its impact on Manaus. Spend a couple of hours learning about the somewhat sordid history of the rubber boom and bust in Brazil. Latex still oozes from trees, and the mystery of where those thick shelled Brazil nuts come from is made plain. A great tour and well worth a half day visit.
After 2014’s world cup was hosted by Brazil, an impressive arena is left in the heart of Manaus. Take a tour of the new stadium and marvel at the impressive infrastructure and architecture of the venue.
This lovely cathedral sits opposite the Opera House so if you’re stopping by, take a peek at this historical beauty. The square in front of the church is usually humming with activity and as you step inside, the air conditioning and stillness inside are a welcome reprieve from the heat and noise of the city. It’s a contemplative spot and often offers church services throughout the day.
Not far from the Tropical Manaus Resort, this little patch of beach offers impressive views and is quite popular amongst the locals. It’s great for strolling, people watching and a little volleyball and soccer action. A fun way to spend a few hours on the coast.
This little ecological gem offers the chance to see some of the flora and fauna of the area while getting in some shopping and dining. Depending on the season you can catch glimpses of wild crocodiles, three-toed sloths, bats, and monkeys. Not to mention a good deal of interesting bird life and a giant lily pad lake.
With roughly 200,000 square kilometers, Pantanal is the world's largest wetland area. Declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Pantanal has the highest concentration of wildlife in the Americas with 1,100 butterfly species, 80 mammal species, 50 reptile species, 400 fish species, and over 1,700 plant species. With 650 bird species-including the hyacinth macaw, the world's largest parrot, plus 25 other species of parrots-it offers amazing birdwatching opportunities. It is also home to jaguar, marsh deer, giant otter, monkeys, caiman, iguanas, stingray, giant anteater, and more.
One of the most colorful cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro is an exciting city of festivals, food, art, culture, beaches, and stunning scenery. Once a Portuguese colony, Rio was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries. Today, it is home to Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world; two of the world's most famous beaches, Ipanema and Copacabana; and a thrilling blend of Samba, museums, galleries, shopping, churrascaria feasts, and panoramic views from atop Sugar Loaf Mountain. In addition to countless attractions-like the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World-Rio is known for its much-anticipated annual Carnival, a colorful extravaganza of music, dance, and sheer exhilaration.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Rio de Janeiro. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Rio de Janeiro and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Rio de Janeiro insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
My name is Bruno Mattos Linhares Junior, but everybody calls me Bruno. I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In spite of my extensive travelling, as a typical carioca, it is in Rio that I feel really at home: I need its sea, mountains, sun, breeze, light, architecture, and above all, its people. I have degrees in Civil Engineering, Philosophy and Theology, all of which haveadded to my interest in Arts, Geography, History and Tour Guide certification, and they all support my work as a Local Host. In fact, it is in my work as a host that I see everything coming together in my future!
Visit this restaurant on Flamengo Beach for all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbecue, incredible views of the Bay, and great views of Sugarloaf Mountain.
A 20-minute walk to the top of this fort on Leme Beach leads you to one of Rio’s best-kept secrets. Take in the 360-degree views of Copacabana and Guanabara Bay while sagui monkeys dart around.
Housed in a renovated warehouse that was once an antique store, this bar in the hip Lapa neighborhood is considered to be the most beautiful in Rio.
Chef Ana Castilho hosted a community event at her home in 1996 and never closed the door. Her Brazilian-fare restaurant takes up several rooms in her charming home and trickles out into the garden, where you can enjoy views of downtown Rio.
The berimbau, a wooden string instrument, is one of the most popular Brazilian souvenirs. Rua da Carioca, dubbed “Music Row” due to its numerous music shops, is the perfect place to purchase one.
For a break from the city, take a walk through this lush rainforest with 30 waterfalls and over 300 plant species.
While the tourists flock to Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, head to this secluded beach for a little more space and beautiful mountain scenery. It’s also fun to watch the hang gliders descend to the landing strip here.
Admire the colonial architecture and baroque churches before hitting the Uruguaiana Shopping District for local treasures. The soft Brazilian cotton is extremely popular.
For a break from the glitzy and hedonistic side of Rio, take the streetcar to this charming, authentic village. Colonial houses have been converted to small inns and art studios, and the women are more likely to be in peasant skirts than halter tops.
Most people stop at breathtaking Iguassu Falls on their way from Rio to Buenos Aires, but don’t just visit the amazing waterfall. The Misiones Province area has much to offer, including the 17th-century Jesuit ruins.
If you want to travel back through time and eat in the past, then Colombo is the place for you. This magnificent Continental café has changed little since opening on September 17th, 1894, and it retains an air of restful elegance on its upstairs restaurant balcony.
Enjoy a paradise of plants and trees from the four corners of the earth. Founded in 1808, it spreads over an area of approximately 340 acres. It has over 5,000 species of plants, including the impressive Imperial Palms planted in 1842.
Rio’s longest beach, it stretches over 18km along Av. Sernambetiba. A hot spot on the beach is the area around the Barraca do Pepê, a bar named for a famous Brazilian hang glider who died competing outside Brazil.
This is a charming 2km long inlet at the end of Sernambetiba Ave. Sheltered by a large rock, Recreio is safe for swimming.
A secluded sandy strip 700 meters long, Prainha is a surfer’s beach. It is an Environmental Protected Area.
Enjoy the reddish sand in an unspoiled setting. The sea is often rough here. It is also an Environmental Protected Area.
Out beyond Barra, the vegetation is almost virgin. If you have time, visit Prainha and Grumari beaches—much loved by the surfers. The vegetation is protected, and building is not permitted. Nearby is the estate where the famous landscape artist, Burle Marx, lived. This is open to visitors and is perfect for an ecological/photographic safari. It contains plants from all over the world, though the emphasis is on wonderful examples of Brazilian flora.
There are open fairs, such as the Hippie Fair in Praça and General Osório in Ipanema, where all sorts of handcrafts, art, and leather goods can be found. At the Babilônia Feira Hype (in the Jockey Club in Gávea), every fortnight the booths are loaded with clothes—mainly for the young. A typically Brazilian event is the open street market—selling fruit and vegetables—which moves around from borough to borough, so a little local knowledge is needed to know when one is operating near your hotel. The show of fruit and greens is spectacular, and prices are reasonable.
Situated on a peninsula overlooking Todos los Santos Bay, Salvador is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia and the celebrated "Soul of Brazil." The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the country, and boasts some of the finest colonial architecture in all the Americas. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, including the Jesuit Cathedral, baroque Church of St. Francis, Afro-Brazilian Museum, and the vibrant Mercado Modelo. One particularly fascinating feature is the escarpment that divides Salvador into the Upper Town and the Lower Town-an elevator has connected the two sections since 1873.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Salvador, Brazil. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Salvador and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Salvador insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
My name is Edi Moreira and I am a Local Host in Salvador Bahia, Brazil, my hometown. I am fascinated by this wonderful city because it is rich in culture, history, art and above all, great natural beauty. Here, people are very kind and friendly and welcome all visitors. As a guide, I dedicate body and soul to make all my guests feel comfortable and make their visit an unforgettable experience. I love the streets of Salvador that take you back in time. With more than a thousand houses, churches and monuments built since the 16th century, Salvador makes up the greatest collection of Baroque architectural heritage in Latin America. I am eager to share all of Salvador’s greatest sites with new visitors.
Located in the Sao Francisco Convent, called the Church of Gold, this beautiful structure is the most ornate and lavish church in Salvador, with a minutely wood carved gold-leafed interior, considered the best example of Baroque architecture in Brazil.
Giving weekly concerts in Pelourinho, the Ensaio do Olodum is one of the most famous percussion ensembles and a must see while in Salvador. It’s the perfect way to pick up on the intense spirit and energy of the Bahia culture. Concerts typically fall on Sundays and because they are so popular, tend to be on the crowded side, so be sure to keep a close watch on your personal belongings. If you’re lucky to be in Salvador over a concert, don’t miss this opportunity!
This is a wonderful neighborhood of steep cobblestone streets, brightly colored colonial houses, and fine 17th and 18th century churches. Former residential area of Bahian noblesse, Pelourinho (Pillory) was also the place where slaves were tortured. Nowadays, declared a National Monument, it is also the stage of an ardent Afro-cultural movement and headquarters several Afro-Brazilian groups in search of their Black-African roots.
Enjoy a dazzling hour of entertainment at the Bale Folclorico. Inspired by Brazil’s long and rich tradition of African and Brazilian cultures, this impressive dance team demonstrates cultural pride through athletic dance and spirited music. This dance company is also the only professional folkloric dance company in the country.
This impressive museum, which displays one of the finest collections of Catholic art in Brazil, is housed in a 17th century convent – a magnificent building with much of its original furniture and fittings still intact. This museum complex brings together architecture and visual arts in a distinctly liturgical beauty.
This large building that was formerly the Customs House, and now houses hundreds of small shops selling local handicrafts and art from all over the north and northeast of Brazil, a true Brazilian culture portrait.
This is a complete residential complex of the 17th century consisting of a farmhouse, chapel and former slave quarters. Once a busy slave market, it now is home to the Museum of Modern Art.
For warm, beautiful beaches and an afternoon of gorgeous views of the city and relaxation, take a short boat ride over to Frades Island where the water is impressively clean and you can escape the more crowded Salvador beaches.
Historically speaking this is one of the most important churches in Salvador. Apart from being an architectural monument, it is the leading temple of devotion in Salvador, and the center for the annual “Festival of Washing”, considered the city’s second largest feast and celebration, after Carnival.
Make time to visit Castro Alves Square – the heart of Salvador’s Carnival stage and featuring the bronze statue of the poet for whom it acquired its name. Standing in bronze and granite and signed by the Italian Pasquale Di Chirico, it is one of the highlights of the square and is an important symbol of Brazil’s independence from Portugal.
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