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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.
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.
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.
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