Sun, Sand and Ceará: Exploring Fortaleza, Brazil

Fortaleza is a city of 2 million inhabitants located in Brazil’s Northeast region and capital of the state of Ceará. Fortaleza and the Ceará coastline are a popular tourist destination for Brazilians and, to some extent, Europeans. Few Americans visit Fortaleza, possibly due to the greater popularity of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Iguaçu Falls and the lack of direct flights. Another reason could be Fortaleza’s … Continue reading Sun, Sand and Ceará: Exploring Fortaleza, Brazil

Liberdade: A Taste of Tokyo in São Paulo

Liberdade is a traditionally Japanese neighborhood located near the center of São Paulo. It makes for an interesting exploration of Brazil’s diverse population and history of immigration. History Brazil and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1895. A little over a decade later, the first boat of Japanese immigrants, the Kasato Maru, arrived in Brazil with 790 people, many of them farmers escaping hardships in the … Continue reading Liberdade: A Taste of Tokyo in São Paulo

Ten Memorable Experiences in Stunning Salvador, Brazil

Salvador, the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, enchanted me with its history, colorful colonial buildings, stunning seaside setting and delicious food.  I visited Bahia after spending a few months in the south of Brazil and found this part of the country quite different from that region, which is more European in character.  The Northeast of Brazil is much more African in ethnicity, character … Continue reading Ten Memorable Experiences in Stunning Salvador, Brazil

Brazilian “Bleak House”: São Paulo Mansion Will Receive Colorful Makeover

Avenida Paulista is an energetic, commercial center of São Paulo, where a lot of the high-powered business in Brazil takes place. Office buildings, shopping centers, apartment buildings and museums, some with innovative architecture, line the busy, wide avenue. Most of the buildings are modern, but walking down São Paulo’s busy Avenida Paulista one day, I noticed a somewhat weathered, old mansion standing near a copse … Continue reading Brazilian “Bleak House”: São Paulo Mansion Will Receive Colorful Makeover

Ten Things I Enjoyed in Porto Alegre

Capital of the southern Brazil state of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre is a sophisticated, prosperous city of approximately 1.5 million inhabitants.  Waves of immigration from Italy and Germany as well as the region’s gaúcho culture give this city a distinctive feel.  While it is more a business destination than a tourist destination, it makes for good place to spend a couple of days … Continue reading Ten Things I Enjoyed in Porto Alegre

São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park: Leisure and Culture in One of the World’s Finest Urban Parks

Ibirapuera Park should be the top of most must-see lists for visitors to São Paulo.  Ibirapuera actually means “rotten tree” in the indigenous Tupi language, but, in spite of this unfortunate name, the park teems with arboreal life.  At times, especially on Sunday afternoons, people actually outnumber the trees in this urban park.  As evidence of this, Ibirapuera Park was found to be one of … Continue reading São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park: Leisure and Culture in One of the World’s Finest Urban Parks