São Luís Maranhão

Founded by the French in 1612, São Luís was taken by the Portuguese in 1615. The Portuguese influence in the city’s architecture is evident. The city’s Historical Center has a group of more than 3.5 thousand buildings landmarked as historical treasures, and it was declared a World Treasure by UNESCO in 1997.

In 1997, UNESCO gave the Historical Center of São Luís the title of World Heritage Site. It was a recognition of the beauty and importance of one of the largest groups of civil architecture of European origin in the world. That architectural group had already been landmarked by the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional – IPHAN (The Brazilian National Historical and Artistical Heritage Institute) in 1955.

The main cultural event in the State of Maranhão and in the city of São Luís is the Bumba-Meu-Boi Festival, which gets the city of São Luís crowded between June and July. It is a tradition that has been holding strong since the eighteenth century, mixing dance, music, theater, and folklore. Nowadays, there are several Bumba-Meu-Boi groups in the city, subdivided by “accents”. Each “accent” has its own characteristics, which become evident in the clothes, in the choice of instruments, in the type of rhythm of the music, and in the choreographies.

The plot of the party brings back a typical story of the social and economical relationships of the area during its colonial period. On a cattle farm, the slave Father Francisco kills one of his master’s pet oxen to satisfy the desire of his pregnant wife, Mother Catirina, who wants to eat tongue. Upon realizing the disappearance of the animal, the farmer becomes furious. After investigating it, he discovers the author of the crime and forces Father Francisco to bring the ox back to life. Shamans and healers are then summoned to save the slave and, when the ox resurrects, everybody participates in an enormous party in commemoration of the miracle.

Another fundamental tradition of the state is the Tambor-de-Crioula, a celebration that mixes faith and fun. It pays homage to Saint Benedict, a black saint, the son of slaves.

São Luís is also known as the “Brazilian Reggae Capital”. The Jamaican rhythm arrived in the city

in the seventies and became very popular among its residents. Almost everyday there are parties in which people dance to this musical style.

Brazil Nuts recommended hotel for Sao Luis is the Pestana Sao LuisThe Pestana São Luis Hotel is located on one of the best costal strips on Pebble Beach on the island of São Luis, Maranhão, less than ten minutes from the Historic Center and twenty minutes from the airport. With a great emphasis on leisure and comfort, the hotel is an ideal point to discover the charm of São Luis which is home to the biggest collection of Portuguese architecture in the Americas. It is a little more than three hours from the city of Barreirinhas, which is the entrance to Lencóis Maranhenses, the only natural landscape formed by the meeting of the dunes and the lagoons.
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Brazil Nuts Tours was started in 1985 on the proposition that travelers needed a travel company that combined the highest level of customer service, unmatched product expertise and competitive rates. Over the years, we have succeeded in our mission, and have developed a reputation as the experts in travel to Brazil and South America. Our dedicated and knowledgeable staff has helped thousands of travelers discover the Brazil they really wanted to see, from Rio’s beaches and samba clubs through the pristine wilderness of the Amazon to the sun-drenched shores of Bahia and everywhere in between. Customer Service Our knowledgeable staff will customize your perfect itinerary free of charge; simply fill out our Trip Planning Sheet, send it to us and you’ll have an answer, generally within 24 hours Innovative Programs We were the first travel company in North America to develop and promote Pantanal programs. We were also the first to design culture tours focusing on African-Brazilian culture. And, our "Rio Like A Native", "Salvador Like A Native" and "Manaus Like A Native" programs are unequalled for the inside look they provide into the Brazilian experience. Nobody offers more interesting programs to more of Brazil than us. Support & Price We have our own office in Brazil responsible for negotiating the very best hotel and service rates possible, and then handling all our clients' needs once they arrive in Brazil. Proven Success We are the company of choice for any kind of travel needs to Brazil: Leisure Travel: Guide books and articles in travel publications consistently rank Brazil Nuts as the experts.: Guide books and articles in travel publications consistently rank Brazil Nuts as the experts. Corporate Meetings & Incentives: We handle more corporate events in Brazil than any other US travel company. From seminars for top management in Sao Paulo to an incentive program for 250 salespeople in the Amazon, we do it right.: We handle more corporate events in Brazil than any other US travel company. From seminars for top management in Sao Paulo to an incentive program for 250 salespeople in the Amazon, we do it right. Congresses & Trade Shows: Brazil Nuts has been a part of many major congresses or events in Brazil over the last three years, responsible for arranging rooms blocks, social events and PCO functions for thousands of demanding clients from around the world.: Brazil Nuts has been a part of many major congresses or events in Brazil over the last three years, responsible for arranging rooms blocks, social events and PCO functions for thousands of demanding clients from around the world. Products We pride ourselves in providing the most authentic and innovated programs to our clients. Although we specialize in travel to every corner of Brazil, our most popular destinations are: Rio De Janeiro Salvador da Bahia Amazon Iguassu Falls Pantanal Fortaleza
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