Recife & Olinda: Veneza Brasileira (Brazilian Venice)

 By Brazil Nuts Director ADAM CARTER

Having not visited in over 8 years, I was amazed and impressed by the vibrant and exuberant display of cultural expression at almost every turn. A quick sampling includes:- On arrival at the airport, the truly enthusiastic group of Frevo dancers and musicians greeting you- The incredible array of gourmet level restaurants around town, from regional to national to international specialties- Fabulous architecture and authentic historical charm in the adjacent old town of Olinda, just 15 minutes taxi ride from the city – Artisan workshops filled with high quality works in a variety of media, especially those of the dueling Brennand Brothers!- History oozing from the streets, such as what you find downtown at the oldest synagogue in the New World- Well maintained and beautiful stretches of beaches, including the hotel-rich Boa Viagem district

And – because I was lucky enough to be in town right before Carnival – I can vouch for the beauty of this pre-Lenten festival that finds its expression in Recife/ Olinda like nowhere else in Brazil! Downtown Recife – almost abandoned a few years ago – is now lovingly restored as ground zero for Carnival celebrations that seem to run from December through March. And from personal experience, I can tell you that the Carnival offerings here – almost all based on exciting but not intimidating street celebrations – are certainly the most democratic , authentic and “gringo accessible” of all in Brazil. We were amazed at the beautiful mixture of people of all ages and background coming together in a true and high energy, traditional Carnival spirit (more on Carnival in future blogs).

In short, Recife impressed me big time! It has recaptured its past glory and is focused on making it self a must-see destination for the international visitor. As far as I am concerned it can rightfully call itself “Brazil’s Cultural Capital”

Bottom Line: Don’t miss it! Stay for 2 nights/ 3 days and chose either a beachfront hotel in Boa Viagem – I like the Atlante – or instead (my recommendation) stay in old Olinda at either the Sete Colinas or the Pousada Amparo. The atmosphere in Olinda is excellent and visiting downtown Recife is only a 15minutes drive away.  And remember, for the perfect week, combine this with a 2 night stay in Porto de Galinhas, and a 3 night’s stay in Fernando de Noronha. You won’t regret it! (More on these destinations in next entries)

About Travel to Brazil Blog - BrazilnutsTours

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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