Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

January 21, 2014 by David Herd

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

to my top 10 places.

Number 10 is Belem

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

FiveStarVagabond Brazil travel guide is a list of 10 of my favourite places in this great country. Lets start with number 10,  Belem. The city is at the mouth of the Mighty Amazon river which represents more than half the planet’s remaining rain-forests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rain-forest in the world. Founded in 1616 by the Kingdom of PortugalBelém was the first European colony on the Amazon but did not become part of Brazil until 1775. The newer part of the city has modern buildings and skyscrapers. The colonial portion retains the charm of tree-filled squares, churches and traditional blue tiles. The city has a rich history and architecture from colonial times. Recently it witnessed a skyscraper boom.

I really enjoyed this old colonial city, I wish I had more time to sail down the river to Manaus. 


FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

Great colours on this old building.

Number 9 is Recife & Olinda

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel GuideRecife makes my number 9 in my guide only because of Olinda across the river. Olinda is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country’s northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, just north of Recife and south of Paulista. It has a population of 397,268 people  and is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil.

Olinda is only 7 Kms from the center of Recife.

Brazil Travel Guide

During Carnival  there are  thousands of people  in the old historic town centre.

Number 8 is Porto de Galinhas

Porto de Galinhas BrazilThe origin of the name is well known. Porto de Galinhas means “Port of Chickens” in Portuguese. In the second half of the 19th century, the Brazilian government imposed restrictions to the commerce of slaves, which were widely used as manpower in the sugarcane farms around Recife to circumvent the prohibition, the “black ships” (which transported slaves from Africa to Brazil) looked for other places to harbor, far from Recife.One such place was in the bays around Suape and Ipojuca, about 60 km to the South of Recife. When a ship arrived in town, as it was prohibited to mention slavery, the word spread as “there are new chickens in the port”; hence, the place gained its name Porto de Galinhas.

My friends in Porto de Galinhas

Porto de Galinhas BrazilThis is my lovely friend Simone, her Auntie & cousin Pedro. Simone & I traveled 300 kms from Natal to Recife by taxi.

Number 7 is Salvador in Bahia.

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide The Lacerda Elevator is the first lift of the urban world. It was December 8 of 1873  when it opened it was the highest in the world, around 20 meters tall.  In Salvador it is public transport between Cairu Square , in Lower Town , and Thome Square de Souza , in the Upper Town .

Salvador Fort de Santa Maria

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

Forte de Santa Maria is on Salvador’s south coastline, built with stone and lime between 1627 to 1635. It served as a fortification during the Dutch invasion. It Contained lots of  bronze and iron cannons, it is certainly worth visiting this impressive Italian style fort.

Number 6 is Buzios

Buzios Brazil

Búzios is a popular getaway from the city and a worldwide tourist resort  for Brazilians and Argentinians. Only 3 hours drive from Rio.

Early in the 1900s Búzios was popular with the Carioca’s high society  looking to escape from the chaotic city life of Rio de Janeiro. there are more than 23 beaches on the peninsula. However it was 1964 when the famous French actress Brigitte Bardot visited Búzios, she made it famous throughout the world as a popular tourist destination.

Here is a guide to Buzios, a great town

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel GuideLots of beaches, restaurants and bars, Buzios is definitely one of Brazil’s HOT destinations. Only 3 hours drive from Rio make sure you add this great town to your Brazilian bucket list. There are many good pousadas to choose from here.

Without a doubt AGODA is the best online Hotel booking site.

Number 5 is Florianopolis

Joaquina beach.

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel GuideFlorianopolis is a wonderful Brazilian city,  in 2009. Newsweek placed Florianópolis in the “Ten most dynamic cities of the world” list in 2006. Veja magazine, a Brazilian publication, named the city as “the best place to live in Brazil The New York Times also reported that Florianopolis was the Party Destination of the Year in 2009.”

There are 42 beaches in Florianopolis

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel GuideFlori is a must for those of you who love beautiful beaches with clean white sand. If I rated it as high as number two on my list it would not be an exaggeration.

Number 4, Iguazu falls, magnificent.

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel GuideSadly when I was at the falls in 1999, digital cameras were in the early stages and the quality of photos was 2nd rate. Consequently I have no shots that do justice to this wonderful location. Without a doubt Iguazu falls is the most breathtaking & spectacular sight I have ever seen.

Iguazu Falls FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

Iguazu Falls Brazil

Forgive me for using a 3rd party photo but the falls are so spectacular I thought I could break one of my rules.  😳

Number 3 is Paraty

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel GuideParaty is only 3 hours from Rio and is known for the cobblestone paved streets throughout the Historic Center District. No cars or trucks are allowed in this part of town. Without any doubt this wonderful village is one of my favourite locations in Brazil.

David Herd on the good ship “Lolypop”.

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel GuideThere are lots of great boats in Paraty that you can hire to explore the waterways.

Please click on Google + to help my page ranking. 


Number 2 is Praia De Pipa

Praia de Pipa BrazilPraia De Pipa is one of those rare gems you tend to talk about all your life. Pipa Beach is one of the most famous beaches of Brazil. Located 84 kms from Natal, the capital city of state of Rio Grande do Norte. Do yourself a favor and put it on you Brazilian bucket list.

Pipa FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

Pipa Beach Brazil de Pipa in Portuguese) is one of the most famous beaches of Brazil. Located next to city of Natal, the capital city of state of Rio Grande do Norte. Is located more precisely in municipality of Tibau do Sul, exactly 84 km from the c photo 422556_10150684387873594_2113937534_n.jpg I remember sitting in a bar in Rio Di Janeiro with two friends Dave Wylie & Doug Roarke, (RIP) and when I asked what was their favorite place in Brazil, Doug briefly considered the question before saying “Praia de Pipa”. Until that moment I had never heard of the place, but on Doug’s recommendation I planned my trip.

Pipa was a small fishing village until the 1970s. Then it was discovered by surfers and backpackers, attracted by a set of natural attributes rarely found even in other Brazilian beaches, crystal-clear waters, fine white sand, areas of preserved Atlantic Forest, 10-meter-high vertical cliffs, and friendly locals.

Number 1 is not hard to guess,

Rio Di Janeiro

Carnival Rio De JaneiroRio is an exciting destination, wonderful beaches great weather and colourful happy people. I normally rent an apartment near the beach rather than stay in a hotel. It usually costs me $50 per night however my last trip was 2009 and I believe the city is far more expensive now.

I mentioned earlier in my Brazil travel guide Iguazu Falls was the most spectacular natural spectacle I have seen on this planet, well the Rio Carnival is the most spectacular human event I have ever witnessed. As they say in the classics, “you gotta love Rio.” 😆

David Herd at Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio.

FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

Thanks for visiting my FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide photo blog.

I hope my Brazil Travel Guide helps you plan your trip. To receive my latest posts please follow me on Twitter 

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