"Ilha Grande" (MAP) literally means "big island". In fact the island is not really famous for his hoge size: just a 15 km wide. Here there is just a small village (Abrao) surrounded by impressive and tick vegetation. There are no car in the island, that means the only way to reach the beaches is to walk across the jungle...
There are two way to get from Sao Paolo to Rio de Janeiro: one of the is the quick motorway that connects directly the two cities. The other one is going through the coast. It takes much more time, the road is not in good conditions and... the places you may happen to visit are so extraordinary that you may never arrive in Rio.
On my way to the north of Brasil I set a few stop on a couple of cities: Curitiba (MAP), a colonial settlement on the Sao Paolo province, and Paraty (MAP), a tiny lovely village close to the border with Rio the Janeiro province.
Floripa, as everybody calls it, is far too famous for being such a small island (28 km long) and such an incredible number of beaches ("praias"): 42 they say. I was not able to see ALL of them, yet everyday I tried to make the most out of this stunning island.
Half island (the north part) is massively touristic. This is the perfect place to chill out, relax, drink a caipirinha and have a swim under the control of the baywatchers.
Soccer here is not an option: it is a religion. Children (both girls and boys) start kicking a ball even before being able to walk. In the late afternoon, when the sun is a little bit lower, the low tide generally leaves the perfect environment for a great soccer game. There is no age or number limit, just play - they are extremely fare - and have fun.
Yet here is not the only sport: the ocean and the shallow reef creates the perfect environment for surfing. And when you're tired (or scared) of the huge waves, you can always go to the safer dunes, just close to the beach
If one needs some more privacy, just walk a few minutes along the sea, there is always a isolated spot to relax and have kind of a private sand-garden.
It's lunch time, there are several options. You can just lay down and wait for someone to serve you fruit salads, beverages, meat rolls... Or you can go and eat some fresh fish on a restaurant. How do you know it's fresh? The fisherman just landed on the beach with the boat full of... If you have a kitchen you can even buy from him.
Yet florianopolis is not just salt water, there are several rivers and lagunes scattered around, when people live, play and relax.
It's the end of the day, the island gets prepared for the night: night parties on the beaches, neverending clubs, caipirinhas and a lot of fun activities are about to start
After six months of travelling around the world being surprised by something starts to be a bit hard. However, the natural wonder of Iguazu' ( MAP) waterfalls, on the border between Argentina and Brazil, is such an incredible place that it simply takes your breath away.
The falls can be visited by both Argentinian (Puerto de Iguazu) and Brazilian (Foz de Iguassu) side, there is an old dispute about what's the best one. Honestly I believe that both sides have to be seen, otherwise you would miss something.
Argentina owns most of the natural park. That means that, in order to properly visit the site, one should go and visit for two full days. There are so many options that "one day is not enough" - that's their motto. Brazilian side offers only a few viewpoints that can be visited in just a couple of hours of walking. Yes but... the view is absolutely stunning.
The first impact with the falls is even before one is able to see them: the sound from the distance can be reached from hundreds of meters. once you eventually spot them far away, you soon realize it is something completely different from every other waterfall you have ever seen in your life.
Getting an close-up look is even more impressive: there is a massive quantity of water with no option of constantly falling down and producing such a noise.. and so loud.
The falls can be observed from so many different viewpoints, yet the nature combines the landscape and the color in such a way that each time is a surprise