Imagine being able to combine culture and history, with a beautiful bay filled with island and virgin beaches?
This is what Paraty can offer, and chartering a sail boat is the perfect way to enjoy this to the fullest.
Set in one of the most stunning stretches of the Brazilian coastline, backed by rainforest clad mountains on one side and locked-in by the sea on another.
Paraty’s colourful colonial architecture references back to its important role as a main port for gold export from Brazil to Europe. It has a vibrant culture and nightlife, great local shopping, waterfalls and a bay filled with islands and virgin beaches which are best explored by chartering a sailing boat.
Can you imagine gather some of your best friends or family and sail around pristine beaches with all comfort and the liberty to do the trip as you please?
One of our favorites is a Lipari 41, a modern catamaran, with wide open decks, excellent panoramic visibility and a cockpit with seating for eight at the table.
Contact us to know more about our sailing charter suggestions.
Quick question: What’s the first drink that pops on your mind when you think about Brazil?
Ok, and besides caipirinha, can you name another one?
Hummm… no worries, we are here to make it easier and introduce you to others Brazilian delicious beverages, that may only appear too exotic, but we guarantee it’s worth trying.
1. Caldo de cana
Also known as garapa, caldo de cana literally means “sugar juice.” If you peel a sugar cane and then run it through a pressing machine, it yields a greenish-yellow juice. It’s available in street markets practically everywhere in our country and feels like a refreshing bomb of sugar exploding in your mouth. Don’t miss it!
The Brazilian version of yerba mate, also popular in Uruguay and Argentina. This special tea is both symbolic and social, and is commonly shared among friends. It’s considered to have many of the same health benefits as Chinese green tea and has plenty of natural caffeine in it. The drink is more common in the Southern states of Brazil where the cold weather helps enjoy this delicious tea.
Guaraná is the national soft drink of Brazil, and it has a sharp, distinct flavor. This drink gets its name from the guaraná berry, an Amazonian fruit that is a natural energy booster; it has twice the caffeine of coffee beans. Guaraná, the soda, has very small amounts of guaraná, the fruit. It taste like childhood for us.
Brazil’s version of an alcoholic smoothie. It’s basically a mix of cachaça, fruit, ice and lots of sugar. Batidas are a favorite at the kiosks that line along the beaches of our coast. All you have to do is name the fruit (coconut, strawberry, passion fruit…) and blend your customized refreshment.
*Fun fact: caipirinha is a type of batida.
5. Vitamina de abacate
Brazilians, to the contrary of North Americans, think of the avocado as a fruit (and one that should be sweetened rather than salted). Vitamina de abacate is made by blending avocado, sugar, and milk. Try one first thing in the morning and you’ll be surprised by how much energy you gonna get and how well the flavor of avocado works as a sweet ingredient.
A fairly widespread trend in places like New York, Berlin and Buenos Aires, starts to gain popularity in some Brazilian cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
We’re talking about irreverent and exclusive dining experiences that happens in the most unusual places such as an art gallery, or a bookstore or even a terrace in Morro do Vidigal, (a pacified favela between Leblon and Ipanema, in Rio) for example. And the best part is that, sometimes, you just find out about the location, the chef and the menu at the minute you arrive!
Quite risky huh? But we guarantee it’s fun, spontaneous and a great way to get in touch with a new culture.
So, we selected a few options for curious and audacious travelers, willing to live a unique unforgettable experience. Check this out:
The secret is the key for this project of chef Gustavo Rigueiral and journalist Larissa Januário. The location of the dinner is only revealed during the day, by e-mail and it could happen in a residential dining room, or a studio, or even in an outdoor garden at some city park. The menu is also a surprise, exclusively created for each edition, according to the climate and the availability of seasonal ingredients. All you have to do is pic a date, write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive all the details.
The cozy house located in a charming village in the middle of Vila Mariana in São Paulo, is the residence of the musician Gustavo Araujo. 4 years ago, mostly on Friday nights, Araujo gets into his home and cooks for about 20 people. In one word: Delicious!
The project led by renowned chef Raphael Despirite, organizes dinners in unusual places. The events have happened in bookstores, theaters, in Morro do Vidigal, in a kitchenware store, a public library… and is so sucessful that already won a cub, the Knock Knock, with a bar atmosphere.
The cook Lea Silva, or Aunt Leah, as it is known in the Vidigal community, receives since 2008 up to 20 people for lunch or dinner on the slab of her home during weekends. Besides the famous feijoada, the view from the top of Vidigal mountain makes the meal extra special.
São Paulo has thousands of must-see attractions for all types of curious visitors. No matter if you’re in the mood for art, gastronomy, listen to good music or just a walk in the park, the city has it all! But we decided to select five absolutely classical highlights that cannot be missed the next time you decide to explore our city.
Take a peek:
Copan is a beast! A whole city in itself… It swerves like a giant wave, defying your sense of scale and perspective and stamping its huge footprint in São Paulo’s downtown. The building was designed by celebrated architect Oscar Niemeyer and currently has 1.160 apartments, 2.038 residents, 20 elevators and 221 underground parking spaces. Due to the large number of residents, the Brazilian postal service assigned the building its own postal code. The ground floor is home to 72 establishments, including an evangelical church, a travel agency, a bookstore, and 4 restaurants. Once there, we suggest you stop for one of the best caipirinhas in town, at Dona Onça bar
2. Liberdade, the biggest “japantown” in the world
A sprawling neighborhood centered around Rua Galvão Bueno, at Liberdade neighborhood, is home to 1.5 million Japaneses, the largest population outside of Japan. Liberdade is cherished by local people and tourists alike for its trendy shopping, top-quality oriental food, reasonably priced sushi and an unbeatable atmosphere. The area is also used for Japanese cultural events, including Buddhist festivals and a sumo wrestling championship, as well as a weekly craft market.
3. Central Market
The best urban market in South America, nicknamed “Mercadão” (or “Big Market”), is a Belle Époque beauty of Russian-designed stained glass and vast domes opened in 1933. Inside, are aisles and aisles of mostly gourmet food-related products: fresh fruits, fish, meat and several worthwhile snack stalls, bars and restaurants. After your sightseeing, don’t miss the best mortadella sandwich in the planet, at the Hocca Bar - a real gastronomic heritage of the city!
4. Afro-Brazilian Museum
Located in São Paulo’s most loved Park, the Ibirapuera, this hugely important and absolutely fascinating museum, features a permanent collection chronicling five centuries of African immigration (a nod to the 10 million African lives lost in the Brazil’s formation) and hosts a rotating array of contemporary Afro-centric exhibitions on its bottom two floors.
5. Sala São Paulo
The headquarters of São Paulo Symphonic Orchestra and one of Brazil’s most important concert halls, this former railway station was designed by Christiano Stockler das Neves in 1925. Situated in the city centre, the venue quickly became a key institution in the region’s cultural revitalization. Listed as a Historical Patrimony and targeted to be maintained as an important cultural landmark in the city, Sala São Paulo was officially inaugurated on the 9th of July 1999 with a performance of the Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler.
Eat like a champ! Brazilian food is really yummy, not to mention the variety. Wow! Say what you like to eat and we will indicate the place. Simple or fancy. Sao Paulo is a paradise for pizza lovers, shrimps from Maranhao are incredibly juicy, the feijoada…. and what about fruits and coffee with pão de queijo from Minas Gerais?
2. The Culture
Open your mind! Our roots are a mixture of Indian, African and European blood. You can meet an afro-brazilian friend with blue eyes. That makes us unique when it comes to cultural heritage. This atypical combination has left impacts on our Music, Architecture, Sports, Fashion and even the way we communicate.
Brazilians are friendly and funny.
3. The weather
Tropical vibes! It doesn’t matter which time of year you choose to visit Brazil, you can always bring a swimsuit with you. Most of the country lies in the tropics, so it’s mostly warm all year round. The average temperature is 23ºC to 27ºC. The further south you travel, the more varied temperatures will be. During winter (June to September) the weather in Rio is similar to summertime in Northern Europe.
Havaianas for life!
4. The Cities
Urban Citizens! Brazil is not only rainforests and beaches, no no… you will be impressed by our cities. Avant-garde, exciting and delightful to explore. Just to name a few: Brasilia (the modern futuristic capital, with architectural masterpieces of legendary Oscar Niemeyer), Salvador (the lively city boasts colonial buildings, gold-laden churches and wild festivals) Sao Paulo (the third-largest metropolis on earth) and Curitiba (one of the world’s best models of urban planning).
Come out and play.
5. The Accommodations
It feels like home! Places to stay that could be destinations in themselves. Rainforest lodges, charming pousadas, sophisticated hotels or private villas. You define the experience and we offer the most appropriate spot.
Because there’s no perfect trip without a perfect stay.
6. The Music
We got the Funk! Girl from Ipanema may have rocked generations worldwide, but despite its success, Bossa Nova and Samba aren’t the only music styles derived from Brazil. According to Caetano Veloso, the country has “an abnormal music taste”, probably influenced by the variety of cultures and ethnicities manifesting here.Chorinho, Forró, Axé, Funk Carioca, Folk… our music comes from the heart.
Be happy and go with the flow.
7. The Adventure
Take a walk on the wild side! Brazil is unrivalled for its energy, flamboyance and exotic atmosphere. It takes you on a visual journey across stunning landscapes, unusual nature and interesting lifestyles. Fear and insecurity are no longer issues to worry about, just keep an eye for sketchy situations, use common sense and you’ll be fine.
To be here is to feel free.
8. The Nature
Go Green! No way we could list Brazilian highlights without mentioning our natural exuberance. And there’s a huge list of outdoor activities to do: trek within the Amazon, kitesurf in Lencois Maranhenses, dive shipwrecks in Fernando de Noronha, explore Iguaçu Falls, gaze at birds and jaguars in Pantanal or just relax at the beach in Trancoso… so many places with so many possibilities.
Experience them all sustainably.
9. The Celebrations
Party people! Yes, we have Carnaval, but up-and-coming cities are gradually drawing more attention as options for Rio and Salvador. The New Year in Brazil is also a remarkable life experience: summertime, fireworks, everybody dressed in white, jumping waves to guarantee good luck and protection. And if you like some action, Sao Paulo, Bahia and Santa Catarina got high level events that attract jet setters from everywhere. Not to mention the upcoming Olympics…
Uhhh the Olympics!
10. The Street Art
Talking Walls! Sao Paulo has become the ultimate hot Spot for graffiti, inspiring visitors from different countries to walk by Vila Madalena to guarantee some pictures. We got great artists, lots of creativity, audacity and quality. The whole city is an outdoor gallery! Besides all the cool exhibitions happening frequently.
Brazilian gastronomy is a mosaic of European, African and Indigenous traditions and ingredients. The country is so big, that depending on where you go, you will find completely different flavours and ingredients.
If you go to the Northeast region, in most of the cities by the coast, you will find a delicious fish stew called Moqueca (pronounced “mo-KEH-kah”). It is basically a fish and vegetable stew, with a special extra touch depending on the city you go. We will teach you how to cook a Bahian style Moqueca so you can have a special and delicious Brazilian dinner at home.
As exotic as it may sound, you probably have most of the ingredients already in your pantry. You’ll want to get fresh fish of course, and with prep, the total cooking time is less than an hour. The only special ingredient that may be hard to find is this red palm oil that we call dendê. It has a very particular taste that brings the exoticness to the dish. If you live in a European or American large city, you can look for a Brazilian store and they will have it for sure. If you don´t find it, just use a good olive oil – It will be delicious as well.
This recipe serves around 8 people and we usually eat it with white rice.
Here are the ingredients:
800kg of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod, rinsed in cold water, pin bones removed, cut into large portions
½ kg of shrimp (this is optional – don´t worry if you are allergic or don´t have it)
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Palm oil or olive oil (at taste)
2 big onions sliced (around 1cm)
2 red or green pepper, seeded and sliced (one of each will give a beautiful color to the dish)
3 big tomatoes, sliced
Red fresh chili, finely minced, at taste
1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
300ml coconut milk
Place fish pieces and the shrimp into different bowls. Add to each the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.
In a large covered pan (we like using clay pots), coat the bottom with about 2 tbsp of palm or olive oil and heat on medium heat. First, add a layer of the sliced onions, the peppers, the tomatoes then the fish, and so on, layer by layer. Then add part of the cilantro, all the coconut milk and the water. Cover the pan and let it cook.
Do not strew! After 20min, check if the fish is almost cooked. If it isn’t, leave it for a little more time. Then add the shrimps and leave it for 5 more minutes.
When the shrimps are cooked, add some palm oil (around 3 or 4 tbl spoons) and the rest of the cilantro.
If you enjoyed the recipe, contact us when coming to Brazil – we can tell you where you can find the best Moquecas and take you to a Brazilian culinary class so you can learn more about our cuisine!
Brazil is full of tropical and exotic flavors what can be very inspirational – and Alex Atala, one of the greatest Brazilian chefs of all times knows exactly how to deal with it. His restaurant D.O.M. was voted this year as the 4th best restaurant of the world by the Restaurant Magazine, climbing 3 positions since last edition.
Atala´s mission is to promote and develop Brazilian cuisine – at D.O.M. he plays around with traditional and exotic regional ingredients creating the most creative and delicious dishes. At his second restaurant, Dalva e Dito he focuses on traditional day-to-day Brazilian cuisine.
Both are in São Paulo, home of some of the best restaurants of the country and definitely a must destination for those who have a little gourmet twist inside.