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Rafting and Treetop adventure in Bonito

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Our first day in Bonito started early. We left the hotel around 7:5o am and had a nice bike ride to Hotel Cabanas where our adventure started.

Our Rafting was booked for 9am. The sun was not even out yet and we were already in the water going down the waterfalls of the river. Every group goes with two guides that help and one photographer to record the moment.

foto004The Rafting takes around 40 minutes. In the beginning, the guides talk a bit about the safety including the positions to be in the floating donut. In the river it has a few ropes to guide the tourists in certain tricky spots and to give them time to change positions if needed. The first waterfall is know as the baptism and is famous for dropping the tourists out of the Donut.

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The second part of our day was the treetop adventure. It starts nice and easy with only 3 meters of height. Every new obstacle gets harder and higher, reaching 15 meters.

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The treetop adventure also has two guides and a photographer. They are all very funny and helpful. At the end of the track there are two cable rides and one of them even  finishes in the water.

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We arrived back to the hotel around 12, it was only lunch time and the day had already been full of adventures. 14km by bike, rafting down the river and  the treetop adventure… Definitely a fun day!

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7 tips for who is planning a trip to Foz do Iguaçu

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Our trip to Foz was very quick, only two days, but we discovered some cool information that would have changed our travel plans if we knew it before. By talking with the staff from Charm Iguassu, the hotel we stayed at and by exploring the city we found out some important information that can really help anyone who is planning to travel there.

It is very common to rent a car when traveling in Foz Iguaçu. Something that is good to know is that during peak season, to go to Argentina, there is an exclusive line for touring cars (vans, buses, hotel affiliates and excursions). The line is not very well signposted. Many cars take that side of the road thinking it’s quicker but get turned back by the police at the immigration point.

  • It is very easy to get a bus in Foz. To go to the falls and the bird park the green bus, number 120, stops directly in front.
  • Going by bus to Argentina is also easy. The bus stops at the immigration point and waits for all the passengers to pass. To cross the border the bus costs only 8 Reais. The problem is that the bus to the waterfalls in Argentina costs 22 Reais. There and back is around 60 Reais per person and this is the same price of the hotel transport.
  • The Argentinian park only accepts cash. Our hotel already told us about a place with a good conversion rate but its likely better to change in a non-border city if you can. The prices for the Argentinian park in May 2016 were: Foreigner, about 350 pesos (90 reais) and for a Brazilian 270 pesos (70 reais).
  • Immigration is quite easy, for Brazilians it’s only an Id and for foreigners a passport and potentially a visa depending on your country.
  • If you decide to do the Macucuo Safari (boat ride) it is important to remember to take extra clothes.
  • Some hotels offer more than accommodation and also have transport options to partner restaurants and parks which can be very useful.

These are my 7 tips for who is planning a trip to Foz do Iguaçu!

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Photograpy post- Waterfalls and Quatis

I’m sorry Americans, but Niagara is really far from being Iguaçu! It’s impossible to visit the national parks of Iguaçu and not fall in love with both sides, Brazilian and Argentinian. Even with good infrastructure, the natural beauty of the area is not lost. An example are the adorable Quatis, little mammals that live in the parks and always scurry around trying to get food.

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Despite being cute the Quatis are not the main attraction at Foz do Iguaçu. The breathtaking waterfalls are what draws thousands of tourists every year.

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The waterfalls are definitely something that Brazil is proud of, and everyone should visit one day!

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A weekend in Foz do Iguaçu

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Foz do Iguaçu is a famous Brazilian city for having the biggest waterfalls, per volume of water, in the world. The waterfalls are located on the border between Brazil and Argentina and are on the list of 7 natural wonders of the world!

We arrived at Foz do Iguaçu airport at 12pm, on Saturday. At the airport we took a hotel transport which took us straight to the Brazilian side of the waterfalls and took care of our bags so we could enjoy the day!

The national park of Iguaçu protects 1,852,625 hectares of Mata Atlântica, the original vegetation of this part of Brazil, and is home to a lot of animals which largely don’t exist anymore in other places outside the park. The main attraction is the track to view the waterfalls. A 1,200 meter walk passes many waterfalls and ends at the Devil’s Throat, where there is a small track to the middle of the waterfall. At the end of the walk it has an amazing view through an elevator, which gives visitors an amazing view of the place. The park also has options of doing bike rides and taking a boat, but these attractions are not included in the ticket. To get around to the waterfalls there is the included option of a two way bus and it works very well.DSC_0890Our second day began with a challenge: we decided to go by public bus to Argentina. We took the first bus to a border control point from our hotel. It was a lot easier than I imagined. Crossing the border was also very easy, Brazilians only need an ID and gringos need their passport and sometimes a visa, depending on the country (this is not the same visa used to enter Brazil). The bus waits for everyone to pass the border control point and keeps driving. When it’s time to change the bus, the driver explains where to stop and which bus to take to the waterfalls.

The Iguaçu National Park, on the Argentinian side, protects over 67,720 hectares of forest. To move through this park there is a train which runs every half hour. It’s not as frequent as the bus on the Brazilian side so it’s important to organize your time. We decided to do a boat ride through the Argentinian falls, since we had the whole day there. Unfortunately, the weather did not help. It was raining a lot! When we entered the waterfalls we were already drenched.

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The Argentinian park has three tracks: the lower, upper and throat (Canyon), which I like to call “the path of butterflies”. Last time I went to Foz, the weather was much better and the way to Devil’s Throat was a butterfly sanctuary. They even flew to our hands. Unfortunately, because of the rain we didn’t even see them this time. We were very unlucky with the weather but we were lucky with the day. On the Argentinian side there is an “island” which lies between the waterfalls and when we visited it was open. According to park officials it’s rare to have a day that you can visit, as it depends on the water level. On the island there is a trail that leads to a very close lookout onto the waterfalls.20160508_13383520160508_134907

We returned to Curitiba during the night of Sunday and Monday. I really enjoyed what we did in our two days but what we sadly couldn’t visit was the Bird’s Park, on the Brazilian side. That’s what we would have done if we had more time. But even with the short time we had, we really enjoyed seeing the beauties of Foz do Iguaçu.

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Photography post- Details of Honey Island

Seen the busy port of Paranagua makes it hard to imagine that so close it has such a calm paradise. To end with the posts about Honey Island I decided to make a photography post with some pictures that show the details of the place! My favorite is the last one with the sign, a pun with the word Luxo, which means fancy, and Lixo which means rubbish. The sign says “no fanciness and no rubbish” which in my opinion perfectly describes the relaxing place. It symbolizes the charming island vibe of Ilha do Mel. What I learned with the natives during this weekend was that being away from malls, cars and technology creates a very different lifestyle that is impossible to imagine in a big city! Who lives on the island learns how to enjoy a more relaxed life and how to give value to and enjoy the beauty of nature!DSC_0516DSC_0522DSC_0560DSC_0564DSC_0580Por do solnem luxo nem lixo

And if you still want to see more about the Honey Island don’t worry, soon I will have a video showing more of it!

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A weekend on the Honey Island!

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The Honey Island is an amazing place for those who like nature and adventure. It’s one of the places in Brazil that proves that the Brazilian song, País Tropical (Tropical Country) which says that the country is blessed by God and is beautiful in nature, is true! There are two ways to get into this little paradise: Taking a boat from either Pontal do Paraná or from Paranaguá. The boat can take you to two places on the island, either to Brasilia or to Encantadas, the beach where we went. The island only allows 5.000 visitors at the same time so it’s never overcrowded. We went on a cold autumn day, and therefore the island was very empty. But maybe when it’s cold it’s the best time to go, since every track takes you to an amazing place and there is a lot to explore! In summer it is hard not to get seduced by the blue sea and loose other opportunities that the place has to offer.

We arrived Friday, in the late afternoon and took the second last boat from Pontal at 5 pm. The sunset we saw from the boat already made us fall in love with the place. Finding our hotel was not hard, as the island natives are very friendly. The first person we asked already said: “Go to the track near the market, follow it and you will find the hotel. You are in an amazing place, Mrs Luísa is very nice! After arriving we left our bags in the hotel and went back to the beach to appreciate the end of the sunset!

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That night we had dinner at the hotel restaurant. All the food we had there were so good! But if I had to suggest one, I would definitely say the palmito-pancake. We also had a walk around the Encantadas beach that night. It doesn’t have much light there, which gave the stars a chance to be the main attraction after sunset!

Our second day was long and started early. We left the hotel before 8 am to have breakfast at the beach. At Encantadas there are a few hills with easy tracks and nice views! We also explored the Encantadas Cave, the one I mentioned in the last post.

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After breakfast at the beach, we took the boat-taxi to Brasilia. We ended up missing the 10am boat and had to wait until 11:30. But what was a bad thing turned into a nice walk over a hill to Miguel’s beach, a rocky beach know as being a good place to go fishing.

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When we arrived in Brasilia, at 12pm, we went straight to the old light house. This was built during the Royal time in Brazil, and the old light house still exists. It’s one of the main postcard shots of the island. After a little walk, up a hill, we had a 360 degree view of the island.

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We had lunch in a small beach restaurant and then started the beach walk to the fort of Honey Island. The walk was around one and a half hours and was very easy. And just like any other walk at Honey Island it ends with an amazing view!

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We went back to Encantadas around 6pm. At night we visited the island bars. On a cold night during the low season it doesn’t have many people there. This gave us a chance of talking with the owners and we were really well received in the 3 places we visited: Shams Bar, Sushi Bar and Cavalo Marinho. We ended up staying longer at Shams and listening to a very nice singer, Francisco Bahia.

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On our last day the sun came up strong and this gave us a chance to go into the sea! It was a long day at the beach that ended with another amazing sunset view, from the boat, while we were saying goodbye to Honey Island.

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