Posts labeled with Country ' Brazil'

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Whirlwind week of October 12 continues. Less than 72 hours after skiing the slopes of El Colorado, TotalAdventure was bodysurfing at Ipanema Beach in Rio.

Waves were small, about 3  to 4 feet, but perfect for bodysurfing.




Rio is now getting ready for the 2016 Summer Olympics – which in August,will be their winter – making it easier for outdoor sports like long distance running.

For TotalAdventure journeys in Brazil – CLICK HERE.




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A five hour journey from Rio de Janiero, via Brasilia, landed TotalAdventure in Belém – capital of the vast Pará State – about 80 km from the Mouth of The Amazon. The 450 year old Cidade Velho is closest to the River and there is a surprisingly  large modern city with skyscrapers not far inland.

TotalAdventure boarded a ferry for the one hour ride to the river town of Barcarena, which would be a 10 hour car ride by circuitous muddy roads through the jungle. These elevated cabins are not connected to the power grid, but many have generators to run their satellite TV’s.



In the Old City.



Galinhas Comem.


Ver O Peso Market.  Belém has a refreshingly remote feel, with few tourists – yet is only about 6 hours via connecting flights from Miami. For all TotalAdventure’s Brazil Adventures – CLICK HERE.

Dec 9th
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BEL-MAO-MIA   In the morning TotalAdventure packed ( still carrying  ski jacket from Chile ) and boarded TAM for the 2 hour flight to Manaus – Amazonian Capital – and  hopping off point for many jungle and river adventure trips.


Coming into Manaus.



Time To Return Stateside –

The 4 1/2 hour journey offers beautiful aerials of the Northern Amazon, Venezuela’s Gran Sabana, the Guajira Peninsula, Cuba and finally into Miami.

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On the morning of 10/28/11 I travelled from São Paulo to Bogotá on my way home to Miami. The flight takes off from the second biggest city in the world, and within a couple of hours is flying over one of the most remote areas on the world.

Avianca’s twice daily A 340 flight is about 6 hours.

Vegans who want to save the world – guess what ? Soya farms are eating up the jungle !

Western Amazon.

Down below, Lost Tribes gaze up at the Big SIlver BIrd – too high for their poison arrows to hit.

The cloud cover thickened over the rain forest and we did not see anything the last two hours – missing views of the Colombian Andes until we landed at El Dorado Internacional.

Time to connect for Miami !

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An ideal sailing trip to visit all the Atlantic Islands would take about 12 to 18 months, leaving Iceland in the late spring ,witha first stop in the Azores. By the beginning of the Antarctic summer, the boat would be in the far South Atlantic , visting Tristan da Cunha,South Georgia and the Malvinas ( known as the Falklands by the British), before turning back north to visit the Brazilian islands, on to Bermuda, St. Pierre and back to Iceland.

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2008 saw several trips to the Far South. Above, a forest road in Southern Chile. In March.

Surf in Pichelemu, Chile. March.

Western Argentina highway – March.

Mexico – June.

El Popo Volcano – Mexico , June.

Pie de la Cuesta , Mexico – June.

Pie de la Cuesta , Mexico – June.

Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – August.

Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – August.

Rafting, Rio Novo ,Brazil – September.

Night forest fire,Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – September.

São Paulo,Brazil – September.

Andes crossing – Chile to Argentina – November.

Mendoza, Argentina – November.

Springtime – Mendoza, Argentina – November.

Cafayate, Argentina – November.

Salta, Argentina – November.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – November.

2009 plans include Asia and the Middle East.

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Adventure Travel in Latin America has just gotten 30 % cheaper in the last two weeks. Worldwide economic volatility has has caused flight to the US Dollar from many fearful investors in Latin America. As a result :

The Chilean Peso is now 622 to the Dollar. This compares to 390 earlier this year.

The Argentina Peso is pegged to the US Dollar, but has still slipped from 3 to 3.22 and probably will go lower.

The Mexican Peso was 10 to the Dollar a few weeks ago and is now 13.2 !

Most dramatically – the Brazilian Real was 1.5 to the dollar in August – and is now 2.2 – in effect – 50% more spending power for the US Dollar.

As a long dark and financially dreary winter takes hold in the North – now is the time to enjoy the incredible Nature, Sunshine and Adventure of Latin America. Book now on ArcticTropic Direct Booking.

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This morning the Korubo truck takes us to join a new expedition, with Quatro Elementos – for a three-day rafting trip down the Rio Novo. In that time we will cover only 60 kilometers, but it will be action packed. Two nights will be spent camping on riverside beaches.

Qautro Elementos is another very professional adventure travel company. It is owned and operated by Massimo Desiati – one time kayaking champion of Brazil . Check out the website HERE.

About 10 AM we set off down the river. These kids were having a Sunday morning swim – they came from a nearby settlement of 150 people.

We are given safety instruction – helmets, preservers and shoes must be on at all times unless otherwise indicated.

The first day featured a small amount of rapids up to Class 2. Other times it was calm enough swim or drift in the fast moving water alongside the raft.

The cargo raft is transporting the very computer I am now blogging on – an ancient G4 iBook that will soon be replaced. Dry bags are used to protect valuables – but that’s no help if they are swept away downstream.

Late afternoon we pitch camp. At night we dine at a farmers house about a kilometer away from the camp. Everything is made of local ingredients, except for the meat since there is no cattle grazing in the area.


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Day One

On the morning of Wednesday, August 27th we boarded the giant Korubo all terrain vehicle for our 300 km, 8-hour journey into the Jalapão desert, to the Korubo Safari Camp on the Rio Novo. Google Coordinates: 10 35 22 07 South 46 45 27.04 West.

About 2 hours after leaving Palmas, the capital of Tocantins State, the paved road ended. We had a delicious lunch in Ponte Alta, where the dirt roads begin. Brazilian food is heavy – meat, rice, beans, bread, potatoes, farofa, at almost every meal.

After lunch we took a short walk through the town .

About 20 minutes out of town, we were driving through baking hot scrubland. The temperature was about 42 C, 108 F. Although this is “winter” south of the equator, it is the hot dry season. When the rains come in “summer” – December and January the temperature might only get to 33 C, or about 91 F. There is no humidity – so 100 degrees is like 80 in Miami or New York – quite comfortable. By night the temperature drops to the 50s – and to near freezing in June and July.

As we went thought the scrubland there was little shade, the fields were motionless in the heat. At that point we stopped and walked into a field and we could hear water rushing. We walked down a hill and noticed a small crevice. As we followed it the divide became wider and we then climbed down into an underground river. The temperature was at least 30 degrees cooler 25 C or 77 F and there were refreshing waterfalls everywhere.

Back on the Korubo truck we headed out into an absolute wilderness. No towns, or even houses for hundreds of kilometers. The land is flat and sandy, broken by mesas and buttes. Fires race across the land, consuming the thin cover of grass and brush.

At sundown (6 PM) we arrived at Korubo Safari Camp.

Here is a quick tour of the camp. Korubo is completely eco friendly. The Rio Novo is perfectly clean due to no human or cattle habitation in the surrounding terrain.

Water from the river is used for cleaning, cooking and drinking. You can drink directly form the river. There are no plastic water bottles here, unless they are being recycled.

There are fixed tents that never need to be taken down, due to the consistency of the weather.

The shower water is heated by fire, allowing to hot water at the end of each day. Toilets are similar to those on a boat – all waste is dried (far from the camp) and taken to an incinerator in Palmas.

Food is tasty and plentiful. Beer and caiprinhas are served with dinner. Nighttime activity can be gazing at the Southern Hemisphere stars or reading in the tent under a solar powered lamp.

All power in the camp is solar – I even charged my laptop from a solar generator. Korubo may be rustic , but it is run with professional perfection. Check out their website HERE.

By the way , you can avoid 8 hour drive by flying to a nearby airstrip – but that would take away a lot of adventure.



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This morning we climb Mirante da Serra – a tabletop mountain that is about 300 meters high. The landscape here, and all over Jalapão is very reminiscent of parts of West Africa – hundreds of millions of years ago it was all one land.

This is explained by the theory of continental drift – and the very obvious fact that the continents of South America and Brazil fit together like pieces of a puzzle. To read more on Continental Drift – CLICK HERE.

We then walked across the Serra – dry scrub with interesting plants – here we see latex dripping from a tree.

At the other end of the Serra, about 5 km from the climbing trail – there were incredible rock formations, similar to those in Arizona and Utah.

Wasp Nest.

State of Bahia in the distance.

The rest of the day was spent swimming and lounging at the base camp.