Rio de Janeiro – cidade maravilhosa ” Marvelous City”

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Rio de Janeiro

The second largest city in Brazil has som much to offer from the white sandy famous beaches ,Copacabana and Ipanema . One of the most important tips is to get to know the “Cariocas” better known as the people who were born and raised in Rio. They described as very friendly and open mind individuals who are welcoming to tourists. Copacabana is known is the world for its nightlife . This famous beach is about four kilometers  long beach . Copacabana host one of the biggest New Years parties in Brazil and is also known as the FIFA world Cup Beach. Along the beach you will find people either playing soccer or volleyball even dancing capoeira a very popular dance in Brazil.

On the other hand Ipanema is known as the sexiest beaches in the world, however it differs from Copacaba because is one the  most exclusive and expensive places in Rio. Is the top destination for tourists.

Christ o Redentor better translated in english as christ the redeemer. The story says that God is brazilian however nothing is been prove but Rio de Janeiro has a piece of it. The statue weight more 700 tos and it has and length of 3o meters. The statue was place on the top of the Corcovado mountain in 1931. It a symbol for Brazil and something you just don’t want to miss during your visit to this amazing country . This statue is now recognized as one of the seven wonders of the modern world and this years the statue will be 80 years.

Carnaval é o Brasil (Carnival in Brazil)

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Rio’s carnival is now of the most famous carnivals in the world.

It takes place on the month of February and it differs on the date every year.It is a four day celebration right before Easter.  The origin of th Brazil carnival goes back to a portuguese pre-lent festivity where people in the street used throughout mug , water and food to each as mention before very similar to countries like mine in Ecuador. Rio’s first masquerade ball was on 1840 and decade later was followed by parades in the street with band and horse drawn floats. Samba wasnt part of the carnivals until 1917. ” The samba is a mix of Angolan semba, European polka, African batuques, with touches of Cuban habanera and other styles. What we now know as samba is a result of the arrival of black Brazilians (primarily from Bahia) to the impoverished slums or favelas surrounding Rio following the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888. “.http://www.afropop.org/multi/feature/ID/33/

What makes this event so amazing and stunning is the effort all the participants put on their customs and floats. Costumes and music for the carnival are influenced by the  culture . It takes a lot of energy patience and creativity  to create a costume for the big parade. One of the most important thing is that this tradition shows the world the real culture of the brazilian people. Where its population sing dance and enjoys the joy of life which characterizes the brazilian people. One of the most communities involve at the carnival is the favelas which are the poorest communities in Brazil . Favelas despite the economic situation they very involve with carnival, most of the people who live in this community are involved in the Samba Schools. If you want more information for the Rio Carnival 2012 check this website.

http://www.rio-carnival.net/

Brazil my second destination

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Why Brazil???

I have never had the opportunity to visit any other country but Ecuador and the United States. I strongly believe that in order to understand other cultures I would like to get to see  first countries that have similar cultures and customs as mine but at the same differs in so many things. One of the most important thing that attracts me from this country is the language. Even thought is very similar to my native language spanish; portuguese is a little much different and in my opinion much complicated.

Capital : Brasilia

Population: 201,103,330

Monetary Unit: Real

Total Area: 3,286,470 sq mi

President: Dilma Rousseff

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107357.html

As we all know Brazil is known as the most popular carnival in the world . I would love to experience the enchanting event,full of color and flavor where the brazilian people has the chance to show to the world a small taste of its culture compare to the Ecuadorian and the other Latino countries carnival the Brazilian carnival is full of music , costumes and dancing when on the other hand the Ecuadorian carnival differ into a game for everyone where kids and adults enjoy a game with water and all types of food. In addition, for the soccer lovers we all know that Brazil has been five  times world champion and 2o14 they will be hosting the next world cup and that my main goal is to presence my first world cup in such enchanting country.

Besides the great activities that characterizes this beautiful country , Brazil has lots to offer from the beautiful white sandy beaches to seaside cities located on the coast and unique diversity. Brazilian people are known as very happy and welcoming community that enjoy life .

http://www.brazil.org.uk/resources/documents/brochurebrazil.pdf

Galapagos a world treasure… but too expensive even for locals???

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

One of the most popular destination in South America set along with equator, the island consist of 13 major islands and 17 smaller island and 40 rook make up the archipelago that was born from a fiery volcano in the Pacific Ocean. This exotic destination has a rich fauna and flora  where animals shown no fear from humans. Galápagos is consider a scientific and a natural treasure.  In 1978 the archipelago  was declared a World Heritage Site, this treasure of the world has around 9,00 species in flora and fauna.

I always knew about the great treasure this archipelago represent for my country however I have never had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this island because of its high prices .  The majority of the population in Ecuador because of the cost of living in the country cannot afford a good vacation to this beauty because of the high prices. There is few reasons that justify the cost for tourist and locals to visit the islands.

Unfortunately, the only industries in the island is tourism , fishing and agriculture so that mean that everything else must be shipped according Galapagos Islands.com the round trip flight whether you depart from Quito or Guayaquil is around $400.  In addition the Ecuadorian government has ensure to protect the islands which the entry fee is $100 which hell the conservation of the park . For a local visitor who actually earns a salary of $500.00  a month and we are describing a person who has a university diploma and is relatively earning a very good amount of money in Ecuador  this person would not be able to travel to Galapagos unless cost for living Ecuador would be cheaper or locals would have a special discount. Despite the cost I will strongly suggest a trip to the island is worth the money and the time.

http://www.galapagosislands.com/newsletter/archive/is-galapagos-expensive.html

Playa, Sol y Arena…Beaches in Ecuador

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Who does not love some good vacations under the sun, in front of the ocean?  The sound of the waves or laying down on the sand of some beautiful beaches.

If this sounds like the right vacation to you then Ecuador is the right spot to go. The coast of this beautiful country offers all this things and more. The coast covers about 70,000 km of beaches . Ecuador’s coast  has an average temperature of 24 C ( 18C – 30C). The warm water is also one of the best things that characterizes the beaches in Ecuador.

http://www.exploringecuador.com/coast_ecuador.htm

From personal perspective and experience most of my good memories and most of my favorites vacation I spent them in the coast of my country. Most of the time in the north where Esmeraldas is located. Esmeraldas, “Green Province” is  well-known as  popular destination where its habitants are known as the most friendly and kind African-American community. Their culture has transcend within time in the music with marimba, salsa and more , moreover in the food with a well know dis “pescado enconcado ” which is a plate that consist of dish with a delicious coconut sauce. Esmeraldas is also very popular for local tourist from the city to visit.  If you are looking for a party spot this beach is the perfect beach to go .

Manabi is the next location where you will be able to enjoy the nature and we will find one of the biggest national parks , Machililla National Park which provided a diversity of fauna and flora preserve in three zones of life moist forest, dry forest and very dry forest.

Along with this beautiful city more in the south we will be able to enjoy of the biggest city in Ecuador and also consider as the economic capital of this country, Guayaquil. Despite the arguments between the locals in Quito  Guayaquil  is the fourth biggest port in south america an enjoys of all types of activities from  monuments to  parks, museums, the River Guayas, and it’s definitely known for exiting nightlife . During the summer between the months of December to April you will the opportunity to enjoy the dancing of the whales who travel all the way from the Antarctic to a warmer ocean in the Pacific where they actually reproduce .

Finally, in the very south at the border with Peru we will find one of the most popular beaches Montanita, with a population of 1,000 people is very popular for international tourist and attracts visitors who enjoy surfing. If you are looking for a party environment this a very hot spot where you will be able to meet people from all parts of the world.

http://www.ecuaworld.com/discover/costa.htm

Baños

August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

If we translate to english  is the “Baths” of Ecuador, it  sounds very corny . Baños  is a very small city located in the Eastern part of Ecuador, in the middle of the valley of waterfalls and hot springs and under the smoke of the biggest Volcano in Ecuador , Tunguragua. It is known as one of the top cities for tourist and locals. I  used to spent some of my summer vacations is this beautiful city. I had family who owned a small hotel  and we used to  spent most of our time down there. Is four hours away from the capital and the best way to transport yourself to Baños is by bus or car .

One of the main interesting characteristics of this city is its famous hot springs. At my young age , I was not able to understand why every time I went to the Baños to enjoy a summer in the pool , the color of the water was yellow. Now that I have grown, I understand that the hot springs have tha color because of their mix of high mineral content and I was not actually going to the pool I was enjoying the thermal springs.

What to do while you are in Baños;

Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water (Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa)

 The church is names after the vision of the Virgin Mary near the waterfalls. The church  was built by volcanic rocks and in the inside we can see paintings  of the miracles made by the virgin  including painting of Virgin mary saving the church from multiple volcanic eruptions.

Waterfalls

You can walk or even hike the waterfalls is a breathtaking experience. The city has more than 60 waterfall however this following three are the most popular:

  • Cascada de la Virgen  ( Main waterfall that empties near the thermal waters)
  • Manto de la Novia
  • Pailon del Diablo ( Most impressive)

Finally, there is two things you cannot miss while you are in the beautiful city is the Sugar cane juice and Sugar cane taffy. I remember that one of the most fun things to watch was the process of doing the sugar cane taffy. Its fresh and is so tasty you can not miss that.

Last but not least we cannot leave to our next destiny without appreciating the amazing view of the biggest volcano in Ecuador, Tungurahua which is still active  . Baños was evacuated on the year 199 and 200 because of the eruption.

Quito , “Heritage of Mankind”

August 1, 2011 § 3 Comments

I  was born and raise in this beautiful city, from personal experience I can tell you that is one of the most beautiful cities on the world. A city that has history in each wall of its streets. At  night you will be able to find of the most clear sky full of starts. It’s people is always gracious and polite. Quito is the capital of Ecuador and it most definitely the first stop for most tourists during their trip in Ecuador. I live in Quito for fifteen years before I came to United States and I can guaranteed you that each day is an adventure. Quito is out of the usual despite the political conflicts , the capital of Ecuador is an unforgettable experience. This beautiful city it also enjoys of the perfect weather. I must say that its spring all year around . Since Quito is located in the middle of the Andes standing with an altitude of 2,850 m , does not suffer of long winters.

The Historic Center is one of my favorites places to visit. You will be able to find the colonial churches, chapels, monasteries and convents, squares, museums, republican estates and a fascinating architecture of the early 20th century. The architecture  would take your breath away.  It is the real sample of the Spanish and Indian culture .  Despite the historic center Quito is surrounded   mountain a volcanic peak. In addition one of the main attraction is the ” La Mitad del Mundo” a place where you would enjoy to sit right on the equator line and be in two different hemispheres at the same time.

“The historical center – or ‘old town,’ as it’s called – is a maze of colonial splendor, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1978. ”

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ecuador/quito