Greetings and an icebreaker from Brazil!

Travel Forums General Talk Greetings and an icebreaker from Brazil!

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1. Posted by rachel_branco (Budding Member 5 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hello everyone!

I'm part of the community since May but only now I'm starting to engage more. You can see in my profile that I live in Rio and I am a teacher and a researcher in tourism, so part of my job is also talking to you! Oh, the perks

Besides that, it's really good to be part of a travel community so big and with so many people from all around the world. I'm not a very experienced traveler, so I'll try to add with topics and threads about tourism in general because I really like to know different impressions of it. So not to only make an introduction thread, I'll start with a simple question: why (not) Brazil? I did a little search on my country's name here in the forums, and I only could find a few threads discussing it besides as a transit country! So I'd love to know more about your impressions of Brazil. Have you ever been here? What was it like? If you haven't, why not? Do you have any interest in visiting us? Please feel free to share your thoughts with no constraints

And, of course, I don't have to tell you I'm all open to help with suggestions and advice to anyone coming to Brazil (are there any other Brazilians here, btw?)

Best to all,

2. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1215 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

According to the statistics page there are 1,554 TP members from Brazil so you have lots of company.

I've never considered traveling to Brazil because I don't speak Portuguese and it's always seemed like it would be very warm there. I live in California so like to escape warm climates occasionally. Honestly, I haven't seen any advertising for the country either but I don't read a lot of travel magazines.

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 6778 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Welcome to the site Rachel :) I'd love to go to Brazil one day - South America in general in fact.

It's a rather long set of flights from Australia unfortunately and not particularly cheap ones either. For example, it's about $500 cheaper to fly to Europe or the US from here. Multiply that by a family of 4 and it's $2000 more expensive to go to Brazil. Even more of a difference when compared to flying somewhere in Asia.

Just a heads up for other members - Rachel contacted me with a very thoughtful private message introducing herself and her research aims. Considering her very respectful approach to this community I'm happy to allow her to post topics for discussion that will help in her research. I'm actually quite impressed with her approach as we've had tons of people trying to research on our forums and almost always it is more a case of them wanting to just get people to fill out surveys.

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1362 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

We were in northern Brazil three years ago - Manaus and then up the Amazon to Tabatinga and into Colombia at Leticia. The Meeting of the Waters and the Botanical Gardens were excellent. And we wandered about the city - some great old buildings. We enjoyed Brazil so much we're going back in December to Rio and then across to Iguacu Falls and then into Paraguay and Argentina.

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1720 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I think there are two reasons Brazil doesn't feature prominently here.

The vast majority of questions here seem to be first time backpackers, so their goals fall into established routes. People from Europe and North America heading to South East Asia and Australia / New Zealand. People heading to Europe to Interrail. People going on the Trans Siberian Railway. South America is seen as more difficult so it comes later in their travels, if at all.

The second thing is flight prices. Other regions have benefitted from deregulation, so there are thriving budget carriers throughout Europe, South East Asia, South Asia, Australasia and North America. This leaves South America relatively expensive. Perhaps this is a reason contributing to South America not being one of those initial destinations.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Aug-2019, 06:20 GMT by AndyF ]

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3957 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Welcome to the forums Rachel. I spent a day in Brazil when I visited Iguaçu Falls; I was travelling around Argentina and of course you have to see the falls from both sides. :) Iguaçu Falls is the most spectacular 'thing' I have ever seen on my travels and I particularly loved the Brazilian side as the views of the falls were amazing.

Brazil is definitely on my list for a bigger, proper trip. I'm keen to visit the wildlife in the Pantanal, Rio, Salvador and a few other places. I'm also considering doing the Rio half marathon at some point and combining that with some travels around Brazil. Perhaps the reason I haven't visited Brazil properly yet is cost; flight prices aren't cheap as Andy said, and Brazil is an expensive country to travel in. A friend of mine went recently and said the prices were comparable to London, so it definitely wouldn't be a cheap trip! She loved it though, as did other friends who have visited.

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1720 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Do people think Brazil suffers from a reputation as being unsafe?

My friend and his wife spent a few months backpacking South America and he said Brazil was the place he wouldn't go back to (Sorry Rachel!) since he felt unsafe - the bus an hour after the one they got was held up at gunpoint, and he felt unsafe in Rio.

I know these things can be isolated experiences and can happen anywhere, so I wondered if you guys thought this is a common perception?

For me, Rio is an iconic city that's high on my list. The minimal jetlag from the UK also makes it attractive. The thing that's kept it back on the to-do list is the cost of flights, which have been much higher than other routes of similar length, and the fact that I want to find an opportunity at some time to travel South America slowly, and work hasn't allowed that big trip yet.

8. Posted by littlesam1 (Budding Member 60 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Rachael it's so nice to meet you here. I will try to answer your question and not be rude. I am very cautious where I travel because my husband and I are a gay couple. We have to check GLBT issues before we decide on a travel destination. I have ready many warnings for GLBT people traveling to Brazil and to Rio in particular. I would love to read positive reasons why we would be safe traveling there. Rio is a city I would love to visit. Having said this I would like to add that I live in a city that many consider dangerous and are afraid to visit. I live in Baltimore, Maryland. i encourage people to visit us and offer supporting comments and safety advise for coming to Baltimore. I look forward to talking with you more on this subject. I have been to Peru and Argentina and had wonderful experiences there.

Larry

9. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1204 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

My former boss traveled to Brazil as a part of a group sometime before 2000 - can't remember what group - something like the Chamber of Commerce. His trip sounded amazing. I have always wanted to take a boat trip up the Amazon, as I am interested in the rain forest. But my husband has not wanted to go there. I do not know if I will ever get to Brazil, as I am getting older and less mobile. So far the only places I've been in South America are Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia, and that was only by cruise ship.

10. Posted by rachel_branco (Budding Member 5 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting Peter

Just a heads up for other members - Rachel contacted me with a very thoughtful private message introducing herself and her research aims. Considering her very respectful approach to this community I'm happy to allow her to post topics for discussion that will help in her research. I'm actually quite impressed with her approach as we've had tons of people trying to research on our forums and almost always it is more a case of them wanting to just get people to fill out surveys.

Thank you Peter for the warm welcoming and trust! This is actually not part of my research as I would like to start a conversation from a random topic, but I always find interesting to know people's impressions of Brazil. I will open a new thread regarding my research object within two weeks!

Quoting Peter

It's a rather long set of flights from Australia unfortunately and not particularly cheap ones either. For example, it's about $500 cheaper to fly to Europe or the US from here. Multiply that by a family of 4 and it's $2000 more expensive to go to Brazil. Even more of a difference when compared to flying somewhere in Asia.

Quoting AndyF

The second thing is flight prices. Other regions have benefitted from deregulation, so there are thriving budget carriers throughout Europe, South East Asia, South Asia, Australasia and North America. This leaves South America relatively expensive. Perhaps this is a reason contributing to South America not being one of those initial destinations.

I actually saw the flight prices argument coming. For us it is fairly expensive to travel to other continents too, especially when you consider most Brazilian have a short to medium income. Although I used to think it wouldn't be so high-priced for AUD/USD/EUR countries since our currency costs practically 1/4 of them, it surprises me to know we are compared to London!

Regarding safety issues as brought by AndyF, I believe some news may strike foreigners hard, so there is nothing to be sorry about. I'm completely aware of our political and social scenario (that have really worsen through the past ten years btw), and how it increases violence, so I don't take it personal as I think it's best to be aware of it than to pretend it's not real. On the other hand, it's not that bad things happen all the time, but we've developed some sense of wariness which would sound strange to most foreigners tourists, such as not speaking on the phone on the streets in Rio, and always keeping our bags/purses at the front. In other words, even when we are sightseeing or taking a walk, we can't be distracted or show naivety, so I would encourage travelers to do the same. Some tips from locals regarding neighbourhoods surely also help. And for GLBT issues such as littlesam mentioned; well, I'm straight so I can't state I relate completely to what it's like to be a GLBT traveler, but I could guess that any kind of homophobic and violent behavior here is usually addressed to local people who are known in their neighborhoods and who are not accepted by it. I could also guess that such behavior is decreasing because there is a strong and well-organized GLBT community in Rio nowadays. I know lots and lots of people from this community and I can partake their experience that most of the time they feel safe (althought not always completely accepted). I worked in the hospitality industry for years and I can tell from this standpoint that GLBT travelers are welcome as anyone else. Brazil is a very receptive and welcoming country (I believe we are known for this trait as well), and though it may be still a bit conservative, it is learning from its own mixes and differences how to welcome GLBT travelers even better.

That said, I'm not sure if you are all aware that Rio city is the capital of Rio state. In Rio state there are many other interesting options for travelers, such a Petrópolis, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Cabo Frio, Armação dos Búzios, Arraial do Cabo and Penedo, and all of them are quite close to Rio. They are smaller cities that don't face 30% of what Rio does regarding safety issues, and they are cheaper too (except for Armação dos Búzios, I guess)! It's worth to Google them.

I'm also very happy to hear from those who already came to Brazil and enjoyed their experience, and also for those who are still planning a visit. Brazil is a continental-dimension country composed by five regions, all of them with their own specific culture, accent, landscapes and climates. There is indeed a lot to see far from Rio, and I risk to say "there is a Brazil for every taste", including those ones looking for scaping the warmth (such as myself)! ;)