Want To Splast Around In the Natural Swimming Pool of Trindade?

While in Paraty, take a 30 minute drive over to Trindade where you will explore incredible beaches with the natural beauty of the mountains surrounding you.  For the first stop on our tour we went to Praia do Cepilho, waves were 10-15 feet high!

Then we drove over to the beach near the village “Ranchos” where our journey began.  Take a guided trek through the mountains to arrive at another stunning beach. Then another trek through the mountain (the ‘trek or hiking part is actually really fun)

Finally you will arrive at Caixa d’Aço the natural swimming pool. It is pretty incredible, a beautiful enclosed completely untouched area where you can swim, snorkel or climb on the rocks.  It’s incredible!

After you have had enough splashing around its time to trek/beach your way back for lunch at VAGALUME.  Located right on the beach near village “Ranchos” it is a fantastic spot for lunch. Considering that this is a fishing village, the menu is full of many fish choices as well as some traditional Brazilian beef/chicken options, note the yuka fries are a must try!   Warning there are a lot of bees, bring bug spray and if you can, have them move your table onto the sand, its more fun, kept the bees away and when huge waves rolled in, your feet get splashed!

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Hottest Place to be Easter Weekend…. Rio

People from all over the world flock to Rio to celebrate Easter! Starting at 8am the beaches are fully packed!

It is amazing because in America if anyone sat this close together people would think it was very strange, here it is completely normal…and no one is bothered by it.

The beach stays crowded till at least 6pm…

Beautiful pink sunset behind the mountains

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How do you take your Coconut Water?

For those of you who are not familiar coconuts and coconut water are very popular in Brazil.  Everywhere you turn you will see coconuts- hanging off the kiosks lining the beach and people are eating or drinking out of them. If you like coconut water, you will LOVE this! It is deliciously fresh (can’t really be fresher then straight from the source itself!) and when served ‘gelado’ (iced/cold) it is unbelievably refreshing.  Now there are 3 ways coconut water is sold:

Option 1. The obvious one- Buy it in any store.

Option 2. Directly from the coconut: At each kiosk (they line the beach in between the posts) you can enjoy fresh coconut water straight from the coconut! Here’s how:

Step one: Go to a kiosk and order ‘Um agua de Coco, gelado por favor’ (I usually hold up one finger just in case the man can’t understand me).  The man will then grab one of the coconuts from his stash, then pick up his large knife and begins the process:

http://www.wellcomemat.com/wm_video_1/923A18E107Direct from the Coconut produced by Pamela Granoff on WellcomeMat

AHH I am always SO nervous he is going to slice his hand off! I mean one little slip and… he’s finished! When it’s ready- Grab a seat, and enjoy the people watching on the beach as you sip your refreshing coconut water. When you are finished with the water, the man will open up the coconut, and create a little spoon from the outer shell for you to eat it. Delicious!

Note: While sitting on the beach you can order agua de coco from the person you got your chairs from and they will bring it to you:)

Option 3. Coco Express.  There are a number of these vendors lining the streets in Rio, usually a few blocks from the beach. This contraption has a large spike/ funnel on top.  The person working it will grab a coconut, shove it on the spike with all his might and the fresh, crisp coconut water pours out of a spout below and into a cup.  Quick and easy for you to take on the go.

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Buzios: Surf’s up at Geriba Beach

Because of its wide-open face to the southeast, Geribá Beach has the best surf in Búzios! The beach itself is the widest and one of the longest beach in Búzios.

Whether you prefer a short board or a  long board in the center there is constant large surf. If you didn’t pack your own board, don’t worry, you can rent a board for R$30 a day (ie $18US), they even throw in a rash guard!  If you want lessons, this is the spot to learn, great foam and only R$36 for an hour + rash guard.

There is a great lunch spot right on the beach: Fishbone located on Geriba beach is also one of the hottest nightlife places to be seen. Talk about a restaurant with a view… facing the beach or just looking around at the people around you.. all you will see is beauty:) For lunch they have great sandwiches or traditional Brazilian fair and snacks; with the alcohol always flowing. Afternoons are a lively après beach scene. Evenings feature weekly bar events including dance parties and luau-like festivities that run till the wee-hours of the morning.

I can’t wait to go back—This place is not to be missed!

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The ‘Hamptons of Brazil’ : Buzios – West Coast

Buzios, dubbed as “the hamptons of Brasil”, “St Tropez of Brazil’, or the ‘playground of the rich’ is a small, charming fishing village filled with cute boutiques, great restaurants and incredible nightlife 3 hours from Rio.  Getting there: Rent a car OR take the bus… Bus is really easy, clean, only takes about 2.5 hours and costs $25.

Búzios is a peninsula of mountains with beaches between almost every one of them.  The west coast beaches are calm, beautiful clear waters (great for swimming and relaxing) while the east coast beaches face the open sea, better for surfing/water sports (I will cover these in a future post).  The beach pictured above is Ossos, a secluded tiny beach that you have to ‘hike’ down to: yes below is the ‘trail’ to the beach… it’s a little muddy but totally worth it when you make it to the bottom!
You can climb along the rocks, have a drink and relax, then head to the next beautiful beach, Azedinha Azeda (pictured below). Another small secluded beach with an amazing view! Other popular beaches on the west coast include: Joao Fernandes, Brava, and Tartaruga.  

If you don’t feel like walking/hiking around to the different beaches there are several other options: 1. Water taxi (little power boats) that will take you to whatever beach you want to visit on the west side.  2. Rent a ‘buggy’, warning they are stick shift only, so if you can’t drive a stick…you can’t drive a buggy! 3. Catamaran (will cover in a future post).

Historical things not to miss:The statue of Brigette Bardot by Chrisina Motta. Brigette Bardot has been credited with popularizing the town of Buzios when she visited it in 1964 with her boyfriend at the time, Brazilian musician Bob Zagury.  Fun fact: Brigette Bardot is also credited with popularizing the bikini (Thanks Brigette!!)

One the most well known sights of Buzios: the bronze statues of the Three Fisherman of Buzios. Always hard at work these fisherman are a reminder of the fishing roots of this once rustic village. In the evening the water will reach up to their knees!

More on Buzios to come!

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Who needs to join a gym when you can work out for free?

Living in place where you are required to squeeze into a little bikini year round, there are a number of gyms to keep you in that perfect ‘CaRIOca shape”. As you have seen Body Tech is one of the nicer gyms in Leblon, and thanks to a fab corporate discount I am still enjoying my membership:) For those that don’t have access to corp rates…. besides taking long walks on the beach, there are a few other options for you to choose from.

Option 1: Get a bike (I got one too!) Not only does having a bike in Rio make it easier to get around, it is also a great work out! Check out the bike road- yes unlike NYC (sorry to bash, but I truly hate how they have set up the bike lane), as you can see it is its own separate bike area, away from cars and people.  Makes things MUCH safer for everyone.

Option 2:After running, walking or biking down the beach, stop at one of the ‘outdoor gymnasium’ overlooking the ocean!  Pull ups, sit ups, dips and more, you will always see someone working out on one of these exercise stations located all along the beaches.

Option 3: There is a park 2 blocks from my apartment that has been full of kids since I arrived so naturally I assumed it was a kids park… WRONG! To my surprise I discovered that it is really a ‘make-shift gym’.  As you can see there are elliptical’s, and other various ‘machines’ you might see at your gym.

While walking through I saw a mother and daughter on the elliptical… The mother was yelling at her daughter ‘don’t you want to fit into your birthday dress!!!’ hmm sound familiar…

As you can see, lots of different ways for people to stay in shape in Rio

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Can you walk the rope?

On Sundays along the beaches in Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana in Brazil you will see all sorts of different things from yoga retreats, to live music, volley ball and more! It’s pretty awesome, they shut down the main road along the beach so people are walking, riding bikes, skateboarding, you name it and you will see it on this street.

This Sunday, walking across and doing tricks on a tightrope was all the rage!

There were about 12 different ropes set up, and each person who was walking the rope was talented, this was not your ‘beginners zone’, these guys were good!

The crowd was loving watching them do flips and turns- created quite the scene.  Check out the video:

http://www.wellcomemat.com/wm_video_1/D206CAB4E7Tightrope walking on the beach produced by Pamela Granoff on WellcomeMat

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