ecoDestinations - Brazil

ecoDestinations - Brazil

ecoDestinations Brazil

 

 

Brazil

Which Brazil do you want to visit?

The classic destinations like Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Manaus and Foz de Iguaçu? Or do you like the sound of places like Abrolhos, Bonito, Cabaceiras, Chapada Diamantina, Delta de Parnaiba, Guaraqueçaba, Jalapão, Mamirauá, Pirenopolis, Rio de Contas, Serra do Cipó, Serra de Capivara, Urubici and Vale do Guaporé. These are just a few of hundreds of destinations in a country that is too big to see on one trip.

 

 

Looking for World Heritage Sites? Brazil has 10 cultural and 7 natural sites.

 

Interested in National Parks? Brazil's list is rapidly increasing and reached 65 in 2008.
 

Drawn by History and Culture? Take your pick from 50+ heritage cities and 10,000+ archeological sites.
 

Love to Celebrate? Feel the Congado, join a Copacabana Reveillon, and dance till you drop at Carnaval.
 

Life is a Beach? More than 2,000 to choose from - and that is not counting the river beaches!

 

Or is it about the experience? Perhaps an insiders look at what makes a big city tick, how to help local communities, learning about opposing angles in the Amazon debate, surf new waves and dive new shipwrecks, tick off new species for your birding life list, explore the Estrada Real on foot, bike or horseback, find the perfect place to relax and renew, go after views that take your breath away, discover a cuisine that goes from earthy good to a delicious fusion, dance to the sound of different drums … Brazil, so many destinations, so many possibilities.

 

 

  

Natural Brazil

Natural Brazil: Breakdown of Brazil's 5 Major Biomes

From the Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, to Pantanal, the largest wetlands in the world, Brazil's natural landscapes feature a diverse range of ecosystems, all with unique ecotourism opportunities.

 

 

 

THE AMAZON - The Largest Rainforest in the World: The mythical Amazon can only be described in superlatives. It covers an area of 5 million square kilometers of which 60% is on Brazilian territory. It is the largest and most intact rainforest region in the world.

 

PANTANAL - The Largest Wetlands in the World: In the centre of the South American continent lies the largest wetlands in the world: the Pantanal. Extending into three countries, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, its total area is an estimated 240,000 square kilometers (60% is in Brazil).

 

THE ATLANTIC FOREST - The Forgotten Rainforest of Brazil: The Atlantic Forest is one of the most threatened rainforests in the world. It used to stretch all along the Brazilian coast occupying an area of about 1.1 million square kilometers. Now less than 10% remains. Most of the forest cover in the states North of Salvador is gone.

 

CERRADO - The Magical Brazilian Heartland: The heartland of Brazil, the "cerrado", covers an area equal to Western Europe (2 million sq km) and is thought to be one of the South American continent's more ancient ecosystems.

 

CAATINGA - Ancient Badlands of Northeastern Brazil: Caa-tinga (caa = woods, tinga = white) is the Tupi Indian name for the typical vegetation of the backlands of the North East of Brazil. In the prolonged dry season, most of the thorny bushes, scrubs and contorted trees of the caatinga lose their leaves and you see a thicket of dull grey-white trunks and twigs.

 

 

 

Community Tourism

Community Tourism in Brazil: Southern Hospitality at its Finest

As anyone who has visited Brazil can attest, Brazilians are fun loving and very welcoming. You will encounter this warm hospitality everywhere you go, whether it is in a small remote community or the big city.

 

Visitors to Brazil usually list the stunning nature of Brazil as the number one attraction, but the friendly nature of Brazilians themselves comes a close second. As anyone who has visited Brazil can attest, Brazilians are fun loving and very welcoming. You will encounter this warm hospitality everywhere you go, whether it is in a small remote community or the big city. There is even scientific evidence for the "simpatico" mentality of the Brazilians: a study called "Kindness of Strangers" by Robert Levine (CSU-Fresno) published in American Scientist (2003), showed that Rio de Janeiro was the friendliest of 23 large cities in the world.

 

No wonder then, that there are plenty of community tourism possibilities in Brazil.

 

One of the first community tours in Brazil was organized to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Favelas were then seen by many as "mad, bad and dangerous to go." Marcelo Armstrong's Favela Tour showed that the reality of favelas is complex and, though in many of them crime lords rule, most people who live in them are hardworking. His small group interactive tours support social projects in the community, help the community show their side of the story and give travelers a chance to learn.

 

Attitudes have slowly changed over the years, due to both social and infrastructure improvements and the discovery of the creative and cool in favela culture. Of course, a delicate balance must be kept between an interesting interactive visit or stay and plain slum-gazing.

 

WWF Brazil realized the importance of involving the local community in conservation projects and in 1996 set up the Community-based Ecotourism Program, which worked with WWF supported projects like the Golden Lion Tamarin (Atlantic Rainforest near Rio), TAMAR Sea Turtle Conservation (Fernando de Noronha), Chapada dos Veadeiros Cerrado region (2 hours north of Brasilia) and several local communities in the Amazon (states of Rondonia and Amazonas). The program joined conservation specialists, community leaders and ecotourism specialists.

 

 

Ecotourism

Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Certification in Brazil

Local and national efforts to create quality standards for ecotourism and sustainable tourism products in Brazil. There have been ongoing efforts to create some kind of certification or code of conduct. Early efforts were made by Roteiros de Charme and Brazilian Hotel Association, with a focus on environmental impacts.

 

 

In 2002, a more ambitious program backed by the newly-created Ministry of Tourism started up: Brazil Sustainable Tourism Program (PCTS), coordinated by the Instituto de Hospitalidade and sponsored by IADB, Ministry of Tourism, Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE) and the Brazil Export Promotion Agency (APEX). The objective of the program was improving competitiveness of Brazilian tourism, through better quality and sustainability.

 

The PCTS' initiatives include: creation of National Standard which meets the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, and sustainability trainings for small accommodations and auditors. In March 2009, Instituto Falcão Bauer become the first certification agency to be accredited by Inmetro. Recently, the NGO Reserva da Biosfera da Mata Atlantica started up a destination program for the region around the colonial town of Paraty, using the PCTS methodology, which they participated in another destination.

 

Brazil is also a pioneer in Adventure Tourism Certification. The Aventura Segura (Safe Adventure) is coordinated by ABETA (Brazilian Adventure Tourism Trade Organization) with strong support from the Ministry of Tourism and SEBRAE. The focus of this program is responsible and safe adventure tourism operations and the first results show that structured action can transform destinations. The foundation of the program is the development of a structured group of adventure tourism standards. The Program will continue into 2009 and new companies are expected to join up. ABETA also hopes to see the first companies getting certified.

 

Blue Flag, the beach certification organization, is also represented in Brazil and has started a pilot program involving 7 beaches. This year they are expected to ask for certification. Though there are not yet any certified companies in either sustainable tourism or adventure tourism, Brazil has really advanced in the past 20 years. Brazilian tourism products like the Cristalino Jungle Lodge (Southern Amazon), Uakari Floating Lodge at Mamirauá (Amazon Basin), Pousada Caiman (Pantanal), Projeto Bagagem (community tourism operator) and Prainha do Canto Verde (Northeast Brazil) have won prizes or been finalists in major sustainable tourism awards.

 

 

Acknowledgment: The preparation of this page would not have been possible without the support, hard work and efforts by our friend Ariane Janer of EcoBrasil, who has graciously provided detailed information on the destination and travel experiences in Brasil.

 

Photo Credits: Cover - Daniel De Granville, Photo in Natura; Which Brazil? - EcoBrasil; Natural Brazil - Bengt Janér; Community Tourism - Bruno Maia

 

 

Latest News and Articles on Brazil

The Buraco das Araras (Sinkhole of the Macaws) was once a cave. The roof collapsed and a big hole of 124 metres deep and 160 in diameter was formed. The cliffs proved ideal nesting grounds for Red-and-Green Macaws (Ara chloropterus) and other birds.   When Modesto Sampaio bought 100 ha of land near Bonito in 1986, there were no macaws living there any more. On closing the deal he discovered that his land had a big hole in it, where macaws once flew. Except it was now a rubbish dump full of vultures and, people whispered, dead bodies.   When tourists in search of beautiful...
Roteiros de Charme, an association of independent boutique hotels which adhere to an environmental code since 1992, was the overall winner of the II Braztoa Sustainability Award on Novermber 12th 2013. But an international jury of 14 tourism specialists was impressed by the the great diversity of the 48 initiatives presented in 5 different categories : Hotels, Institutional Partners, Trade Partners (non-Braztoa members), Travel Agencies and Braztoa Members. Over a period of 10 days, the jury read and evaluated the initiatives presented by the candidates, looking at how much they were...
Roteiros de Charme, an association of independent boutique hotels which adhere to an environmental code since 1992, was the overall winner of the II Braztoa Sustainability Award on Novermber 12th 2013. But an international jury of 14 tourism specialists was impressed by the the great diversity of the 48 initiatives presented in 5 different categories : Hotels, Institutional Partners, Trade Partners (non-Braztoa members), Travel Agencies and Braztoa Members. Over a period of 10 days, the jury read and evaluated the initiatives presented by the candidates, looking at how much they were...
The mystical Lake Titicaca, from the Sun Island - Bolivia and Peru (Photo by Sumak Travel)   By Felipe Zalamea   According to the United Nations over 1bn people travelled as tourists in 2012 (up by 4% on the year before), spending around a trillion dollars. This confirms that tourism is a truly important global industry. Clearly, it delivers important benefits, including jobs and some degree of meaningful cross-cultural communication. But what about the quality of the experience generated both for travellers and for host communities? And are these jobs decent and...
Photo by Samuel Melim, Cristalino Lodge   Cristalino Jungle Lodge was selected as one of the "25 Best Ecolodges 2013" by National Geographic Traveler magazine and will be featured in the June / July 2013 issue, as well as listed in a special Best Lodges photo gallery on National Geographic Traveler's award-winning website.   The selection process was competitive and our editorial team worked long and hard to find 2013's best, most authentic, most sustainable lodges. "This year marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The...
Our current issue article series this week focuses on online and mobile technologies that enhance communication and marketing tools for tourism businesses and destinations. How can businesses and destinations utilize technology to enhance experience, and to engage team members, communities, and potential customers? What are some examples of innovative ideas and solutions effectively utilizing technology? Head over to TIES-EXCHANGE to share your comments and ideas! (Member log-in required)     From work to private life, from professional to social networking...
Tourism Industry Stakeholders Invited to the 2014 "World Cup of Ecotourism" Hosted by The International Ecotourism Society and Brazil April 25, 2013, WASHINGTON, DC, USA and SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), together with its partners in Brazil, has just announced the 2014 host destination of the annual Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), which will be held in Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil in April 2014. The announcement was jointly made at the World Travel Market Latin America by TIES and ESTC14 partners including...
A Model of Sustainable Ecotourism in a Changing Brazil Vitória da Riva Carvalho, owner of Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Alta Floresta, was recently featured in a Financial Times article about the shifting attitudes of Brazilians toward their abundant natural resources. Having inherited land from her father, who purchased 800,000 hectares of rainforest in the 1970s with dreams of creating a model agricultural city, Vitória has witnessed this attitude change firsthand.   Despite resistance from locals and even death threats, Vitória's persistence in...
  BRAZTOA (Brazilian Tour Operator Association) announced the winners of the first edition of the Braztoa Sustainability Award, which seeks to promote the culture of sustainability in the Brazilian tourism sector. The presentation ceremony was held on December 11th at the Museum of the Brazilian House.   The winners were: Hotel Blumenberg (Canela-RS), Recanto Ecológico Rio da Prata (Bonito-MS), Pousada Lagoa do Cassange (Maraú-BA), Campo dos Sonhos (Socorro-SP), and e Ambiental Viagens (São Paulo – SP). These winners were among the 18 finalists...
Bonita, Brazil is now a whl.travel destination New York, NY/November 3, 2012 - The tropical town of Bonito (http://www.bonito-pousadas.com/) is one of the more out-of-the-way destinations in Brazil. For that reason – as well as the crystalline lakes, scenic rivers and rushing waterfalls – it is a great place for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and horseback riding. It is also a top spot for snorkeling and diving in Brazil. Whether you’re above or below the surface of the water, as the region is laced with limestone that acts as a natural filter, Bonito’s...

 

About TIES


As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy unit