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Key Dates in 2013

  • July 15: Doctoral Symposium
  • July 15-16: Workshops & Tutorials
  • July 17-19: Main Conference

North Region

Comprised of seven states – Amazonas, Acre, Amapá, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins – and occupying approximately half of Brasil’s territory, the Northern Region is ideal for those who seek the adventures of ecotourism. This region offers a rare opportunity of experiencing the Amazon Rainforest, the worlds biggest biological reserve, with an unmatched potential of natural resources, where one third of the planet’s species are found.

The rivers of the Amazon basin, which contain one fifth of the world’s fresh water reserves, are paths that lead to the heart of the forest. Of the twenty major rivers of the planet, ten belong to the Amazon basin. The Amazon River, with its 5.500km of extension is one of them.

The jungle hotels provide comfort and safety for the discovery and exploration of the vast flora and fauna of the region. The Amazonian folklore and cuisine with its regional products also offer special attractions. In Parintins, the folk festival of the “Boi–Bumbá”, in June, arouses great excitement among the fans dressed up in the distinct colors of the “Caprichosos” and the “Garantidos”.

In Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, one can also get to know the Teatro Amazonas, built in the 20th century, in a Renaissance style with “Art–noveau” interiors.

The colors of Indian arts, feather collars, and the “marajoara” and “tapajônica” pottery can be found for sale at the “Ver–o–Peso” market in Belém, State of Pará. Another great attraction is the island of Marajó, known for the “pororoca”, the meeting of the Amazon River with the Atlantic Ocean. The Bananal Island, in the State of Tocantins is the world’s biggest river island, having beautiful beaches and plentiful fishing.

West–Central Region

In the Midwestern region of the country, made up of the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás, and the Federal District, we find the amazing contrast between the new–born and the immortal. On one side of the region, placed in the middle of Goiás’ “cerrado”, is Brasil’s capital, Brasília, founded on the 21st of April 1960. With its modern avant garde architecture, it is the only architectural ensemble of the 20th century which deserved to be considered by Unesco’s “Mankind’s Heritage”. Its buildings like the Alvorada Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Congress are modern but harmonious in its ensemble.

On the other side of the region, Mato Grosso’s Pantanal is a true ecological sanctuary, where visitors hosted in inns can make excursions. Specialized guides instruct visitors to safely observe alligators, snakes, capybaras, and an infinity of bird species, which choose the Pantanal, one of the most important places on the planet, for their route of migration.

In Goiás, the Caldas Novas water resort has revitalising Hot Springs, with medicinal properties and temperatures ranging from 30 to 50 degrees Celsius. For freshwater fishermen, an excellent tip: the Araguaia river is considered one of richest rivers in fish in the world, and the region has an excellent infrastructure of hotels and excursions in special boats for those who love fishing. In addition, the Chapada dos Guimarães and Chapada dos Veadeiros National Parks stand out for their exuberant scenic views.

Northeast Region

To know the origins of Brasil – where nature is exuberant and the country offers its richest manifestation of popular culture – one cannot forget to visit the Northeast Region, made up of nine states: Maranhão, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, and Bahia.

In the Northeast, we find an everlasting summer climate and the most charming beaches of the continent, from the fascinating Canoa Quebrada beaches in Ceará to Genipabú with its sand dunes in Rio Grande do Norte; Ponta do Seixas and Cabo Branco in Paraíba; Porto de Galinhas and the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha in Pernambuco; Pratagy in Alagoas; from Atalaia Velha in Sergipe to Porto Seguro in Bahia, among many others.

In this region, we find exciting rhythms like “forró”, “frevo”, “ciranda”, “maracatu”, and “lambada” as well as the “trios elétricos” and the Carnival. One can enjoy the “dendê” oil, several kinds of peppers and others spices of the region’s varied cooking of African origin, sea food and cassava flour, all accompanied by caipirinha (sugar cane spirit with lemon), the nation’s most popular drink or refreshing coconut water.

Regional handicraft offer a variety of souvenirs, for sale at the Mercado Modelo in Salvador, at the Casa da Cultura in Recife, and at the Feira de Caruaru in Pernambuco. Colonial architecture can be seen in Olinda, Pernambuco – birthplace of the Portuguese civilization in Brasil, and in the borough of Pelourinho in Salvador. These two places were declared “Mankind’s Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO, together with São Luís in Maranhão, which possesses rich examples of the use of wall tiles in the architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries. At the Serra da Capivara National Park, in the municipality of Raimundo Nonato, Piauí, we find rock paintings, which attest to the oldest presence of man on the American continent.

Southeast Region

Comprised of four states – Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Espírito Santo, it is through the southeastern region that Brasil shows its urban face. In Rio de Janeiro, known as the Wonderful City, exuberant nature contrasts with modern buildings and a thrilling metropolis. The city is the culminating point of the most frenzied nightlife and cultural life of the country. It is home to the most famous Carnival in the world, renowned for its parade and its “escolas de samba” (samba schools). There are countless attractions, for example, the Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado, the Botanical Garden, the Tijuca Forest, and the hotel infrastructure is excellent.

In Minas Gerais, one can visit the architectural past, knowing the famous work of arts of baroque sculptors and the historical cities of Ouro Preto, Mariana, São João del Rey, Tiradentes, Sabará, Diamantina, and Congonhas. One can enjoy the medicinal waters of Caxambu, Araxá, and São Lourenço, and get to know the most beautiful precious and semi–precious stones from the old mines.

In Espírito Santo, don’t miss the chance to try the famous “muqueca capixaba”, and to visit the historical cities of Vila Velha and Anchieta and the beaches with monazitic sands of Guarapari.

In São Paulo, the biggest metropolis of Latin America, one will find the characteristics of the five continents united in what is most modern, cosmopolitan, and urban. Immigrants of European, Japanese, and Arabic origins built true industrial and commercial empires in São Paulo, bringing with them their culture and typical foods, turning the city into a paradise of restaurants, shopping malls, and the biggest theatre and music shows, and conducting business at national and international levels. At the northern seashore, one will be surprised by the beauty of the beaches, among them Ilhabela, Ubatuba, and São Sebastião.

South Region

Blond kids, blue eyes, and strong accents. Are we really in Brasil? The South is like that. Colonized mainly by German, Italian, and Polish immigrants, the South carries in the works and endeavors of its inhabitants a strong European touch. We may say that it is the only region of the country where we can follow the passage of the seasons, in a well–defined manner. The winter is cold, even with occasional flurries of snow in the mountains.

In Paraná, in addition to the city of Curitiba, a model of urban planning and of good standards of living, we can contemplate in awe the Foz do Iguaçu, the spectacle of one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

In Santa Catarina in the Itajaí valley, one can witness the industrial progress and get enchanted with original German cooking. In Florianópolis, capital of Santa Catarina, and along the coast, the beaches are a different spectacle, with water and sands to please every taste. Joaquina is used for international surf championships. Bombinhas is a diver’s paradise. Camboriú is the most urbanized beach of the South.

In October, the city of Blumenau in Santa Catarina attracts joyful tourists from all over the country and even from abroad for the Oktoberfest (The Beer Festival). Pomerode in Santa Catarina, Gramado and Canela in the mountains of Rio Grande do Sul look like true Bavarian postcards, with colonial cafés, delicious sausages, and German delicatessen. In Rio Grande do Sul, the ruins of São Miguel and around Santo Ângelos bear testimony to 210 years of Jesuit missions in Brasil. A strong regionalist spirit in the state offers a rich folklore of music and dances, with the habit of eating churrasco (barbecue) and drinking “chimarrão” (tea of erva mate).

The Insider’s Guide to Rio & Brasil

Ecotourism Providers