The Brazilian North East & Caruaru

10 days from £2,000 pp incl flights, accommodation & transfers

This is Brazil's nearest point to Africa, same climate different beaches, music to blow your mind and yes, a carnival thrown in for good measure.

Ceara Coast

The nearest point to both Africa and Europe are the coasts of Paraiba, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte which alongside Bahia houses the real heart of Brazil. The clay figures, a legacy of the great folk artist Mestre Vitalino and gruff voices singing over forro characterise this part of the country, it’s here that Luiz Gonzaga perfected his baritone delivery

Olinda @ Carnival

This section of the north east is a social interpretation of the footballer Garrincha, it is a mesmeric explosion of colour and flair with the unexpected thrown in. Olinda, João Pessoa and Natal all contain picturesque old towns acting as a beacon of Portuguese enterprise so far from Lisbon

Figurinhas

The carnivals along this coast are for the connoisseurs and the complete equal of the one thrown by the Cariocas in Rio plus the beaches are some of the best in the world, not just Brazil!
Day 1 - Olinda

• Day 1: Arrival at the International Airport dos Guararapes in Recife. Local guide assistance, and transfer to the city of Olinda (Cultural Heritage of Humanity), on an air-conditioned minibus. On the way you’ll pass by the beautiful beach of Boa Viagem and the old Recife district. Check into the JANTAR NO HOTEL - dinner at the adjacent Estrela do Mar Restaurant – on the seafront. Overnight in Olinda

Day 2 - Olinda

• Day 2: After breakfast, at a set time, a walking tour around the city of Olinda with a tour guide who will show you the beautiful baroque architecture of the city which is a cultural heritage site as designated by UNESCO. During this tour passengers will visit the most interesting and historical places such as: Square Sé, São Salvador Church, Largo da Misericórdia, Quatro Cantos, Museum of Contemporary Art, Ribeira Market, St Peter Square, local artisans markets and the São Bento Convent among other attractions. At Night – a welcome dinner at the Estrela do Mar restaurant serving a seafood platter. Overnight in Olinda

Day 3 - Caruaru

• Day 3: After breakfast, at around 7:30 you’ll be taken by minibus to the city of Caruaru considered by UNESCO as " the biggest centre of figurative art in the Americas ". It is located in the west of the state of Pernambuco 130 km from Recife. On the way you’ll visit the handcraft fair where there are items in ceramic, embroidery, wood, straw, leather, cloth and other materials. Alto do Moura is a district where local houses can be visited. There is also the Mestre Vitalino Museum, which maintains the memory of the master of clay dolls in Pernambuco. Then there is the village of Forró, a scenographic square plus the Museum of Luiz Gonzaga known nationally as the King of Baião (a kind of a local music). It’s important to mention that on the way to Caruaru the landscape is very beautiful where you are able to see other towns in the Pernambuco bush. Gravatá, for example is a city with an excellent climate, most of the houses are constructed similar to those in Switzerland. Besides Gravatá, there’s Bezerros which is known for Papangus – three metre tall dolls. Xilogravuras is another town with a crafts market, which is located on the BR -232 road. This place offers a rich exposition with works from more than 400 artists from around Pernambuco. The craftsmen employ different techniques for showing the most representative creative ideas. The Centre also works as a meeting point for the artists; there are also courses in the arts, fairs, expositions and exhibitions. At 4 pm you then visit the Fazenda Nova, and stay at the Pousada da Paixão (Passion Guest House) in which is the largest open air theatre in the world. It has an area of 70,000 square metres. This space is surrounded by a wall containing 70 towers, in this area there are palaces made of sculptured stones, gardens and other scenes from the Passion of Christ which is performed during holy week. Nova Jerusalem is around 40 kms from Caruaru. Overnight in Caruaru

Day 4 - João Pessoa

• Day 4: After breakfast at Pousada da Paixão, you’ll leave for Campina Grande, the 2nd biggest city in the State of Paraíba, known for its colourful cotton which features internationally in fashion shows as well as being the birthplace of famous Brazilian singer Jackson do Pandeiro, you’ll see his sculpture in iron, besides other interesting and historical sights. You’ll have lunch then head off to Pedra do Ingá where you’ll see examples of the pre-historical civilization in the area. In Pedra do Itacoatiara there are many sculptured inscriptions. Arrival at João Pessoa and check into your hotel. Overnight in João Pessoa

Day 5 - João Pessoa

• Day 5: You’ll tour the third oldest city in Brazil (founded 1585) and one of the greenest according to the ONU classification. João Pessoa is a lovely city, it’s calm, has history and is imbued with nature. There you can visit the Pavilhão do Chá – the Tea Pavillion, a beautiful monument at Venancio Neiva Square, then on to the Lake of Solon de Lucena known as a picture post card spot with palm trees with the nearby shore lapped by green and calm waters. One of the best known beaches in J Pessoa is Tambaú, containing a coral formation called Picaozinho, 700 metres from the coast. Another place that you can see is the Cabo Branco Beach which is the "place where the sun rises first ". Towards evening you can see the sunset listening to Ravel’s bolero wafting over from the bars lining the beach! Each Tuesday there are traditional dance shows highlighting furthermore the flavour of this region. Overnight in João Pessoa

Day 6 - João Pessoa

• Day 6: Free day to enjoy J Pessoa Overnight in João Pessoa

Day 7 - Natal

• Day 7: After breakfast embark towards Natal. Along the road you’ll visit Pipa Beach which is considered international class. Arriving at Pipa you’ll travel along the Route of the Sun, passing by the Barreira do Inferno (Hell Barrrier) where rockets for the Brazilian space program are launched. Nearby is also the birthplace of Nísia Floresta who was a prominent 19th century Brazilian feminist. There’s also Tibau do Sul, a very calm beach signalling the meeting of river and sea. At the end of the afternoon you arrive in Natal. Overnight in Natal

Day 8 - Natal

• Day 8: Natal is surrounded by lakes and bountiful flora where you can ride camels or donkeys. There are also the nearby Jacumã, Pitangui and Muriú beaches. On the arrival at Genipabu you’ll see 50 metre high dunes. At the end of the afternoon you return to your hotel and in the evening you’re taken to the Zás-trás club for dinner and a range of traditional music and dance. Overnight in Natal

Day 9 - Natal

• Day 9: After breakfast a panoramic tour round the city of Natal. You’ll visit the most interesting places in this the capital of Rio Grande do Norte. The state having the best air quality in the world according to NASA! The Portuguese, Dutch and French have fought many times over this coast where their churches, museums and the Fort of Reis Magos (built 1598) highlight their past presence. On this route it’s important to visit the anthropological Camara Cascudo Museum, which houses many examples of local craftwork. Other notable Natal attractions include: The Alberto Maranhão Theatre (1904) an inposing neoclassical building, Andre Albuquerque Square. In the upper city there is the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church (built 1706-1714), also Praia dos Artistas, an artists meeting point, Ponta Negra Beach, Morro do careca again containing high dunes and also Praia do Cotovelo beach. Overnight in Natal

• Day 10: After breakfast there’s free time until transfer to the airport for the international flight back to the UK

Caruaru Hotels

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    Hotel Pousada O Tempo e o Vento

      This pousada is located less than 100 yards from the beach at Ponta Negra, 10 miles from the Natal Convention Center, 8 miles from the airport, and 5 miles from the bus station

      Furnished apartments with air-conditioning, colour TV, stereo, telephone, mini-bar and individual safe. From your terrace (with a hammock) a most beautiful (sunrise) view of the ocean
    Location: Ponta Negra, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte – Brazil

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    Pousada da Paixão

      The Pousada da Paixão (the house of Christ's passion) is a unique lodge in so far as it is set within an open air theatre which stages the scenes leading up to the crucifixion during Easter Week.

      The lodge itself is comfortable and basic, but clean with a pleasant restaurant and a pool also
    Location: Teatro de Nova Jerusalém, s/nº Fazenda Nova, Pernambuco - Brazil

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    Nobile Hotel Royal

      Royal Praia Hotel is the best option for lodging when visiting João Pessoa. An alleged four-star hotel with a privileged location in Tambaú beach overlooking the sea, it stands out for its personalised attention to guests
    Location: Tambaú, João Pessoa, Pernambuco - Brazil

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    Astron Quatro Rodas Hotel

      All of the rooms at this exquisite hotel are equipped with air conditioning, cable television, telephone, room service, safety deposit box, mini-bar, radio, data port and more

      The hotel also features a games room, dry cleaning service, exchange office, multilingual staff speaking English, French, Italian and Portuguese, three meeting/conference rooms for those traveling on business, fax machine, sauna, etc
    Location: Praia Casa Caiada, Olinda, Pernambuco - Brazil

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