Search Results for Category: South America

SENIORS ENJOY BRAZIL


Seniors, Been to Salvador da Bahia Yet?

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Salvador, Brazil’s former capital is renowned for its African-influenced cuisine, music and architecture. Known as “the Capital of Joy,” because of its exuberant week-long Carnaval celebrations, Salvador brims with contemporary music and art amid architecture that has gone untouched since the 17th century.The region is packed with fun things for senior visitors to see and do.

Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the northeast State of Bahia. The Historic Center of Salvador, frequently called the “Pelourinho”, was designated a World Heritage Site in 1985. It is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture with historical monuments dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

Most tourists stay in Pelourinho, the historic center, or in Barra, the first urban beach out from the center, which has a lot of restaurants and bars. The next coastal area is Ondina with its big hotels on the cliffside. Ondina beach has lots of reefs.

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Pelourinho’s winding cobblestone streets are packed with historical sites, colonial architecture, museums, restaurants, bars, hostels and artisanal shops. And senior “beach goers”, Salvador is home of the 3rd best beach of the World, Porto da Barra Beach.

Seniors Find a Vibrant, Exciting City

Salvador has history on its side. The Baía de Todos Santos (All Saints Bay) was first encountered by the Portuguese explorers and named back in 1500. Salvador was the capital in the heyday of the slave trade. The legacy remains today in its large black population, and the resulting culture in many ways outshines the rest of Brazil.

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In music, many of the greatest names from the mid-20th century to the present hail from Salvador. It’s a vibrant, exciting city, and its people are really quite friendly.

Salvador remained the first capital of Brazil until 1763, when it was succeeded by Rio de Janeiro. Salvador settled into graceful decline over the next 150 years, out of the mainstream of Brazilian industrialization. It remains, however, a national cultural and tourist center.

By 1948 the city had some 340,000 people and by then was the 4th largest city in all of Brazil. Adventursome seniors, it’s an exciting city to check out.  jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Go South To The End Of The Earth

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Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, in the deep south of Argentina, commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. Opposite the bay that named the city and with a view of Navarino and Hoste (Chile) Islands, Ushuaia, the capital city of Tierra del Fuego, houses 45,000 people, it’s not small.

The visit implies a route around several places such as the Old Town Center, the port and the steep streets that climb the mountain. In this way it is possible to get a lot of varied colorful panoramic views. One  can truthfully say, Ushuaia is one cool site where senior visitors will discover why it  is called Fin Del Mundo (End of the World). It’s in Tierra del Fuego that the Andes Mountains meet the southern ocean in a sharp skid.

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Historically, the city was founded in 1884 by an Argentinean expedition with a help of 300 Anglican missionaries who participated in promoting the city. The natives called it Yamana. During the 20th century, a prison was built in Ushuaia and the prisoners had an important role in building the city.

Ushuaia lies on the shores of the Beagle Channel and is surrounded by the Martial Mounts. Tierra del Fuego is one of the most mystical, fascinating places on the planet. Explore forests, rivers, mountains and wilderness at the end of the world. Ushuaia is the port of call nearest Antarctica, and a unique destination for kayaking, sailing or just exploring nature.

The Laguna Esmeralda is #1 with visitors followed by Beagle Channel. Birders love it with the numerous bird and marine animal species that live in the Beagle Bay.

 Sea, Forests, Lakes and Mountains: Seniors See It All

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Within the impressive frame made up by the sea, the forests, the lakes and the mountains, Ushuaia is a picturesque city. In its surroundings, Ushuaia offers unexplored, untouched territories that invite senior visitors to discovery and adventure.

The main activities in this privileged nook are mostly related with nature and wildlife that are in abundance. Mount Castor Ski Resort is the the option offered by Ushuaia to the lovers of snow during the winter months.

Ushuaia is a young city and today a tourist city with international airport and all necessary services. Lured by the particular mysticism of its geography and its natural environment, tourists from all round the world visit Ushuaia every year, thus making it one of the most preferred destinations for unique vacations.

You can enjoy reading some personal experiences by someone who has been there. There are several interesting tours and sightseeing opportunities by bus or by the End of the World Train.

Add Ushuaia to your world travel bucket list and enjoy your time there. jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Discover “La Ciudad Perdida”

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How does one go about finding a “Lost City?” A good guide will help! Researchers say that La Ciudad Perdida dates before Machu Picchu. Seniors, are you ready for a good hike into the jungle? Are you ready for a true adventure? Then grab your coffee and let’s head out for La Cuidad Perdida in Columbia, believed to be one of the largest known archaeological sites in South America.

The first stones were placed approximately 500 AD and remained unknown until 1972 when the city was discovered by treasure hunters. The Indians who live nearby say the city has always been known, but they have kept it a secret.

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The Ciudad Perdida can only be visited via a jungle trek that may take up to six days. Be forewarned: This trek is not for the timid, the walk is tough but hikers are rewarded with stunning flora and fauna and nature that not many outsiders will ever see.

Senior Trekers Discover More

The Tayrona people built La Ciudad Perdida and called it Teyuna. The Spanish invasion pushed the natives high into the Sierra Nevada until they were so dispersed that their numbers dwindled and their cities were abandoned. The jungle reclaimed the Lost City…until tomb raiders found gold.

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And on your way there’s more than a Lost City to discover in this part of Colombia. From the Guajira desert down to Cartagena you’ll find historical buildings, waterfalls, smooth, sandy beaches in Tayrona national park or coffee farms in Minca.

The trek is a classic Indiana Jones style 6 day/5 night, 20km trek through the rainforest to some of the most magical of South America’s ruins. Many tourists that do visit Ciudad Perdida rank it as one of their most memorable travel experiences ever.

La Ciudad Perdida AKA Green Hell

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That  group of local treasure looters found a series of stone steps rising up the mountainside, through dense jungle and followed them to an abandoned city which they named “Green Hell”. Members of local tribes the Arhuaco, the Kogui and the Assario have stated that they visited the site regularly before it was widely discovered, but had kept quiet about it.

La Ciudad Perdida was probably the region’s political and manufacturing center on the Buritaca River and may have housed from 2000 up to 8000 people. It was apparently abandoned during the Spanish conquest.

The vegetation is still not completely removed. Therefore, the ruins really feel like a forgotten and lost city. In the area, trekkers will discover more than 200 stone structures, roads, canals, houses, storage areas, plazas and ceremonial buildings. The city has 169 terraces that are carved into the mountainside offering stunning scenery of the Sierra Nevada mountains and valleys.

Those who have made the climb found an amazing ever-changing scenery to walk through. From wet rainforest, red clay hills, rocky paths through rivers, grassy cleared land and local indigenous Kogui villages.

So, think you might be ready for this jaunt into the “Green Hell?” Suerte!  jeb

SENIORS VISIT HONDURAS CAPITAL


Seniors Discover Tegucigalpa

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Tegucigalpa (tuh-goo-si-gal-puh0), commonly referred to as Tegus, is the capital of Honduras and seat of government of the Republic, along with its twin sister Comayagüela. Senior travelers will find Tegucigalpa in the central region of the country.

Ringed by forested hills in a highland valley, sprawling Tegucigalpa, population 890,000, enjoys a relatively fresh, mild climate and a spectacular setting high up in the mountains.

The city is one of the few capitals in the world without a railroad, and depends largely on the international airport at Toncontín.

The Mercado San Isidro is where you can enjoy searching for great souvenirs and treasures. Excellent artesanía is included in the chaotic market in Comayagüela, its twin city that is separated by the Choluteca or Grande river.

 As senior visitors stroll the streets you will see many buildings that have survived since colonial times. Walk on and you will reach modern glass malls and cinemas flashing with neon signs. There are large pine forests nearby the city, so the air is refreshing.

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Tegucigalpa was founded by Spanish settlers as “Real Villa de San Miguel de Tegucigalpa de Heredia” in 1578 on the site of an existing native settlement. The city’s principal buildings include the presidential and legislative palaces, the National University of Honduras (1847), and an 18th-century cathedral.

 Seniors Enjoy the Beautiful Churches

Senior visitors will discover that the best attractions in Tegucigalpa are the city’s many beautiful churches. The city has diverse light industry, including the production of textiles, sugar, and cigarettes.

Old Tegucigalpa, built on a steep hill, retains many quaint colonial aspects, with narrow streets and sidewalks, overhanging balconies, and stair-stepped streets. Tegucigalpa, as a colonial city, has several barrios in the oldest districts of the city.

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A city with a very pleasant climate, Tegucigalpa is nestled in a valley at 1000m above sea level making it ideal all year round. It is a gateway to the Pacific Coast and to numerous attractions that are located in central and southern Honduras.

A chain of mountains covered with pine trees surrounds the city. The name Tegucigalpa means ‘silver hill’ in the local dialect, and it was bestowed when the Spanish founded the city as a mining center in 1578. Most sources indicate that the origin and meaning of the word Tegucigalpa is derived from the Nahuatl language.

TripAdvisor suggests 26 attractions for seniors to visit and the Parque Nacional La Tigra is a major draw. Tegucigalpa is definitely worth a visit on your way into or out of Honduras. Check out the city with your travel agent, get adventurous, and spend some quality time in exotic Tegucigalpa. jeb

SENIORS CHOOSE ECUADOR


Seniors Retire in Ecuador

CNN Money has been looking for great places for seniors to retire. One of those spots is in Ecuador. In recent years, Cuenca, Ecuador (population 30,000 and 275 miles south of Quito), has become a favorite retirement destination. Cuenca offers temperate weather, beautiful architecture, and modern health care, all for a fraction of the cost of living in the U.S., and the national currency is the U.S. dollar.

Opening-home-price figure, $75,000, is not a typo. Health care and property taxes are dirt-cheap. Sell your winter clothes, seniors…and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in the Land of Eternal Spring. Every cliché you’ve heard about living large on little, on even a retiree’s budget, is true in Ecuador writes International Living.

Senior citizens can live comfortably on social security and live well. I have spent time in Ecuador and loved most everything I encountered. Of all of the cities in Ecuador, Cuenca is arguably the most charming with its cobblestone streets, old-world cathedrals, colonial parks and urban rivers. It is the third largest city in the country with a population of a 500,000.

Why Cuenca? Seniors Ask

Cuenca is currently home to a few thousand expat retirees, mostly from the U.S. and Canada. New arrivals can choose from one of the many new condo developments or spring for a landscaped historic estate for $300,000.Ecuador is a local food paradise with a variety of lush produce that grows year round in small farms surrounding Cuenca.

What does Cuenca Ecuador have to do with The American Dream? Short Answer: everything really associated with quality of life is more abundantly available in the very best cities of Latin America with Cuenca, Ecuador a crown jewel among them. If you are even a tiny bit interested in a major move like this, read on as they highlight the Big Three Pros of Cuenca including a video entitled “Living in Cuenca.”

My Editor, My Wife, reads all these  blogs very carefully and most often notes that “We have to check this place out.”  I’m confident that Cuenca will be included next. Cuenca is a World Heritage Site and that’s enough, in itself , to merit a visit.

Viva Tropical notes that Cuenca is the city of choice for those people who dream of living smack in the middle of Paris, Barcelona, or Sienna (or even Manhattan or San Francisco, for that matter)… within walking distance of historical, beautiful architecture, culture, and food — at a price that’s affordable for someone needing more living space than a studio apartment.

And “nota bene:” the people in Cuenca are welcoming of Americans and happy to help make them part of the community. Many are fluent in English and the city has plenty of English-language bookstores, store owners, and people willing to accommodate non-Spanish speaking travelers and expats.

Enjoy your time in Cuenca.  I know we would.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO COSTA RICA


Seniors Say ‘Yes’ To Guanacaste

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Another Travel Photo of the Day is Guanacaste, a province of Costa Rica located in the northwestern part of the country, along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It borders Nicaragua to the north. It is one more super site in Costa Rica with sun-splashed beaches and great Pacific surf. Costa Rica’s northwestern province of Guanacaste teems with senior visitors from around the globe.

The region’s dry tropical climate encompasses a varied landscape. Popular white-sand beaches line the coast. With a total of 5,921 sq. miles and more than 400 miles of coastline, the Guanacaste tourism area comprises the Pacific Coast area from the border of Nicaragua to the Bongo River estuary in the Nicoya Peninsula. This tourism area is home to a very important section of Costa Rica’s cultural and natural heritage.

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The capital city of the Province of Guanacaste is Liberia, where senior visitors will find souvenir shops, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and an International Airport.

Located 30 minutes northwest from the airport you will find the Gulf of Papagayo where beautiful resorts and tourist facilities lay among some of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica.

A Senior Paradise For Bird Watchers and Nature Lovers

For senior birders, Guanacaste is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. Calm waters with great swimming, fine sand beaches with magnificent views, generous shading palm trees, spectacular sunsets and national parks with lush vegetation invite senior citizens.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards, Guanacaste was Chorotega Indian territory. On July 25, 1824 the Guanacaste people decided to be annexed to Costa Rica. This was a decision of free will and was made in its then principal cities, Nicoya and Santa Cruz.

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 A tropical paradise, as is much of Costa Rica, Gaunacaste is one of the most popular provinces. Guanacaste Province has gained a name for itself as a tropical paradise with a pristine shoreline, beautiful mountain ranges and a number of smoking volcanoes.

Senior visitors are drawn to the long summer days, active culture and unparalleled wildlife. Guanacaste’s geographical features are diverse and exotic, with endless options for recreation.

Active Volcanos, Dense Forests and White-Sand Beaches

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Rincon de la Vieja National Park is must-see Costa Rican paradise. From its active volcanos and deep black soils to its dream-like waterfalls, this park is perfect for any outdoor or wildlife enthusiast. As one of Costa Rica’s first national parks, Santa Rosa National Park was a milestone in the country’s commitment to preservation.

Containing dense forests and white-sand beaches, this park is a unique place in the region where visitors can go camping to enjoy the sights and sounds all night. The park is also home to one of the country’s most famous monuments, the Hacienda Santa Rosa.

From small fishing towns, to endless expanses of beachside resorts, to long strips of volcanoes, Guanacaste is one of the most intense and memorable destinations in Costa Rica. It’s on my bucket list.  jeb

SENIOR TRAVEL TO ECUADOR


Seniors Head South To Quito

Senior travelers, if you’re looking for a South American adventure, consider booking a trip to a 16th century Andean city known as the cradle of ancient pre-Incan history and recently named South America’s leading tourist destination by the world’s travel industry.

Quito captured the lofty title at the World Travel Awards for South and Central America in Peru recently, just in time to fete its 35th anniversary as a UNESCO Heritage site — one of the first capital cities in the world to be bestowed with the title. Senior world travelers can set their compass when planning a trip by going to Google/Yahoo/Bing and typing in where you want to go followed by World Heritage Sites.

World Travel Awards Interests Seniors

Ecuador’s tourism industry generated $1.2 billion in revenue in 2011, which signaled 5% growth from the previous year, and the industry continues to grow in 2013 thanks to promotion efforts that expose the beauty of Ecuador’s four different worlds: The Pacific Coast, the Andes, the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands.

So is Quito safe for seniors? According to the U.S. Department of State, petty theft is by far the most common problem facing American tourists. Fodor’s Travel Guide recommends taking the same common-sense precautions that apply to any large city in a developing country, including traveling in groups when possible, avoiding travel after dark and leaving valuables in a secure place such as a hotel safe. Just don’t go off my yourself, okay? And look for hummingbirds that are as large as full-grown robins.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

They say “Live like royalty in Ecuador.” I did not live like royalty but with a group of MDs and DDS I did spend two weeks providing health and dental care to the poorest of the poor in rural Ecuador. Our R&R was spent in Quito, and why not.  Great food, modernity and just fine, friendly people.

The city’s Old Town—a restored UNESCO World Heritage site—is a window into the country’s colonial past. The #1 “must see” in Quito is Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus. #2 is The  Museo Casa del Alabado, an art museum devoted exclusively to the preservation of Pre-Columbian Art.

 Wikitravel fills in early history, the local visitor’s bureau, getting around and advising seniors to take the world’s second highest cable car to overlook the city. I find the Wall Street Journal Travel section very informative. They note that early evenings are the liveliest, and loveliest time to explore.

Along the Old Town’s cobblestone streets, women prepare empanadas and fried corn in doorways. In the Plaza de la Independencia, candy sellers in felt hats with peacock feathers and boys with shoe-shine kits wander among pink-flowering trees. Overlooking the Old Town is the winged Virgin of Quito, the city’s signature statue, built on a hill that was considered sacred in pre-Incan times.

Quito belongs on your travel bucket list.   jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO PERU


Seniors Enjoy Rural Sicuani

CNN runs what they called “Photos of the Day” and Sicuani, Peru was included. CNN selects from user-submitted photos. Seniors will have to “thumb through” several neat photos before you come to a Bolivian woman tending her sheep.

What neat photos. I found the small town, 12,000 feet high in the Andes known for its Indian markets for llama skins and alpaca wool, to be totally fascinating and invite you to check it out personally.

This village reminds me of my visit to Chichicastenango in Guatemala, a village famous for its parish church…baroque facade and sculpted high altar. In Sicuani, sheep, alpacas and llamas dominate the horizon and main street is quite dark. The simplicity of the environment is what makes a visit here an adventure and seniors will enjoy the pastoral quietness that dominates the village.

This comment by visitors at the modern Wikkamayu Hotel tells it all: “Liked this one a lot – pretty decor, lovely pisco sours. Check out took an age, ‘though! Left us a little rushed for time, but to be fair, we were quite a big group, leaving at 6 am, and I think it overwhelmed reception staff.”

 Seniors Travel Out Of The Way

You may be one of the thousands of tourists who head for Cusco on your way to Machu Picchu. Very few travelers make their way to Sicuani when visiting Peru, and this is what makes it an adventure.  Now instead of heading north go south for 2 hours on Hwy 35 to Sicuani. Senior travelers may have to shrink the map a few times to find both cities, but give it a go and enjoy the photos.

A paved road runs southeast from Cuzco to Sicuani, at the southeastern edge of the Department of Cuzco. It continues to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, then on to the border with Bolivia. The highway, the Valle del Sur, is a stretch running south east of Cusco to Sicuani and boasts lesser-known, but equally important, Inca and pre-Inca Sites. Senior travelers will want to search these out.

Combis run every 15 to 20 minutes between Cuzco and Sicuani, and more frequently to the villages and towns in between. You can fly in with Yauri Airport just 61 kilometers away from Sicuani and Fausa Airport, 71 kilometers away. Enjoy  exploring in exciting Peru.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO NICARAGUA


Seniors,  Let’s Meet in Granada

I don’t often hear from anyone in Nicaragua however I just had an e-mail asking me to add their school website to my learn Spanish abroad website. The school is in Granada, so I wanted to check out that city for us senior travelers.  Granada, a city in western Nicaragua with an estimated population of 110,000, is Nicaragua’s fifth most populous city.

Granada is historically one of Nicaragua’s most important cities, economically and politically. It has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and structure. During the colonial period Granada became fabulously rich, its wealth built upon exploitation: sited only 20km from the Pacific, the city was a transit point for shipments of gold and other minerals mined throughout the Spanish empire.

 For Seniors Who Enjoy Colonial Architecture

The city of Granada is one of the most important and most visited destinations in Nicaragua. The colonial architecture of its old center, its many museums, galleries, hotels, restaurants, bars and its cosmopolitan ambiance make this city a destination itself.

Nicaragua sits between Honduras and Costa Rica in Central America and is generally considered to be the safest country. As in any city it’s always worth taking common sense precautions. Granada has long been a center of commerce, including timber, gold and silver. Granada’s economy continues to grow, becoming the national tourism hub.

Secluded from the modern world by the miles of wilderness characteristic of Nicaragua, Granada slumbered peacefully through the Sandinista civil war in a backdrop of rich agricultural land, dry forests, and tropical rain forests and volcanoes.

For Seniors Who Enjoy Lakes and Volcanos

Nicaragua is known as “Country of Lakes and Volcanos”. LAGO DE NICARAGUA, which at more than 3,000 square miles, is too large to see across, gives the city of Granada a uniquely seafront feel. Drawn by year-round warm weather, colonial-era architecture and the freshwater Lake Nicaragua, seniors travelers from around the world flock to Granada. Senior eco-tourists will love visiting the dormant Mombacho volcano, sailing on the lake and zip-lining through the trees.

Nicaragua is also called “The Earth of Volcanoes” and counts more than 63 active and inactive volcanoes, one of many reasons why this country is unique and perfect for nature and adventure-lovers. Granada is one of Central America’s undisputed gems: a charming colonial city brimming with culture and beautiful architecture and sitting pretty on the picturesque shores of Lake Nicaragua.

Granada, formerly the capital of  Nicaragua, is undoubtedly still the country’s tourism capital. Granada gets under your skin… a multicolored historic city that is large enough to ensure that senior visitors  won’t get bored but small enough that you can still get a good feel by walking around.

So now Granada is on my travel bucket list. jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO BRAZIL


Seniors Land In Florianópolis

Ever heard of Florianópolis? Me neither until this senior accidentally got off a plane in this city and had difficulty reboarding to fly on to Sao Paulo and back to the states.  I thought that we’d landed in São Paulo.

My wife and I had just spent a month with Argentine friends in Corrientes and were on our way back to the states. I figured that it was a direct flight to São Paulo and on to Miami. Wrong. Anyway, I got off the plane in Florinapólis and had a difficult time getting back on again. Dumb me. Anyway, here I am back in the states and so I did manage to get back on the plane to return home.

 The Island of Magic

Dubbed Ilha da Magia – Island of Magic – Florianópolis is one of three Brazilian state island capitals. Floripa, as the island is affectionately known by locals, is one of the world’s best surf spots and most stunningly beautiful locations. The city has become one of the most popular destinations in Brazil for senior visitors looking for superb beaches, beautiful scenery, interesting culture and friendly people.

With a half million residents, Florianópolis is said to be one of the finest places to live and visit in all of South America. The many crescent beaches and quiet town demeanor invite seniors to extend their stay and enjoy the easy going Brazilian lifestyle.

With a choice of that many fine beaches, some are like private islands and others offer popular water-based activities. Florianópolis also satisfies people who appreciate historical places. The forts from the 18th century, built to protect the island against foreign invaders can be visited via easy strolls.

The New York Times reported that Florianópolis was a “Party Destination of the Year.” Does that tell you something partygoers? Brazilian weekly Veja noted the city to be “the best place to live in Brazil”, so it’s only natural that senior tourists would want to come and check it out.

Seniors Discover Dynamic City

Named one of the “Ten most dynamic cities in the world” by Newsweek Magazine, Florianopolis boasts a highly developed infrastructure, schooling system, literacy rate, and the list goes on.  TripAdvisor notes 107 attractions travelers recommend including some of the best surfing in the world.

And not only will you be safe in the water while surfing in Florianopolis (no sharks or reefs to worry about!), you’ll also be safe outside the water as there is very little crime. City officials say it will be the future “Silicon Valley of Brazil, with beaches.”

You’ll find the city modern, with large shopping malls, chain and high-end restaurants and many glamorous bars and nightclubs. Furthermore it is a modern city with a touch of colonial feel to it because of the old fortresses and other similar sites.

Looking backwards, guess I should have just not gotten back on the plane and checked out the Floripa for myself. Enjoy your stay.  jeb

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