In southern Rio de Janeiro there are lots of hidden beaches, which deserve all the effort to be discovered. Some have access by boat, others by easy/hard trails – breathtaking paths through the rainforest. Sometimes, you can see the ocean surrounded by the green vegetation or a dense forest leading you to pleasant waterfalls, where you can renew your energies.
When we talk about Iguassu Falls, it is not possible to know it all in one weekend: one half is in Brazil and the other half is in Argentina, each one run by different companies and with different attractions. Both deserve a visit for being completely different. One day on each side is enough to know the basic, four days is perfect for a complete experience in the two countries.
When I saw a friend’s pictures on the internet, I thought “Hey! What is this place? It looks like the island in The Blue Lagoon… where is Brooke Shields?” But it was not a Hollywood movie set, neither a photoshop effect, like I believed. The paradise with clear blue water and white sand on the pictures is Los Roques, Venezuela.
One of the tours I most enjoyed on the Brazilian side of the Falls was “Poço Preto Trail”, an ecologist-guided safari with river bathing included. Spirit of adventure is a basic requirement, and you should not be afraid of water so you can make the most of it.
One of the most beautiful tours in this historical city is a schooner ride on Paraty Bay. Turtles, colored fish, exuberating green areas, warm and clear water are part of the package. Some say the water temperature is usually colder, but for me it was perfect. We took the opportunity to take many pictures and go scuba diving.
Morro de São Paulo is among the most beautiful islands I have ever been to. There are coral reefs with colorful fish, palm trees, white sand, warm water and trails. What most caught my attention was the sudden change of the tides. It happens several times a day, changing the view.
On our last day, a boat ride to spot some humpback whales. In the up and down swing at the sea, we caught a female diving after its calf. Beautiful and unforgettable.
The Cayos Cochinos are a group of small islands that seem to be flooded. Cayo Largo del Sur is in the southeastern end of Cuba and comprises several islets, where you can have a boat tour and go diving. It is paradise! I had never seen such green water and thin white sand before. I went diving in a transparent salted sea with colorful fish, coral reef and a shipwreck – all this in pleasant temperature.
I was already expecting paradise like beaches in Ilha Grande, and it all came true when I saw that emerald green sea, exquisite vegetation and pleasant temperature. The best is to go trekking heading for fantastic hidden beaches, or full of tourists who came by boat. This is not a big problem, for whoever comes by boat does not stay long and it will be a desert beach again.
Islands in Lake TITICACA (navigable lake with the highest altitude in the world, 3827m), made of totora reeds. Very old communities live there and use totora as food, house, boats and handicrafts. The funny thing is that when families have an argument, they draw an imaginary line on the island and each group stays on one half.