Category Archives: Hotels

Ilha do Mel, Paraná: A Paradise in Southern Brazil

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Ilha do Mel, PR: Praia de Fora vista do Farol das Conchas

Ilha do Mel, PR: Praia de Fora vista do Farol das Conchas

Ilha do Mel is  one of the most beautiful travel destinations in Southern Brazil and it is considered a paradise on earth for many people. The island is located on Paraná’s Coast, around 4km from the coastal town of Pontal do Sul (120km from Curitiba, the capital of the brazilian state of Paraná). The island is a perfect place for all kinds of people and there is a lot to see and do.  Ilha do Mel receives lots os people from many countries, mostly responsable travellers, families, couples, teenagers, sufers, hikers, among others.

Boats to Ilha do Mel

The only way to reach the island is by boat, where you have the option to leave from Pontal do Sul (40 minutes), Paranaguá (1h45 minutes) and Morretes (1 hour). Boats leave daily from 8h00 to 17h00 every hour during low season and on summer time (December to March) there are departures every 30 minutes and the last boat leaves at 20h00 (departure times can be changed, so make sure to ask!). There are 2 pieers, Encantadas and Nova Brasília the same to access Praia Grande, Praia do Farol e Praia da Fortaleza, considered the nicest beaches and also where you will find the best surf spots on Paraná’s Coast.

Farol das Conchas, Ilha do Mel

Lighthouse "Farol das Conchas"

There is no streets or roads, just trails to give access to other beaches and places. No cars are allowed on the island, so if you would like to visit the other side of the island, the only way is to walk or biking for couple kilometters. If you prefer, you can also take the boat that goes side to side (Encantadas – Brasília and Brasília – Encantadas).

The island has 5 villages: Fortaleza, Nova Brasília ou Brasília, Farol, Praia Grande e Encantadas where locals live and run their busines, mostly pousadas, bars and restaurants. You can find great  pousadas on Ilha do Mel for every budget! Our staff visited all of them and selected for you the best pousadas to stay for each category (budget, midrange and top end). Click here to see  the pousadas we recomend to you on Ilha do Mel. You can see  complete information about pousadas like: pictures, prices, location and book online easily and safely!

Fortaleza Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres

The main touristic attractions on Ilha do Mel are the lighthouse Farol das Conchas, the fortress Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, Encantada’s Cave and the isthmusthe in Nova Brasília.

For further and detailed information about Ilha do Mel, bookings, tours, weather, pictures, movies, events and more visit www.ilhadomel-travel.com.br or contact us: info@specialparana.com or +55 (41) 3232-1314

 

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Watch the video: Enjoy Curitiba | Curta Curitiba | Aproveche Curitiba!

We found a really interesting and cool video about Curitiba made by the Curitiba City Hall and we would like to share the video with you here! The video is available in 3 different language: EnglishPortuguese and Spanish. Watch it, enjoy Curitiba and find out what one of the best cities to live in the World has to offer you and how you can enjoy Curitiba!

Enjoy Curitiba – in English

 

Curta Curitiba – em Português

 

Aproveche Curitiba – en Español

 

We hope that you enjoyed watching the video and we would love to hear your coments and feedback about the video.

If you are coming to Curitiba, please check out the Curitiba touristic portal and book online: hotels, tours, transfers, travel insurance, among others…

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FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil: 14 Good Reasons to Visit Curitiba during the World Cup!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

Now that the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is pver, the World is already looking forward to the next one, the FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil.

People are already starting to look and search information about Brazil, the official host cities, what to expect and do during the World Cup. One of the official host cities confirmed by FIFA is Curitiba, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Paraná (the state of the world-wide famous Iguassu Falls too). Curitiba has the largest population (1.8 million inhabitants – 7th largest nationwide) and the largest economy in Southern Brazil. According to he American magazine Reader’s Digest, the city is considered the best place to live in Brazil

If Curitiba is considered the best city to live in Brazil, what about to visit? What to do? What to expect?

The EMBRATUR – Brazilian Tourist Board, selected 14 good reasons for you to visit Curitiba during your travellings around Brazil and of course, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil:

1) Host City for 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

2) World’s Most Sustainable City (Globe Award 2010 – Sweden).

3) Sustainable Transport Award 2010 (ITDF – USA).

4) Over 50 m² of green area per inhabitant, with 32 parks and woods.

5) The cleanest city in South America.

6) Brazil’s largest ethnic diversity.

7) Best cultural destiny in Southern Brazil (Veja Magazine).

8) 4th best brazilian city for tourism (Trip and Tourism Magazine).

9) Brazilian 3rd best infraestructure (Exame Magazine)

10) Over 150 hotels, 10.000 apartaments and 18.000 beds.

11) Various gastronomy options with influence of numerous ethnies.

12) Great shopping: more than 30 malls and street markets.

13) Home of Atlético Paranaense, Coritiba and Paraná, soccer teams with 6 national championship titles.

14) Located less than 100 km of the shore, with historical cities, islands, beaches and bays.

15)

We would love to hear your comments! Feel free to share and leave a comment about other reasons to visit Curitiba.

Other posts about Curitiba, Brazil:

Inspiring Curitiba: 20 photos that will make you want to visit Curitiba!

A Green City: Parks in Curitiba, Brazil

Surprise Yourself in Curitiba, Brazil

From:  EMBRATUR –  Brazilian Tourist Board


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History and Leisure in Antonina, Paraná – Brazil

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

The city of Antonina, in the Paraná Coast, is famous for its street carnival and its historical architecture, with very old houses, squares, monuments and old churches. In Antonina you will also be able to appreciate the rich local cuisine with typical foods and dishes of the region. Beyond the traditional Barreado (the most famous typical dish of Paraná coast), shrimps, crabs and other sea food can be found in the Municipal Market, that was restored by the Paraná Government in the end of 2007.

The Market is one of the more important tourist attractions of the city, and is located in the Paranaguá bay. The state have spent around R$ 366 thousand in investments to revitalizate the area. The market counts with restaurants, souvenir and handcraft stores, ice cream, snack bar, travel agency and bathrooms for special necessities.

The space still contemplates the traditional fish market. The Antonina’s fish market was inaugurated in 2009 to take care of local fishing with a properly and hygienic space. The pier is also being reformed and it will be concluded soon.

All this makes Antonina a great option of leisure and entertainment in the region, a place of meeting where tourists and locals can exchange experiences and get to know a little more about the history and culture of Paraná tasting and experiencing the good food, natural beauties and tourist attractions of the region.

For more general and tourist information about Antonina you can take a look at www.morretes-antonina.com.br !!!!

Antonina hotels

Antonina tours and activities

Antonina restaurants

Weather in Antonina

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Sweet and Natural as Honey: Brazil’s Ilha do Mel

By Maureen Valentine

This article was first published at the whl.travel blog, who have agreed to its republication here. View the original article on the whl.travel blog.

Found off the coast of southeast Brazil, Ilha do Mel, which means Honey Island, is about as far from life’s chaos as serene nature can get. Hikers, surfers, bird watchers, stargazers and nature lovers alike are in awe of all that this little Atlantic island has to offer. In fact, many agree that Brazil’s most pristine beaches are located right here, where, until the 1970s, the local economy was dominated by fishermen and the lack of traffic spared the land as an ecotourism haven.

haha

As Ilha do Mel is an island of fishermen, this colourful pier is always full of activity. Sampling the abundance of seafood available in the eateries from the daily catches is always a treat.

As Ilha do Mel is an island of fishermen, this colourful pier is always full of activity. Sampling the abundance of seafood available in the eateries from the daily catches is always a treat.

Ilha do Mel is hardly a mass tourism destination, which is one of the things the locals and visitors love about it. Recently reconnected with the mainland –  electricity was introduced in 1998, as were regular boat shuttles, water pipes and other eco-friendly amenities – the island today is fortunately still car-free, a sandy knot of trails crisscrossing an ecological reserve protected by strict regulations on guesthouses, restaurants, stores and tourism. Even better, one guiding principle on the island – a long-term one – is to preserve the environment in its unspoiled state.

Building and Supporting Sustainable Infrastructure

Ilha do Mel is a relative newcomer as a tourism destination and is actively fine-tuning its infrastructure. Efforts are also being made to educate local business owners about business improvement opportunities that tap into tourism as a force for long-term sustainability and an improved standard of living.

Boats are a common sight around this oddly shaped island, since they are the only form of motorised transport. Travellers must reach the island by boat and can walk its expanses, taking in all the magnificent views.

Ilha do Mel boats

Boats are a common sight around this oddly shaped island, since they are the only form of motorised transport. Travellers must reach the island by boat and can walk its expanses, taking in all the magnificent views.

Within this framework, some guidance is being offered by Discover Paraná, the whl.travel local connection on Ilha do Mel, in cooperation with Sebrae, a non-governmental organisation that contributes to the sustainable development of communities by offering to micro and small enterprises the conditions necessary for their survival.

“Our main focus on Ilha do Mel is to train the local guesthouse owners,” explained Bibiana from Discover Paraná. “Together with Sebrae, we take part in meetings. On these occasions we explain to entrepreneurs what the Internet is, how Internet bookings can help them, how they can reach clients, what clients expect from them etc. Building up the entrepreneurs we will build up the destination, as they will be more aware about what they can do. With this done, a change in the destination will be a natural process.”

One local guesthouse owner, Carlos, is a community leader and involved with many programs, like the Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Bem Receber‘, which educates and incentivises entrepreneurs to create and run projects relating to responsible tourism, including water and energy saving, staff education and training, waste recycling and more. As a result of his participation in this program, Carlos’ pousada, Enseada das Conchas, as well as another lodge called Fim da Trilha, have succeeded in reducing the accommodations’ waste production. Travellers staying in these inviting, locally owned Ilha do Mel hotels and guesthouses are rewarded with the knowledge that efforts are being made to minimise the environmental impact their stay is having on the surrounding gorgeous gardens.

Getting Practical

Ilha do Mel is accessible only by boat from Paranaguá or Pontal do Sul. From Pontal do Sul, the 30-minute service runs every hour in low season, every 30 minutes otherwise. Cars can be left in Pontal do Sul, in parking lots from which public transport buses easily reach the dock. After 5pm, private boat transport must be arranged.

From Paranaguá, boats depart for the 90-minute crossing two to five times per day, depending on the season. The boat owners are organised in an association and all tickets include the price of the return trip, as well as a nature conservation fee of approximately US$2 dollars. All passengers arriving from Pontal do Sul must produce a badge showing that the fee has been paid.

pousadailhadomel_fortress_fortaleza

This fortress was built by the Dutch in 1767 to ward off English buccaneers. Its whitewashed walls are quite a remarkable site and tourists are welcome to peruse the dark, dreary jail, which is quite a contrast to the beauty of the rest of the island.

Upon arrival at the island’s dock, several men wearing uniforms (t-shirts) wait to assist travellers with luggage. Their services are priced at fixed rates, depending on the location of the guesthouse; haggling is not usual in Brazil. These helpers are also organised in an association and only the next worker in line is able to take luggage, a very helpful service for guests who don’t know their way around the island and will have difficulty toting their bags through the sand.

Travellers who can get by with a little Portuguese will find that guesthouse owners are more than willing to lead personalised Ilha do Mel tours that bring to life their little paradise in the Atlantic. Others will simply take pleasure in exploring the bountiful jungle or strolling along pristine, sandy beaches. Surf enthusiasts will find all their needs met by Fernando (from Pousada Treze Luas) and Zeco (from Grajagan Surf Resort), experienced surf instructors with boards for rent or lessons to teach.

The local cuisine is all about fish and seafood. Try the best of it at Mar e Sol, where the ‘Prato Surfista’ is highly recommended.

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Cheap and Good Accommodation Options in Curitiba!

By Guilherme Mendes Thomaz@guimendesthomaz

We all know that for a great travel we must find and stay in a good place, even if it is just to sleep and rest a little so you can recover your energy and be ready to enjoy the next day of our trips!

Nowadays, travellers mostly look forward for a safe, clear, accessable rates and good cost-benefit accommodation option.

Considering this fact, we selected some Curitiba hotels that WHL Curitiba recommend for budget travellers!

1. Hotel Brasília: http://www.hotelbrasiliacuritiba.com/

This hotel has family atmosphere, great facilities and services, wide and comfortable apartments, besides offering the best breakfast of the category and super economical rates. Hotel Brasília is the best accommodation option in Curitiba for budget travellers.

2. Garden Curitiba Hotel: http://www.hotelgardencuritiba.com/

Garden Hotel Curitiba is one of the most traditional accommodation options in Curitiba. Well located, pretty and comfortable appartments, many grear unique services and very economic tariffs make this hotel without a doubt the best option of cost/benefit that you will find in Curitiba.

3. Alta Reggia Plaza Hotel Curitiba: http://www.hotelaltareggia.com/

Alta Reggia Plaza Hotel Curitiba stands out for the contentment of its guests, offering appropriate facilities and services. The hotel is also strategically located in the central area of Curitiba and offers 84 plenty of space and comfortable suites. All this make this hotel a pleasant and affordable accommodation option in Curitiba.

4. Hotel Centro Europeu Tourist: http://www.centroeuropeucuritiba.com/

Hotel Centro Europeu Tourist is well know nationally and internationally for being a school hotel for the Hotel Management, Cuisine Chef and Sommelier courses. Besides being a model in comfort and great services this hotel is located in front of the Osório Square, in the beggining of Rua das Flores, the traditional pedestrian area of Curitiba.

5. Guaíra Palace Hotel Curitiba: htttp://www.hotelguairacuritiba.com/

Guaíra Palace Hotel Curitiba is perfect for travellers looking for praticity, great services, good location and low costs. Here you will be staying in a confortable hotel located in Curitiba downtown with super economical tariffs and easy access to public transportation.

6. Hotel Flat Petras Residence: http://www.flatpetrascuritiba.com/

Located in a strategic, central and quiet area in Curitiba, this hotel offers modern, comfortable and well equipped rooms. Its structure is perfect for families and those staying a bit longer in Curitiba, willing to have a small kitchen in the room. The hotel also also unites the comfortable accommodations to a practical infrastructure with several leisure options and areas to relax.

If you want to search more Curitiba hotels, click here!

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Inspiring Ilha do Mel: 10 Photos That Make You Want To Go To Ilha do Mel

1. Ilha do Mel
Makes you want to explore and enjoy every spot of this wonderful island.
by Priscilla Forone

by Priscilla Forone

2. Fisherman
Makes you want to experience and see the locals fishing. After that, you will taste the delicious local cuisine.
Taken by Priscilla Forone

Taken by Priscilla Forone

3. Surfing
Honey Island has beaches for every taste. The island got the best beaches and spots for surfing in Paraná coast!
by Priscilla Forone

by Priscilla Forone

4. Cave Encantadas
This cave is a place of legends, where beautiful mermaids attract men to the cave and never return home.
http://www.ilhadomel-travel.com.br/destination_guide#_511168409
5. Dolphins
The island has wildlife in abundance and in its natural habitat
6. The lighthouse
Makes you want to hike until the top of the hill, at the base of the lighthouse, and get a spetacular view of various beaches and also the point where the island separates
by Priscilla Forone

by Priscilla Forone

7.  Sunset
Sunset at Honey Island is amazing! It is worth to walk until the top of the hill to the base of the lighthouse to watch it.
sunset_ilhadomel_honeyisland_farol_parana
8. Fortaleza Fortress
It is the only fortress in the Paraná cost. It was built in 1769 to protect the Paranaguá bay from invasions and from here you will have an impressive view over the bay!
9. Beaches
There are miles of quiet white sands beaches to enjoy and relax on…
10. Tracks
Automobiles are not allowed in Honey Island. There are so many tracks and paths connecting the island and leading to beutiful beaches and places.

If you have more pictures, you can send to us and we will post them here as well.

Click here to book accommodation and tours at Honey Island / Ilha do Mel.

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20 Reasons to Visit Curitiba!

Curitiba has been attracting and facinating tourists more and more. To help you to understand this fact, we are giving you here 20 reasons to visit Curitiba and show you that once in Brazil you can not miss the oportunity to visit one of the most amazing cities in Brazil. 

1. Fourth best city of the Brazil to do tourism (Viagem & Turismo Magazine – Nov/2007);

2. Best cultural destiny in Southern Brazil (Veja Magazine – Dec/2007)

3. Reference in life quality;

4. 52 m² of green area for inhabitant, with more than 30 parks and forests;

5. Curitiba has more than 150 hotels, 10.000 apartments and 18.000 beds in several categories;

6. Located in less than 100 km ( 62.14 miles) from Paraná coast, with historical cities, islands, beaches and bays;

7. New best businesses destination in Brazil (Veja Magazine – Dec/2006);

8. 3rd Best infrastructure of the country (Exame Magazine – Nov/2006);

9. Best cost-benefit (Veja magazine – Dec/2007);

10. It is one of the 5 best cities in Latin America for businesses (América Economia – May/2006);

11. Airport located 20 minutes from downtown;

12. Located only 1 hour and 20 minutes from Rio de Janeiro and 50 minutes of São Paulo in direct flights;

13. Located in a strategic point of Mercosul and has an highway network;

14. Model in urban planning and public transportation rewarded internationally;

15. Pioneer in environmental actions, such as the separation of the garbage, hosting in 2006, the events of UNO about biodiversity and biosafety;

16. In 2007, Curitiba occupied the 8th place among the Brazilian cities that received more international events (Ranking ICCA);

17. Curitiba has more than 100 places for events;

18. Diverse gastronomical options influenced by countless heritages present in the city like Italians, Germans, Ukrainians, Arabs, Poles, Portuguese, Japanese among others;

19. Counts with more than 30 malls, handcraft and gastronomy fairs/market, besides thematic streets in several locations of the city;

20. Was chosen in 2003 as “The American Culture Capital”.

Fonte: Material Promocional do Curitiba Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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What do travelers and visitors say about Curitiba and Ilha do Mel ???

Nowadays, the Internet has been really important and helpful for the development and evolution of the tourism activity. The Internet trough websites, blogs, social networking sites and many others, allows travelers and people from all over the World to share their personal experiences, watch videos, look at pictures and get information in pretty much everything  that they look for and need to plan a trip like: book hotels, tours, plane tickets, car rentals, weather and all that…making the trip planning a lot more easier and faster.

We can also note that travelers and costumers have been more influinced for this kinds of information and are searching for these informal information firstly, instead of going to search for the formal information, in case, the travel agencies.

Following this tendency, caring about our destination and the quality of information about the state of Paraná, we select few articles and reviews about Curitiba and Ilha do Mel that travelers have posted on the Internet. You can take a look and get some extra information that the formal information does not give you.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

The article “Surprise yourself in Curitiba” and “Curitiba Background” are great articles written by a Tripadivsor members.

Here you can read an article written by Ken Conrad, albeit a senior citizen and returning student at California State University Northridge.

About the famous Ilha do Mel or Honey Island, we recomend you to read

Honey Island

Ilha do Mel, Paraná - Brazil

some reviews also posted in the Tripadvisor, the article “Curitiba Honey Island” and the “Must-dos list at Ilha do Mel” .

If you are planning on comming, I hope this post helps you and bring you to this awesome region of Brazil. For those who never tought about coming visit the state of Paraná in Brazil, I really hope that this post can change your mind and you are very welcome and you guys will not regret. For those of you that live here, all I want to say is that we are all very lucky and let’s keep the good job. Finally, for you that have been in Curitiba and Ilha do Mel, please share your experience with us…

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Curitiba, one of the host cities for the the 2014 World Cup in Brazil!

                                                                                                                   
Curitiba official logo for the 2014 World Cup
Curitiba official logo for the 2014 World Cup

On May 31st, FIFA confirmed that Curitiba will be one of the 12 host cities for the 2014 World Cup that will be held in Brazil. The other cities are Porto Alegre (South); São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte (Southeast); Natal, Recife, Fortaleza and Salvador (Northeast); Cuiabá and Brasília (Center-west); and Manaus (North).

Competing with the city of Florianópolis, according to Beto Richa, the mayor of Curitiba, the city was chosen for having one of the best technical infrastructures among the other candidate cities and also the excellent project presented to CBF (Brazilian Confederation of Soccer) and FIFA (International Federation of Soccer), responsible for the organization of the world championship. “The project will guarantee the choice and arrival of investments that will bring permanent benefits for the city, besides heating the economy during the event.” said the mayor.

The expectation is very big and we believe that it will reach several cities in the Paraná state. Cities like Londrina, Maringá, Foz do Iguaçu and Paranaguá hope to receive tourists and even to accommodate teams that will be disputing the world championship.

Curitiba has also a project to be the 2014 World Cup Communication Center.

The game in Curitiba will be held at Arena da Baixada (Atlético Paranaense’s Stadium). The soccer club is already ready to begin the constructions to adapt the stadium in agreement with the FIFA norms in relation  to safety, comfort, covering, illumination, parking lot area, people’s flow in the entrance and exit, etc.

The city will also need improvements and investments like new road connections, improvements in the collective public transportation, sporting infrastructure, accessibility and urban mobility, investments in ports and airports, public safety, environment, health, sanitation, energy and hotels. Curitiba has around160 hotels and 13.000 rooms and the plan is to increase this projection to 184 hotels and 15.000 rooms until 2014. About 47% of these lodging options are located around 2 kilometers of the Arena da Baixada Stadium.

Curitiba wants to do a lot more than host the event. The city is working really hard to create and offer excellent conditions to receive the tourists that will come to Brazil to watch the games.

According to the Tourism Minister, Luiz Barretto, “Curitiba wants to realize an exemplary World Cup, not thinking only about the sports scene but also in tourism and receptivity scene. This objective is really important because we have the World Cup inside and out of the stadiums. A great World Cup must leave the tourists a sensation that they saw a lot, but not everything. In other words, we want them to leave Brazil already planning on coming back to the country and Curitiba is working for this.”

Nowadays, Paraná receives 8,5 million people per year. In 2007, Curitiba received 2,3 million tourists.

Click here and watch the video “Curitiba – Ready for the FIFA World Cup 2014”

For more details about Curitiba and Paraná state you can check: http://www.curitiba-travel.com.br, http://www.ilhadomel-travel.com.br, http://www.morretes-antonina.com.br, http://www.superagui-travel.com.br and www.turismo.gov.br.

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