Off topic: Your country's best-kept tourist secret
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
Portuguese to English
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Jul 10, 2009

Along the lines of other tourist-related threads, I am giving people a chance to share with us the little-publicised tourist spots of their countries. This is not for traditional tourist spots, but places that the big travel agents overlook. I'll start off:


Wedged halfway between the large megalopolises of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the peaceful Paraíba Valley is often overlooked, especially when whizzing along the Dutra motorway. From São Paulo to Rio, the main spots are:

Taubaté - The main claim to fame of this city is as the birthplace of Brazilian writer Monteiro Lobato, and there is a museum in his name. Like most of the cities in the region, it is full of old houses from the golden days of coffee.

Pindamonhangaba - The city is the starting point for the train ride to Campos do Jordão, not to be missed! Campos is Brazil's main winter resort, and there is a famous Winter Music Festival every year. The train leaves in the morning and returns in the late afternoon. There are also several old buildings and churches.

Lorena - This is the only one of these towns that I have visited, and can say it has a lot to offer. The cultural centre is in the old railway station (sadly no longer served by passenger trains) and there are many old buildings. Watch the folk go by at Arnolfo de Azevedo Square and then visit one of the many farms close by, where you can have a glass of milk freshly taken from the cow. Like many towns in the region, it is steeped in history and you can almost smell the coffee grown in days gone by.

Bocaina Hills - A great place for ecotourism. The National Park of Serra da Bocaina with its 100.000 hectares was created on 8 June 1972 and includes parts of the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, including the cities of Areias, Cunha, São José do Barreiro, and Ubatuba in São Paulo and Parati in the state of Rio de Janeiro. One of its highest points is Pico do Tira Chapéu (Doff Hat Peak), in the state of São Paulo, with an altitude of 2,200m. The nearest town is São José do Barreiro.

To get to the region from São Paulo, take the Pássaro Marron bus (except for Lorena, which is served by Cometa). Pássaro Marron also connects the cities in the region.

[Edited at 2009-07-10 19:49 GMT]

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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I'm certainly.... Jul 10, 2009

...not telling you guys!!

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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
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WCTYBTWHTSY Jul 10, 2009

We could tell you, but then we'd have to shoot you...


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
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Mochima, Venezuela Jul 10, 2009

Sure, in Venezuela we all know and we all have been in Mochima. But, are foreign tourists aware of such beautiful beaches there?

There, you can visit, for instance, Playa Colorada:

What do you think? Would you attend a Powwow there?

More info at:

[Edited at 2009-07-10 22:46 GMT]

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Valeria Vitale  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
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Sí, Mochima es bellísimo Jul 11, 2009


La verdad yo nunca antes había escuchado acerca de Mochima hasta que mi esposo, en ese entonces mi novio, me llevó a conocer el Parque Nacional Mochima. Tengo recuerdos muy bonitos de ese lugar.



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