36 Hours in Sao Paulo

About São Paulo

I would have never thought I’d say 36 hours was not enough time for visiting São Paulo.  I personally am not a big city enthusiast, but always feel like I should explore for a day at the beginning or end of my wilderness trips.  We planned to arrive mid-day, stay overnight and then leave the following evening. Continue reading “36 Hours in Sao Paulo”

Piranha Fishing in the Pantanal

Of all the activities we completed in the Pantanal, river floating, games drives, hiking, and horseback riding, Piranha fishing might have been the most fun.  I really wanted to fish for Piranha simply to be able to say I’ve done it.  Ruth and Alice, the other girl on our tour were not sold on participating, especially when we saw locals standing chest deep in water fishing for these sharp toothed critters. Continue reading “Piranha Fishing in the Pantanal”

Game Drives in the Pantanal

We spent three days in the Pantanal at Pousada Piuval.  Our guides liked this 7,000 hectare ranch as it is home to the most jaguars at this time of year (which isn’t many) compared to the jaguar preserve that is not accessible at the end of the rainy season.  Anyway, that didn’t stop us from looking for them.  We took sunrise and sunset drives every day.  Most of the time we drove the few roads on the ranch, occasionally we tried a few fields that were still to wet, and we also went to the park. Continue reading “Game Drives in the Pantanal”

Traveling Tips for the Pantanal

Tips for Traveling to the Pantanal, Brazil

Airports, Airlines, and Transportation

  1. Leave generous connection times between flights, especially in São Paulo.  The airport is huge!  It took us at minimum 25 minutes to walk FAST from the gate at which we landed with American Airlines to reach the Gol Airline ticket counter to go to Cuiabá.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to check bags as the line was extremely long. We were able to use the kiosks to check-in which saved us.  After going through security and walking to our gate, we used up our hour connection (which was originally longer before our other delays).  We got to the bus five minutes before it left for the plane.
  2. Both Gol and Avianca are good local airline options. Avianca has in seat entertainment.
  3. Change money at an ATM in São Paulo as there were not any ATM’s at the Cuiabá airport. The information desk told us to “Go to the Shopping.”  That seemed weird so we waited to go to a bank near our hotel which limited us to $100, so then we had to go to a gas station that charged a significant fee.
  4. It’s easy to get Uber or a taxi at the airport. I’m told Uber costs less.

Continue reading “Traveling Tips for the Pantanal”

Things to do Outside the Walled City of Cartagena, Colombia

Things to do Outside the Walled City of Cartagena

Getsemaní, a neighborhood outside the walled city, once a poor area is now a hip place to visit.  I accidentally found a B&B in this area, and it turned out to be conveniently located for visiting both the walled city and the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas.

At times, specifically during the heat of the day, the 15 minute walk seemed just a touch long for a short rest in the A/C, but otherwise, the nightlife, restaurants, and eclectic feel was enjoyable.  While I enjoyed the walled city, I found myself spend a lot of time outside of it as well. Continue reading “Things to do Outside the Walled City of Cartagena, Colombia”

The Plazas of Cartagena’s Walled City

Walking the Streets of Cartagena

I had just a few days in Cartagena and wanted to make the most of it.  As such, I walked about every square inch of the Walled City along with most of GetsemanÍ in order take in the culture and history of the city.  I tried visiting virtually every plaza and along the way enjoyed window shopping, people watching, dining, and seeing what the vendors had for sale.

The History of Cartagena

Cartagena, founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia, is named after Cartagena, Spain.  Strategically located between the Magdalena and Sinú Rivers on Colombia’s northeastern, Caribbean coast, the city became a very important trade port for Spain.  During the colonial era (1533-1717), the port was used to export Peruvian silver and to import African slaves. Continue reading “The Plazas of Cartagena’s Walled City”