The perfect honeymoon!
I had asked Wild Frontiers to organise my honeymoon. I didn't know exactly where I wanted to go but I had several places in mind and I had an idea of what sort of experience I wanted. I gave them my brief which was that it had to be 3 weeks long and include culture, activities, comfort with a little luxury at times and a minimum of 3 nights stay in each place and not too many biting insects. Their Latin America specialist suggested Brazil and came up with an itinerary which encompassed all my requests.
We started off in Rio staying at a lovely boutique hotel which had a roof bar/pool with a beautiful view and within walking distance to Ipanema and Copacabana beach. The bar tender was friendly, played great music and made the best Caipirinhas.
We then headed off to Paraty and was met by our driver/guide who drove the 4 hours drive but the hours flew by as our driver/guide was so knowledgeable and told us about interesting stories and history of Brazil. In Paraty, we stayed at a beautiful house by the water which was reachable only by boat. The house boat had gorgeous views with hammocks, kayaks and snorkelling gear. There was a cook who came every morning to make our breakfasts and prepare our dinners so that we only had to warm them up in the evenings. There was also a boat at our disposal to take us to the many deserted beaches and islands and to Paraty, a very colourful picturesque town. It was paradise and a perfect way to set us off for the rest of our honeymoon.
We then went to the Pantanal and stayed at a lovely lodge with fantastic views and a pool where we went for walks and safari drives and spotted jaguars, giant anteaters, tapirs, deers, capybaras and loads of very pretty birds. The guide there was very knowledgeable as well as friendly and the chef was very good.
After that, we headed off to Salvador where we stayed at a lovely hotel right in the middle of the old town, Pelourinho which is a World Unesco Heritage site. The old town is beautiful and at night there are musicians everywhere creating a great vibe. We followed a band down the streets rehearsing for the Rio carnival and went to a capoeira show and were stunned at how agile, accurate, atheletic and energetic the dancers were. We also had a very interesting experience going to Sao Joaquim market which is huge and has absolutely everything you can think of for sale including live animals, butcher stalls, flowers, veg, fruits, herbs & spices, food & drink stalls and clothes and household stuff.
After that, we went to Ilha de Boipeba which is an island about 90km SW of Salvador. You could fly there but we chose to take the more adventurous and fun route of ferry, car and speedboat. We felt like we were in a bond movie as the speedboat took us through heady bents of channels of mangroves. We stayed at a delightful place at Boipeba with the most charming of host and tasty kitchen. We felt very spoilt, being able to choose our own deserted beach around the island. We took a boat around the island and had fun snorkelling and finding our own private beaches and sand dunes until the tide came in.
We then went back to Rio and stayed at the famous Copacabana Palace and had a delicious dinner at their Michelin star restaurant, Mee. We also did a tour to see Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain with a great guide who was very friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
All in all, the trip was fantastically organised. WF had informed everyone that it was our honeymoon and everywhere we turned up, there would be a bottle of champagne/fruits/cake/flower petals on the bed, etc which really made us feel very special and very welcome. I really couldn't have been happier.