Virgin Atlantic to fly between UK & Brazil as of 2020

Following in the jet stream o Norwegian, it is now the turn of Virgin Atlantic to announce direct flights between the UK and Brazil. In this case a daily service as of 2020 from London Heathrow to São Paulo using the Boeing 787-9, Dreamliner, with an Upper Class, Premium and Economy Delight, Classic and Light offering.

This will be Virgin’s first South American route and it will join British Airways and LATAM Airlines in flying the London-São Paulo route direct, making Heathrow a very competitive hub to travel to-and-from Brazil and the rest of the south of South America.

Norwegian is scheduled to start flying direct to-and-from Rio de Janeiro and London Gatwick as of 31 March 2019. Norwegian will also use the Dreamliner. Briitish Airways also offers a daily direct service from London Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro.

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Mangueira Champion of Rio’s 2019 Carnival

Estação Primeira de Mangueira is the champion of Rio’s top samba schools for the 20th time in its illustrious history after scoring a perfect total of 270 in 2019. Second, with 269.7 points, was Viraduro who have only just returned to the elite competition.

The results of Rio’s Carnival Parade in 2019 were:

  • Mangueira (270 points out of 270)
  • Viraduro (269.7)
  • Vila Isabel (269.4)
  • Salgueiro (269.3)
  • Portela (269.3)
  • Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel (269.0)
  • Unidos da Tijuca (268.8)
  • Paraíso do Tuiuti (268.5)
  • Grande Rio (267.9)
  • União da Ilha (267.7)
  • Beija-Flor (267.6)
  • São Clemente (267.4)
  • Imperatriz Leopoldinense (266,6)
  • Imperio Serrano (263.8)

Photos courtesy of RioTur – the city of Rio Tourist Authority.

Brazilian Beach is World’s Best

15449770379_c35a1266f5_bBaia do Sancho, a beach on the small island of Fernando de Noronha, off the northeast coast of Brazil, has again been named the world’s best beach in the Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice awards. It is the third time the beach has been chosen as the world’s best.

Fernando de Noronha can be reached by daily flights from Natal or Recife.

A second Brazilian beach, Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia, close to Arraial do Cabo in the state of Rio de Janeiro, was voted 12th best.

Rio’s Main Carnival Parades in 2019

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-22-27-23In 2019 the main parades of the Grupo Especial, comprising of Rio’s leading samba svhools, will take place on the nights of Sunday, 3 March and Monday, 4 March. The 14 schools parading, their samba and when they are scheduled to start, are:

Sunday, 3 March 2019

  • Imperio Serrano – O que é, o que é? (21.15)
  • Viradouro – ViraViradouro (22.20)
  • Grande Rio – Quem nunca… ? Que atire a primeira pedra? (23.25)
  • Salgueiro – Xango (00.30)
  • Beija-Flor – Quem não viu vai ver… As fábulas do Beija-Flor (01.35)
  • Imperatriz Leopoldinense – Me dá unm dinheiro ai (02.40)
  • Unidos da Tijuca – Cada macacao no seu galho. O, meu Pai, me dê o pão que eu não morro de fome (03.45)

Monday, 4 March 2019

  • São Clemente – E o Samba sambou… (21.15)
  • Vila Isabel – Em Nome do Pai, dos fFilhos e dos Santos – A vila canta a cidade de Pedro (22.20)
  • Portela – Na Madureira modernissima, hei sempre de ouvir cantar uma Sabia (23.25)
  • União da Ilha – A peleja poética entre Rachel e Alencar no avarandado do céu(00.30)
  • Paraíso do Tuiuti – O Salvador da Patria (01.35)
  • Mangueira  – Historia para ninar gente grande (02.40)
  • Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel – Eu sou o Tempo. Tempo e Vida (03.45)

Normally six schools parade on Sunday night and six on Monday , but as no schools were relegated in 2017 and 2018 seven schools will parade each night in 2019.

The more information about carnival and the parade visit the site’s respective pages.

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Latin American Media Awards 2018

The Latin American Travel Association (www.lata.travel) has announced the winners of the LATA Media Awards 2018.

The LATA Media Awards, sponsored by Wendy Wu Tours, recognise innovation and excellence across the British travel media landscape with a specific focus on Latin America.

Celebrating and rewarding inspiring and creative Latin America stories and photography, the winners of the 15th edition of the LATA Media Awards were selected from over 150 entries by a strong judging panel composed of key figures from the Latin American travel industry.

The 2018 judging panel included Hilary Bradt, founder of Bradt Travel Guides; Baroness Hooper, lawyer and honorary president of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for Latin America; Hugh Thomson, leading author and film-maker; Martin Morales, founder of the restaurant group Ceviche and award-winning Peruvian chef; Colin Stewart, chairman of LATA and the UK and Ireland director at Air Europa; and Andy Skillen, multi-award winning international wildlife photographer and founder of Fauna Vista.

The winners were revealed at the RSA House in London on 22 May, at an event attended by key members of the Latin American travel industry, the diplomatic community and some of the UK’s most prolific travel writers and photographers.

Winners and runners-up are:

Best Online Blog Feature of the Year Award 

Winner: Abigail King, ‘Pre-Columbian art in Ecuador and the surprising question it asks’, Inside the Travel Lab
Runner-up
: Shafik Meghji, ‘Best things to do in Ecuador’
Highly commended for photography:
Neil Hennessy Vass, ‘Central America: A New Revolution’

Best Self-Published Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Anna McNuff, ‘Through Patagonia on Wheels’, Swoop
Runner-up:
Jennifer Richt, ‘Belize in it: An Example of Ecotourism’, Jacada Travel

Best Trade Publication Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Ben Lerwill, ‘Andes to Amazon’, Selling Travel
Runner-up:
Meera Dattani, ‘Belize the Hype’. Travel Weekly

Best Consumer Online Feature of the Year Award 

Winner: Tamara Hinson, ‘Quito: Why Ecuador’s capital is known for its evolving music scene’, Independent Online
Runner-up:
Sarah Gilbert, ‘Exploring Che Guevara’s Bolivian shrine 50 years after his death’, Independent Online

Best Photography of the Year Award

Winner: Jonathan Gregson, ‘Lago Pehoe, Torres Del Paine’, Lonely Planet
Runner-up:
Alex Robinson, ‘Mystic River’, Wanderlust

Best Consumer Newspaper Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Mike Unwin, ‘Living at one with the Creatures of the Canopy’, The Sunday Telegraph
Runner-up:
Andrew Purvis, ‘My David Attenborough moment in the jungle’, The Sunday Telegraph

Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Adrian Phillips, ‘A wild rolling beast of a route’, National Geographic Traveller
Runner-up:
Chris Moss, ‘Shape Shifter’, Conde Nast Traveller

Colin Stewart, Chairman of LATA said: “The quality of the entries for the 2018 LATA Media Awards was extremely high and LATA would like to thank all the talented journalists and photographers who entered the awards. We are delighted to have welcomed so many key figures from the Latin America tourism industry and fantastic writers to this flagship annual event, which brings the Latin American region to life through creative and interesting stories and powerful photography. In addition to the headline sponsor Wendy Wu Tours, other sponsors included Silversea Expeditions, The Belize Tourism Board, Belmond, Tierra Hotels, LOTUS LATAM, Las Iguana, and 4Corners.” 

Brazil wins Copa America Femenina

Brazil has won the Copa America Femenina and in the process has qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019 (for the 8th consecutive time) and the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Tokyo in 2020. Brazil played seven games in the Copa America , won seven, scoring 31 goals and conceding just two.

Chile has taken the second spot for the World Cup, but will have a play off with an African nation for a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Brazilian directors head for Cannes

Two Brazilian directors will have their films screened in the official section of this year’s Festival de Cannes

Carlos Diegues, who has had three films screen in competition at Cannes, will receive a special screening and the world premiere of his latest film “O Grande Circo Místico” (The Great Mystical Circus – photo). In 2012 Diegues’was chair of the Caméra d’or jury.

Sao Paulo born, LA based director Joe Penna, better known to his You Tube followers as Mystery Guitar Man, is to get a special midnight screening of his first feature, the thriller “Arctic” which stars Mads Mikkelsen, who headlined NBC’s Hannibal series.

Joe Penna

Brazil and the 2018 FIFA World Cup

If you are planning to follow Brazil at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, for which Brazil was the first team to qualify, they have been drawn in Group E with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.

For the group stage the dates for the Brazil diary are:

Sunday, 17 June 2018
Brazil x Switzerland – Rostov-on-Don – Rostov Arena (21.00 /18.00)
Friday, 22 June 2018
Brazil x Costa Rica – Saint Petersburg – Saint Petersburg Stadium (15.00 / 12.00)
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Serbia x Brazil – Moscow – Spartak Stadium (21.00 / 18.00)

The kick-off time listed is first the local time in Russia followed by the UTC/GMT time.

You can follow the 2018 World Cup at our sister site World Cup: The Guide

LATAM Airline adds new routes connecting Brazil

LATAM Airline will launch the first route connecting Israel and Latin America with a new flight from Tel Aviv to Santiago (Chile), via São Paulo (Brazil), as of December. There will be three weekly flights by Boeing 787 aircraft offering 217 economy seats and 30 in premium business.

For 2018 the airline has announced a further 14 international routes that include flights to Rome from São, Paulo, which began in March as well as new operations to Las Vegas (June), Boston (July), Lisbon, and from Fortaleza, in the Brazilian northeast, to Orlando, Florida.

The first scheduled nonstop flights to Las Vegas from Brazil will begin 2 June 2018 with services every Monday, Thursday and Saturday.  The initial seasonal service will operate through 30 September 2018. The route will then return on 15 December 2018 through 28 February 2019.
Brazil represents Las Vegas’seventh strongest overseas market and is the greatest source of international visitors from South America, with more than 150,000 Brazilians visiting annually.

Beija-Flor: Champion of Rio Carnival 2018

The results of Rio’s Carnival Parade in 2018 were:

  • Beija-Flor (269.6 points out of 270)
  • Paraíso do Tuiuti (269.5)
  • Salgueiro (269.5)
  • Portela (269.94)
  • Mangueira (269.3)
  • Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel (269.3)
  • Unidos da Tijuca (269.1)
  • Imperatriz Leopoldinense (268,8)
  • Vila Isabel (268.1)
  • União da Ilha (267.3)
  • São Clemente (266.9)
  • Grande Rio (266.8)
  • Imperio Serrano (265.6)

Grande Rio and Imperio Serrano are relegated while Viradouro has been promoted to parade amongst the elite samba school of Rio on 3 and 4 March 2019.

Based on the results of the last six carnivals (2013-2018), the League of Samba Schools (LIESA) ranks the top ten samba schools in Rio de Janeiro as:

  1. Beija-Flor (73 points)
  2. Salgueiro (72)
  3. Portela (66)
  4. Unidos da Tijuca (61)
  5. Mangueira (45)
  6. Imperatriz Leopoldinense (37)
  7. Grande Rio (36)
  8. Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel (33)
  9. Unidos de Vila Isabel (27)
  10. União da Ilha do Governador (18)

[Schools score 20 points for a win, 15 for 2nd, 12 for 3rd, 10 for 4th, 8 for 5th, 6 for 6th, 4 for 7th, 3 for 8th, 2 for 9th and 1 for 10th]