We're specialists in custom designed tours to Brazil
YourWorld Consultant Group individually designs each of its tours for those groups, families and individuals, who desire a unique travel experience. Salvador, the Capital of Bahia, and one of the most fascinating destinations in all of South America, offers a rich and diversified African-centered experience. It has become one of YourWorld's primary markets. Although African Heritage is the centerpiece of our programs in Brazil, we have other traditional tourist sites in our travel itineraries. We can take you to Iguaçu Falls in the south of Brazil. How about a Cruise on the Amazon or a ride along the Marriage of the Rivers in Manaus? What would a trip to Brazil be without a visit to the Corcovado (Christ Statue) and Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro?
If you are contemplating taking a trip to Brazil contact us today, and together, let us help make your visit a memorable one.
Special Tours for 2012
Destinations and Experiences
Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, is one of the most underrated cities in South America. It is the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. More than 80 percent of Salvador’s two million plus residents are of Afro-Brazilian descent. The food, music, dances and every other bit of its culture have been influenced by the Afrocentric population, and the city is one of the most vibrant in the already incredibly vibrant country of Brazil. Today the city is often described as the most African in Brazil and boasts a strong Afro-Brazilian culture. This can be seen in its Afro-Brazilian cuisine; the popularity of capoeira, a martial art of Afro-Brazilian origin; and in the widespread practice of Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion. Over 1000 Candomblé temples, known as terreiros, are located in the city. The Afro-Brazilian Museum, located in the Terreiro de Jesus neighborhood, documents the contribution Africans have made to the culture of the city and northeastern Brazil. "Because there are so many Afro-Brazilians living there, Bahia has taken the lead in Black culture and, some say, political activism," says internationally famous musician Gilberto Gil, who was appointed Minister of Culture by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. "Bahia is like a spiritual home to Black Brazilians. It is probably where the African connection is strongest."
- Rio de Janeiro - Marvelous Rio
Rio de Janeiro means "River of January". Rio’s powers of seduction can leave you with a bad case of saudade (indescribable longing) when you leave. Planted between lush, forest-covered mountains and breathtaking beaches, the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) has many charms at her disposal. With nine million cariocas, as Rio’s inhabitants are called, makes it the world’s biggest tropical city and one of the most densely populated places on earth. The cariocas are known for their passion for football, cerveja (beer), and the beach.
Brazilians of African origin comprise nearly 60 percent of the total population of Brazil. It is estimated that nearly 4 million Africans were shipped to Brazil. By the eighteenth century, the majority of Rio's inhabitants were indigenous Africans. As a result, virtually nothing in Rio remained untouched by African customs, beliefs and behavior – a state of affairs that clearly influences today's city too, with its mixture of Afro-Brazilian music, spiritualist cults and cuisine. Brazil’s colonizers, unlike colonizers in the United States, allowed indigenous Africans to continue to use their drums. Thus began the rhythm of the saints, the samba, and it explains why Brazilian "batucadas" (drumming rhythm and dance) reign unequaled today.
The Samba is a genre of music and dance. Rooted in Rio de Janeiro, it’s the most popular and well-known genre to come out of the Afro-Brazilian culture. It’s a very percussive, energetic form of music. The samba’s earliest forms have occasional similarities in dynamic to that of marching bands. But the similarities end there; samba is a full-fledged form intended for dancing, not marching. It’s rhythmically unique and culturally vital to Rio de Janeiro and other parts of Brazil. Like many music and dance genres, the samba is rooted in peasant culture. Groups of neighbors in Rio played the music together to sing and dance to and soon adapted the style to become part of their yearly carnival celebration. Brazil got the samba, and the U.S. got the blues.
- São Luis
São Luis, Maranhão is one of the most important Afro-Brazilian cities in Brazil, together with Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. With one of Brazil's largest black populations, Sao Luis also offers one of the nation's few museums dedicated to black history and culture. In a former slave-market building, the museum displays implements from the slavery era and photographs and drums from Maranhao State's Afro-Brazilian religion. In São Luis, Brazil, black identity formation and racial politics occur in the realm of Afro-Brazilian culture (i.e. music, dance, religion) and outside the realm of formal channels of representative democracy. This also appears to be another factor in the introduction and spread of reggae, with its African and Jamaican roots. It has since been combined with local elements to produce a new type of reggae with a Brazilian accent. The best example of this is the way people here move to the music. While elsewhere in the world people dance to it alone, in Maranhão this mixture has meant people dance to reggae in couples. The moves are similar to "forró", a musical style from the northeast region of Brazil.
An old slaving port, Sao Luis with it’s large black population, has preserved much African culture - popular traditions and festivals, such as “Tambor de Crioula” and “Bumba-Meu-boi” and lively reggae parties that make the culture of Sao Luis stand out among Brazilian cities. Tambor de Crioula is an Afro-Brazilian dance in which gaily glad women court a “bateria de tambores” (a row of drums). Whirling and spinning in time to the music as they negotiate for prime position in the centre of the “bateria”. Bumba-Meu-Boi is a popular farce which takes its form as a grand musical pantomime. The practice is a public affair and begins directly after Easter reaching its climax in June when literally hundreds of groups perform on a nightly basis for popular acclaim.
The "Centro Histórico" (Historical Center) is a type of open-air museum filled with uncountable architectural elements and details, such as “azulejos” (tiles - which most of the houses are covered in), picturesque windows, doors and balconies, cobblestone and narrow streets, inviting the visitor to wonder about the rich past of this one time prestigious and promising Brazilian city. In 1997, São Luís was granted the title of “Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in recognition for the preservation of its magnificent and homogenous Latin American colonial architectonic complex from the 18th and 19th Centuries.
- Boa Morte
In Bahia, Africa abounds. Salvador is the most African of the Brazilian cities with up to eighty percent of its population of over two million people having African origins. The local cuisine, music and dance forms and its extremely vibrant visual arts traditions are all testaments to this permeating African influence.
Manus is the capital of the state of Amazonas, it is a vibrant, exciting city filled with warm, happy, friendly, fun loving people that make extending your stay before or after your Amazon trip worthwhile. It even deserves trip of its own.
Sisterhood of the Boa Morte (Good Death) is the oldest organization for women of African descent in the New World. The Boa Morte Sisterhood is a secret society of African-Brazilian women, all descendants of African slaves, who sponsor a procession each August that parades through the streets of the historical city of Cachoeira on the banks of the Paraguacu River. It is perhaps the most important festival in the African Heritage calendar in Bahia and is a living tribute of African culture and Diaspora to the New World.
- New Year's Eve
YourWorld invites you to join us as we welcome in the new year in Salvador, Bahia-Brazil; Land of Happiness. Dressed in white and bearing gifts of flowers and perfume, each year, thousands of people sojourn to the beach and make their offering to Yemanja, Brazil's patron deity of the sea.
Visitors from around the world pay homage to Yemanja, requesting her blessings for the coming year as fireworks shower the sky with bright colors. Spending New Year's in Bahia is a wonderfully unique experience: the remarkable creativity of the decorations, tiny lights on trees and buildings with larger than life figures in the plazas, a capoeirista playing berimbau and carolers with locks. All togheter to celebrate the transition from the old to the new in an African-centered environment.
Rio de Janeiro is a marvelous city to visit any time of the year but especially during mid-summer when the city is truly alive. As the samba schools rehearse preparing for carnival, the vibrant, joyful, beautiful beaches are full of people simply enjoying a day in the sun. Rio is also a city of stunning architecture, excellent museums and wonderful food. Whatever your pleasure, enjoy Rio de Janeiro.