As part of our worldwide special photography holidays and experiences, we kick off 2021 with this amazing travel photography holiday in North Eastern Brazil, focusing on the two neighbouring states of Pernambuco and Alagoas, both equally rich in folklore and tradition and with dramatic landscapes to boot.
So join us on an exciting tour to photograph the vivid diversity and mix of cultures that is northeast Brazil. Starting in the coastal city of Recife and the picturesque neighbouring hill-topped town of Olinda, a World Heritage Site, we move inland to explore remote villages and the quaint colonial towns of Pernambuco’s dramatic interior and the rootsy artisan villages of Alagoas.
We will voyage along Old Chico (Velho Chico) the local nickname for the Sao Francisco river, the second longest in Brazil and the longest within Brazilian territory. We will step into villages barely accessible by land, and witness a side of Brazil few tourist get to see.
The tour takes place within the two weeks leading up to Carnival 2021 so there will be an option to stay on for the Carnival itself. This small group photo tour is led by Serkan Cetin who has been running photography tours for over 15 years, searching for the perfect photography!!
In 2021, we are once again focussing our cameras on the states of Pernambuco and Alagoas with their dramatic interiors and vibrant towns and cities, including Recife and Olinda.
Recife, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco, is distinguished by its many rivers, bridges and peninsulas. Old Recife or “Antigo”, is the historic town center dating back to the 16th century. To its south, the extensive Boa Viagem Beach is sheltered by reefs and lined by more modern apartment blocks, hotels and great restaurants.
Olinda is a colonial town on Brazil’s northeast coast, near the city of Recife. Founded in 1535 by the Portuguese, it’s built on steep hillsides and distinguished by its 18th-century architecture, churches and brightly painted houses. Originally a center for the sugarcane industry, it’s now known as an artists’ colony, with many galleries, workshops and museums. In 1982 the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Caruaru is a municipality in the state of Pernambuco. The most populous city in the interior and famed for being the capital of Forró, a local music and dance style! It is an important cross road for any travel into the interior.
A historic municipality near the western limit of the State of Alagoas situated on the banks of the epic São Francisco River. Its architecture is typical of late colonialism and provides good visual interest.
Venturing further into the interior, this time briefly into the state of Alagoas, we visit the charming little town of Ilha Do Ferros, on the banks of the San Franscisco river. This is one of Brazil’s lesser known craft towns with local people specialising in a variety of hand crafts, doll and furniture making.
The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor, young and old, forget their worries and party. Rio may have Samba, but Pernambuco boasts several equally captivating cultures and musical styles including the Frevo and Maracatu. The carnivals of Recife and Olinda are famed for their all inclusive nature. Carnival truly is a massive street party and everyone is welcome.
One of the main pleasures of traveling in Brazil is the hospitality of its people, it’s vibrant folklore and cultural diversity. Consequently our photo tours and holidays abound in opportunities for photographing local people. We aim to interact with the local community at every opportunity, and do not encourage fly-by telephoto photography. Our tours are about meeting people and listening to stories. In this way we are able to enrich our photographs with authentic context and make the overall experience more pleasurable for both locals and ourselves.
We usually explore by day, during evenings there are opportunities for workshops and discussions. There may also be time for Photoshop workshops for those who are interested and we like to incorporate regular slide shows during the tour to see how people are developing and the range of photos we are getting along the way.
You may check out photos from some of our previous tours by following the links in the footer below.
The tour is focussed on the states of Pernambuco, and the neighbouring state of Alagoas, it is anchored around the city of Recife and the nearby town of Olinda, but with a road trip taking in the interiors of the two states. There is a little beach time towards the end of the trip, and the option for guests to stay on for a few extra days to take in the carnival.
Recife ⇒ Olinda ⇒ Nazare Da Mata ⇒ Bezerros ⇒ Caruaru ⇒ Piranhas, Ilha Do Ferro, Rio São Francisco ⇒ Capela ⇒ Patacho ⇒ Recife
Arrivals. Transfer & check into our hotel in Olinda. (We will arrange accommodation for earlier arrivals if required.)
Explore the picturesque streets of Olinda, a unesco world heritage town.
Explore old Recife (Recife Antigo), and the fantastic San Jose market. Lunch in San Pedro Square.
Depart 8am to Nazaré da Mata. Visit Maracatu Estrela Brilhante, a colourful, local Maracatu baque solto troupe, as they prepare for Carnival. Drive to Bezerros and check into hotel.
Depart for Garanhuns. Explore the city and its surroundings, a typical city in the heart of Pernambuco. Overnigh in Garanhuns.
Depart for PIRANHAS. Spend the journey stopping in villages en route, and arrive in time to enjoy a sunset in Piranhas.
Day trip on the river San Francisco. Whilst enjoying the beautiful landscape of the second largest river in Brazil we will visit a few of the more remote local villages barely reached by road, where few tourists ever go.
Depart for the village of ILHA DO FERRO. A remote village on the banks of the Sao Francisco River, where locals excel in artisan crafts, we explore their workshops and the village itself. Overnight in Pão de Açucar.
The city is the architectural highlight of the state of Alogoas, boasting many baroque churches and colonial-style buildings. The hilly cobblestoned streets are a delight to explore. Panedo also has a very lively market which attracts people from local villages who come to shop and sell.
Free day in Penedo.
Depart for Patacho, located along some of Brazil’s most beautiful stretches of coastline. Settle into our villas and relax. En route we visit another artisanal craft village, Capela.
Free Day. Meet for Lunch and Dinner.
Explore the local towns and villages around Patacho.
Explore the local towns and villages around Patacho including São Miguel dos Campos.
The tour officially ends after breakfast, those leaving today will get a transfer to the airport. Those who have extended will continue on to Recife’s Boa Viagem district and check into hotel.
Those looking to join the tour should aim to be in Recife no later than 30th January. It would also be worth considering arriving a day or two earlier to allow for recovery from jet lag. The tour will officially end after breakfast on 13 February 2021. Carnival begins on 13 February and lasts for 4/5 days. Those wanting to stay on for Carnival should extend their stay accordingly. We will be able to assist you with accommodation, additional guiding and transfer arrangements.
Highlight of the tour for accommodation. We are renting 3 designer villas on the edge of one of Brazil’s best beaches, Patacho. With plenty of free time to relax, enjoy the beach and the relaxed local lifestyle, recharge our batteries, literally and metaphorically, before heading back to Recife for Carnival.
UK passport holders do not require a visa to enter Brazil. However, passports must be valid for at least 6 months.
Recife has a tropical climate, mainly warm and humid. The average temperature is around 26°C. The sun is very strong and adequate protection against sunburn is essential. The interior of the country is dryer than the coast.
Clothing and What To Pack
Given the humidity, lightweight, natural breathing summer fabrics are best. Long sleeve tops, trousers and shoes at dusk will reduce insect bites. Items to bring:
Please consult your GP as least two weeks before you travel.
Currency is the Reais (R$). The exchange rate at the time of writing is around 5 Real (R$) to the Pound. ATMs are widespread. Most establishments will accept cards but do inform your bank of your plan to travel in Brazil.
A tip box will be in operation on the tour. Please allow 25 Reais (R$) / day / person.
It is essential that you take out adequate travel insurance covering you for medical emergencies and personal items.
Roaming is expensive. If you plan on making and receiving calls when not on Wi-Fi then a local SIM card in an unlocked phone would be a good idea.
Tour Leaders & Guides
Tour leaders are not only there to ensure your trip runs smoothly but also share their knowledge and passion for Brazil with you. They can advise on how to spend your free time, offer advice on food and shopping etc. Do be patient if at any time things don’t quite go according to plan.
Be responsible photographers, remember that locals are not paid models but normal people going about their everyday lives, so please don’t be too pushy and always ask permission. Even though the prospect of a good photo moment is exciting, be considerate to your fellow photographers. Don’t spend too long reviewing photos or fiddling with settings if others are waiting. Step out, have a fiddle and then step back in as appropriate.
Drink filtered or bottled water. If you have a travel filter, consider bringing that. Most hotels and restaurants provide filtered water.
The electrical current can fluctuate, but is mainly 220V. The most common power points have two sockets, and most will take both round and flat prongs.
Most of the hotels on this tour will have internet access but speeds and reliability may fluctuate.
The cities of Recife and Olinda hold the most authentic and inclusive celebrations in Brazil. The nation literally shuts down as rich and poor, young and old hit the streets to party. Pernambuco has large carnival celebrations with hundreds of local groups performing and displaying traditional music and folklore. It can, of course, be quite intense and overwhelming. Our local assistants will be at hand to advise you on how best to tackle this enormous and exciting event.
It is best to minimize the risk of becoming a target by leaving expensive watches or jewelry at home. Don’t carry too much cash. After dark do not walk around quite city streets or beaches. Use ATMs inside buildings and be aware of your surrounding.
|£3600 per person – Double / Twin||Flights to Brazil are NOT included|
|Single Supplement £250|
All accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis and ground transportation in a private vehicle. Any public transportation if used is also included. Photographic tuition and reviews from our tutors, local guides and drivers are included in the tour fee. Meals during group activities and excursions will be included, on any “free” days meals are not included other than breakfast.
Flights. Customary tips; There is a tip kitty policy on this trip and we will collect £5 per person, per day, to cover tips for restaurants, hotels and drivers. Guide(s) are tipped at your own discretion. Personal items such as laundry are not included. Optional activities, entrance fees to heritage sites or museums are not included. Beverages other than water during meals are not included.
Returning guests receive a 5% discount from the tour fee.
Contact us to check availability. We will then send you an online booking form to fill and information on how to pay your deposit. We require a deposit of £500 per person to secure a place on the tour, the balance is required 8 weeks prior to departure.
Weds 6 February – Weds 20 February 2020 (14 nights)
We will be happy to assist those wishing to extend their stay in Brazil to take in the carnival.
Maximum group size is 10 – not including staff.
3 – 4 star hotels or the like and small charismatic guest houses where possible.
Breakfast is included as part of your accommodation. Other meals are included except on any free days if given. Soft drinks and alcohol are not included.
Private midi-bus in the main. The tour is designed to cut down driving time and maximise location time and photography. We do our best not to over fill the bus, leaving space for your equipment. On any long drives, we will make ample stops.
Standards in Brazil may not be what you are used to back home. As such, in order to maintain a fun and healthy atmosphere on this tour we ask you to bring a positive, open minded attitude.