PEOPLE POWER AND CULINARY TRADITIONS

Fall 2021

Have you ever imagined what kind of food is eaten in the Brazilian Amazon? Or where açaí comes from? On this travel experience, we will learn how the local community is using cooperative organization and entrepreneurship to protect and share their culture. You’ll also learn about the region’s cuisine and food systems through immersive activities like a cooking class with a women’s cooperative and an açaí production demonstration.

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About the Brazil Trip

Belém, the capital of the Amazonian state of Pará, in the northern part of Brazil, will be your starting point. You’ll also explore two different nearby islands: Cotijuba and Combu. You will be welcomed here by local community projects, for an immersion into the multisensorial universe of the Amazon and its people. You will not only taste the abundance of Pará’s gastronomic diversity, but also take part in numerous hands-on experiences together with those who live in these communities. 

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Belém 

 

Regardless of your time of arrival in Belém, a private transfer will meet you at the airport, and bring you to your hotel in Belém. If you arrive early, enjoy the day to explore the “Cidade de Mangueiras” (The Mango Tree City) - our host and guide will happily provide recommendations to all guests for the best of what to do and see. At night, you’ll enjoy a special welcome dinner with a lecture on the region’s history, geography and culture, to give you context into the following days. 

 

Included today: 

  • Transfer from airport to hotel 

  • Accommodations at Atrium Quinta das Pedras 

  • Dinner and lecture

  • Trip overview

Day 2: Cotijuba Island

 

After breakfast, head out on a van transfer to the Icoaraci port. Here, you will take a riverboat to the Island of Cotijuba. Upon arrival, our hosts from the local community will welcome us, and you will take part in various activities, including a delicious lunch at the headquarters of the MMIB (Belém Islands’ Women's Movement) project. In the afternoon, dive into community life, checking in to one of the local guest houses run by our hostesses and relaxing on the famous beach of Vai-Quem-Quer; this white-sand paradise looks like it’s on the sea, when in reality, you’ll be on a fresh-water river beach! At the end of the day, enjoy a home-cooked meal with the group. 

 

Included today: 

  • Breakfast at Atrium Quinta das Pedras 

  • Van transfer to Icoaraci Port 

  • Boat from Icoaraci to Cotijuba 

  • Transfer in Cotijuba to Pousada 

  • Lunch at MMIB 

  • Accommodations in Cotijuba (community pousada)

  • Dinner at Pousada 

 

Day 3: Regional Cuisine & Productive Gardens

 

In the morning, you will explore a “productive garden.” Most families on Cotijuba Island cultivate their own fruits, legumes, and special Amazonian species, such as: tucumã, priprioca and açai palm trees. This special moment has been set aside so you can learn about how small families live in the forest, how they are in tune with nature. From planting, to reaping and reusing seeds and palm trees, to making handicrafts!

 

Stop for lunch at Vai-Quem-Quer Beach. 

 

After the meal, the group will have some time to rest or enjoy the beach, and then return to MMIB HQ, and alongside the women, learn how to make a local dish, learn about different local ingredients, fruits, seeds, and more - and finally, sit down to savor the fruits of your labor over a wonderful and delicious afternoon “coffee” - a “café da tarde,” as it’s called here in Brazil. 

 

After a full day of learning, we will have time to relax and interact with our surroundings and the welcoming community of the island, going back to the pousada and the beach. Good time to prepare a “banho de cheiro”, a tradition ritual in Para to bring good energy. 

 

Included Today: 

  • Culinary Workshop with MMIB at Breakfast 

  • Visit to Productive Garden 

  • Lunch on the beach 

  • Dinner at Pousada 

  • Accommodations in Cotijuba (community pousada)

Day 4: Interpretive Trail & Luau 

 

Experience an exciting interpretive trail through the Amazon rainforest, learning about local flora along the way. Stop on the way to visit a local family that works on an açai plantation, where you will observe the manual process of reaping of the fruit, and how to make the juice from the raw fruit. 

 

The trail ends with a refreshing dip in the river. Stop for lunch in front of the beach.  

 

After lunch and a well-deserved rest, work alongside our hostesses to prepare for our evening luau! You will help with decorations, preparing the meal, and more. It will be sure to be an experience to delight the senses, with the rhythms, flavors and warmth of Pará state. A lovely farewell to the island. 

 

Included Today: 

  • Breakfast at pousada

  • Hiking Tour & Açaí production demonstration 

  • Lunch on the beach 

  • Luau on the beach (includes dinner)

  • Accommodation in Cotijuba (Community Pousada)

Day 5: Belém City Tour 

 

On your final morning on the island, a special breakfast with our hosts, and back on the boat to Icoaraci. 

 

After dropping your things off at the hotel, you will take a walking tour from the hotel, through the historic center, and to the Ver-o-Peso Market. Here, you will encounter the largest varieties of regional products and the unique specialties of Pará state cuisine! Your guide will tell you all about how the market came to be, how it works today, and will point out items unique to the region. You can have lunch here at stands indicated by the guide, head back to the hotel for lunch to relax, or choose another spot to have lunch. 

 

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. 

 

Tip* if you continue on from Ver-O-Peso market, you will reach Estação das Docas, on the banks of the Guajará river bay, where you will encounter several restaurants and bars. Here, we recommend you try different Amazonian flavors through ice cream, at Cairu. 

 

Free evening to explore a bit more. 

 

Included Today: 

  • Breakfast at pousada 

  • Transfer from pousada to Port in Cotijuba (charrette) 

  • Boat transfer from Cotijuba to Icoaraci 

  • Van transfer from Icoaraci to Hotel 

  • Walking tour through historic center and Ver-o-Peso Market 

  • Accommodations at Atrium Quinta das Pedras 

Day 6: Combu Island & Dinner at Casa de Saulo

 

Today, make your way to Combu Island. Known as street rivers, you will observe homes made of “palafitas,” a kind of construction on the river created to protect the home from the varying levels of water the river goes through, throughout the year.

 

First, you’ll visit Vera. An entrepreneur who uses her knowledge of Amazonian cacau to produce organic chocolate. She will show us the process from picking the seed from the fruit, to the roasting and we’ll get to try some natural chocolate. 

 

We’ll then visit a family whose productive garden is mainly of açaí palm trees. Here you will meet Boa. He’ll tell you about his family, how they were able to improve their work once they became in tune with the forest, sustainable projects, and working with the circular economy. At Boa’s, you’ll enjoy lunch which will include fresh fish and açaí as a side dish, as well as seasonal fruit juices, a very traditional regional meal.

 

After lunch you’ll have some time to enjoy the river beach and relax before returning to Belém.

 

Tonight, you will enjoy dinner at Casa de Saulo, where you will learn about the community and food systems projects the restaurant works with, and explore Amazonian fine dining at its best, in a lovely atmosphere, already missing Pará!

 

Included Today: 

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Van transfers between hotel and port 

  • Boat transfers between Belém and Combu Island  

  • Chocolate workshop with Vera 

  • Açaí production workshop & Lunch with Boa’s family. 

  • Dinner at Casa de Saulo

  • Accommodations at Atrium Quinta das Pedras 

Day 7: Community Visit & Farewell Lunch 

 

This morning, you will visit a community project sponsored by the Alachaster Institute. You will learn about how this institute promotes sustainability throughout the city, but most importantly, in communities that lack resources and sustainability education the most. 

 

You will return back to the hotel to check out, retrieve your luggage and be prepared to go to the airport after our farewell lunch. 

 

Join your hosts for a farewell lunch, and the opportunity to try vegetarian maniçoba at Govinda Vegetarian Restaurant. 

 

After lunch, you will transfer to the airport at the appropriate time (4 hours prior to international flights, 3 hours prior to domestic flights). 

 

Included Today: 

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Van transfer to project at Alachaster 

  • Lunch at Govinda Vegetariano 

  • Transfer to the airport 

 

TRIP DETAILS

People Power & Culinary Traditions in Northern Brazil

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Accommodations

  • Transportation, including airport transfers

  • All activities and visits

  • 16 meals

  • Local English-speaking host and tour guide

  • Pre-trip orientation materials and activities

Not Included:

  • Airfare

  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)

  • 1 lunch and 1 dinner

  • Alcohol and snacks

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodations are double rooms, to be shared with another traveler. A single supplement is available for $450/person.

Accommodations partners are a modern hotel in Belem with a pool and family-owned rustic pousadas next to the Amazon River on Cotijuba island.

ACTIVITY LEVEL

We strive to make all activities and experiences inclusive of different ability levels. Therefore, most activities throughout the itinerary are considered low in terms of difficulty. There is one moderately difficult activity on the itinerary: one hiking excursion on mostly flat terrain. We will make reasonable accommodations for all Explorers needing assistance before or during each activity. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have about the activity level.

Book your trip to Brazil

Payment can be made in full or in installments. Payment plans are available. After you pay the non-refundable $500 deposit, the ExplorEquity team will reach out to you to discuss your payment schedule.

 
 
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