December 28, 2011

Carnival – The Greatest Party in the World!!

by Megan

It’s hard to describe the experience of Brazil’s Carnival party – there’s nothing else on the planet like it. To say that it consumes the country is an understatement – work, life, school all come to a grinding halt during Carnival. The cities and beaches come alive with music, food, and dancing, as the spirit of celebration and excitement crackles in the air.

If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to dance in the Carnival – don’t hesitate for a minute! There’s nothing more exhilarating than being swept up in the brillant lights and waves of glittering bodies swaying, shaking, and pulsating to that vibrant samba beat. For the 30 or so minutes it takes you to dance down the Sambódromo, nothing else exists in the world – it’s truly magical! Be prepared to stay up all night – Carnival doesn’t sleep.

Tourists can participate in the Carnival, but you’ll need to organize early to make sure you’re ticket and costume are in place. Cost can vary depending on which Carnival you want to dance in – some are more expensive than others. The carnival in São Paulo takes place on the Friday and Saturday night of the week of Carnival, as opposed to Rio’s Carnival, which is held on Sunday and Monday night. Whilst tourists are bewitched by the dazzling show, Brazilians are very much aware that Carnival is a fierce competition between participating Samba Schools (Escola de samba)- vying for prestige and a large cash prize. The Samba Schools are judged on ten different performance categories based on their musicality, visual quality, the social integration of revelers, timing, and also quality of story telling.

Carnival is celebrated all over Brazil, but each has a different style/character unique to that part of Brazil. For example, in Bahia (in the Northeast of Brazil) Carnival takes place in the streets (instead of in the Sambódromo like in Rio and Sao Paulo) and and trios elétricos (electrically amplified bands playing atop speaker-laden trucks) whip two million people into a frenzy day and night. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article on Brazil’s Top 10 Carnival’s.

Having participated in Carnival myself,  it is without a doubt one of the most incredible experiences life has to offer.

December 7, 2011

2014 World Cup Stadiums

by Rodrigo

The host cities for the 2014 World Cup was announced in 2009 and the blue print of all the stadiums are available. Twelve cities were chosen as the 2014 World Cup hosts and  you can see how the stadiums will look when they are done. Which is your favorite stadium design?


  • City: São Paulo
  • Name: Arena Corinthians
  • Capacity: 68.000 people
  • Cost: R$890 million

Arena Corinthians will host the first 2014 World Cup game in São Paulo


  • City: Salvador
  • Name: Arena Fonte Nova
  • Capacity: 60.000 people
  • Cost: R$591 million

Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador - Bahia


  • City: Recife
  • Name: Arena Pernambuco
  • Capacity: 46.000 people
  • Cost: R$465 million

Arena Pernambuco in Recife - Pernambuco


  • City: Natal
  • Name: Estádio das Dunas
  • Capacity: 45.000 people
  • Cost: R$400 million

Arena das Dunas in Natal - Rio Grande do Norte


  • City: Fortaleza
  • Name:Estádio Castelão
  • Capacity: 44.300 people
  • Cost: R$518 million

Castelão Stadium in Fortaleza - Ceará


  • City: Belo Horizonte
  • Name: Mineirão
  • Capacity: 69,950 people
  • Cost: R$675 million

Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte - Minas Gerais


  • City: Brasília
  • Name: Nacional Stadium
  • Capacity: 71.500 people
  • Cost: R$747 million

Nacional Stadium in Brasília - Distrito Federal


  • City: Cuiabá
  • Name: Arena Pantanal
  • Capacity: 42.500 people
  • Cost: R$452 million

Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá - Mato Grosso


  • City: Curitiba
  • Name: Arena da Baixada
  • Capacity: 41.375 people
  • Cost: R$190 million

Arena da Baixada in Curitiba - Paraná


  • City: Manaus
  • Name: Arena Amazônia
  • Capacity: 50.000 people
  • Cost: R$510 million

Arena da Amazônia - Manaus - Amazônia


  • City: Porto Alegre
  • Name: Beira-Rio Stadium
  • Capacity: 62.000 people
  • Cost: R$290 million

Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul


  • City: Rio de Janeiro
  • Name: Maracanã Stadium
  • Capacity: 82.000 people
  • Cost: R$945 million

Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro will host the final 2014 World Cup game