Why Brazil needs to be on your travel bucketlist

Why Brazil?

With 5,000 miles of white-sand beaches, pristine rain forests, thundering waterfalls, a year round warm climate, vibrant music and dancing, baroque colonial towns and impressive cities, it’s no wonder Brazilians say ‘Deus e Brasileiro’ (God is Brazilian)!

Beautiful Brazil

What is Brazil Famous For?

  • Brazil’s passionate Carnaval
  • The mighty Amazon Jungle
  • Rio’s Corcovado Mountain, home to the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue

Corcovado Rio

Cuisine to try

  • Feijão preto (black beans served with meat and rice)
  • Churrascarias(barbequed meat)
  • Tacaca (Amazonian soup with shrimp)
  • Caipirinha, Brazil’s famous cocktail

Don’t miss

  • Views of Rio from Corcovado Mountain (home of Christ the Redeemer statue)
  • One of Brazil’s best preserved colonial towns, Paraty
  • The power and beauty of the majestic Iguaçu Falls
  • Rio’s famous festival, Carnaval, grandly celebrated in Rio, Salbador and Olinda

Brazil Carnaval

When to go

Brazil can be visited year round. The north of the country is always warm and humid and rainy season is from Jan to Apr. The coast down to Rio is generally warm and sunny with some rain in the summer months (Nov to Mar). South of Rio there are seasons, and the winter months Jul to Nov can be cool (down to 10C).

Brazilian Wildlife

Things to see

If you’re visiting Brazil, these are things you shouldn’t miss

  • Enjoy the vibrant and picturesque city of Rio
  • Visit Salvador to experience its vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture
  • Explore the colonial streets of Paraty
  • Enjoy the futuristic architecture of Oscar Niemeyer in the capital, Brazilia
  • Explore the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands and wildlife reserve
  • Witness the majestic Iguaçu Falls
  • Soak in the sun on a white-sand beach with a Caipirinha in hand
  • See fresh water dolphins and fish for piranha’s in the mighty Amazon Jungle

Copacabana Beach

Activities

If you’re looking for a bit of action, these are some of our favourite Brazilian activities

  • Go horseback riding in the Pantanal
  • Kayak through flooded forests in the Amazon
  • Learn to surf on the north east coast’s many palm-fringed beaches
  • Snorkel in crystal-clear rivers and coastal reefs
  • Take a boat ride in the basin of the mighty Iguaçu Falls
  • Learn to Samba or try your hand at Capoeira

Iguazu Falls

Contact us to discuss your tailor-made trip to Brazil.

 

Australia’s Hidden Gem

Luxuriously laid-back Noosa

With its sun-drenched beaches, lush green hinterland, enviable national parks, pristine river and Everglades system and a cosmopolitan lifestyle, Noosa offers the perfect combination for a luxurious and laid-back escape.

Noosa Hinterland

Stay on Makepeace Island, a sanctuary of seclusion on the Noosa River. This magnificent little castaway island is the Australian home of Sir Richard Branson and offers a unique fusion of luxury and nature creating an idyllic place to escape and unwind, and is also a refuge for koalas!

Everglades aerial

Satisfy your taste buds with an exclusive and personalised foodie experience! From Noosa’s coffee trail, award winning restaurants, sea-to-plate fishing experience or meeting local food producers in Noosa’s beautiful hinterland – the possibilities are endless.

Dining on Noosa River

Explore the pristine waters of the Noosa Everglades system

One of only two in the world! Home to 44% of Australia’s bird species, these wetlands are a wilderness area with intrinsic value. Join an expertly guided tour with a world champion kayaker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob3e-0uRSTI

Noosa Everglades Kayaking - Kanu Kapers

Hit the beach – but not as you know it!

Noosa offers incredible horse-riding experiences on remote beaches, led by ex-Olympian Alex Watson and his wife.

Noosa North Shore horse riding

Alternatively, you can “ride” along the majestic coloured sands in a privately chartered 4WD. Look out for dolphins, whales, turtles, stingrays, birds of prey and monitor lizards as you cruise along the Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach. These amazing beach drives are your gateway to world famous Fraser Island.

Noosa National Park

From private islands to bistros, bars and boutiques, untouched forests and waterways to beautiful beaches; Noosa really does earn its name as the ‘Relaxation Capital of Australia’.

If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch.

Useful tips before visiting Japan

As you can imagine, we at Lekker Boutique Travel are crazy about travelling. We went on a dream trip to Japan in April. Our itinerary included sake, sushi, gardens, temples, modern architecture, ceramics, onsen (hot springs), hiking a Buddhist pilgrimage route, fesitvals and last but not least, cherry blossoms.

These are the insights and tips from one of our team. If you’d like to discuss arranging your dream trip to Japan then please get in touch!

Why Japan

I travel in order to experience something different from what I am used to and I have wanted to visit Japan for a very long time. My recent three week trip rates as one of my favourite destinations. If I had to describe Japan in a few words I would describe it as refined, elegant & mysterious.

Kyoto Fushimi Inari

There is a lot to do in Japan and our itinerary was carefully planned and ambitious. There was one day where we walked 20km (and that was in Kyoto, not even on the part of the trip where we went hiking).

Trains

Travelling around Japan is so easy given the incredible and efficient train system. It is easy to base yourself in one or two cities and do day trips to different places. The Japan rail pass is well worth purchasing and allows you unlimited travel on the bullet train network (with some minor exclusions). Japanese train stations are incredibly busy but equally organised. If your train is meant to arrive at 12.19, it will arrive at 12.19. Your ticket will tell you the car and seat number and when arriving at the platform you will see where the door of that car will stop along the platform and people form neat rows to enter the train.  The train stops, people wait for those that disembark and then everyone boards in an orderly fashion and the train departs within minutes. Don’t be late, the train only stops for a few minutes.

Food

It’s so much more than sushi. Japanese food was mysterious, interesting and sometimes challenging. Mysterious because you often have no idea if the building you are passing is even a restaurant…. and if it is, what kind it is, or how expensive it is. But once you have figured that out, it is also mysterious because you often do  not know exactly what you are eating. As a fish eating vegetarian there were some challenges but there was so much amazing food, exquisitely presented that I really enjoyed most of the meals.

 

Sushi – We ate delicious sushi and tried fish we have never heard of.

Soba – Soba noodles were something I had not had much of before the trip but became a favourite. We ate Soba served in a broth and cold soba (yes, cold noodles) served with a dipping sauce. Delicious.

Tempura – I generally don’t like fried food but the tempura in Japan was very, well, Japanese, subtle, light and delicious. We even ate tempura leaves.

Okonomiyaki. This is a dish which has some ‘pancake’, lots of cabbage, a fried egg, noodles and a sauce. Hard to describe because I have never eaten anything like it before. Delicious, and a speciality of Hiroshima.

Sake. Japanese rice wine. There are so many types and it can be served hot or cold.  Hot sake at the end of a long day of sight seeing in the cold became a bit of a ritual of our trip.

Tea. A country after my own heart, where tea is appropriate at every moment. One of my favourite things was that at conveyor belt sushi restaurants there are instant boiling water spouts on the counter so you can make your own tea. We drank a lot of Matcha which is powered green tea that is whisked. Not my favourite, but I did love the various matcha flavoured things, especially matcha ice cream. My favourite tea was roasted stem tea. I had never tried that before and is one of my new favourites. Japanese desserts are mostly made from bean paste and served with matcha. The one Japanese dessert I did love was Taiyaki – a fish shaped pancake filled with custard.

Cherry Blossoms

Spring in Japan is spectacular. It is hard to plan a trip around cherry blossom season which is short and varies from year to year but we were incredibly lucky to arrive in Tokyo the weekend the city hit full bloom. There are so many different cherry blossom viewing spots, each one more breath taking than the next.  There is a certain buzz in the air during the cherry blossom season and everyone is out and about enjoying the change of season.

   Nikko Japan

Toilets

I have to mention the Japanese toilets. They make normal toilets look like they come out of the Stone Age. Japanese toilets can wash you, in various ways, at various pressures, with various temperatures. The seat is always warm. It can play flushing sounds for you to give you privacy in public places. They can deodorise, flush automatically…. I could go on and on. The other incredible thing about Japan is the cleanliness. I have never been to a cleaner country. Public toilets in the busiest train stations in the world were absolutely spotless.

Japanese Toliets

Design

Design & beauty permeates every aspect of Japan. Everything seems considered from an aesthetic perspective. One example of this was the manholes with a beautiful flower motif. This includes the architecture. The ancient temples and shrines are magnificent and are often set in beautiful landscapes. Japanese gardens are exquisite. Walking in Tokyo is like taking a tour through an architecture magazine where every famous modern architect has built something. The sense of aesthetic permeates everything from the way food is presented to the packaging. It is worth going into one of the many department stores and walking through the food section. It’s a feast for the eyes.

Sake Japan  Kanazawa Castle Japan

Festivals

Japan has many festivals and we went to Takayama for their spring festival where special festival floats are paraded through the streets during the day and the night. It was a really interesting experience. Some of the floats have special marionettes and there is a marionette performance that is watched by hundreds of people. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

Takayama Spring Festival Japan Takayama Spring Festival

Accommodation

We stayed in both western style and Japanese style accommodation (ryokan). Both styles of accommodation were excellent in their quality but I did prefer the Ryokan for a number of reasons. Firstly, they have a far more homely feel and the staff tended to be more attentive. I loved the experience of sleeping on a futon and having tea served in the room. Most ryokan included and multiple course local dinner which was always an interesting experience. Many of the Ryokan had their own onsen. I was very sceptical of onsen before I got to Japan (i don’t like public swimming pools, so bathing, naked, with strangers did not appeal). But I quickly got over that and loved the experience and looked forward to every onsen experience. Spring is still cold and a soak in a hot onsen is a wonderful way to warm up before bed.

Ryokan Japan

Hiking

We ventured out of the big cities and decided to hike part of the Kumano Kodo – the ancient Buddhist pilgrimage route in the Kii peninsula. Hiking through the cedar and cypress forests and tiny villages was tranquil, beautiful and a wonderful contrast to the big bustling cities. We visited beautiful shrines and stayed in lovely small ryokan and got to see a very different side of Japan to that of the mega city.

Find out more

If you’d like more information about visiting Japan or you’d like us to arrange a tailor-made trip to Japan personally designed for you, please get in touch info@lekkerboutiquetravel.com

You can also see all the photos from our trip on Instagram and Facebook page.

Travel to South Africa – Customer Review

Another happy Lekker customer

We’ve just received the following photos from Tammy and family from their once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa.

Tammy had the following to say

I wanted to thank you for such a wonderfully planned trip.  We had so much fun and South Africa is just beautiful! We had a great trip making unbelievable memories!  You did a great job and we thank you very much for all the work that went into planning this trip. 

South African Safari      South African Safari

If you’d like to explore South Africa, please get in touch we’d love to arrange your dream African safari!

The Institute of Directors’ interview with Julia of Lekker Boutique Travel

Lekker’s Julia Fintz discusses Lekker Boutique Travel and the challenges of building a business with Alex and Jamie at The Institute of Directors in London.

The initial part of the video pays tribute to the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack. Alex and Jamie then discuss business and economic news from this week, including the latest on the UK’s GDP and net migration figures. Jamie then mentions the upcoming elections and the various party manifestos and latest poll figures for the election.

From 5:45 onwards, Alex introduces Julia from Lekker Boutique Travel. Julia provides an overview of the services that Lekker provides and touches on some of the key challenges in building a business.

 

Lekker Boutique arranges tailor-made trips personally designed for each customer. Lekker arranges everything from flights, boutique hotels and transfers, to private tours, drivers, guides and activities, to event tickets and restaurant bookings. Lekker specialises in long-haul destinations where a more personal service is important. The company has a particular expertise in travel to Africa. The Lekker team has intimate knowledge of all the destinations on offer, and Lekker makes use of an extensive network of trusted partners that provide 24/7 support to customers while they’re away.

Looking to arrange a bespoke trip?

To speak to one of Lekker’s travel consultants please email info@lekkerboutiquetravel.com or call +44 (0)20 3290 3321 or +1 646-233-2129.

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