View from Rio de Janeiro of the bay and the high dome of Sugarloaf mountain.

Moon Brazil

In this full-color guide, journalist Michael Sommers leads travelers to the best that Brazil has to offer, from surfing, hang gliding, and enjoying the sizzling nightlife in Rio to venturing into the Amazon to witness the Meeting of the Waters, where the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões join to form the world’s mightiest river: the […]

Pet motel

Brazil’s First Love Motel – for Pets

Often a source of confusion for North American tourists, a motel in Brazil is where couples go for amorous encounters. Recently a pair of entrepreneurs in Minas Gerais just opened the first motel catering to pets. The wealthy can drop off their pets at this eight-story complex for breeding, grooming, and pampering.

Mercado Municipal building in Diamantina

When Oscar Came to Town

Most people who visit Diamantina are lured by the splendid colonial architecture that has earned the 18th-century diamond mining town UNESCO World Heritage status. Yet amidst the elegant colonial homes and ornate baroque churches lie the traces of a small but seminal moment in Brazilian Modernism.

Barbosa with hat in car

Da Boca do Brasileiro: Diamantina Insights

Diamantina is one of Minas’ most charming and unpretentious historical towns, a beguiling patchwork of whitewashed houses, baroque churches, and cobblestoned squares. Get an inside look at Diamantina through the eyes of a local with recommendations of what to eat and what not to miss.

A (Brazilian) Winter’s Tale

Having grown up in Canada where temperatures of 0⁰ C (33⁰ degrees) were considered mild, “winter” in Salvador – and in much of the rest of tropical Brazil – has always struck author Michael Sommers as a somewhat surreal, and hilarious, concept.

book cover

Going for the Gold

Staying in Minas Gerais, Michael dives into a book about Brazil’s gold rush to get to know the local history even better. He shares a bit of what he’s learned from the Portuguese-language text with readers.

Colorful jarred foods at the market

Minas Gerais Road Trip, Part 2 (At The Market)

Brazil’s first planned metropolis, construction of Belo Horizonte was initiated in the late 1800s. The modern capital of perpendicular streets and parallel avenues – modeled in part after Washington D.C. – was built to replace the former capital of Ouro Preto.

Plate with cheese and guava jelly

Minas Gerais Road Trip, Part 1

Simultaneously lyrical and in-your-face, Samba speaks volumes about questions of race in Brazil, and has had a considerable impact on audiences both in Brazil and overseas.