Brazil is a country most known for its wonderful and spectacular coast – but its beauty lays way beyond the beautiful shores. The Brazilian countryside is also as spectacular and intriguing as the coast but yet to be discovered by many. In the depths of its jungles, savannas and plains there is a whole different pace, a magical engagement with nature and a journey for the adventurous traveler that is sure to deliver beautiful sunsets and memories that will be part of your soul for an eternity. Welcome to the Brazilian cowboy land, with its indigenous heritage and luxury farm stays – carefully selected for their uniqueness and settings.
The Ibitipoca reserve is one of a kind. Set in the vicinity of the Ibitipoca Park, an extension of the Amazon forest at the Mantiqueira Mountain Range in Minas Gerais, the farm has been developing its eco and luxury credentials since it opened for stays in 2009. Set in the Fazenda do Engenho, a remodeled traditional farmhouse, the main building is surrounded by mountains, wildlife, lakes and waterfalls.
The stay offers a full-board experience, the meals are in itself a cultural immersion into seasonal, organic and farm produced countryside meals. You can also dine under the trees gazing at the stars – unforgettable.
The rooms are colonially spacious and with beautiful local art. Bathrooms are grand – think marble bathtubs and open-air hot tubs overlooking the grounds for that touch of uniqueness. There are also other tree country houses, beautifully decorated for private hire. Those are a little removed from the main house just for that touch of complete privacy.
Horse ride into the forest, have a yoga class in the morning or just have a massage in the wonderful spa – what ever you choose to do the macaws and toucans will be there to enchant your eyes while you relax.
Fazenda Catuçaba is a rural paradise; 30 minutes from the historical town of Sao Luiz do Piratininga, in São Paulo. Set in 450 acres of beautiful rain forested land; it holds lakes, rivers and jaw dropping mountain views. The main house dates back to 1850 and guests can stay in 5 villas – that can be booked also in its entirety.
The villas and old plantation houses, have been redesigned with wooden furniture, soft fabrics and Brazilian indigenous art, maintaining a wonderful simplicity, yet with a charming luxurious touch. Art is actually scattered around the whole space, which is overtaken by different resident artists, framing oftentimes the stars, the trees and the reflection of the clouds on the lake.
The motto here is more than just a stay in an idyllic setting, the farm is on the fringes of a Unesco nature reserve, it is homage to the local peoples, a way of enhancing this historical Brazilian setting, preserving not only its architectural heritage but also a way of life. Disconnecting to connect – that is the aim. So don’t expect TVs, Internet connection or telephones. Do expect wine tastings at sunset and horse ridings into the horizon though.
Fazenda do Serrote is a family affair. The brainchild of a Brazilian couple that fell in love with the place and brought it back to life after almost a century of it being neglected, the farm is set in a valley with its own microclimate. The area, Santo Antonio do Aventureiro, or ‘Saint of the Adventurous’, in Minas Gerais was a side way in colonial times for adventurous entrepreneurs who smuggled gold from here to the ports under the nose of the Portuguese Crown.
The restored farm is a gem. The 18 suites are spacious and all draw from the heritage and history of the place. Vintage oak beds, noble woods furniture, kilts, country lace and wonderful patchwork decorate the rooms; most bathrooms have an open air space with a shower or a bathtub – surrounded by a little garden.
The food is locally sourced, mainly from the farms’ own gardens and the staff is a delight. Stories and tales of the countryside and of the generations that have braved their way through theses lands will inspire you. You are sure to leave with a taste of true Brazilian hospitably that will warm your memories of the country for a very long time.