Maranhao: The Secret of Brazil


(BDCi) — Maranhao is a place blessed by nature. Located in a transition area between the northeast and the northern regions of Brazil, Maranhao displays a wide variety of ecosystems.
A mix of beaches, forests, cerrados (tropical savanna), lakes and rivers are just a few of the attractions that differentiate Maranhao from all other Brazilian States. Add to that an extremely rich and unique history, music, traditions, popular culture and many other facets, Maranhao is well worth a visit.
Sao Luis was founded by the French in 1612, then invaded by the Dutch and finally reclaimed by the Portuguese.[image border=”yes” alt=”” src=”” align=”right” height=”187″ width=”250″]
The center of tourism of Sao Luis encompasses the capital, Sao Luis (World Heritage Monument), the cities of Alcantara, Sao Jose de Ribamar, Paco do Lumiar and Raposa.
In Sao Luis, the historical area is the main attraction with a collection of over 3,500 colonial buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The “Centro Historico” is sort of an outdoors museum filled with uncountable architectural elements and details where streets covered in stones, corners, narrow side streets, and balconies invite the visitor to wonder about the rich past of this one time prestigious and promising Brazilian city.
The City of Rosario is the capital of pottery. Hundreds of handcrafts are produced every year. Another city called Raposa is a fishermen village with very peculiar art as well.
The diverse cultural traditions inherited by the Maranhenses are without doubt the reason for the wide variety of rhythms and the rich local music scene. Several percussion instruments can be found, and the rhythms that come from them are part of the large cultural heritage passed from generation to generation. A more recent influence, reggae has found a new home in Sao Luis, which makes it known as the Brazilian Jamaica.
[image border=”yes” alt=”” src=”” align=”left” height=”187″ width=”250″]Maranhao culinary tradition is extremely rich. Variety and sophistication are just some of the words used to describe local taste. Even though the local cuisine is a mixture of European, African and Native American influences, the predominance of the African element is evident. Arroz de Cuxa, fish (fresh and salt water), carne de sol with fried mandioc, duck stews and many other dishes are easy to find and worth a try. Exotic fruits like bacuri and cupuacu are abundant and delicious!
There are countless popular celebrations in Maranhao. The most famous are in June but one can party year round. Festivals happen from January to September.
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The climate in Maranhao varies from warm and humid (West) to warm and semi-humid (North and South) to warm and semi-arid (East).  Average temperature ranges from 68F to 86F.
By Gustavo Pedroza – Travel Tech Vacation
Source: Maranhao Agency for Tourism
Photo courtesy of Embratur
23 November 2011
9:53 p.m. PST
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