Brazzil
June 1999
Tourism

Of Faith,
Poverty
and Beauty

In Ceará you will find attractions for all tastes: for beach goers, hikers, those interested in history and folklore, those looking for unspoiled places. Curious about mysticism? Ceará is the land of Padre Cícero, a priest seen with misgivings by the Catholic Church, who is venerated as a saint.

Ceará's pride and glory is its coastline—nearly 600 km of glorious beaches. The beach in this part of the Northeast engenders a special way of life. In nearly all of the small beach towns, the people of Ceará live out their folklore every day of the year. They make old-fashioned lacework and handicrafts, cook according to traditional recipes, sleep in hammocks, sail out on jangadas to catch fish and live in thatched-roof homes.

Should you stray inland into the sertão, you will see a rugged, drought-plagued land, a bleak landscape of dust and caatinga peopled by vaqueiros (cowboys) who rely on their cattle for almost everything. The dried meat serves as food, tools are fashioned from the bones, and the hides provide clothing—nothing is wasted. For a complete contrast, visit the Serra de Baturité, a small chain of hills southwest of Fortaleza, which features an agreeable climate and coffee and banana plantations.

For all its size and wealth of culture, much of Ceará is poor and undeveloped. Poverty and disease are rampant and dengue and yellow fever are endemic.

FORTALEZA

Fortaleza is now a major fishing port and commercial center in the Northeast. The tourist attractions of the city include a small historical section, a large selection of regional handicrafts, and a growing nightlife scene along Praia de Iracema and Praia do Meireles. Although the city beaches are not very clean, there are some super beaches 20 km beyond the city limits in either direction.

History

According to some revisionist Cearense historians, the Spanish navigator Vicente Yanez was supposed to have landed on Mucuripe beach on 2 February 1500, two months before Pedro Álvares Cabral sighted Monte Pascoal, in Bahia. Despite this early claim to fame, it was only in 1612 that the first colonizers sailed from the Azores to settle on the banks of the Rio Ceará.

The settlement at present-day Fortaleza was hotly contested: it was taken over by the Dutch in 1635, then, in turn, lost to the Tabajara Indians. In 1639, the Dutch under the command of Matias Beck landed once again, fought off the Indians and constructed a fortress. In 1654 the Portuguese captured the fortress and reclaimed the site. A town grew around the fortress, which was given the name of Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Fortress of Our Lady of Assumption). Fierce battles with the local Indians continued to delay colonization for many years.

Orientation

The city is laid out in a convenient grid pattern. The center lies above the old historical section and includes the Mercado Central (Central Market), the (cathedral), and major shopping streets and government buildings.

East of the center are the beaches of Praia de Iracema and Praia do Ideal, then continuing eastwards, Avenida President Kennedy (also known as Avenida Beira Mar) links Praia do Diário and Praia do Meireles, which are lined with high-rise hotels and restaurants. Beyond here are Porto do Mucuripe (the port) and the Farol Velho (Old Lighthouse). Praia do Futuro begins at the lighthouse and extends five km southwards along Avenida Dioguinho to the Clube Caça e Pesca (Hunting & Fishing Club).

Information

Tourist Office

Coditur (253-1522), the state tourism organization, has its head office in the Secretaria de Indústria e Comércio (2nd floor, room 270), at Rua Castro e Silva 81. The branch office in the Centro de Turismo (231-3566), at Rua Senador Pompeu 350—inside a renovated prison—has stacks of information and can help with booking accommodation, tours to the beaches and details on bus transport. The Centro de Turismo is open every day from 7 am to 6 pm.

There are also Coditur booths at the airport (open 24 hours) and the rodoviária (open daily from 6 am to 10 pm).

Fortur (265-1177), the municipal tourism organization, at Avenida Santos Dumont 5336 (Room 302), can give up-to-date information on local craft markets.

A tourist information telephone service Disque Turismo (Dial Tourism), is also available—just dial 1516.

Dangers & Annoyances

Travelers have reported pickpocketing in the city center and petty theft on the beaches. We also heard reports about solicitous males on Praia do Meireles who cuddle up travelers, drug their drinks and relieve them of their valuables.

Museums

The Centro de Turismo, at Rua Senador Pompeu 350, is a restored prison which now contains a folk museum, tourist information office and shops selling artesanato. The Museu de Arte e Cultura Popular (folk museum) houses a variety of interesting displays of local handicrafts, art and sculpture. It's open every day from 7 am to 6 pm.

The Museu Histórico e Antropológico do Ceará, a museum devoted to the history and anthropology of Ceará, is at Avenida Barão de Studart 410. A bizarre exhibit here is the crushed wreckage of a light plane, which is a reminder of the murky politics associated with military rule in Brazil during the '60s In 1964, the Cearense Castello Branco, a hardcore right-winger from the military' organized a military coup to oust João Goulart, whom he accused of leftist politics, from the presidency, and then assumed the presidency himself. Disgusted democrats shed few tears when Castello Branco was killed in a plane crash outside Fortaleza in 1967—hence the wreckage outside the museum.

The museum is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, and from 8 am to 2 pm on Saturday.

Car enthusiasts will want to visit the Museu do Automóvel (Veteran Car Museum), at Avenida Desembargador Manoel Sales de Andrade 70, in the Água Fria district on the southern edge of the city. The museum displays a variety of veteran cars including Buicks, Pontiacs, Cadillacs and Citroens. It's open Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 5 pm.

Teatro José de Alencar

The José Alencar Theatre (1910) is an impressive building; a pastel-colored hybrid of classical and art-nouveau architecture which was constructed with cast-iron sections imported from Scotland. It is now used for cultural events.

Beaches

Fortaleza's city beaches are generally less than clean, with the exception of Praia do Futuro, but the locals don't seem to worry about it, so you can make up your own mind. There are clean beaches within 45 minutes of town (1½ hours or so by public transport), but the best beaches all lie further away from Fortaleza.

Near Ponte Metálica, the old port, Praia de Iracema was a source of inspiration to Luís Assunção and Milton Dias, Ceará's Bohemian poets of the '50s—some of this atmosphere lives on in a few bars and restaurants around Rua dos Tabajaras. Ponte Metálica has been recently restored, and includes cafés, a space for art exhibitions and an outdoor music stage which has occasional free concerts. There's a lovely promenade along the waterfront and a capoeira school often practices here in the evenings. Unfortunately, the beach is now polluted and not recommended for swimming.

Praia do Meireles is also tainted with pollution and not safe for bathing, but it fronts Avenida President Kennedy, which is a hotel and restaurant strip and also a popular place to hang out in the evening.

Praia do Futuro is a clean length of sand that stretches five km towards the south along Avenida Dioguinho to the Clube Caça e Pesca. It is the best city beach. Like Rio de Janeiro's Barra da Tijuca, it is being built up at an alarming rate. There are barracas here which serve fried fish and shrimp. On Thursday night, there's live forró along the beach and comedy shows in some of the bars.

The beaches immediately north of Fortaleza, Cumbuco and Iparana, are both pleasantly tranquil. Harried traveler can relax, string up a hammock in the shade of the palm trees, sip coconut milk and rock themselves to sleep.

Parque Ecológico do Coco

This park, close to Shopping Center Iguatemi, was set up in 1991 after local ecological groups pressed for protection of the mangrove swamps from encroaching highways and the industrial zone. Entrances to the park, which is about seven km from the center, are on Avenida Engenheiro Santana and Rua Vicente Leite. From the center, take the bus marked `Edison Queiroz' to Shopping Center Iguatemi, which is opposite the park.

Organized Tours

There are several tours available from Fortaleza, mostly to beach destinations such as Beach Park, Lagoinha, Jericoacoara, Canoa Quebrada, Morro Branco, Iguape and Prainha. Although there are regular bus services to all these places, the tours can be a good idea if you don't have time to arrange your own transport or don't want to stay overnight at the beach towns.

The tour prices include transportation only. Some sample per-person prices are: Beach Park, $6; Morro Branco, $10; Iguape, $12; Lagoinha, $18; and Canoa Quebrada, $18.

Coditur can give up-to-date advice on reliable agencies. Recommended operators include: Emanitur (244-9363), at Avenida Barão de Studart 1165; Valtur (231-9157), at Avenida Monsenhor Tabosa 1078 (Praia de Iracema); Egoturismo (221-6461), at Rua Barão de Aracati 644; and Petritur (261-8999), at Avenida Desembargador Moreira 2033.

Festivals

The Regata de Jangadas, a jangada regatta between Praia do Meireles and Praia Mucuripe, is held in the second half of July.

The Iemanjá festival is held on 15 August at Praia do Futuro. The Semana do Folclore, the town's folklore week, takes place from 22 to 29 August.

Places to Eat

You can eat well in Fortaleza. There's delicious crab, lobster, shrimp and fish, and a fantastic variety of tropical fruit, including cashews, coconut, mango, guava, sapoti, graviola, passion fruit, murici, cajá and more.

There are several local dishes worth tasting. Peixe à delícia is a highly recommended favorite. Try paçoca, a typical Cearense dish made of sun-dried meat, ground with a mortar and pestle, mixed with maniac and then roasted. The tortured meat is usually accompanied by baião de dois, which is a mixture of rice, cheese, beans and butter.

Things to Buy

Fortaleza is one of the most important centers in the Northeast for crafts. Artisans work with carnaúba palm fronds, bamboo, vines, leather and lace. Much of the production is geared to the tourist, but there are also goods for urban and Sertanejo customers. The markets and fairs are the places to look for clothing, hammocks, wood carvings, saddles, bridles, harnesses and images of saints.

Markets are held about town (usually from 4 pm onwards) from Tuesday to Sunday.

BEACHES SOUTH-EAST OF FORTALEZA

The coastal road from Fortaleza south to Aracati, the CE-004, runs about 10 km inland. It's mostly a flat, dry landscape of shrubs, stunted trees and some lakes. The towns are small, with good beaches, jangadas and dunescapes.

Prainha

Thirty-three km south of Fortaleza via BR-116, and seven km from Aquiraz, is the beach town of Prainha (the name means Little Beach). Prainha is a great beach, but it gets packed on weekends. Local fisherfolk will give you rides on their jangadas.

Iguape

Iguape, five km south of Prainha, has a long stretch of white-sand beach with jangadas, a few lonely palm trees and sand dunes breaking the clean line of the horizon. The kids from town ski down the dunes on planks of wood.

In Iguape, women and children make wonderful lacework. Four or more wooden bobs are held in each hand and clicked rapidly and rhythmically. The bobs lay string around metal pins which are stuck in burlap cushions. Using this process, beautiful and intricate lace flowers are crafted.

Save your purchases for Centro das Rendeiras, six km inland, where the lacework is just as fine and cheaper. Also on sale are sweet cakes made from raw sugar-cane broth which is boiled into a thick mass, pressed and reboiled in vats.

Praia do Morro Branco

Bounded on the coast by the Choro and Piranji rivers and inland by red cliffs, Morro Branco is four km south of the town of Beberibe. There are several brand-spanking new barracas along the beach for sipping and sunning. If you're feeling active, take a jangada ride to the caves, or hike to the cliffs of colored sands and the natural springs at Praia das Fontes.

The big festival here, dedicated to São Francisco, is held on 3 and 4 September and features a grand procession.

Aracati

Aracati is a large town by the Rio Jaguaribe, a river that provided transport for sugar cane and thus wealth, for Aracati in the 18th century.

Although the town is not in the best of shape architecturally, it's worth a few hours to look at some of the historical buildings. The Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, on Rua Dragão do Mar, dates from the late 18th century and is a fine example of colonial architecture. The attractive Sobrado do Barão de Aracati houses the Museu Jaguaribano, which contains sacred art and local handicrafts. For a look at more colonial houses, some of which have retained their azulejo façades, wander down Rua Comércio (Rua Grande).

The town is also known for its handicrafts; and the best time to see them is at the Feira do Artesão (Artisan Market) held on Saturday.

The towns south of Aracati, poor little villages often without electricity or running water, are set on stunningly beautiful, wide beaches. Developers have moved in to construct regular accommodation, but it's still easy to camp on barren beaches.

There are sharks waiting at Aracati's rodoviária to whisk you off to Canoa Quebrada in taxis—walk 700 meters down to Praça Mercado do Antigo and take a bus passenger truck or jalopy instead. There are also regular buses from Aracati to Majorlândia and Beberibe.

Canoa Quebrada

Once a tiny fishing village cut off from the world by its huge, pink sand dunes, Canoa Quebrada, 13 km from Aracati, is still small and pretty, but it is no longer the Shangri-la of the past. There are lots of hip international types running about, and on weekends tourist buses roll in and dwarf the village. Other than the beach, the main attractions are watching the sunset from the dunes, riding horses bareback and dancing forró or reggae by the light of gas lanterns. If you still have energy remaining after a night of dancing, hire a horse (four hours for $8 after bargaining) and ride out early in the morning.

Take care, bichos de pé (small parasites) are underfoot. Wear shoes all around town and wherever pigs and dogs roam freely.

Majorlândia

Majorlândia, 14 km south of Aracati, has a wide, clean beach with many barracas and jangadas. It's not as hip as Canoa Quebrada, but the beach is lovely, and during the week, it's very quiet.

Quixaba

Five km further south of Majorlândia on a sandy track are the distinctive, chalky-white sandstone bluffs of Quixaba. From the bluffs, cut by gullies between cacti and palms, you can see the pink hills of Canoa Quebrada. You can rent a jangada and visit the neighboring beaches.

SOUTH TO RIO GRANDE DO NORTE

The 50 km south-east from Quixaba to the border with Rio Grande do Norte is just a series of primitive little beaches and towns mostly off the maps and definitely out of the guidebooks: Lagoa do Mato, Fontainha, Retirinho and Retiro Grande, Mutamba, Ponta Grossa, Redonda and Retiro (a waterfall), Peroba, Picos, Barreiras and Barrinha, and, finally, Icapuí, which has a couple of pousadas.

Five buses a day go from Fortaleza to the village of Icapuí; it's a 4½ hour ride. A road continues to Ibicuitaba and Barra do Ceará beach. It's possible to drive from there to Tibaú, in Rio Grande do Norte, at low tide.

BEACHES NORTH-WEST OF FORTALEZA

Beach Park

This full-blown beach resort, 22 km up the coast from Fortaleza, is one of the most modern in Brazil, with facilities such as ultralights, surfboards, and buggies. It also has an Aqua Park, which features a huge swimming pool complex with the highest water-toboggan run in Brazil (24 meters and speeds up to 80 km/h). It's quite expensive and would probably appeal more to travelers in search of structured fun.

Paracuru

About 100 km from Fortaleza on BR-222 and CE-135, Paracuru is a Cearense version of Rio de Janeiro's Búzios. It's a clean relaxed and fairly affluent town—there's even an up-market gym called Musculação next to the bus station. Along the beach, coconut palms, natural freshwater springs and jangadas complete a tranquil beach picture. Although the beach attracts crowds from Fortaleza at weekends, it's quiet during the rest of the week. In recent years, Carnaval in Paracuru has become a byword amongst Cearenses for hot beach action.

Praia da Lagoinha

Praia da Lagoinha, a short distance up the coast from Paracuru, has lots of coconut palms, good camping and a small but deep lagoon near the sand dunes. The beach is considered by Cearenses to be in the top three in the state, and its relative isolation has so far kept crowds down.

Mundaú, Guajira & Fleixeiras

The beaches of Mundaú, Guajira and Fleixeiras, 155 km from Fortaleza via BR-222, are traditional fishing areas with wide, unspoiled sweeps of sand.

Itapipoca

The city of Itapipoca, about 120 km west of Fortaleza, can be used as a starting point for exploring the beaches of Baleia, Pracianos, Inferno and Marinheiros.

Jericoacoara

The latest remote `in' beach to become popular among backpackers and hip Brazilians, Jericoacoara is a small fishing village where dozens of palms drowning in sand dunes face jangadas stuck on a broad grey beach. It's a long haul to get there, so you might as well stay a while—in fact, it may be harder to leave. Pigs, goats, horses, cows, bulls and dogs roam the sandy streets at will.

It's best to avoid bichos de pé and other parasites by not walking the streets barefoot. If you stay bicho-free, you can practice your steps at the forró held in an outdoor courtyard every Wednesday and Saturday—just follow the music. You can also climb the sand dunes (watching the sunset from the top is mandatory, but sand-surfing down is only for crazies), go for a ride on a jangada, or walk to Pedra Furada, a rock three km east along the beach. At low tide the beach route is easier than the hill route. You can also hire horses and gallop along the beach.

Organized Tours

Tour operators in Fortaleza and up-market pousadas in Jericoacoara offer tour packages for Jericoacoara. The tours usually leave Fortaleza twice a week, at 7 pm on Tuesday and Friday; and return from Jericoacoara on Thursday and Sunday at 3 pm.

Tatajuba

Tatajuba, about 30 km west of Jericoacoara is a tiny, isolated fishing village perched on the mouth of a tidal river. The beach is broad and lonely, and there's a lagoon surrounded by extensive dunes about two km from the village. The only restaurant and pousada, the Verde Folha, is run by Marcus and Valéria, refugees from the "big smoke" of Jericoacoara. They have a couple of rooms with beds and hammocks. Full board, including great home cooking, costs $12 person.

There is no regular transport to Tatajuba. The walk along the beach from Jericoacoara takes about five hours; leave early in the morning and take water. At Guriú, a little less than half way, there's a river to cross—canoes will take you over for about $2. The river at Tatajuba can be waded at low tide. Don't try to cross it if the water is high, as the current is very strong.

Alternatively, you should be able to rent a boat in Jericoacoara to take you there; ask around at the beach.

Camocim

Camocim is a lively fishing port and market town at the mouth of the Rio Coreaú, in north-western Ceará, near the Piauí border. The town's economy revolves around the saltworks, lobster fishing and a busy everyday market. On Praia dos Barreiros and Praia do Farol, two and four km from town respectively, you can sip coconut milk while tanning.

SOBRAL

Sobral has two minor sights, faded glories from the past before all was changed by the construction of the BR-222. The Museu Diocesano Dom José (a museum of sacred art), on Avenida Dom José, houses an eclectic collection of images of saints. It's open Monday to Saturday from 2 to 5 pm. The Teatro Municipal São João, on Praça Dr Antônio Ibiapina, is an impressive neoclassical theater (1880).

MARANGUAPE

Thirty eight km from Fortaleza, on the way to the Serra de Baturité, is the town of Maranguape, famous for its Ypióca brand of cachaça. The Ypióca aguardente factory is six km from town; the turn-off is near the Shell station. There is no regular transportation to the cachaça plant, but it's not a bad hike and most of the traffic is headed in your direction.

At the gate, ask for a tour of the 138-year-old plant. Before you step within the grounds, a pungent sour-mash smell assaults the senses. Whirring, clanking, steam-spitting Industrial Revolution-era machinery crushes the cane to pulp and mush. The raw sugar-cane mash undergoes alcoholic fermentation, is distilled, then aged one to three years in huge wooden casks.

PACATUBA

Pacatuba is a cute little town in the shadow of the Serra de Baturité. The Balneário Bico das Andreas spring is smelly, dirty and not what it's cracked up to be.

SERRA DE BATURITÉ |

Ceará's interior is not limited to the harsh landscapes of the sertão. There are also ranges of hills, which break up the monotony of the sun-scorched land. The Serra de Baturité is the range of hills closest to Fortaleza. A natural watershed, it is an oasis of green where coffee and bananas are cultivated around the cliffs and jagged spines of the hills. The climate is tempered by rain, the evenings are cool and morning fog obscures Pico Alto (1115 meters), the highest point in the state.

Baturité

Founded in 1745, the town of Baturité (95 km west of Fortaleza) was once at the forefront of the fight against slavery, and is now the economic and commercial center of the region. Most of the town's attractions are grouped around the Praça Matriz and include the pelourinho (whipping post), the baroque church of Matriz Nossa Senhora de Palma (1764), the Palácio Entre-Rios, and the Museu Comendador Ananias Arruda, which contains exhibits from the town's past (though surprisingly, little on the struggle to abolish slavery). There are also a few termas (resorts with mineral pools) clustered around the town. There are local handicrafts on sale in Baturité that include embroidery, tapestry and straw goods.

Guaramiranga & Pacoti

Two of the prettiest villages on the heights of Serra de Baturité are Guaramiranga and Pacoti, 19 km and 26 km respectively from Baturité.

CANINDÉ

Canindé, only 110 km inland from Fortaleza on the BR-020, is the site of one of the Northeast's great religious pilgrimages, O Santuário de São Francisco das Chagas. Since 1775 pilgrims have been coming to Canindé to offer promises to and ask favors of São Francisco de Assis. Nowadays around 250,000 fervent believers arrive each year, most from the sertão, almost all dirt poor. For Westerners the festival is both colorful and bizarre, and laced with superstition. You'll see many votive offerings and miracle cures. It's a scene right out of a Gláuber Rocha film.

The festival begins on 2 September at 4 am and continues until 4 October. On 30 September, the climax of the festival begins with the celebration for the lavradores (farm workers), which is followed in turn by celebrations for the vaqueiros (cowboys) on 1 October, and for the violeiros (guitarists and luthiers) on 2 October.

The culmination of all the festivities begins at 3 am on 4 October, when the first of nine masses commences. These are followed by a 70,000-strong procession through the town.

PARQUE NACIONAL DE UBAJARA

The main attractions of the Parque Nacional de Ubajara, just a few km from the small town of Ubajara, are the cable-car ride down to the caves and the caves themselves.

Nine chambers with strange limestone formations extend over half a km into the side of a mountain. The main formations seen inside the caves are: Pedra do Sino (Bell Stone), Salas da Rosa (Rose Rooms), Sala do Cavalo (Horse Room) and Sala dos Retratos (Portrait Room).

The park, with its beautiful vistas, forest, waterfalls and three-km trail to the caves is well worth a visit. At 750 meters above sea level, temperatures in the surrounding area are kept cool and provide a welcome respite from the searing heat of the sertão.

In 1987 the lower station of the teleférico (cable car) was wiped out by boulders, which fell after winter rains. The station was jerked 18 meters off its foundation and pieces of the teleférico were flung 500 meters into the sertão. The cable-car system has been replaced, and now operates every day from 8.30 am to noon and 1 to 4 pm. The ride costs $3. Guides accompany you on the one-hour tour through the caves.

Information

The IBAMA office, five km from Ubajara proper, at the entrance to the park, provides guides for the tour, but the information center has been abandoned. If you fancy a strenuous hike, ask at the office if you can take the three-km trilha (trail) down to the cave. Allow at least half a day for the round trip. Start in the cool of the early morning, wear sturdy footwear and take enough to drink. Alternatively, you can walk down to the caves and take the cable car back up.

SERRA DA IBIAPABA

The Serra da Ibiapaba, a range of hills running along the undefined border with the state of Piauí, forms a rugged terrain of buttes, bluffs and cliffs, overlooking distant plains.

The town of Ipu lies 75 km south-east of Ubajara, in the Serra da Ibiapaba. The main attraction of Ipu (the name means Waterfall in the Tabajara Indian language) is the Bico do Ipu, a powerful waterfall that jets 100 meters downwards and fans out into sheets of mist and spray. A few km out of town are some strange stone stairs built by the Tabajara.

There is a sleazy restaurant under the falls, but no hotels in town. Ipu is worth a visit if it happens to be on your route, but it's not worth a special detour.

JUAZEIRO DO NORTE

Juazeiro do Norte, 528 km from Fortaleza, is a magnet for believers in Padre Cícero, who lived in this town and became a controversial figure of the sertão. Not only was he a curate, with several miracles to his credit, he also exercised a strong political influence. His astonishing rise to fame was started when an elderly woman received the host from him at mass and claimed that it had miraculously turned to blood. Soon he was being credited with all kinds of miracles, and later became drawn into a leading role in the social and political upheavals in the Northeast. Padre Cícero died in 1934, but despite attempts by the Catholic Church to deny his sainthood the claims and adoration of his followers seem to be as strong as ever.

The best time to see this magnetic attraction and devotion is during the festivals and pilgrimages in honor of Padre Cícero. On 24 March, the Aniversário do Padre Cícero celebrates Padre Cícero in legend and song. The romaria (pilgrimage) to Juazeiro do Norte in honor of Padre Cícero takes place on 1 and 2 November and is known as the Dia do Romeiro e Festa do Padre Cícero.

The city of Padre Cícero is rich in wood and ceramic sculpture. Look for the work of Expedito Batista, Nino, Cizinho, José Celestino, Luís Quirino, Maria de Lourdes, Maria Cândida, Francisca, Daniel, José Ferreira and Maria das Dores.

Logradouro do Horto

On the hill above the town, accessible either by road or via a path laid out with the stations of the cross, is the colossal statue of Padre Cícero (25 meters), which was built in 1969 and now ranks as the fourth-tallest statue in the record books. Those taller are Cristo Rey (Cochabamba, Bolivia), Cristo Redentor on Corcovado (Rio) and the Statue of Liberty (New York). Nearby is a small chapel and a building filled with votive offerings, which depict the afflictions and problems from which the worshippers have been freed: wooden or wax replicas of every conceivable body part, and graphic representations of survival from accidents.

Túmulo do Padre Cicero

Padre Cícero's tomb is beside the Capela Nossa Senhora do Perpétuo Socorro, on Praça do Socorro.

Gráfica de Literatura de Cordel

If you are interested in literatura de cordel (literally string literature), visit this workshop on Rua Santa Luzia, where you can see the pamphlets being produced for sale on the premises. It's open from 7 to 11 am and 1 to 5 pm Monday to Friday. It's closed on Saturday afternoon.

Excerpts from Brazil - A Travel Survival Kit, 3rd edition, by Andrew Draffen, Chris McAsey, Leonardo Pinheiro,  and Robyn Jones. For more information call Lonely Planet: (800) 275-8555. Copyright 1996 Lonely Planet Publications. Used by permission.


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