Brazil – Sun, Sea and Salsa

Hi, my name is Zoe Illingworth and I am Product Manager for Mexico, Caribbean and Brazil here at Thomson Holidays. Over the last few years whilst working in the longhaul team I have managed to fit in quite a few holidays to my areas. I enjoyed kite surfing in Cabarete in the Dom Rep, soaking up the atmosphere in Cocobongo’s in Cancun and most recently chilling out in Ponta Negra in Brazil. I would like to share some stories of my latest holiday as Brazil really is a great place for a holiday.

Zoe Illingworth  Visual_praia_1
(L) Zoe Illingworth on holiday in Brazil (R) Zoe's hotel, the 3T+ Visual Praia Hotel in Ponta Negra.

Brazil was introduced to the Thomson program last November and has definitely added something different to the other resorts we feature. The flight time is roughly 9 hours, landing in Natal late afternoon. The transfer to the resort is only about 20 minutes. On my holiday three friends and I stayed at the 3T+ bed & breakfast Visual Praia Hotel in Ponta Negra. The rooms are a good size and have air conditioning, fridge, TV, safe, telephone and hairdryer. On our first night we sat on the balcony, caipirinha in hand, listening to the waves lap the shore only a few metres away, and looked forward to the week of relaxation that lay ahead.

Visual Praia Hotel Visual Praia Hotel Rooms at the Visual Praia Hotel
(L-R) The Visual Praia Hotel, Ponta Negra. One of the rooms at the hotel.

During our week in Ponta Negra we spent our days either relaxing round one of the 3 pools at the Visual Praia, or soaking up the local atmosphere on the beach. If you’ve forgotten to take your sun cream down onto the golden sands, or your shades are still in your hotel room, or even if you just fancy an ice cream there is no need to move far from the sun lounger as there are friendly Brazilian vendors to take care of what you need. If you’re not interested a smile and no thank you is plenty for them to carry on their stroll down the beach. If you want more shopping there are a selection of local shops in Ponta Negra for gifts, souvenirs and importantly very cheap Havanas! Or venture into Natal to one of the large shopping malls a short bus ride away.

The one exception to this rest and relaxation was a day on the Beach Buggy Safari. This is a fantastic Thomson excursion and one of the most fun I have ever been on. I’ve included a couple of shots to show what you can expect. After being picked up in a buggy from our hotel we crossed the Potengy River by ferry and then caught a raft to reach the Genipabu sand dunes. From here we were driven beach buggy style across the vast sand dunes, visiting 7 beaches and 3 fresh water lagoons. Lunch is served at a restaurant with just enough time to relax in the deck chairs and gaze out to sea before starting the journey back to Ponta Negra.

Beach buggy raft Beach buggy sand dunes Beach buggy lunch
(L) Catching a raft to Genipabu sand dunes. (Middle) The dunes. (R) Lunch, before heading back to Ponta Negra.

Food wise we couldn’t have asked for more. We had breakfast at the attractive open front restaurant in the hotel (included in the holiday), a great selection of fresh fruit (the best mango I have ever tasted), cereal and hot buffet. Lunch was usually around the pool or at one of the many eateries along the promenade in Ponta Negra.

Ponta Negra promenade
Ponta Negra promenade

On a couple of occasions for our evening meal we again took advantage of the restaurant at the Visual Praia. It was very good value for money and offered a good hot and cold buffet selection plus an A La Carte menu. We were also keen to try the local restaurants and sample the food that was on offer and we weren’t disappointed. Grill restaurants are in abundance and all offer a great selection of meats cooked in a variety of ways. There are also various pizzerias (I can recommend the smoked chicken and cream cheese or the rocket and mozzarella), Italian restaurants and if shrimps are what you fancy you won’t be disappointed. Many establishments offer shrimps and other seafood cooked in a variety of ways. The best thing about it all is the price. A hearty meal and a couple of bottles of wine cost less than £30 for 4 of us. After dinner we ventured out to experience the local bars and night life. There’s a wide selection to choose from but don’t miss out on a visit to one of the many Salsa bars.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my holiday to Brazil and you’ll be glad to hear that it’s not only the food and drink that’s cheap when you get there, 7 nights at the Visual Praia would set you back from £559 for a week for next winter. A bargain price for a great holiday.

For more information on Brazil, Ponta Negra or the Hotel Visual Praia, use the links on this page or visit and click on 'View Destinations', select Winter 06-07 from the dropdown list and click on Brazil.


This sounds great. I'm going to get my friends to go next winter.

I would book sooner rather than later as there are now some great online special offers available to several hotels next winter. See the Winter Special Offers page for full details.

When I think about Brazil I think rainforests, do you get to see much nature if you travel to Brazil?

We will be introducing an Amazon tour and a Rio and Iguassu Falls tour for our next brochure in July, so watch that space! This can be taken as a 7 night tour or a 7 night tour plus a 7 night beach stay.

do you need malaria tablets when you go to ponta negra? A group of 5 are going in jan 08. It sounds fantastic,can't wait!

Malaria tablets for Brazil aren't always essential but you would be advised to check the Foreign Office website to find out for definite:

The comments to this entry are closed.


Welcome to the travel blog. Keep up to date with news and views from the UK’s no. 1 holiday company, and leave a comment on the posts below.

Subscribe to Thomson blog by RSS
Subscribe in Yahoo
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google
Subscribe in Bloglines


Thomson Accommodation
Thomson Fly