Will The Real Brazil Please Stand Up!
So we all know that if you want to experience Brazil, you go to Rio de Janeiro right? Wrong! Sao Paulo? Wrong again! That's essentially like saying if you want to truly experience Los Angeles, you go to Disneyland. Or to truly get a feel for New York, all you have to do is visit Times Square.
Granted, Rio and Sao Paulo are absolutely incredible cities – unabashed gems of South America – and to make a trip to Brazil complete, you'll want to get a good taste of the color and the culture that exists there, but, if you want to experience the true Brazil, the real Brazil, the reason cities like Rio and Sao Paulo even exist today, you'll want to make your way away from the major cities and work your way towards the charming villages and seemingly virgin areas that dot the countryside. We here at Boutique Homes have tracked down an extremely unique property that absolutely fits that bill.
While you still have the option of the major cities within 4 to 5 hours driving distance, this is a very different Brazil. Fazenda Catucaba's unique location puts it in between the two small historical villages of Catucaba and Sao Luiz do Paraitinga. Described as a 'true rural idyll situated amongst the rolling hills in the countryside," Fazenda Catucaba sits on over 1000 acres that include "an operational organic farm, rivers, lakes, and expansive views from the mountaintops."
This allows the visitor the opportunity to experience Brazil in ways that are simply impossible in the cities – canoeing, fishing, rafting, climbing, and horseback riding are just a few of the opportunities that await you at Catucaba. If you so desire, you can even try your hand at milking cows.
The property was originally purchased to serve as a farm to supply a sister property, beach resort Picinguaba, about an hour away along the coast between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but the owner fell so in love with the property that they ended up creating a whole new and completely separate experience. They converted the traditional casarao (main house), built in the 1850s, into the centerpiece, boasting 8 rooms. Additionally, the main house is complemented by 5 villas in adjoining farmhouses that enjoy their own views of the valley and rolling hillsides.
What makes it even more unique and charming is that descendants from the original owners that built the property, still reside in Catucaba and its surrounding areas. This spirit and soul extends to the fact that the hotel is actively involved in recovering endangered native animal and plant species.
Throw in fresh sustainable produce and ingredients straight from the farm, including corn, beans, herbs, fruits, vegetables, sugarcane, cachaca and coffee, use those ingredients to enjoy an outdoor picnic, coupled with the finest of South American wines while chickens and goats roam the landscape that surrounds you, and, well, what else can you really ask for? They give it all to you and more at Fazenda Catucaba. "We favor a certain amateurism and try to do everything ourselves, the artisanal way." And boy does it work.
The cozy charming homey feel is warmer than the Sao Paolo sun, and the experience is as unforgettable as the fresh Brazilian countryside air.
Fazenda Catucaba awaits…
All images supplied by Fazenda Catucaba
Wasim Muklashy is a writer and photographer based in Topanga Canyon, California. His website can be found at www.WasimOfNazareth.com