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Brazil: Sail Away on a Tall Ship

National Geographic Adventure picks the 25 best new outfitted trips.
Text by Bonnie Tsui   Photograph by GAP Adventures
Photo: Brazilian tall ship
ANCHORS AWAY: The Brazilian tall ship Tocorimé, near Rio de Janeiro

WHAT'S NEW: "The ship is one of a kind," says GAP Adventures Operations Manager Jeff Russill about the Tocorimé, a 120-foot (37-meter) traditional colonial vessel, hand-built by local craftsmen along Brazil's Tapajós River. "Sixteen travelers cruise up the coast of Brazil on a colonial-style tall ship and learn to sail her in the process." GAP's first ever excursion aboard the Tocorimé launches next year from Paraty, a historic merchant town on the southeast coast famous for seafood, bossa nova, and potent cachaça liquor. From there, the ship ventures out into the surrounding tropical bay, which has more than 65 islands and dozens of isolated beaches to explore, and heads north up the coast toward the bright lights of Rio de Janeiro.

ON THE GROUND:
You'll stop at remote Mamanguá Ecological Reserve, a fjord on the Brazilian coastline with a magnificent five-mile (eight-kilometer) sea entrance and a protected mangrove forest; Ilha Grande, a 17-square-mile (44-square-mile) state park that is home to Brazilian thrushes, endangered bugio monkeys, and scarlet ibis (once thought to be locally extinct); and Lagoa Azul, where bioluminescent sea plankton put on a glowing nighttime show. Off-ship excursions include rain-forest hikes, waterfall hunting, snorkeling, and kayaking. Along the way, you'll clamber up the masts and learn to navigate the blue-green waters—enough of a taste of the sailing life to make you want to jump ship from your day job.

Vitals

Outfitter:
GAP Adventures (www.gapadventures.com)

Length:
Seven days

Price:
$895

Difficulty:
Moderate

Departs:
January through April


Cover: Adventure magazine

Our November 2006 issue features the best new adventure travel trips; an exclusive look inside Iran; a Greenland global warming report; backcountry spas; digital cameras; travel Web sites; weekend getaways; and more.

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