PLACE: City of BARUITE, CEARA (about 2 hours away from Fortaleza) with visits to:
Why Visit: This is a 100 year old Jesuit school, tuned retreat that allows visitors to have overnight visits! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Be careful, though, as they are old school. As of this writing, they only accept cash! The place is breathtaking and well worth a visit.
This place is quite special, as it is hidden away at the top of one of the highest peaks in the Baturite hills. To arrive, one needs to pass through several communities to arrive at the “quilombolo” community at the top of the peak. These communities are typically in the hills of major cities around Brazil, and were typically started by freed slaves and indigenous people whose livelihoods were threatened by the colonizers of their day. Humble museum gives as small peek into the burial practices of the native ancestors, and some aspects of their lives. To do this trip, one would definitely need an interpreter, and to contact the museum to get schedule a visit and arrange a special driver to take the guests to the museum.
This is a small but cute museum that tells us the history of the railway system that used to run through Baturite. They have maintained the original train station and a few of the objects from the days when the railway was in use. I always love to visit places like this that help me to understand a place before I got there! It is pretty easy to see as well, since it is in the city centre area.
This an amazing campground for the nature lovers! If you are not 100% into “roughing it”, there are several chalet spaces available. However, to ensure your space in a chalet, you will need to contact them and book as far in advance as possible, as they tend to be quite popular! Tent spaces, on the other hand, are quite plentiful. They also have a little restaurants if you don’t feel like bringing a lot of food, and the campground is just breathtaking! Definitely go prepared to stay for a few days!
TIPS FOR VISITING BATURITE:
- I consider this to be a “Going Native/ Off the Beaten Path” experience, as it not generally prepared for international visitors (but it definitely SHOULD be)!
- For unskilled travellers, I would suggest planning to stay a minimum of 3 days to visit all the places I have suggested, and TAKE A PORTUGUESE SPEAKING PERSON!
- Contact all the places directly and make sure to ask if they: ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS, KNOW ANY DRIVERS OR LOCAL GUIDES, IF THEY ARE OPEN WHEN YOU WANT TO GO. As it is not on the main route, and because the vibe is different, these are important things to be sure of before you go.
- Getting there: There are buses and minivans (topics -TOE-PEEK-EES) that leave from the main bus station. One may also rent a car (usually from a company near the airport) and go there. However, as the region and some of the places to visit are in the hills and the roads can be a bit unexpected, I would recommend hiring a driver once you get there. There are local unofficial taxis there. You may also speak to the people at one of the sites you will visit to ask for driver recommendations. Once you make contact, try to secure a price for them to be available for you the entire time you are there.
- Be prepared for steep hills, unpaved roads, and a fascinated peak into the lives of the people who live in these hills!
- HAVE FUN!
IS IT WORTH IT? YES! YES! YES! YES!