The Great Escape: Casa Cairucu, Brazil

paraty1So, the weather. Not great is it? As much as I love an excuse to stay inside and curl up on the sofa, I really don’t like heavy rain and grey skies. Which is slightly unfortunate considering I live in London and it’s October. However, it’s not just the thought of Halloween, bonfire night and Christmas that’s keeping me going, it’s dreaming about holidays. And, hot holidays at that. As anyone with a sports-interested husband/boyfriend/brother/friend will know, the spotlight is very much on Brazil at the moment. Not only is it the World Cup next year, but then it’s the Olympics after that, which will mean plenty of pictures of white-sand beaches, blue ocean and tropical rainforest will be beamed over the Atlantic just to make us sigh and dream of jumping on a plane immediately. Not that I’m suggesting you actually fly out to Brazil for the World Cup. Oh no ho ho. That would be lunacy unless you are a hardcore football fan. What I am suggesting is that you go to Brazil at another time. Any time in fact. I’ve been twice – both times to Rio (which in the words of Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood is fab-u-lous and every bit as beautiful as the postcards suggest), but also further down the coast to the ridiculously idyllic southern part of the state. Now if deserted islands, white sand beaches, dolphins bobbing through crystal clear water and rainforest sounds like your idea of heaven, then you’ll probably like it. I know I did. So much so, in fact, that I still dream of the area, of Paraty, the gorgeous cobbled town in the photo above and of Lopes Mendes, a beautiful, unspoiled white sand beach on the Ilha Grande. Reached only by a hike or by boat, the rainforest tumbles down to the ocean and all that is there – and I mean all – is just a white sand paradise. And that’s only one of the islands in the bay. Sigh….

Casa Cairucu

Casa Cairucu

When I visited the region about 5,000 years ago, Casa Cairucu didn’t exist. Although if it had done, I certainly would have wanted to stay there. Accessible only by boat with views stretching over turquoise water and rainforest covered peaks, it is the very definition of serene. There are three bedrooms (two of which accommodate children with twin beds, a cot and monitor), a super-friendly housekeeper (who prepares breakfast and can cook you dinner if required) and a great concierge who will tell you exactly where to go for the freshest fish, the best restaurant (hidden away on its own private island) and all those other must-do things only locals know about.

The glass-fronted living room

The glass-fronted living room

It’s not super-luxurious, heli-pad crazy (but really, who could afford to stay somewhere like that?) What it is, is gorgeously located (you can swim in the bay and sandy beaches are only a short walk away), brilliantly well-equipped (the owners stay for a few months a year, so everything has been tried, tested and well thought-out) and so amazingly peaceful, all your worries will just float away. And, you can use it as a base to visit places like Paraty or Ilha Grande or other hidden paradises that I didn’t have the chance to discover.

The view...

The view…

Time to book a ticket?


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    sarah breeze
    October 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Totally agree – we went to Paraty after the Rio carnival, and it was amazing. Great article Alex xx

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