Downsize: Enjoy a Simpler Life

I arrived in Rio in 2008 with just two suitcases and a backpack. While I’ve accumulated a few things since, I still own very little. Interestingly, I don’t miss my old stuff. And I had a lot of stuff. My home was perhaps less cluttered than many American homes with electronics, knickknacks, and the latest must-have gadgets from The Home Shopping Network. Still, I was a single guy with a three-bedroom home, and an SUV parked in the garage. I had stuff.


Small-Town USA in Brazil’s Wine Country

The Serra Gaúcha lies in the northeast part of Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, which borders Argentina and Uruguay. It’s far enough south (29 degrees) and high enough (about 2,800 feet) to have four true seasons. Each winter the thermometer drops to freezing a few days. There is light snow some years. The Serra Gaúcha has three regions: the eastern Gaúcha region, which is largely farmland and villages; the central, German-influenced region; and the Italian region in the west, which—no surprise—is home of the state’s wine industry. Vineyards and wineries cluster around the town of Bento Gonçalves.

Petropolis, Brazil

The 3 Best Towns Near Rio, Brazil

“Rio de Janeiro.” The name alone conjures up images of broad beaches populated by impossibly beautiful people. But while everyone has heard of Rio, far fewer know that “The Marvelous City” lies in a state of the same name. Rio de Janeiro state, though small in size, is geographically quite diverse. Mountains parallel the coastline, sometimes veering down into the sea. Broad swaths of the original mata Atlântica (Atlantic forest)—one of the most biodiverse areas in the world—still blanket the hillsides. Scores of lakes and lagoons lie within sight of the shimmering South Atlantic. Majestic beaches stretch literally for miles; others lie sheltered in secluded coves, accessible only by boat. Tantalizing palm-studded islands, most uninhabited, await the more adventurous.


Small-Town USA in the Heart of Southern Brazil: Meet Serra Gaúcha

This valley reminds me of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Here, as there, ancient rolling hills are blanketed in a mix of pines and broadleaves. Then the bus I’m on passes a clutch of palm trees. Okay, not quite North Carolina. The Serra Gaúcha region, in southern Brazil, is practically unknown abroad, but it’s very popular with Brazilians. They flock here to enjoy the temperate, highland climate, so different from much of mostly-tropical Brazil. (Serra, in fact, means “highlands.”)


Beach Town Life in Cabo Frio, Brazil

With 4,655 miles of coastline, Brazil boasts scores of lovely beach towns. One of my favorites is the small city of Cabo Frio (pop. 200,000), which lies in the Região dos Lagos (Lakes Region) northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Cabo is a popular getaway for residents of Rio, which is quite a recommendation. Cabo is located two hours by good roads from Rio and Galeão International Airport. Sandwiched between the South Atlantic and Araruama Lagoon, Cabo offers a range of water activities, from laid-back to exhilarating. The principle beach is Praia do Forte, or Fort Beach, named for Fort São Mateus at its extreme eastern end, built between 1616 and 1620 to safeguard these waters from the French and other interlopers. Praia do Forte sprawls wide and unbroken for more than four miles.

Beach in Brazil

$10 a Day to Own This Beach-Town Lot

Right now, you could buy your own piece of property right off the beach in Brazil…in a location where millionaires are putting their vacation homes…and all it will cost you is a few hundred dollars a month. The beaches here are spectacular—brilliant-white sand stretches for miles. Along that long stretch of coastline, multi-million-dollar homes are dotted. Over the past decade this part of Brazil has enjoyed an economic transformation. Very little has happened here—but now we’re seeing an opportunity.


Pirate Invasions and German Glühwein

Start your November on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, where—from October 23 to November 9—you’ll find enormous and elaborate sand sculptures filling the beach as part of the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. As many as 100 sculptures, by artists from around the world, are expected to turn the mile-plus coastal walk into an outdoor museum. In a far more formal setting, Cairo Opera House is home to the Arabic Music Festival from November 1 to 10, as some of the finest Arabic singers, instrumentalists, and ensembles in the world converge on the Egyptian capital.

Festivals Around the World: Bedouin Weddings and Pumpkin Battles

Douz, in south Tunisia, hosts the International Festival of the Sahara on October 1. Taking place at the gateway to the great desert, the event was founded as a camelracing festival in 1910. But you can expect horse races, poetry contests, and Bedouin weddings, as well.

City, Mountain, Beach: Three Great Retirement Options in Brazil

When many people think of “Brazil,” they immediately picture Rio de Janeiro. But Brazil is a huge country—the fifth largest in the world in area—and quite diverse in weather, geography, and culture. This truly is a country which has something for everyone. While Brazil is not as cheap as many other Latin American countries, in most areas it isn’t expensive by North American standards either.


“So Why Did You Move to Brazil?”

“So why did you move to Brazil?” Without a doubt, this is the question I hear most these days, whether from Brazilians, foreigners here in Rio, or Americans when I visit back home.My love affair with Brazil dates back to 1993, when I first visited here. I was living in Charlotte, North Carolina. One day at my gym I met my now good friend Junior Botelho.


Icaraí de Amontada—Brazilian for “Cheap, Beautiful Beachfront”

Natchi and her husband own the biggest guesthouse in town and business is booming. Wind energy is a big deal in this part of Brazil. When I stayed in their place—midweek during off-season—the place was packed to the rafters with 45 wind-energy workers. This is Icaraí (pronounced ick-areye), the closest town to the nearby wind farms. But sheltered in lush vegetation and right on the empty beach…this certainly doesn’t feel like a frontier energy town. It’s a tropical paradise.

Festivals Around the World: Costumed Elephants and Bog Snorkeling

The largest arts festival in the world takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from August 1 to 25. If you haven’t experienced the Fringe Festival before, it turns almost every corner of the city into a performance space for comedians, musicians, actors, and theater groups.

3 Oceanside Locations Overseas Where Your Home Can Earn a Strong Rental Income

I spend up to two weeks a month scouting out the best real estate opportunities for Pathfinder. It’s part of my job. And I enjoy every minute of it. Because I spend so much time on the road, I’m a huge fan of vacation rentals. I get more space than a hotel room and a lot more privacy. And I get to experience life as a local, buying groceries and eating at cafés and restaurants close by.

One of the Best Retirement Destinations in Northeast Brazil

If you’re a regular IL reader—or you’ve been following the World Cup hoopla—then you’ve likely heard of the cities of Fortaleza, Natal, and Recife. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re all state capitals in the tropical northeast of Brazil. All are popular tourist destinations for Europeans, although North Americans have been slow to catch on to their delights. All are hosting World Cup games.

Local Knowledge: Fun Things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the World Cup

Insider Reveals Best Travel Picks for Rio De Janeiro, Brazil During the FIFA World Cup’s Brazil correspondent, John Clites, an American who has been living in the country since 2008, reveals his top insider picks for what to see and do in Rio de Janeiro during the FIFA World Cup. Visitors from all over the world will descend on Brazil for the event, which starts on June 12. Most will visit Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain, but Clites offers advice on activities not typically published in guidebooks.

Local Knowledge: Fun Things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the World Cup

Local Knowledge: Fun Things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the World Cup

You’re going to the World Cup in Brazil. Yay! But you won’t be watching matches at Maracanã stadium the entire time. What else should you do? Sure, you’ll want to visit Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. But Rio de Janeiro has so much more to offer, and many activities are inexpensive or even free.


Get in Line for Easy Gains in Fortaleza

Last October, I told you about the opportunity to buy a pre-release lot in the Fazenda Imperial gated community. This project is being designed with the growing middle classes of Northeast Brazil in mind. As a reader of these alerts you’ll know that I’m bullish on the new middle class play in this part of the country.


Brazilian Visas: All you Need to Know

Interest in Brazil is at an all-time high. This month the world’s most famous carnival hits the streets of Rio, and this year’s soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic games are being held here. These are great reasons to plan a visit, but there are reasons to stay longer, too…white-sand beaches, pleasant weather, incredible natural beauty, a vibrant culture, diverse and healthy food, and warm and receptive people.


Prosperity, Beauty and Beaches in Florianopolis, Brazil

Home to 420,000 people, Florianopolis is often referred to by its residents as “the other Brazil.” For one thing, there is the evident prosperity, from brand-name jeans to the latest-model cars. The streets and sidewalks are clean. Unemployment is low, as is the crime rate. There are parks and pedestrian plazas. And the city is large enough to offer most services that you might need, without the problems of a bigger metropolis.

In Brazil, there are still plenty of opportunities to acquire great property bargins.

You Could Have Doubled Your Investment if You’d Taken My Advice…

At Real Estate Trend Alert my beat is to find places where real estate is undervalued and where something is set to happen that means values will increase. I call this “the trigger event.” This trigger event could be a fast-growing, new, middle class or new infrastructure projects that will bring improved accessibility.


In Pictures: The Best of Beach Living in Brazil

Brazil’s national volleyball team trains in Saquarema. You can see some world-class players practicing and competing. Beach volleyball is also extremely popular with amateurs. The most popular tourist stop is the Nossa Senhora de Nazareth church, located atop a hill with sweeping views of both the ocean and the lagoon. It’s a great place to watch the sunsets.


The Beach Towns Where Rio Goes to Play

Cariocas, the laid-back residents of sensuous Rio de Janeiro, welcome 1.5-million vacationers a year. But when it’s time for their own vacations, many of them head to the Região dos Lagos, or “Lakes Region,” also known as the Costa do Sul (Southern Coast).

Big Profits in Brazil

Big Profits in Brazil

Although GDP slowed to a crawl of just 0.9% last year (hardly too enticing), it is difficult to find a Brazilian who even notices. More Brazilians have jobs than ever before. Wages are rising.

The Best Beaches in the World

The Best Beaches in the World

The best beaches in the world are in Brazil. Ask a Brazilian and he will tell you Brazil’s best beaches are in the northeast, centered on Fortaleza. Miles of wide and deep white-sand beaches connect little fishing villages and kite surfing outposts.

Cumbuco: A Great Place to Have a Beach Home in Brazil

Cumbuco: A Great Place to Have a Beach Home in Brazil

West of Fortaleza on Brazil’s northeast coast, wide white-sand beaches stretch to the horizon. You can drive for hours along these beaches. Charming fishing villages with cobbled streets and well-maintained town centers sit just off the sand.

Free Report: Brazil’s Hidden Beaches

Free Report: Brazil’s Hidden Beaches

What may surprise you is that when most Brazilians vacation at the beach, they don’t go to Rio. Instead, they head to the state of Ceara on Brazil’s northeast coast. It’s Brazil’s top domestic tourist destination.

Buy Brazil and Buy Now

Buy Brazil and Buy Now

The short-term rental market in Fortaleza, Brazil is strong right now. For example, in one recently completed building in the Iracema Beach area (where I’ve visited several times), condos rent for $100 per night.

Brazil’s Latest Real Estate Opportunity

Brazil’s Latest Real Estate Opportunity

We’ve been discussing Brazil’s new middle-class status for a long time in International Living. Today I’m going to share a way we can profit from this trend…and it’s probably not something you’re expecting.

This Global Titan Is Officially "On Sale"

This Global Titan Is Officially “On Sale”

Some things in life are simple. For instance, I do almost all my clothes shopping when stores are running their winter or summer sales. You get exactly the same stuff…only cheaper. If you’re a dedicated fashion follower, this won’t work.

Buy Brazilian Beer and Grow Rich

Buy Brazilian Beer and Grow Rich

There’s special art to drinking beer in Brazil. One of my favorite haunts is Bar Filial in the Vila Madalena neighborhood of São Paulo.

The Monster Oil Hunt Nobody Is Talking About

The Monster Oil Hunt Nobody Is Talking About

One story the mainstream has missed is the recent rise in crude oil prices. As I type this, crude-oil futures contracts in New York are selling for $99 a barrel.

How to Invest in Brazil's Biggest Trend

How to Invest in Brazil’s Biggest Trend

São Paulo – what a monster of a city! This was my first impression when I touched down in Guarulhos International Airport in April. This place makes the likes of L.A., Chicago and Toronto look small.

High Yields on a $124k Condo in Brazil

High Yields on a $124k Condo in Brazil

Fortaleza in Brazil’s north-east, where the country’s new middle class comes for its beach vacation, is doing particularly well. With over three million visitors each year it has cemented its place as Brazil’s biggest domestic tourism destination.

Dividends Profits in the Power Sector

Dividends: Profits in the Power Sector

Dividends “pay you” to own a stock…they can give you a regular income and they can help you pick profitable, mature companies that generate lots of cash. My favorite way to “get paid” dividends is in the Brazilian power-generating sector.

A "No Fail" Way to Make Money in Stocks Right Now

A “No Fail” Way to Make Money in Stocks Right Now

A lot of people are worried about the direction of the world right now. Greece looks set to default. China is fending off allegations of securities fraud. And back in the U.S. there are fears of a double-dip recession.

Wait – Don’t Miss Out:

7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard Of…

In the right places overseas…you have good options for safe, comfortable, affordable living (adventure built-in).

In 7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard of Where You Can Live Better for Less we’ll pull back the curtain and introduce you to communities where you can embrace the retirement of your dreams…and do it for less than it would cost you to stay home.

Take a look at International Living today and not only will you receive 7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard of…Where You Can Live Better for Less FREE, but I’ll ALSO shave nearly 30% off the regular price.

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Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you'll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

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