Romantic Getaway #1: Sao Luis

Summer is quickly approaching. It’s the season when people in love take time away from the monotony of life and travel to exotic destinations. Some do it simply out of the annual routine of it all. Some do it for bragging rights when they return to work. But for the most part, the average couple will get away to enhance the understanding and spirituality of their relationship.

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There are a few destinations so stereotypical that I’ll avoid writing about them at all costs. Visiting relatives is an instant disqualifier based on the fact that you’ll probably only be doing it to be introduced to someone, showcasing your lover to others, or are simply trapped into making the trip out of submission.
I’m not writing about those trips.
But there are some pretty awesome vacations to be made in this world that would enhance your bond with your partner beyond belief. We’re talking about places so exotically wonderful that photos do very little justice to the experience. These places are often overlooked as the typical destinations of rabid travelers but hold just as much wonder and will bring the spirts of you and your lover closer to one another.
For the entire summer I’ll choose one place per month that I’ve traveled to and outline the many awesome things I’ve personally experienced during my travels. These locations are not your typical vacation spots and are absolutely fantastic destinations for people who are in love.
The first place I’m choosing is Sao Luis Brazil.
Sao Luis, Maranhao Brazil: The translation of the name of this city means Saint Louis but don’t confuse it with it’s similar United States counterpart. This location is filled with so much beautiful culture and history that you and your lover will definitely want to stay. If you’re like me and you want to avoid the presence of Americans when you travel, you’ll love this spot. The city is so off the beaten path that the whole police force often knows when a foreigner arrives in the city and when they exit.

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Once you enter the city you will easily understand the reason it’s called “The City of Lovers”. The buildings are covered in tiles of different colors, often resembling places pulled from fantasy movies. The music of choice is reggae. In fact, Sao Luis is known throughout Brazil as the Brazilian capital of reggae music. Numerous Reggae and Traditional Brazilian Samba artists are produced from this city.
For the beach lovers, you’ll be amazed at what you uncover. There are beaches that are completely white in color. In fact, there are several locations in which the beaches resemble a white desert. It’s as though someone placed a deep dark blue river directly through the center of the Sahara. It’s really wild to see.
In another place there is a river that teams with fish. But don’t take your fishing rod to this river. Every day at a certain time the water leaves the river and you see many people going out onto the river bed to collect fish in buckets. It’s really wild. You’ll see children and fisherman running across the riverbed to collect their fish to sell. But they don’t move slowly. After a while the river returns and anyone who values safety is sure to be out of harm’s way before it returns.

The food is absolutely breathtaking. Brazilian barbeques have all types of meat. Steak, fish, chicken, shrimp…. Anything you could possibly desire. Pao de Queijo (cheese bread) is awesome. For breakfast prepare to drink a lot of coffee. The primary fruits of choice are papayas and bananas. But truthfully, they have an assortment of everything. What about the night life? Do yourself a favor and go out to a reggae party. The music is romantic, the people warm and friendly, and the Caipirinhas set the mood off right.

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The only negative aspect of my visit to this location were the taxis. Taking a taxi from the airport was not a bad experience. But if you travel from any location within the city, doing so can cost you a pretty penny. Not because the locations are far. The taxi drivers often seem to make the most out of a foreigner’s visit (if you know what I mean).
Instead, use your hotel’s taxi service. Or even better, take the bus during the day time (often called the “Omnibus” in Brazil). It’s safe, the rate is fixed and no one can rip you off. True, you may stick out like a sore thumb as a tourist but you’ll get there without being ripped off.
All in all, Sao Luis was a beautiful experience for me. It will appeal to anyone who is traveling with their significant other because of the city’s design, beauty, culture and history.