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Bahia vs Natal vs Punta Cana vs Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Brazil Property' started by Joachim, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Joachim

    Joachim New Member

    Hello everybody!

    I was wandering if there are anybody from these forums that have been to Punta Cana or Costa Rica and what there experiences where in terms of safety, money transfers, friendliness etc. in comparison to the North East of Brazil.

    Since I am working in Natal for the last 4.5 years and see that quality development is still very much lacking in the region, I was wondering if anybody thinks that Natal could compete in the future with other popular tropical destinations like Punta Cana, Costa Rica and the Carribean. I have never been to any of these places but I could imagine that the Carribean is very expensive and I have heard in some places that the local population are not very fond of the rich tourists that stay there (jamaica / trinidad). But this is all hearsay, I dont know for sure.

    I was in Costa Sauipe last week in Bahia and the infra-structure for tourism is much better then here in Natal. Although, this resort was lacking in many areas (I suppose because the Sauipe S.A. company is not a tourist enitity but some kind of semi-government organization that has no experience in hotel management). The Iberostar resort next door was nicely organized but despite the stunning preserved locations the sea was rough and one could not swim in the sea (similar to the coastline of Ceara, nice view but everybody wants to have a swim in the sea).

    I am interested in knowing your thoughts. :)
  2. robh

    robh Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I haven't been to Punta Cana nor Costa Rica, but I have been around the Caribbean.

    Natal and surrounds has a long way to go if it wants to compete with some parts of the Caribbean, but there are some very high quality/high end developments on the way north and south of Natal so that will change. Pipa can easily and does now compete with any place I have been to in the world as a destination (and you can swim in the sea).

    As far as safety goes in Jamaica, I haven't been there but my friend who goes there with his wife has a guy following them at all times with a rifle. Barbados is just ok, but it is best used as a hub to get you somewhere else. I have heard it isn't a great idea to leave the resorts in DR as it is supposed to be pretty dangerous (but to be fair I have also heard the opposite).

    Other spots like the Grenadines in the Caribbean are stunning but are very expensive. I went to Union island as well because our plane didn't have clearance to go into Barbados, but since we were only there for an hour the single baggage hander told us to ignore the customs/immigration officer and go straight to the bar :). It was the first and only time I have ever entered a country illegally :D.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Joachim

    Joachim New Member

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your informative answer was very interesting to hear. During all your experiences in the Carribean would you prefer the Brazilian or Carribean lifestyle? Taking in account all those things you described in your post.

    I don't know if you have already visited Bahia? If you do, take a visit to Praia do Forte about 1.15min drive north of Salvador, there exists a good tourist infrastructure (although probably nothing like the Carribean).
  4. robh

    robh Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I have been to Bahia a few times and it is very nice, I found Praia do Forte to be a bit sterile though, a town built for tourists which is what it is of course. Next time I go to Bahia I am going to do a bit more exploring south of Salvador as I have only seen a few places there.

    As for which lifestyle to choose, the Caribbean or Brazil, Brazil wins hands down every time.

  5. Joachim

    Joachim New Member

    Yes, I have to agree with you on that one. The Costa Sauipe Resort was extremely lacking in entertainment let alone life! Luckily I went with an all-inclusive package looking at the daily prices of R$950,00/day !!!! although the golf course was very nice with spectacular views. Morro Sao Paulo is beautiful. Also, refreshing to see something of the IBAMA actually working with recyclable trash and preservation ethics. However, since its an island and access is terrible you will probably get bored after 3 days.

    I just hope my wishful thinking comes true and the local politicians understand the machinations of the tourist industry and start injecting incentives for the flight and travel companies. The price of tickets are killing the industry even if nicer developments start getting built. A few years back a roundway ticket was 400 euros (comfort class - sightly better than economy) and now its triple the price.
  6. robh

    robh Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The price of tickets is not affecting tourism in all places as much as you would expect. I just talked to the owner of a high end pousada in Pipa trying to get accommodation and he is booked out until early next year!!
  7. timatthebeach

    timatthebeach New Member

    have been to costa rica (a few years ago though) and loved it, it seemed a friendly place - my friend wifes family told us not to go out at night but most parts of town were fine. as usual in latin america i think the perception of violence is bigger than the reality.

    of course there are parts of the towns that are dodgy like anywhere and the caribbean coast can be a bit iffy (so i was told) but i didnt have any probs there. although puerto limon did feel a bit dodgy.

    the pacific coast is much better in terms of infrastructure (as are the central highlands) and there were more places aimed at tourism. was wandering about and people would come and chat was pretty friendly place and laid back.

    my friends lived in san jose for a few years and one got mugged at gunpoint once on a side street, they took his bag with all his students homework in - still at least he had a valid excuse for not marking it.

    and on entering illegally its the only country i entered illegally - came down the river from nicaragua and the immigration shut for lunch as we landed - so i just wandered to the bus stop as couldnt be bothered to hang around for an hour or two. they didnt seem to mind (or maybe notice) when i left.

    havent seen enough of brazil to compare yet.
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