Catholic Pilgrimages

Christian Tours

Cultural Tours

Special Events



View .PDF Version of page (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Zumbi Festival, Brazil
10 Day Tour

DAY 01:


Depart New York JFK International Airport via jet service to Salvador Da Bahia via Sao Paulo.


DAY 02:


Upon your arrival in Salvador in the afternoon, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.  The balance of the day is at leisure for your rest and relaxation.  This evening, around 6:00pm, enjoy a welcome to Bahia Tropical Drink before transferring for evening festivities including a CULTURAL SHOW and typical Bahian Dinner.
Bahian folklore is very rich, the main legacy is samba de roda, capoeira, reisados (epiphany), and bumba-meu-boi.  Capoeira is a distinctive dance style which features bodily self defense techniques which are performed to the accompanying music of the berimbau and African type drums.  The folklore shows include Candomble, which while taking on a folkloric form, Candomble is a religion brought over by African Slaves.  It is believed that a supreme God, Olorum, reated Obatala (the Sky) and Odudua (the Earth) who were united to give birth to Iemanja (the waters) and Aganju (the firm ground).  Iemanja and Aganju had a son, Orunga (the air) - beginning of life in the universe.  Orixas (saints) usually associated with catholic saints, govern natural phenomena and things on Earth.  Thus, Iansa is the goddess of storms and is identified with St. Barbara. Xango, god of thunder, is St. Jerome.  Oxossi, god of hunting is St. George.  Oxum, goddes of fountains and beauty, is Our Lady of Candeias.  Ogun, god of iron, is St. Anthony.  Each god or goddess is associated also with a color and a day of the week.  Thus, Iansa's color is red and her day is Wednesday, Xango dresses in red and white and his day is also Wednesday.  Ogun dresses in blue on his day, Tuesday, Oxossi dresses in green or blue on Thursday.  Iemanha dresses in transparent clothes on Saturday and Oxala to whom the people show the greatest devotion due to his identification to Senhor do Bonfim, dresses in white on Friday.  After the dinner and show, return to your hotel.


DAY 03:


This morning drive to Rio Vermelho Beach for a visit to the house dedicated to Yemanja (Queen of the Sea), where festivities take place on January 01 and February 02. Visit the Lower City. Visit a Candomble "Terreiro", a public place where people pay homage to the Orixas (African Sacred Entities). Visit Casa Branca, the oldest terreiro in Brazil where you will hear a lecture on the rites and festivals. Visit sacred places like trees, fountains and stones, explaining the meaning for the African religion. Inside Casa Branca, see the sacred rooms and the kitchen of the Orixas, and the part of the house where the community lives - as they do in Africa. Visit Ile Axe Opo Afonja, another candomble house. Meet with the Mae of the house (if an appointment can be made). Continue to Continue to Mercado Modelo where visitors will find the most complete and astounding assemblage of Brazilian arts and crafts. Return to the hotel.


DAY 04:


Pelourinho in the Upper City
Pelourinho in the Upper City
Morning embark on your tour of the Upper City. The city of Salvador is divided into two parts; The "Lower City" is at sea level and contains the old port and commercial district The "Upper City" is reached by stone steps, alleyways or more efficiently, by the Lacerda Elevator. In this part of the city will be found the old government buildings, residential districts, visit the most important Baroque Churches, the Old Town, Afro-Brazilian Museum, Museum of the Sacred Art and the Market Place. Return to your hotel for the balance of the day at leisure for your personal exploration or shopping.


DAY 05:


Morning departure from Salvador to Cachoeira, 66 miles away by paved roads. Due to its great cultural and architectural value, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, Cachoeira has been designated as a national monument. During the drive, the guide will give a lecture on the history of the Boa Morte, a sorority of Black women, all descendants of African slaves. There will be an opportunity for group members to personally interact and socialize with some of the sisters. During the day you will have the opportunity to observe, the distinctive samba-de-roda dance. This form of samba is, unlike others, a group dance with soloists. At the center of the circle, the soloist moves gracefully to the insinuating rhythm of the percussion ensemble. Lunch is included.


DAY 06:


Transfer to the airport for your flight to Maceio. Upon your arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon a lecture will be presented on the history of Zumbi, his life, his activities, and the background of the festival. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.


DAY 07:


Statue of Zumbi
Statue of Zumbi
Uniao dos Palmares lies 50 miles from the Alagoas state capital of Maceio. It was here, in an area called Serra de Barriga that Zumbi, a fugitive slave, organized an independent village comprised of black men and women who escaped from slavery. These free Republics were called quilombos. The Quilombo of Palmares, was the largest and lasted the longest, approximately 100 years from 1600 to 1695. The total population of Palmares reached 20,000 runaway slaves (almost 15% of Brazil’s population at that time). One of the most famous leaders of Palmares was Zumibi who was born in 1655 in one of the villages of Palmares. He became a great leader by having overcome ordeals and not “whitening” himself. Courageous, with the capacity to organize and command, he became a myth among African Brazilians – not a hidden myth, but one revealed. Zumbi means: the force and spirit of the present. The monument to Zumbi, in Zumbia National Park created in his honor, is the focal point for the Zumbi Celebrations, the commemorations held every November 20th, the date of his death. This date has now become National Black Consciousness Day in Brazil. Early morning departure for the commemorations in Uniao dos Palmares. Participate in a special ceremony held on the shores of a sacred lake on Serra de Barriga. During the day you will participate in the Zumbi Festival.  In the afternoon, visit a community of Quilombos who live in the area.  An opportunity will be given to interact with the residents. Return to your hotel in Maceio for overnight.


DAY 08:


Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Rio de Janiero via Salvador. Upon your arrival in Rio you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening visit a Samba School.
DE JANIERO The sky is always blue; summer all year around. Sun, beach, sea, mountains and lush tropical forest. There is the statue of Christ the Redeemer, always with arms wide open. This exciting city is the soul and symbol of Brazil and may well be the capital of the pleasure-seeking world. Rio covers a narrow strip of coast with 15 miles of legendary beaches. Rio is famous for Carnival and its' Samba Schools that rehearse all year round in preparation for Carnival.



DAY 09:


Sugar Loaf
Sugar Loaf
Morning visit to Manguera to see where the floats are made for the famous Carnival celebration. Drive through the Afro-Brazilian communities in Rio. Continue to Sugarloaf, a solid rock mountain 1,229 ft high at the entrance to Guanabara Bay, one of the landmarks most readily identified with Rio. Take the cable car at Praia Vermelha to its first stop - Morro da Urca, at a height of 215m. The name Urca, a nautical term like many of the city's place-names, refers to a two-mast vessel. There is a second hill at the foot of Sugar Loaf - Morro Cara de Cao, Dogface Cliff. It was between these two hills that the founding of Rio de Janeiro took place in 1565. The final stop of the cable car is at the summit of Sugar Loaf, 394m. On top is a restaurant, souvenir shop, open air theater and a lookout with telescopes. The splendid view of the city is framed by the mountains, the tallest peak being Corcovado. One has a dazzling view of the beaches, nearby islands and sea. The balance of the day is at leisure for last minute shopping. Evening transfer to the airport to check in for your return flight back to Miami.


DAY 10:


Arrival in Miami in the morning local time, clear customs and immigrations formalities and connect with your continuing flight to your home city.