Mata Atlântica, Brazil
"Are you sure this the lodge?"—I asked, and thought: mhmm, on their website it looked different ... "Si, si." Said Nerildo, our boat driver. We got off the boat, and regretted it immediately. No, this was not the lodge. Nerildo was gone, so was cell phone signal. The Mamangua lodge is reachable only by boat and during the holiday season there are plenty of transport possibilities, not so in the end of the Brazilian winter, when we were there. But, who would despair in such a beautiful place? Two minutes later a boat passing by answered our summons and brought us to the lodge :-) For being non Portuguese speakers we had had surprisingly little trouble traveling Brazil until then. Well, s**t happens.
The Mamagua fjord is definitely worth a trip, and a must-do is to climb the Pão de Açúcar (peak) somewhere at the middle. You are then rewarded with this view. Unforgettable.
But, the Costa Verde has more to offer. This is where the tropical forest, or what remains of it on the east of Brazil, reaches the coast. Add an archipelago of medium to small islands and the effect is, frankly, sensational. Paradise beaches, tranquil waters, mangrove forests. That is, if you manage to find it. See, this is the strip of coast between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and both inhabitants come here in masses to spend weekends and holidays. If you plan to visit the Costa Verde thinking about the right time might be a good idea.
And while you are there, don't forget to pay a visit to Paraty, an old, colonial style small town full of colors and scents that remind of passed times.