Ward Maia's Top 5 Places in Brazil

Thursday January 24, 2019


Hi and welcome to my Top 5 favorites in commemoration of my debut novella Beneath These Fields. The story takes place in Minas Gerais, one of Brazil’s traditional and – in my opinion – picturesque tourist spot. Being an army brat meant that I moved a lot from base to base. On the plus side I got to visit and explore the four corners of my big, beautiful country and thought I might share my favorite with you.

1. Minas Gerais: being the country’s main producer of coffee and milk, it’s no coincidence I chose this state as background to Ellis’s story. It’s a large state and best known for its architecture and colonial art. My favorite place is a city called Ouro Preto (which translates to black gold). It’s also known for its important paleontological discoveries – and since I’m a geologist, that’s right up my alley.

2. Roraima: it's where I was born! Located in the northernest part of Brazil, it’s the only state capital located entirely north of the equator. So, in a way, I guess you could say I’m a Northerner (and a huge geek). It’s also important because, it’s home to large native populations. My grandmother on my mother’s side is from the Wapichana tribe, located beyond the valley of the river Uraricoera.

3. Brasília: it’s the capital of Brazil and it holds a special place in my heart because I lived there for almost a decade. The military school I went to is situated there as is the university I went to (UnB).

4. Rio Grande do Sul: my father and his side of the family are from the South of Brazil. It’s also where my German and Italian heritage come from. I love the cities of Gramado and Canela because they’re small remnants of Europe, brought by the refugees escaping World War II – among which were the members of my father’s family. 

5. João Pessoa: it’s where I currently live! The Northeast of Brazil is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the privilege of seeing. It’s also why one of my favorite vacation spots is my own back yard, seeing as I live about five minutes from the beach.


What are some of your Top 5 favorite places in the world? Let me know in the comments down below and one lucky winner will get a free copy of my book! I’d also love to hear from you even if you don’t have a Top 5.