Visconde de Maua, Brazil - A paragliding gem
Our friend Wilbert Sanchez is truly an exemplary original passionate individual. He is Mexican by birth but world citizen by choice. He is an avid learner always taking up new challenges from learning Chinese to learning about artificial intelligence all while simultaneously starting all sorts of new business ventures and excelling at his role as Managing Partner of TCP LATAM.
His refuge, Casa Tlalli ("Earth" in Nahuatl, an ancient Mexican language) in Visconde de Maua is a 48 hectare farm situated in a beautiful hill overlooking Morro da Prata (Silver Mountain) in the Vale da Prata near the border of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. The farm falls nothing short of what you would expect from Wilbert. His home has global influences from Tribal art to an authentic Japanese Jacuzzi. It's a sophisticated mixture of Art, simplicity and comfort intertwined beautifully with the surrounding nature. The enticing extensive book and film collection will allure you to stay in by the fireplace. The two-story, 3-bedroom home has lots of big windows, which open out to the beautiful landscape. His home sits on top of the hill giving it privileged, unobstructed breathtaking views of the valley. With Pedra Selada at its doorstep, it's the perfect day excursion. The few hour hike to the top of Pedra Selada (1755 Meters) is totally worth the effort for the bird eye views of Visconde de Maua. Just a ten-minute walk away from Casa Tlalli you can indulge and bathe in one of the many waterfalls in the area. His pet one-eyed horse, which he adopted, roams the grounds freely and you can ride this gentle soul without a saddle for a little hack around. For years he has kept his refuge private only generously giving access to friends and family. I had the opportunity to visit on a few occasions and when Basir and I were travelling around Brazil, this was the first place I wanted to take him. Wilbert generously granted us access and we spent a marvelous and memorable two weeks there. He has since then decided to share this magical place with a wider audience and has posted his farm on AirBNB. You can book it out here.
During our stay in Visconde de Maua, Basir checked out the local paragliding ramp sitting at 1270 meters with a height difference of 770 meters. The ramp is great for novice and/or experienced pilots. With the abundant nature nestled between Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo State, beautiful and charming accommodation options and an array of small quaint gourmet restaurants make Visconde de Maua a little hidden gem for a paragliding trip while in Brazil.