​Brazil: off-road par excellence

The Jeep Experience arrives in its second edition in Brazil, publishes a book and promises to come for good – and impress

March 15, 2017 - How is it possible that Brazil, which has one of the greatest natural diversities in the world, does not yet have an off-road culture as it has been a tradition for decades in other nations, such as the United States and Russia?

In the USA, Jeep Experiences (yes, they happen every year) bring together jeeps and other off-road lovers in a quasi-religious communion with nature: everyone sharing the same ideal, enjoying the energies of the place and winning the challenges together. It is a beautiful thing to see and feel and only those who have already experienced it know what we are talking about. The most famous of these experiences is probably the Easter Jeep Safari, which happens every year in the Moab desert in the American state of Utah.

But just as the Jeep brand has definitely settled in Brazil, the Jeep Experience is also part of the package.

Jeep Renegade on the sand

At the beginning of 2017, the documentary book "Cerrado Vibrante" by journalist Chico Barbosa was published. It tells the story of the second one week Brazilian edition of the event, in the Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso, as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Jeep in the world. The first edition, in 2016, covered 2 thousand km in 12 days in Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, and was also documented by Barbosa, in the book "Sertão Adentro". The two books are beautiful and richly illustrated with images by photographer Marcos Camargo.

The adventures are told in the perfect detail (including maps), and as you begin to leaf through them, you immediately feel like finishing the book, pack your bags, and hit the road, or in this case, the-off the road. The book itself is also exquisit, with a hardcover and coated paper. The video below shows details of the two editions of the Jeep Experience in Brazil:

Cacá Clauset took care of the itineraries for the Brazilian expeditions. "Brazil is one of the best countries in the world to get to know places by car" he explains. "But we usually go in a precarious way to inhospitable places. Brazilian tourism's strong point are the natural beauties which are somewhat unattainable if you do not have an off road vehicle ", he says. "For example, in this experience in the Chapada dos Guimarães, to get to the Crista de Galo, which is a place that touched me and all those that were there, you can only reach it with a 4x4 vehicle. And it's sensational", he explains. "That's the spirit of the Jeep Experience. You normally see Brazil on TV or in books because it's just not your typical tourist package you would have access to. And Brazil is champion for that. One could even go on 20 other expeditions in places of unique beauty", he explains.

Jeep Renegade on a bridge

The author of the books, Chico Barbosa agrees: "As a journalist, I was invited to the Easter Jeep Safari in 2014; a closed test field, various levels of difficulty, with the experience of getting stuck on a steep slope and everything. Very cool. But here in the Brazilian edition my experience was richer. I was part of the staff, I went out with Cacá and Marcos... I talk about it in the book. We arrived at places that we did not even imagine could be so interesting".

Marcos Camargo, the photographer, feels the same. "I see the Jeep Experience as a great opportunity to fill a gigantic gap that exists in the automotive niche. Jeeps in Brazil have always been relegated to trekkers. But in fact it has a huge market, with many who want to explore these trails but end up getting pushed away. 'This is a jeep thing,' you must have heard about it. But today the Jeep brand in Brazil has a duality, because while it is what was mentioned above, it is now also a considered sophisticated brand, with comfortable cars super equipped for any terrain, as is the case of the Renegade, which is an urban car, but able to do all that."

"Our purpose in writing the book was to show what happens when you hit the road and go", explains Chico. "We tell stories about people who are also involved in this type of adventure. The goal is for each reader to be motivated to write his or her own story, just as we are with ours."

Barbosa also believes that events like this one should spark an off road culture in Brazil. "I think the great thing about these expeditions is that you use the car as an instrument to have fun, to get to know the country, to be with friends... The car is not an end, it is the medium that allows you to reach places where you wouldn't without it. That's why you need a car with good four-wheel drive in order to go without fear to places with mud or poor grip, a higher suspension so as to not crash when descending a ramp, with a high exit angle on the rear too... Cars like the Jeep have these features that make the driver feel safe to do that kind off-road adventure", he explains.

Words: Daniel Schneider

Pictures: Marketing

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