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Jill Siegel

Brazil Travel Specialist

I am a Brazil Travel Specialist with over 20 years experience working exclusively with the Brazilian and South American travel industry. My interest and love of all things Brazilian began during my flute performance studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston. At the time I was completely fascinated by the novels of Brazil's famous writer Jorge Amado “Dona Flor and Her Two Husband”, never imagining that 17 years later I would find myself spending a wonderful day with him at his home in Bahia.

With a strong desire to live and work in Brazil, I sought a position with a Boston based travel company called International Weekends and was soon on my way to Rio de Janeiro to manage their inbound charter air program.
After 6 years in Brazil, I returned to the United States and became the Official Travel Coordinator of NGOs for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development - The Earth Summit, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. This was the largest environmental conference in history, gathering together heads of state from over 120 different countries. My client list ranged from the Natural Resources Defense Council to recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

In 1997 I was contacted by the great Latin American author, Isabel Allende, to design and arrange an itinerary for her visit to Brazil including the Amazon, Rio de Janeiro, and Bahia. It was during this trip with Isabel where I found myself visiting Jorge Amado in his home in Bahia. What a thrill it was to spend the day with two great Latin American writers, and Amado’s dear friend - Carybé considered one of the greatest Brazilian Artists of all times. Carybé’s famous mural stretches across the International Arrivals Building at JFK Airport.

Over the years I have also had the pleasure to know and work with the great ethnobotanist - Dr. Mark Plotkin, author of "Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice", and featured in the Oscar nominated Imax documentary "Amazon." Nothing can compare with the fascinating experience of accompanying Dr. Plotkin on a trek through the Amazon Rainforest. Dr. Plotkin's vast knowledge of plant and wildlife never ceases to amaze me.

I have also had the opportunity to bring National Geographic photographers to the Amazon region as well as the Pantanal in Western Brazil. These trips have allowed me to see these regions through the eyes of some of the world's best nature photographers.

Other clients have included Susan Sarandon, George Tillman Jr. (director of Men of Honor, Soul Food), The Ralph Lauren Family, celebrity film maker/photographer David LaChapelle and Mathew Chapman, great great grandson of Charles Darwin.

Conde Nast Traveler "Top Travel Specialist" since 2008!

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  • Montclair, NJ, USA