Deryk Banks

CEO, iLi Private Equity, LLC
Founder, Onde-Esta
Resident of Rio de Janeiro & USA

Hi, I’m Deryk – one of Onde-Esta’s Brasil Travel Pros. My unique perspective comes from time spent living in Brasil for extended periods. I can help you with making your first plans to visit Brasil – from the passport & visa process to where to hang out and stay safe.

Brasil is a huge country! People tend to know Rio de Janeiro, or maybe Sao Paulo, but what about the other great cities like Salvador in Bahia, Fortaleza or Porto Alegre & Foz de Iguacu? There are beautiful islands like Ilhabela and Ihla Grande. There’s beautiful Fernando de Noronha.

Don’t limit yourself to just the big cities. There are so many beautiful locations to relax and enjoy yourself. I had no trouble finding affordable accommodations thru AIRBNB, which allowed me to live in the neighborhoods amongst the people. My plan from the beginning was to move to Brasil at least on a part-time basis, so it was important that I experienced “real” life – shopping, going to the barber shop, doing laundry and using public transportation.

Visit My Gallery

My Experiences in Brasil

My journey to Brasil began in 2014. I spent close to 30 days in Sao Paulo – living in the Mooca and Patriarca communities. The memories I have a fond. From ordering my first meal in Portuguese and not knowing what I ordered until it came, to meeting the two beautiful ladies in line at the supermarket. I wandered extensively and took targeted day trips to Ibirapuera Parque, Praca de Se and Edificio Italiano. Sao Paulo is a fashion capital of the world. It has so many museums – I saw my first pieces by Basquiat at Museu de Arte on Avenida Paulista. Iguatemi Mall is a shoppers paradise if you like things like Gucci and other high end stores. Sao Paulo also is a culinary paradise. There are great chefs there. It’s quite the party city as well. If you like nightlife, you will have fun in Sao Paulo.

Views from Edificio Italiano – Sao Paulo

I also spent two months on the beautiful island Ilhabela, just a 15 minute ferry ride across from Sao Sebastiao on the mainland. I met wonderful friends whom I communicate with regularly and have spent additional time with on subsequent trips. Brazilians never forget you! Ilhabela life was very comfortable and laidback. The beaches were gorgeous. I will explore the island more as the far side of the island has so many waterfalls and nature trails. It’s truly paradise!

  Beautiful day in Ilhabela

I went to Rio for 4 days and met great people in 2014. Standing in Leme – far end of Copacabana beach before leaving for Ilhabela, I made a promise to return soon. I couldn’t get enough of the soft roar of the waves and the powerful beauty of the water.  The views from Babilonia favela were amazing! The hostel was excellent. For the budget minded traveller, it was a great place to be. 5 minutes down the mountain and you’re at the beach. I was shown a video if the New Years celebration in Copacabana and I instantly knew I was coming back to Rio. I left in October and returned in December just in time for the celebration. I was in Rio for 3 months. I got to know so many people and solidify friendships. I spent time in both Copacabana and Ipanema, visited Nova Iguacu and more. I experienced Carnaval in the Sambodromo and the blocos in the streets of Rio. There are tons of “trilhas” or trails into the mountains. From there the views of Rio are spectacular. Then of course there is the touristy, but very cool Cristo de Redentor.

In 2016, I rented an apartment in Rio to prepare for my life there in Brasil. I spent some time there in 2016 and learned about my new neighborhood just a few blocks in from Copacabana beach. It’s the perfect location for me as I want to be near the water and its definitely more touristy.

Travel * Stay * Experience

I aim to help individuals truly enjoy Brasil. I believe it is one of the destinations everyone should visit at least once. You just might fall in love! My travels within Brasil will continue and I will help you thru my learned experience and know-how. I hope you find Brasil to be exciting and full of adventure. Visit my photo and video galleries. Enjoy them and think about your own trip to Brasil. What do you want to see? Where do you want to go? What do you want to experience?

Portfolio: Janice MacIntosh
Sample Letter: Thomas Stevens
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Script Sample: Anna Thompson

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