Brazil Travel Guide

Brazil Overview

Big, brash, beautiful and boisterous, Brazil is gold mine for travelers sprawling across half the continent of South America and bordering all but Chile and Ecuador. The land famed for Samba, Carnival and football boasts a biodiversity to rival that of anywhere on the planet, from the pristine beaches along the c7000km stretch of Atlantic coast to the rugged canyons and sparkling rivers of the Amazon Rainforest, the thundering cascades of Iguacu Falls to the rolling sand dunes of Recife, there is so much to see that with even the blink of an eye something may pass you by.

 
Yet it is not only the sites that lure travelers to her shores as Brazil possesses one of the worlds most multicultural societies and it is these people who help to create the great ethnic and cultural diversity whose heritage is expressed in the nations vibrant art, historical cities, and bustling urban centres. Conquered by the Portuguese in 1500 and later followed by immigrants from an abundance of European and Arabic countries, Brazil’s culture is as interesting as its landscape and that is by no means forgetting the indigenous tribal heritage of some 50,000 years ago as well as the Indian and African influences which are all proudly celebrated today.
 
Being such a big country, when planning an attack on Brazil it is difficult to know where to start. If its the first port of call on a South American adventure then most international flights land at either the spectacular setting of Rio de Janeiro or the sprawling yet infectious metropolis of Sao Paulo. Rio, it seems, has it all, stunning beaches, a dramatic backdrop, great nightlife and the poverty of the favelas, yet one downside of starting here is that you may never want to leave. Coming in from Argentina, the stunning Iguacu Falls are a great introduction to the natural beauty of the country and a good launch pad for those heading for the beaches of Porto Alegre and Florianopolis. To the north, and still on the coast, the BahiaProvince is packed full of charming colonial towns and coastal resorts such as Salvador and Itacare. Inland, dont miss out on the exquisitely planned capital Brasilia and the boundless opportunities for adventure within the Amazon region.
 
Traveling around this vast country is often hit by logistical problems, with journey times between destinations varying from anywhere between 4 and 48-hours. If money is not a problem then Brazil has a number of low-cost airlines with readily available flights, yet when flying domestically there is always the danger of missing something en route. Buses are they way to go and, although prices are on the rise, long-haul journeys are generally greeted with an excellent service of comfortable seats, a/c and the occasional onboard waiter service. Around the towns and cities local buses are cheap and regular unless of course you are in the Amazon, when a boat is required to travel along the vast network of waterways.
 
Whatever you decide to do, just remember to smile, have fun, join in any impromptu capoeira, samba or football activity you are roped into and then sit back and savor the moment whilst sipping a delicious fruit juice, cool beer or caipirinha.

Things to do in Brazil

Cities to visit in Brazil

Buzios – A hip, upscale beach resort town located about 2 hours from Rio
Florianopolis – A happening beach and every thing nature scene in the South of Brazil
Recife - Visit one of Brazils oldest settlements oozing colonial charm and home to a vibrant nightlife and one of the best carnivals.
Curitiba - Kickback in the many parks and plazas of eco-friendly Curitiba, one of the countrys most multicultural destinations.
Iguacu Falls - Marvel at the 250 mystical and thundering waterfalls encompassed by verdant rainforest bordering Argentina and inhabited by a variety of wildlife.
Rio de Janeiro - It would seem that everyone on the planet dreams of visiting Rio once in their lifetime and with pristine beaches, stunning backdrops, smiling beautiful people and samba and football competing for top billing it truly is the Cidade Maravilhosa!
SugarLoafMountain - Ride the 1,400 metre cable car across the mountain overlooking Rios Guanabara Bay, passing over the peaks of Pao de Acucar and the Urca.
Christ the Redeemer - Brazils iconic statue, a symbol of Christianity throughout the world. A graceful 30m tall, the statue stands atop CorcovadoMountain commanding respect from all corners of Rio.
Rio Beaches - With over 7,000km of coastline it is hard to go wrong when looking for the laidback beach life so loved in Brazil. Be sure to check out Rios famous Copacabana and ImpanemaBeach. In the north Itacare is a surfers paradise as are the southern beaches of Florianopolis.
Salvador – The capital of Bahia and known for it rich culture.
Sao Paulo – The largest city in Brazil and know for it’s non-stop action and nightlife.
Brasilia – The capital of Brazil located in the highlands of Brazil. Known for it’s architecture and city planning
 
Festivals in Brazil
Carnival - Infectious samba beats, song, dance, colourful parades and generally 24-hour partying, Brazil is the place to be for Carnival. Naturally the big cities of Rio and Sao Paulo burst into life, however, some of the smaller towns, in particular Recife in the northeast are renowned for their colourful celebrations.
Dio do India - Held in many locations across the country on April 19th is a celebration of Brazils indigenous people and culture with exhibitions, music and dance
 
National Parks in Brazil - In the heart of Bahia, Lencois is surrounded with natural beauty and home to 2 fine parks. Check out Parque Nacional dos Lencois Maranhenses for its huge sad dunes and lagoons or hike through Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina stopping off at swimming holes and waterfalls.
 
Brazilian Football - As everywhere in South America football is the number one sport and can be seen at all hours of the day, with games on street corners, beaches and in the parks. When in Rio take your place amidst the vibrant crowd at the Maracana, the worlds largest stadium. In the south Santos Futebole Club was the home for many of years of the great Pele.
 
Amazon Tours - Trek through the jungle, visit indigenous communities, fish for piranha, learn about tropical medicine and watch for birdlife and other jungle animals. Manaus is the gateway to the rainforest teeming with Amazonian charm.
 
Learn to Samba - Samba is the national dance of Brazil and the one most visible across the country and throughout Carnival. Put on your dancing shoes or go barefoot and learn the steps of this intoxicating dance of African roots.

Hotels in Brazil

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