Picture this: you in a stunningly gorgeous beach, sipping on a caipirinha… a relaxed yet vibrant urban atmosphere, boasting with music and joy… impressive waterfalls surrounded by awe-inspiring rainforests… plus an extremely spirited culture everywhere you go. From the exhilarating Rio de Janeiro and the mesmerizing Iguassu Falls, to the enchanting colonial Salvador de Bahia and the paradisiac beaches of Buzios, when you visit Brazil you are in for the treat of a lifetime!
While it might take you a whole sabbatical year to explore this country, let us take you through some of the best of what Brazil has to offer!
OF COURSE, RIO DE JANEIRO!!!
Visiting Rio is like having an intensive stress-relieve therapy. This city can loosen up even the most stressed of its visitors with its laid-back yet lively character. Enjoy a great nightlife scene, with a never-ending celebration vibe, as the sun goes down… and relax at some breathtakingly beautiful beaches as the temperatures rise at daytime. There are also some must-see landmarks and areas that you should definitely save some time and energy for, such as the historical center, the sambodromos and the iconic Pão de Açúcar.
Beaches: Surely, you must not miss the famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, right on the city’s coastline. But there are some other slightly lesser crowded ones, a bit more tucked away from the urban area. For picking up some surfing moves, head to Barra da Tijuca beach. And if you are keen on something more secluded and unique, try Prainha Beach or Praia Vermelha… a taxi is your best option for getting there and having your trip back scheduled in advance is highly advisable. Don’t forget your sunscreen and Brazilian bikini or sunga!!!
Historical Rio: Rio de Janeiro has a rich past that’s worthwhile exploring. The city center hosts many historical buildings and monuments that tell the story of their colonial legacy, such as the Town Hall, the Palacio Tiradentes, the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral, among others. For a peek into the country’s Indian roots, check out the Museu do Indio (Museum of American Indians).
Pão de Açúcar: Called “Sugar head” or “Sugarloaf mountain”, the iconic Pão de Açúcar is an attraction that you cannot miss. The perspective from the top is simply breathtaking, offering sensational panoramic views of Rio at a glimpse. If you want a truly extraordinary show, head up there near sunset time and you’ll be in for a treat!!! To get to the top, seize the opportunity for a scenic ride on the cable car or you can hike through tropical forest for about 40 minutes up to Morro da Urca and take the cable car from there on.
Christ the Redeemer: Another iconic attraction and also offering superb views of Rio de Janeiro, is Christ the Redeemer, on top of the Corcovado Hill. From up there, you can pretty much tick off the whole list of major landmarks and say you’ve seen them all… Of course, don’t forget your camera to take some postcard-perfect pictures to then brag about! ☺
Samba, the sambodromos and the world’s greatest carnival: There’s no way you are in Brazil and don’t experience samba… it’s pretty much everywhere! Samba dance and music is an essential part of the country’s culture and you have to give it a try while you are there. Pick up the basics and let your inner carioca go wild. There are many styles of samba too, from the electric vibrant carnival samba, to slower, more sensual versions. Of course, Carnival season (February) is the absolute blast for samba lovers, but you can also visit the sambodromos, the place especially built for appreciating the samba schools parades, during off-season. The impressive venues will give you an idea of how big this is for the local culture!
IGUASSU – A WORLD NATURAL WONDER
The Iguassu Waterfalls are definitely a must-see destination, especially for nature lovers, but really for everyone… it’s truly impressive! It’s really difficult to explain the feeling of being in front of such a powerful expression of Mother Nature, hearing the roaring sound of the numerous falls of the widest waterfall range in the world, while watching the massive volumes of water rushing down. It’s like nothing else on the planet and it will make your Brazilian getaway that much more extraordinary!
SOME EXTRAS TO SEAL THE DEAL
It’s impossible to squeeze in all the must-sees of Brazil into one post. So, while you have plenty on your plate with Rio de Janeiro and Iguassu, we can’t leave out a couple of extra tips for those with some extra holiday time…
For a journey in time back to the colonial period, Salvador de Bahia, former capital of the country, is boasting with legacy and History. It’s also a picturesque city with a laid back vibe.
But, if you consider yourself a beach-lover, Buzios is an absolute must, featuring many gorgeous white sand beaches to unwind at.
Check out this program to get you started and give as a shout if you have any questions!