Copacabana beach, Urca and Botafogo from Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro

Overview

Brazil is a land of mega diversity. The diversity of landscapes, cultures, cuisine, music and people make Brazil a destination like no other. Brazil is a unique and extraordinary place, offering a staggering array of exotic, colorful and sensual experiences that range from the wild abandon of Carnival to the fascinating natural sanctuary of the great Amazon basin.

Rio exceeds all expectation and is a “must-see” destination when you travel to Brazil.  Picture yourself on sweeping strands of golden beaches, the magnificent surf pounding the shore, the only drink a sliced open coconut and entertainment provided by teams of Cariocas playing beach volleyball.

Just to the south of Rio lies the spectacular archipelago of Angra dos Reis, made up of 365 pristine islands, and popular for those looking to relax in an exclusive destination unknown to mass tourism with marvelous, unspoiled beaches and a variety of outdoor adventures.

Heading north along the coast, the colorful colonial architecture and lively cultural heritage of Salvador beckons. The capital of the state of Bahia is bastion of Afro-Brazilian customs and traditions and offers a captivating history, fine architecture, delicious Bahian cuisine and lively street life.

Manaus, the chief port and hub of the entire Amazon region, is the capital of the state of Amazonas and one of the most isolated cosmopolitan cities of the world. Offering an excellent starting point for exploring the vast region, many boat and land trips depart from Manaus into the surrounding jungle and its unparalleled biodiversity.

Brazilian food and culture can be best understood as a combination of native Indian, Portuguese, and African flavours, due to the leading roles these groups have played in the country’s history. The past two centuries have seen the rise of ever-widening international influences on Brazilian culture, including the Germans who arrived in the first half of the 19th century, the Italians who arrived in the second half, plus Syrians, Lebanese, and, in the early 20th century, a major migration of Japanese immigrants. Brazil is now home to the second-largest Japanese population outside of Japan.  But despite the wild melting pot of cultures that fed the development of Brazilian cuisine, certain staple ingredients, dishes, and techniques are common to the food in almost every region. Most significantly, the universal role that manioc, or yucca, plays in the food of Brazil is comparable to that of rice in Japan, or corn in the United States.

Typical food  you should try:

Acaraje in Bahia : a bean bun filled with shrimps.

Muqueca: fish made with coconut milk and vegetables.

Cheese bread is specialy good from Minas Gerais state

Feijoada is a typical dish prepared with black bean and pork.

Tapioca: unique Brazilian-style crepes are made with tapioca starch and can be filled with sweet or savory filling.

Drinks: Caipirinha made of sugar cane rum and lime.

Barbecue restaurants is a must if you are a meat lover. Brazilian cut is one of the bests. Thin and tasty.

Rio de Janeiro

See this breathtaking setting from the foot of the iconic Cristo Redentor statue by taking the cog train to the top of Corcovado mountain. Or catch a cable car up Sugarloaf mountain to view Cristo on the horizon at sunset, as the city lights sparkle over the sea below – an unforgettable sight.

Brasília

The capital is famous for its architecture., its curvaceous buildings dominating the  flat horizons. Many of Niemeyer’s creations, including the city’s cathedral and the national congress, are now UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Iguaçu Falls

These majestic waterfalls in southern Brazil are one of the great wonders of the world,  with 275 individual falls encompassing a vast area protected by two national parks.

Salvador da Bahia

Explore colourful Salvador, the cradle of Afro-Brazilian culture, and capital of the north-eastern coastal state of Bahia. This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts dozens of churches and other colonial-era buildings clustered around the winding cobblestone streets of Pelourinho

Minas Gerais

Head to the mountainous inland state of Minas Gerais and witness some of Brazil’s best preserved colonial architecture. The region became fabulously rich from mining.  Ouro Preto, Mariana, Sabará, and Diamantina, are historic gems, with hundreds of ornate Baroque churches and colonial mansions filled with religious art and sculpture.

Manaus

Visit Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon at the juncture of the great Solimões and Amazon rivers.

Explore the Amazon

The usual base for trips is Manaus. Floating through the rainforest or staying in  Lodge in the middle of the forest  is one of the great travel experiences. The world’s largest rainforest contains one-third of all the living species on earth.

Go diving off Fernando de Noronha

Dive into the deep blue waters of coastal Brazil. Diving is particularly popular in the north, where the water is usually warmer and clearer. The protected marine park on the island of Fernando de Noronha has probably the best diving, with underwater grottos sheltering thousands of fish and coral.

Hang gliding over Rio

Soar above the tropical landscape on a tandem hang gliding flight from Pedra Bonita in São Conrado, on the outskirts of Rio. This popular adventure sport gives stunning bird’s eye views over the city and its Tijuca forest park before landing on the beach.

Learn Samba in a Rio 

Learn to dance the samba, Brazil’s most popular dance and unique expression of its joie de vivre. Let a local show you the moves at a rehearsal in an escola de samba (samba school), which open their doors to visitors a couple of months before Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival. Or visit a gafieira, a traditional dancehall, where several generations of Cariocas girate across the floor with natural fluidity. One of the best is Estudantina in downtown Rio.

Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival

Witness the wonderful mayhem of one of the world’s best parties. While Rio is most famed for the spectacular processions through its purpose-built Sambódromo, Carnival is celebrated throughout Brazil.

Wildlife watch in the Pantanal

Take a safari through the Pantanal, a spectacularly rich ecosystem that is home to jaguars, caiman, anaconda, giant river otters, toucans and hundreds of other species. These vast wetlands in west-central Brazil have wide-open savannah, which, unlike the Amazon’s dense forests, allow easy viewing of their abundant wildlife. The dry season (April-October) is the best time to visit, when animals cluster around the waterholes and the birds are nesting.